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24 September 2014
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Marc Almond and Dave Ball return to the TOTP studios as Soft Cell for the first time in nearly twenty years. We find out what they've been up to...

It's been ages since you've been on Top Of The Pops hasn't it?
Marc: Yeah, it's been a while...
Dave: Well as Soft Cell, it was probably...God, it was back in the '80s!
Marc: I think the last time we appeared as Soft Cell was for 'Soul Inside' and that was back 1984.

What's it like coming back then?
Marc: It's really great to be back playing here again in the studio. We've both been in doing a couple of solo things, like The Grid and that, but it's always nice to be back at the Top Of The Pops studio.

Does it bring back any particular memories?
Marc: Well, I can remember how exciting it was when we first did Top Of The Pops.
Dave: I remember when we were driving down here to appear for the first time and phoning from a transport cafe to find out what number we were in the charts. It was quite incredible really.
Marc: I think the other thing is that it changes your life once you've been on TOTP. You emerge a completely different person the day after you do it. I was always surprised how small the studios was as well. I'd always imagined it being this huge place, but it's really quite intimate.

So tell us about the new single, 'The Night'.
Dave: It's another soul cover version really. When we did 'Tainted Love' back in 1981, it was a choice between that track and 'The Night'. We never got round to recording it at the time, as we just got back into the studio to work on the new album. We thought we'd just pick it up again and it's turned out really well.
Marc: I think we thought as well that it'd been waiting for us for all these years...
Dave: Yeah, I mean it's a great song and much of it is in the Soft Cell scheme of things. It's kinda dark and works really well as one of our numbers. We've been playing it live in America and it's going down fantastically over there, so it's a good choice for us. Marc: I think it's a nod back to our roots for us again isn't...

It's interesting that you say it was a choice between 'The Night' and 'Tainted Love'. Are you happy that you made the right choice?
Dave: Yeah I think we did!
Marc: [Laughs]
Dave: I think history has kinda shown that we did make the right choice. Of course it's hard to tell really, because they're equally both nice songs. They're both dark, slightly sort of bitter edge to them. They're both strong songs, so it is hard to tell.
Marc: I just think there was something special and unique about 'Tainted Love' though. I mean, it's still played now and people still cover it...
Dave:...I mean it was on Eastenders the other night as well! [Laughs]
Marc: I know, it's been on Eastenders a few times actually. But, people still get obsessed about it after all these years, so it was the right choice really.
Dave: It's just one of those songs that's got a life of it's own really. I mean it's difficult to figure out just what's so special about that track, because we never knew how successful it would be at the time. It just seems to mean a lot to a lot of people. It's a dancefloor classic, it just seems to always get played at parties...
Marc: ...and on the Queen Vic dukebox!

  Simply Red  
  "That's a bit supermarket, isn't it. I'm not making that many bottles. "  
  Robin Gibb  
  "There's been great moments both as a songwriter and as a performer."  
  Paul Roberts - The Stranglers  
  "We certainly weren't going to call ourselves The Bay City Rollers."  
  Lisa Stansfield  
  "I just thought, how many times do I have to sing this song?"  
  Soft Cell  
  "I think it's the only time that a banjo's been played in the Ministry of Sound."  
  "Agnetha said she liked it. If I met them I would curtsey."  
  "We really surprised lots of people by simply hanging in there."  
  Kim Wilde  
  "I used to be really jealous of Claire Grogan...I thought she was gorgeous."  
  "Failure was not an option, we were materialistic and greed was good."  
  Human League  
  "We did a US tour with Culture Club and Howard Jones...solely for the cash."  
  Altered Images  
  "Women were treated as a bit of a novelty in the music business in 1981."  
  Belle Stars  
  "The pop music lark just seems like a lifetime away now."  
  Steve Strange  
  "Look, you’re playing me like a bitchy queen and I’m not like that."  
  Five Star  
  "We all grew up wanting to be famous and we lived our dream..."  
  Phillip from Ruby Flipper  
  "At my age, I'd find it difficult to get my legs where they used to go..."  
  Glen Campbell  
  "I got to work with literally everyone in the business; Nat King Cole, Sinatra..."  
  David Gray  
  "Lots of tension in the camp. We're battling Gareth Gates for the No.1 spot"  
  Robert Palmer  
  "There's this homegenised force feeding of what is hip."  
  "I think George manipulated our relationship for publicity"  
  Tom Jones  
  "I'm pulling all my old jewellery out now and comparing my rings with Wyclef"  
  Ruth From Pan's People  
  "I could show you dozens of times I forgot the moves..."  
  Badly Drawn Boy  
  "Everybody has to do what everybody else does in order to have a hit single"  
  John Otway  
  "I think the music business is probably not happy with what we've done..."  
  Jimmy Cliff  
  "I look at someone like Ms Dynamite, I come away with a positive feeling."  
  Human League  
  "We wouldn't trust anyone that didn't wear eyeliner."  
  Status Quo  
  "I probably went about four or five years with a pair of stage jeans"  
  Gary Numan  
  "There are so many things in my past that you could make fun of."  
  McAlmont and Butler  
  "We were big enough to get over any-thing that may have been exchanged."  
  Primal Scream  
  "The producer at the time told us we'd never work again."  
  "I prefer miming, I prefer if we weren’t playing live."  

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