Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret is the debut album by English synthpop duo Soft Cell, released in the United Kingdom on 23 November 1981 by Some Bizzare Records. The album's critical and commercial success was bolstered by the worldwide success of its single "Tainted Love", a cover version of a soul song by Gloria Jones, which topped charts worldwide and became the best-selling British single of 1981 in the United States. The album produced two more top five singles in the UK with "Bedsitter" and "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye".

Despite the reputation of many New Wave bands as being on the cutting edge of technology, the album was created on a very low budget; it was supposedly recorded almost entirely with a Revox tape recorder, a borrowed Roland drum machine belonging to Kit Hain, a small, preset Roland bass synthesizer, and an NED Synclavier, belonging to producer Mike Thorne. The album was recorded in New York City at the height of its gay club scene, at a time which the drug MDMA (also known as ecstasy) was just beginning to become popular. The sound and club beats of the album reflect this atmosphere, with songs about pornographic cinemas and infidelity, although the album's themes sprang not from New York but the seedy underworld of early '80s London. The group caused some controversy in the UK over the single "Sex Dwarf", the music video of which was banned for explicit, S&M-related content. The duo would delve deeper into its fascination with decadence on its subsequent works, including the 1982 remix album Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing, which features an alternate cut of "Sex Dwarf" on which singer Marc Almond appears to simulate a female orgasm with his voice.

CMJ New Music Report included Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret on a list of The Top 25 College Radio Albums of All Time. American magazine Out placed the album at number sixty-six on their list of The 100 Greatest, Gayest Albums (of All Time). It was also included in Robert Dimery's book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.


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