Marc Almond / Hits and Pieces: The Best of Marc Almond and Soft Cell


Following on from Trials Of Eyeliner, last year’s detailed examination of the career of Marc Almond, comes Hits and Pieces a two-CD summary that includes solo material, Soft Cell and miscellaneous collaborations.

This double-disc collection includes nine tracks from Soft Cell and Marc And The Mambas’ Black Heart before moving on to Almond’s (relatively) successful solo career, including the chart-topping duet Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart and the top ten hit The Days Of Pearly Spencer (produced by Trevor Horn). SDE favourite, A Lover Spurned which stalled at number 29 in the UK.

Hits and Pieces: The Best of Marc Almond and Soft Cell will be released on 10 March 2017.


Disc: 1
1. Memorabilia – Soft Cell
2. Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go – Soft Cell
3. Bedsitter – Soft Cell
4. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye – Soft Cell
5. Torch – Soft Cell
6. What? – Soft Cell
7. Where The Heart Is – Soft Cell
8. Soul Inside – Soft Cell
9. Down In The Subway – Soft Cell
10. Medley: I Feel Love – Bronski Beat, Marc Almond
11. Black Heart – Marc And The Mambas
12. Stories Of Johnny
13. Melancholy Rose
14. Tears Run Rings
15. Ruby Red
16. Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart – Marc Almond, Gene Pitney
17. A Lover Spurned

Disc: 2
1. The Desperate Hours
2. My Hand Over My Heart
3. Jacky
4. The Days Of Pearly Spencer
5. What Makes A Man
6. Adored And Explored – Marc Almond, Buster Poindexter
7. The Idol
8. Brilliant Creatures
9. Child Star
10. Tragedy (Take a Look and See)
11. Glorious
12. Variety
13. Burn Bright
14. The Dancing Marquis
15. Bad To Me
16. Scar
17. A Kind Of Love
18. Tainted Love – Marc Almond, Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra

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None of the singles form Virmin are included on this comp which is really strange. So sad ‘Numbers’ was left off, Marc should have insisted, but I guess he’s on ‘ the gold ladder to bigtime’ with the Universal paymasters.

However looking forward to the Soft Cell boxset. Dave Ball already has mentioned a 1981 demo of ‘Martin’ that he has stumbled across.

Andrew F

Yes, I would have welcomed The Boy Who Came Back or Tenderness Is A Weakness, rather than Burn Bright or Dancing Marquis. I’m disappointed that Numbers and The Night aren’t present within the Soft Cell segment.

The fact that a demo for Martin exists is thrilling news. I’d imagined that all of the demo recordings had already appeared across those two CDs which Stevo released a few years ago. It’s fab that there’s still items which are unheard by fans.


There’s so much stuff that has never made it to an official release. 10 CDs won’t be enough.


Disappointed in the mixing or remastering! Marc’s vocals have been reduced and sound filtered compared to the original album versions. Sounds less rich with more treble :(

Andrew F

My deluxe edition arrived from Amazon this morning, however, the ‘auto rip’ version that Amazon made available to me digitally was for the single disc, not deluxe edition. This means I get both editions of the release, rather than a physical and digital version. I rarely use the auto rip files if I’m buying a CD, just vinyl (unless a download card accompanies).

I like the packaging. It continues the theme started on the box set anthology last year. Good to see that Mark Wood of Readers Wifes was heavily involved in both the box set and best of projects. The guy is so knowledgeable about pop and he’s a super-fan of Almond. I didn’t realise that Marc hand-picked the tracks for the single and double disc editions of this best of collection. I knew he was heavily involved in the track listing for Trials of Eyeliner.

Hopefully a Soft Cell collection will see the light of day, however, Stevo still owns the copyright on a number of items – such as the demo recordings – and he made a public comment stating Some Bizarre did not endorse or approve Trials of Eyeliner. There’s clearly still bad blood there, which is a pity.


A womans story single by Marc Almond is also absent it seems.

martin austin

Fantastic song, as is The House is Haunted


Numbers the single is missing from the soft cell singles it appears


Does anyone know, have the tracks been (newly) remastered??


I think so because Marc’s vocals are tinny but the music is louder. :(

Andrew F

I remember when Almond first spoke of trying to gather a collection of singles together that it would be a label licensing nightmare. Universal successfully negotiated a full monty last year, with the box set. For me, the double disc is more satisfying. With a career as long as Almond’s, a single disc collection will undoubtedly disappoint the hardcore fans who want something exclusive within the track listing.

I suspect this collection is aimed at those who remember the hits from the imperial phase of Soft Cell and Almond’s early chart-troubling singles.

If there is a Soft Cell anthology – and Marc has hinted that he’d like there to be – then this would be the release that I’m really keen to purchase. There’s stuff that still hasn’t made it onto CD and digital streaming sites; such as the single version of Barriers. The two Some Bizarre albums of demos would be good to licence, as they’re both out of print and would be ideal for a box set.

