Labeled by some critics as one hit wonder, Almond remains famous as half of the seminal synthpop/New Wave duo Soft Cell (the other half being instrumentalist David Ball) and they originally shot to fame in the early 1980s with UK #1 hits such the cover of “Tainted Love” (a song composed by Ed Cobb and originally singed by Gloria Jones in 1965), “Bedsitter”, “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye”, “Torch”, “What!”, “Soul Inside”, “Memorabilia”. But anyway, including his time with Soft Cell, Almond has sold over 30 million records worldwide, which is a considerable amount for a so-called one hit wonder, isn’t it?
Almond released two solo albums under the moniker Marc & the Mambas After in ’82 and ’83 and after Soft Cell disbanded in 1984 he released several solo albums and as Marc Almond with The Willing Sinners. Almond and Ball reunited as Soft Cell in 2001, with a series of live dates and they released during late 2002 a new Soft Cell album, entitled “Cruelty Without Beauty”. The album featured another cover which became hit single: “The Night”, composed by Bob Gaudio and Ruzika.
During 2007, Soft Cell announced plans to release a remix album entitled Heat. The remix album was released in November 2008 and includes classic Soft Cell tracks remixed by such acts as Paul Dakeyne, The Grid, Manhattan Clique, Cicada, Richard X, Ladytron, MHC, Atomizer, Mark Moore, Kinky Roland, Spektrum, George Demure, Yer Man, The Dark Poets and others.
But Almond has other interesting projects as well during his solo years. Almond relocated in 2000 to Moscow where he rented an apartment. With the encouragement and connections of executive producer Misha Kucherenko, he embarked on the three year recording project of Russian romance and folk songs, called “Heart on Snow”. Featuring many Russian Stars old and new it was the first time that such a project had been undertaken by a Western Artist, many of the loved Soviet era songs sung in English for the first time.
“Feasting with Panthers” is a collaboration with musician and arranger Michael Cashmore setting poems of Count Eric Stenboc and unique translations by poet Jeremy Reed of decadent and Homo erotic poems by by Jean Genet, Jean Cocteau, Paul Verlaine and Rimbaud.
This is a subtle and dark incursion in a shadow world, poetry playing the central role and the music is a gentle addition. This is an experiment and expression of feelings, rather than a classic “pop album”. Dark and joyful.