What does it sound like?:
Following on from the Trials of Eyeliner box comes this set chronicling in rather more abbreviated form Marc Almond’s career both with Soft Cell and as a solo artist.
It comes as either a one or two cd set, depending on whether you just want the obvious hits or prefer to delve a little deeper into Almond’s extensive and often overlooked back catalogue. He has always been at his strongest when recording singles, and here you get the very best, be they originals, covers or duets.
The first cd has the more familiar material – the fantastic string of hits with Soft Cell, including the 12’’ version of Tainted Love, still evoke so many great memories of that era. There’s also the epic version of I Feel Love recorded with Bronski Beat, and his duet with Gene Pitney on Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart. The latter part of the disc is devoted to tracks from his solo albums, most successfully the Marc & The Mambas and Mother Fist sets.
The second cd on the whole has songs perhaps less well known to the casual listener, but none the worse for that, the notable exceptions being his covers of The Days Of Pearly Spencer and Jacky. The album comes to a close with the current single, the previously unreleased A Kind Of Love, which seems to be picking up a decent amount of radio play at the moment, before ending appropriately enough with another version of Tainted Love, this time being recorded in the company of Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.
What does it all *mean*?
An excellent career summary for this underrated artist, for whom the term ‘maverick’ could have been invented.
Goes well with…
Other music that from that era and a few glasses of wine for the Soft Cell songs, almost anything goes for his sometimes dark solo work.
Might suit people who like…
If you just want the hits, go for the single cd version – if you want to dig deeper treat yourself to the full fat two cd set which costs hardly any more!