Soft Cell

Soft Cell To Release Career-Spanning Box Set

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.


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Sex Pistols

On This Day: The Sex Pistols Get Banned By BBC

“There are not many songs written over baked beans at the breakfast table that went on to divide a nation and force a change in popular culture.”

– Johnny Rotten

The release of Sex Pistols‘ “God Save The Queen”, timed to coincide with Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee, was met with both disdain and admiration. It resulted in a mountain of negative press, something that manager Malcolm McLaren was pining for.

It was on this day in 1977 that the song was banned from radio airplay on BBC. While it would’ve been the final nail in the coffin for any old pop song, “God Save The Queen” was not any old pop song: this ‘anti-establishment’ record getting kiboshed by the broadcaster resulted in an uproar against the BBC. If music fans couldn’t hear this controversial record on the radio, they would find other ways to listen.

The BBC cited the lyrics as “gross bad taste”–a criticism the band was more than happy with. Even with retailers like Woodworth refusing to carry the record, it flew off store shelves wherever it was available, selling 150,000 copies a day over the course of a week. It peaked at #2, only behind Rod Stewart’s “I Don’t Want To Talk About It.” Even the official charts refused to publish the song name.


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PiL (Public Image Ltd.): Johnny Rotten Breaks New Ground Post-Sex Pistols

Public Image Ltd. has announced a brand-new box set, The Public Image Is Rotten, featuring the PiL Singles Collection, B-sides, Rarities and Radio Sessions, 12 Mixes, Unreleased Mixes and Tracks + a Live concert from New York Ritz in July 1989.

Click here to pre-order the 6LP edition or 5CD+DVD edition.

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Joey Ramone

Remembering Joey Ramone

Joey Ramone passed away 17 years today. The news shocked the world: a pillar of the punk explosion across the globe, Ramone defied conventional thinking and challenge the concept of music.

The punk scene reached new heights in the 1970s. While The Sex Pistols, led by Johnny Rotten, were taking over the UK, Joey Ramone & the Ramones were putting New York on the map. While Rotten was confrontational and in-your-face, Ramone was solemn, but his message was still menacing. His ability to call upon a generation and speak to youth outcasted by society was powerful. While the Ramones wouldn’t see the commercial heights of The Clash or Sex Pistols, this underground mystique almost adds to their legacy. They weren’t for the masses, and fans wanted it to stay that way.

Joey Ramone was born Jeffry Hyman on May 19, 1951 and formed the band as a young adult in the early 70s. They started to form a song structure that had yet to exist–it was fast, the length was short, and the delivery always packed a megawatt punch. He started out as the drummer but moved to lead vocals prior to the release of their self-titled debut album.


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