Monday 21 February 2011
Marc Almond Was Our Cloakroom Boy
Let's get Monday off to a right good start with not one but two cover versions for the price of one, bargain.
I like most folk I think wasn't aware that Tainted Love was a cover when I first heard the Soft Cell version being twelve and living in Lanark, soulboys who could have informed me of the truth were a bit thin on the ground. I just thought that it was a great song at the time and a bit different. It was maybe three years before I heard the original in all it's glory; a song that never fails to get even the lamest and rhythmically challenged on to the dance floor.
The reason I've posted this today is that I've been reading " The Record Players, Dj Revolutionaries" a rather informative book which has interviews with all of the most influential Djs from Jimmy Saville to Tiesto, that's right. I didn't say the best DJs but they are also present from Peel to Weatherall. The book can be rather irritating as it could have done with a decent editor and spell checker. The format of a chapter per DJ with an introduction and then interview means that it is a book that you are not going to read cover to cover in one go but is ideal for dipping in and out of.
Anyway, there are a few chapters dealing with the northern soul djs such as Ian Levine and Kev Roberts but no Richard Searling for some reason. One northern disc spinner that I knew very little about was Ian Dewhirst who guested at most of the big venues and had the residency at Cleethorpes Wintergardens. He also djed at the Warehouse where a certain new romantic was the cloakroom boy, and recounts how Soft Cell would later cover Tainted Love and take the relatively unknown song to number 1.
"Marc Almond used to be the cloakroom boy in the Warehouse. We booked the Q Tips to play on the Tuesday and Wednesday night,. I thought Great I'll pull some soul stuff out. I brought the more accessible northern stuff out, so I could play it as people came in. I put Tainted Love on and this guy who I'd conspicuously avoided for nine months - he was always getting in fights with women or something - he came rushing up in the middle of Gloria Jones.
What's that record? I've got to know what that record is!
It's Gloria Jones with Tainted Love.
I've got to have a tape of it!.
He'd done an ep called Mutant Moments which was doodly electronic stuff that I couldn't play. He'd done something on a Some Bizarre compilation and Memorabilia. Anyway, the upshot of it was he ended up coming round my house . I remember it because he's allergic to dogs. I put Gloria Jones and a load of other stuff on tape for him. Probably even Judy Street, though I can't be certain."
So there you have it, how one of the best singles of 1981 came about.
When people refer to Gloria Jones I wish they would omit the fact that she was the girlfriend of a certain rock star and in the car when he died and just say Gloria Jones, who recorded one of the finest stompers ever recorded.
Soft Cell - Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go