The re-releases that occurred in 1997, 2004 and 2010 of selected solo albums, the two Mambas albums and those two Soft Cell demo collections are all out of print. Each time I’ve bought a Mambas re-release, it’s been incomplete. The Japanese Mercury issues in 2004 contained nearly everything, but missed the single version of Torment and the extended version of Black Heart. It was a missed opportunity. Plus, even though a sleeve was mocked up and a catalogue number issued for the Mambas’ Big Louise single, the b-side of Sleaze Revisited (The Dirt Behind The Neon) has never surfaced. I gather that a search of the Phonogram archive didn’t located a master tape either. Disappointing for such a fleeting part of Almond’s career, but much-loved by fans.

When Pet Shop Boys released their triple-disc Pop Art collection in 2003, it only excluded a small number of single releases and was quite a satisfying collection. In 2007, when the next hits collection was released by Parlophone, the single disc track listing was so frustrating as you really can’t condense what was at that point a 22 year career into 80 minutes. Thank goodness that their idea to include a DVD of TOTP performances gave something to the hardcore fans that they didn’t already own.

If this is Marc’s selection, then I guess it’s his prerogative to reflect on his career as he wishes, but I do suspect that the marketing of this product is at a wider pop audience who’ll see the TV ad or online marketing and purchase or stream on the basis that the key hits are included.

Just my two-penneth. Other views exist.

Metal Mickey

That’s a prefectly acceptable career overview for the casual buyer, though I (unfortunately) suspect CD2 won’t get much play from most… I’m usually a great believer in keeping “Best of’s” chronological, but in this case I think mixing the tracks up might have been a good idea…

And I can’t believe there’s much left in the Soft Cell vaults – certainly all their official releases have been made available on CD, and after the Demo Non-Stop & Bedsit Tapes releases there are only a few bootlegged tracks yet to see the light of day, hardly enough to justify a new collection, I’d have thought…


The new single is pretty bad.


Sadly to me the new single sounds like a regular track from the Stories Of Johnny era…

Darren H

I think in the initial announcement it said something along the lines of new tapes had been found and handed to Dave Ball to see what was on them, hinting it could be lost/unreleased stuff.
I love Marc and Soft Cell and would love a SC antholgy companion to compliment Trials. Marc said it was something he’d like to do when he was interviewed around the time of the his anthology release.
There are loads of live recordings out there too, could be compiled into a live bits and pieces disc. Personally I’d like DVD content with the videos, the Non Stop video EP and ‘at the BBC’ stuff with all the TOTP appearances.

Darren H

I’d also like to see a comperehensive album re-issue campaign for Marc, it may be difficult as he’s scattered over several recording deals. Something along the lines of the Edsel Bananarama or EBTG re-issues.

David B

Not too bad a set .. but why leave out the PJ Proby duet -“Yesterday has gone” .. would have been good to have .. shame ..

alan hansen

from Soft Cell’s classic 80’s vibe to what i call Marc Almond’s “bubble-gum torch,” i am all over this new collection.

Michael Fortin

Looking forward to this set. Trials of Eyeliner was a bit much for me.

Lisa Johnson

And only a small tour to promote it? Surely a greatest hits CD warrants a few extra dates in the main cities? Meet and Greet too? Disappointed


Still waiting for the Special Mix of Loving You, Hating Me which has only ever appeared on a US promo 12″ to appear on CD.


There’s an edit on the Almond box, but totally chops off the best bit, tge long intro!


I really like this album sleeve, and the track listing is great. I will buy this one.


…and what about a DVD with promos, live shots, etc…?


If you have this material on other releases, try the new Starcluster and Marc Almond release called Silver City Ride. I think it’s the best synthpop record of last year!!


And I wish there could be old good CD version – a great and totally unexpected album indeed and no any promotion at all


Please can we have the Marc and the Mambas records given the deluxe treatment or at least a reissue.


Am I right in thinking the awesome long versions of Ruby Red are still unreleased on CD?


It appears there is a bit of Soft Cell action for 2017. David Ball has been asking what would fans want on a box set, possibly on the back of the recent excellent Almond box.

Jeff D

Come on!!!! No Sex Dwarf!!!

Stan Butler

Jeff, your private life is up to you.

Darren Briscoe

A bit of a wasted opportunity here….

Zohat Tal

What’s new? Recycling the same materiel over and over again, doesn’t give me the itching feeling in my fingers to pull out my credit card. Was it too much to wish for an edition with all (or most of) the 12” versions?


And still no ” single ” version of Torment !

John T

Available on Marc’s official site with a limited edition signed A2 print


There is also a single-disc edition:

Tainted Love
Say Hello Wave Goodbye
I Feel Love (Bronski Beat & Marc Almond)
Stories of Johnny
Tears Run Rings
Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart (Marc Almond & Gene Pitney)
A Lover Spurned
My Hand Over My Heart
The Days of Pearly Spencer
What Makes a Man
Adored and Explored
The Idol (Part 1)
Child Star
A Kind of Love (Radio Edit)

The deluxe edition includes the “full length version” of the new song instead of the radio edit.


Seems like putting together rushed and sloppy artworks has become a proper trend in this business.

Paul Murphy

If I’m reading it correctly, I think it’s quite clever [Marc’s arms making a heart shape, with his face above it].