Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'd Buy Anything By...Marc Almond

I'm not a huge fan of Soft Cell, but Marc Almond's solo work is stunning...most of the time. Thanks to "Tainted Love" and his rodent-on-ecstacy looks, Almond's songwriting ability has been largely overlooked. Folks, he doesn't just SING those songs, he WRITES them.

I'd buy anything by Marc Almond -- when I can FIND his music, that is. I've missed out on the last few albums due to their rarity and their high prices. But I'll still pick up anything I see, especially the singles (to find all those tragic B-sides about aging, drugged-up drag queens that he loves to write).

First, here he is with Gene Pitney performing "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart" live. This is to prove that he can really sing, and that -- even though Pitney sounds pretty awful -- they can harmonize and give you goosebumps.

This song breaks my heart whenever I hear it.

Now, to prove that he can WRITE a song as well, here's another sad one: "Waifs and Strays," off his album "Enchanted" (which contains some of his best work).

I don't know how I first discovered Marc Almond -- if you grew up in the '80s he was lodged somewhere in your subconscious no matter what -- but I think I started to ADMIRE him when I heard "What Makes a Man a Man" in the Wigstock film, and his album "Open All Night" turned admiration to LOVE. His collborations with Annie Hogan in the short-lived "Marc and the Mambas" turned love into unconditional respect. So here's to you, Mr. Almond.

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