Seminal electronic duo Soft Cell featuring Marc Almond and Dave Ball celebrate their 40th year in 2018 with the release of their anthology on Sept. 7. Entitled Keychains & Snowstorms: The Soft Cell Story, this ten-disc box set features nine CDs and a DVD, encompassing both phases of their career from 1978 to 1984, and the 2001-3 reunion. It’s the story of 21 million records sold worldwide. 13 UK chart singles, five of them Top 10 hits, two gold and one platinum-selling albums.
This extensive product has been a full two years in the making. Under the watchful eye of executive producers Dave Ball and Marc Almond, the box set reveals over 130 tracks and over 12 hours of music. Alongside newly-remastered full 12” versions of all the Soft Cell singles and B sides, a large proportion of the audio content is previously unreleased, available only on bootlegs, or created especially for the anthology. ‘Keychains & Snowstorms’ is a genuine treasure-trove of art-school experimentation, memorable pop hits, ground-breaking club tracks and astute introspection from one of electronic music’s most thrilling and influential acts.
Every recorded track from Soft Cell’s Phonogram era 1981-4 is represented on the collection in some form, with additional selections from the band’s own 1978-80 archive including tracks from the band’s first live gig in 1979, their fabled debut Mutant Moments EP (remastered from the original master tapes) and even a couple of previously unheard tracks. Music from 2002’s Cruelty Without Beauty reunion album is also represented.
One of the discs includes new interpretations and extended versions of key album tracks and fan favourites from Soft Cell’s history by Dave Ball, working with Chris Smith and Philip Larsen. The team have also worked on Non-Stop Euphoric Dubbing, an hour-long continuous dance mix of both well and lesser-known fan favourites topped off with a few selected remixes. Extended 12” mixes were always part of Soft Cell’s DNA, the duo’s pioneering 12-inch singles mixes made them the toast of the burgeoning New York and Europe scenes of the early 1980s and were a favourite with influential club DJs. These new Dave Ball mixes are set to continue that legacy.