Posts Tagged ‘Gloria Jones’

Tune du Jour: “Tainted Love” – Gloria Jones
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Finger vs. The Lost Fingers
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)


"Free markets will not prevail without unfettered competition among cover songs." - Milton Friedbyrd

“Free markets will not prevail without unfettered competition among cover songs.” – Milton Friedbyrd

Tainted Love was written by Ed Cobb and originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1965 as the B-side to the 1965 single My Bad Boy’s Comin’ Home. The single was a commercial flop, failing to chart in either the US or the UK. In 1973, almost a decade after its initial release, British club DJ Richard Searling purchased a copy of the single while on a trip to the United States. Searling introduced the song to the UK club scene, which embraced its Motown-influenced sound and eminent danceability. Due to the newfound underground popularity of the song, Jones re-recorded Tainted Love in 1976 and released it as a single, but that version also failed to chart.

English vocal-and-synth duo Soft Cell (i.e. Marc Almond and David Ball), became aware of the song through its notoriety as a UK club cult hit, and recorded a drastically different arrangement in 1981. Due to the then-dominant synthpop sound of the time, Soft Cell’s version of Tainted Love rapidly reached #1 on the UK singles chart and was 1981’s best-selling single in the UK. On January 16, 1982, Tainted Love charted in the US, entering the Billboard Hot 100 at #90. It appeared to peak at #64 before falling to #100 on February 27. However, after spending a second week at #100, it started climbing again and 19 weeks later it cracked the US Top 40. The song eventually reached #8 in the US and spent a then record-breaking 43 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Original


Gloria Jones:

Great version of the song. A real shame Jones never charted with it.


The Most Popular

Soft Cell:

Wildly popular yet, in my mind, dreadful when compared to Gloria Jones’ original version.


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Finger vs. The Lost Fingers



The Lost Fingers:

For those interested, The Lost Fingers’ studio version of Tainted Love is also available on YouTube but, despite the occasional annoying static pops, I love this live version:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?



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