Don't Be 'Cruel': Soft Cell Breaks Its Silence
Long-dormant U.K. synth-pop duo Soft Cell has reunited and will release its first album in 18 years. Due Sept. 10 on Cooking Vinyl/spinART, "Cruelty Without Beauty" is the first Soft Cell record sinceLong-dormant U.K. synth-pop duo Soft Cell has reunited and will release its first album in 18 years. Due Sept. 10 on Cooking Vinyl/spinART, "Cruelty Without Beauty" is the first Soft Cell record since the pair principal members Marc Almond and Dave Ball split following the 1984 release of "This Last Night in Sodom" (Sire).
The band will tour North America in support of the new record this fall, marking the first time it has played on the continent in 15 years. Almond and Ball played a few dates under the Soft Cell moniker last year in the U.K., to positive reviews. The group was planning to tour North America last summer as part of the gay-themed Wotapalava package, but it was canceled amid scheduling difficulties.
Almond, who last year released the solo album "Stranger Things" (Blue Star/XIII Bis), told Billboard upon that set's release that he looked toward a Soft Cell reunion as not just a memory-lane trip but a chance to make new music.
"I'm wary of being part of the whole retro '80s revival," he said. "I'd find it very unrewarding to only be playing my old hits. But I'm happy to do older stuff as long as there's newer stuff to go with it. I don't mind people having their nostalgia bit. I'm proud of those old songs."
Meanwhile, Almond will headline the 32nd anniversary of San Francisco's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration June 29-30, performing alongside the likes of Janis Ian, Pansy Division, Dead Or Alive, and Marcella Detroit.
Soft Cell is best known for its cover of Ed Cobb's "Tainted Love," which hit No. 8 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1981.