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Soft Cell – Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret (1981)

August 17, 2017

[Album 559/1001]

“Say Hello then Wave Goodbye”
– Soft Cell, Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

As confirmed by Wikipedia, Soft Cell’s debut album was released on November 27, 1981.

As confirmed by several official pieces of personal identification, I said hello to the world later that week!

Perhaps as a result, the above quote has been running through my head whenever I think about Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret.



The majority of the albums on the 1001 list are ‘new-to-me’; in a way, I’m saying “hello” to these albums.

Many of these albums will have similar “hello” stories for me, in that the album was somehow made available for listening, usually either bought/borrowed/streamed.

I say “hello” to the album, “then” I listen.

The “then” stories will also be eerily similar at first, as I insist on listening to each of the albums twice before locking in a review.

However, the stories begin to diverge from there.

With some albums, the “then” stage will not extend beyond the requisite listens; I’ll say “goodbye” and move on with life.220px-Soft_Cell_-_Non-Stop_Erotic_Cabaret_album_cover

With others, even years later, I’m still fully immersed in “then,” replaying the records over and over again, with no intention on bidding them adieu.

And my experience with Non-Stop Exotic Cabaret likely fits somewhere in between; favourable, if not gushing, a keeper, but likely destined to spend more time on the shelf than in the rotation.

Or more visually, compared/contrasted with a pair of other dance/electronic albums (The KLF & Pet Shop Boys) for context:








Verbalize the Positive

It was a nice surprise hearing Tainted Love in No Frills yesterday, I happily sang along as I picked up our family groceries!

From → 1980s

  1. Truthfully I know nothing about this music.

  2. jprobichaud permalink

    Haha. Soft Cell had other songs? (he asks, tongue firmly planted in cheek)

    • That’s been the great learning experience for me of this project – these groups that were labelled “one hit wonders” in Canada (Dexys Midnight Runners, A-ha, Soft Cell…) have plenty worth hearing!

    • Their most famous song is a cover.

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Soft Cell album. Only aware of one or two songs… and actually couldn’t have told you if they were Marc Almond or Soft Cell songs before today. I heard the Almond chap on the radio the other day… though I’m wondering if that was Soft Cell. Jeez. I’m thinking too much about this.

    • This was my first Soft Cell album endeavor – it’s not dissimilar to the Pet Shop Boys, wouldn’t be classified as my traditional ‘cuppa’ but I enjoyed.
      It’s possible I’ve heard Marc Almond – but I may have mis-classified his work as Soft Cell as well!

  4. This is a great album. I want ‘Sex Dwarf’ played at my funeral, my current wife has refused to do so.

    • haha – I was thinking, in terms of the side a/b closers, which would be more appropriate at a funeral: say hello, wave goodbye or sex dwarf? The choice is obvious!

      • Sex Dwarf all the way for me (and my dumb chauffeur).

    • You’ve always struck me as a man capable of luring disco dollies to a life of vice.

      • It’s the line ‘They all love your miniature ways’ it just gets me EVERY time.

        I have been known to cackle aloud on public transport to it.

    • “Current wife”?????
      You’re gonna change wives until you find one who’ll accede to your ‘Sex Dwarf’ demand? Wow. That is non-stop erotic commitment (of a kind).

      • Til sex dwarf do us part – it’s a relationship dealbreaker for some!

      • I do often refer to her as ‘The Current Mrs 1537’, or ‘My first wife’ and have lived to tell the tale.

        I think sending a loved one off to the afterlife with appropriate musical accompaniment is a solemn and mystical duty.

        It would make for an arresting dating ad, wouldn’t it?

      • Watched ‘Soylent Green’ last night. One of those panoramic screen ‘send off’ rooms with a really good sound system?

      • Just imagine how much Soylent could have been improved with ‘Sex Dwarf’ on the soundtrack?

      • I’ll check to see if my wonderful wife (or I suppose, in 1537-speak, my wonderful current/first!) has any afterlife-send-off song requests for when we update our will!

  5. It might be due to my advancing years (advanced a little further than the majority, if your dob is anything to go by) but I’m genuinely bewildered that Soft Cell seem to be regarded as one-hit wonders. Putting aside the several hits and two excellent albums, they rose head and shoulders above their synth contemporaries placing the synthesizer in some kind of pop time line that embraced both Northern Soul and New York no-wave. Monumental stuff. And don’t even get me started on Dexy’s…

    • I shall not get you started on Dexys!
      It’s possible much of Canada was better informed of their talents than I was – tainted love was one of those videos Much Music would play on those remember when/one-hit wonder specials.
      It’s been nice being proven wrong about these groups, that’s been one of my favourite things from the 1001 project, realizing how many artist I had underestimated!

  6. They were definitely of their time and most likely the music hasn’t aged well. At the time though, they capitalized on the New Romantic/synth pop sound with melodramatic lyrics and Almond’s vocals. I was never fully convinced, their biggest hit was a decent cover, and “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” was just a little bit over egged for my taste.

  7. Of course I know the hit (I didn’t know it was a cover tune), but I don’t know anything else by them (I don’t think)! Good on you for listening to the whole record nd for landing in the middle on it.

    Also, well done finding ll three of those albums for $3 or less. Combine this with No Frills and you’re a bargain shopper!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. White Town – Women in Technology (1997) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. 1981 | 1001albumsin10years

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