Soft Cell have reunited for first new album in 20 years

“I’d say the songs are sounding quite minimal, melodic and bass-driven”: Dave Ball

Soft Cell onstage

Image: Jim Dyson / Getty

Soft Cell, the synth-pop duo of Marc Almond and Dave Ball, have reunited and are working on their first album in 20 years.

The duo last put out Cruelty Without Beauty in 2002 before performing what many believed to be their farewell concert at London’s O2 Arena in 2018.

“Before the O2 show, Marc and I hadn’t seen each other in about 15 years,” Dave Ball told Daily Star newspaper [via UDiscoverMusic]. “In the years between, we’ve started to sound mature. The new songs are still catchy, but a lot more worldly-wise.”

Throughout their career, Soft Cell have earned 12 Top 40 songs and five Top 10 albums in the UK. The synth-pop pioneers are best-known for one particular hit: a rendition of the Ed Cobb-penned Tainted Love from their 1981 debut album, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret.

Ball admitted the duo haven’t yet tried to replicate the formula of the hit song, but said: “Maybe we should!”

“But it’d be inappropriate for two 60-something men to try to write bouncy little pop numbers,” he mused. “That doesn’t mean we’ve become miserable, and it’s not heavy industrial music either. I’d say the [new] songs are sounding quite minimal, melodic and bass-driven.”

He added: “I’m really pleased with how it’s coming along, it’s sounding great.”

Meanwhile, Universal is planning to release reissues of the duo’s first three albums this year, starting with a 40th Anniversary Edition of Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret.

“Marc has suggested we do a live-stream concert of the whole album, and I’d be up for that,” Dave Ball said.


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