Top positive review
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Fantastic collection of one of the greatest bands ever!
on 26 November 2001
I couldn't afford the £70 plus box set of Soft Cell's singles I saw in 1990; so it is nice that they are collected on this screaming good value boxset. The Cell made some epic classics- and to capture the full versions, on something that isn't worn vinyl is splendid...Disc one offers the fall- Daniel Miller produced trash fantasy 'Memorabilia'- and it's b-side 'Persuasion', which picks up where the Human League's 'Life Kills' left off. Do I need to mention 'Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go'? The extended 'Bedsitter'captures the existential joy of nightime pleasures and pains; remember, it was a bigger hit in Spain than 'Tainted Love'. Its flip 'Facility Girls' is not as good (where is 'A Man Could Get Lost'?). 'Say Hello, Wave Goodbye' is probably the best pop song of all time, here is the extended overhaul- a cinematic epic on a scale that feels like Fassbinder & Sirk fighting for control of 'A Star is Born'. Lovely. The b-side is the Marc & the Mambas track, 'Fun City' (originally released with 'Sleaze')and sounds like early The The ('Mental Healing Process'; 'Another Boy Drowning', 'Cold Spell Ahead'). Disc Two begins with the 8-min plus 'Torch'; one of the best pop songs of all time. 'Insecure Me' sounds a little throwaway now- this is the kind of song they perfected as 'The Art of Falling Apart'. Both 'Where the Heart Is' & 'Numbers' are under-rated singles, the latters b-side 'Barriers' is almost up there with 'Youth'. Disc Three begins with the industrial meltdown of 'Soul Inside'and continues with a reworking of 'Loving You Hating Me' (a lost single) and some Bond-covers (pre-dating Barry Adamson's foray into soundtracks). 'Her Imagination' is from a BBC session and captures Soft Cell in their messy deconstruction from pop to Suicide do R'n'B on the worst drugs. Disturbing...'Down in the Subway' was their last single (until 'Divided Souls', fingers crossed)and here we have an epic take not dissimilar to the Foetus-assisted 'A Million Manias' on 'Torment & Toreros'. Pity 'Surrender (to a Stranger) wasn't chosen! Still, the thrash thru Johnny Thunders 'Born to Lose' and the awesome Depeche Mode pre-dating 'Disease & Desire' show no drop in quality. The rest of the cd is taken up with Grid remixes & reworkings for the best of Marc Almond & soft Cell from 1991...So, a nice completist collection for those that want more than the upcoming 'Greatest Hits'. The only problem is the quality in the new Cell-songs ('D.Souls', 'Monoculture', 'Somebody sometime', the prequel to 'Say Hello'), which will add to the obligatory singles captured here. Give yourself a reminder!