It was deep autumn of 1988, my first semester away at college, when I popped some ecstasy and danced my ass off to Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love.” The pill-popping wasn’t a habit, just an experience. I don’t say this to be cool or convey shame. Our pasts do not define us. I often think how the sum of our parts makes up the whole of our being and how life is one continual remake. All of this goes through my mind when I hear this song. Life is tainted. No one is perfect. Everyday is a brand new start, and I just try to be better than I was yesterday.
In the ‘80s, I had no clue the song was a remake. News to me in recent years, Gloria Jones first recorded “Tainted Love” in 1964.
The English synthesizer and vocal duo Soft Cell slowed the “Tainted Love” tempo in 1981 and made it famous. It was the bestselling single in the UK that year, and the song spent a record-breaking 43 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100. But, oh my, this video. So ’80s.
There are quite a few versions out there, like the notable Marilyn Manson’s take in 2001 and Imelda May’s twist in 2010. My personal favorite is the 2008 remake by My Brightest Diamond, a project of singer-songwriter-instrumentalist and University of North Texas alumna Shara Nova.
And sometimes I still dance my ass off. (Re)make it a fantastic (Mon)day, everybody!