Not that I had anything to do with Soft Cell when they were around back in the day, but, in hindsight this pair of beta males were partly, if not wholy, responsible for unleashing the flood of synthgeek with effeminate bloke duo's onto this planet.
The 'synth' gave those of us who were alienated by the resurrection of butch cock-rock that Punk had become, a chance to express themselves,add a touch of eyeliner and sing about something more interesting than not having a job. This could all be done at the same time as fucking off your mates and parents. My dad could sit through The Pistols and Sham 69 on Top of the Pops,he even seemed to enjoy it, but nothing got his goat more than an effeminate bloke leering into the camera. Forget Bowie putting his arm around Mick Ronson during 'Life On Mars'.For my Father it was the bass player from The Sweet, wearing a long black dress (probably with a swastika armband?),Kaiser Bill helmet ,hitler moustache with black lipstick and full eye makeup, camping it up during 'Blockbuster', with a fey gayness as he leered in dad's(and my) direction to mime (badly) the words to the line "we haven't got a clue what to do"........at this point my paternal parent grunted "Bloody 'ell", and left the living room. Only Jimmy Saville got a more violent reaction from him......now we all know why...even my lovely daddy knew what the BBC didn't. Bowie, Glitter, and Bolan left him unmoved, but the Sweet always got a reaction. This, of course is where The New York Dolls nicked their ideas from.
In the eighties Gender-Bending became a national pastime, and several of these acts made it big across the pond. So much so that in the mind of every marginalised redneck youth, every Brit,had questionable sexuality, was pale and thin and wore eyeliner and lipstick to go down the pub. Which is not far from the truth.
A reputation that was mainly the fault of Boy George and Depeche Mode.However,Soft cell were, i'm sure, very capable of challenging everyones sexuality on their own Top of the Pops appearances, just as The Sweet did; but these pale boys from Leeds Polytechnic meant it.
They also started in classic DIY fashion by recording in Dave's bedsit in Leeds, and Stevo had the good grace to release these underproduced recordings in 2006. The best stuff they ever did.
1 Potential 3:28
2 L.O.V.E. Feeling 3:26
3 Metro Mr X 2:08
4 Bleak Is My Favourite Cliché 2:15
5 Occupational Hazard 3:32
6 Mix 4:19
7 Factory Fun 3:20
8 Science Fiction Stories 3:15
9 Purely Functional 2:10
10 A Cut Above The Rest 2:09
11 Paranoid 2:25
12 Excretory Eat Anorexia Nervosa 4:37
13 Cleansing Fanatic 2:34
14 Walking Make Up Counter 2:54
15 Pyrex My Cuisine 1:07
16 Tupperware Party 2:04