Marc Almond / Trials Of Eyeliner / career spanning 10CD super deluxe box


Get all the Marc Almond you could ever wish for amassed in one mammoth, career-spanning, ten-CD collection, set for release by Universal Music this October…

Trials Of Eyeliner is touted as the definitive overview of Marc Almond’s career, and the fact that Almond himself has personally curated the collection, allied to the 189-strong track listing, suggests that this is no exaggeration. Neal X, Almond’s longstanding writing partner/musical director (and former Sigue Sigue Sputnik guitarist), supervised mastering of the tracks recorded over five decades between 1979 and 2016.

This anthology is divided into three themed sections. ‘History’ fills the first four discs with 72 of Almond’s favourite album tracks and B-sides, from Soft Cell’s Youth to the song that gave this super deluxe set its name: Trials of Eyeliner.

The three-CD ‘Singles’ section lines up all of his official Soft Cell, Marc And The Mambas and solo singles in pretty-much-chronological order, delivering assorted delights such as Soft Cell’s UK number one smash hit Tainted Love, duets with Gene Pitney (Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart) and Sarah Cracknell (I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten) and much more.

The last three CDs consists of ‘Gems’ – fan-only releases, one-off collaborations, soundtrack contributions etc. – and includes 18 tracks previously unreleased from Marc’s own collection (see those marked with an asterisk in the track listing below) plus many more hard-to-find rarities and songs making their debut in the CD/digital format.

The ten CDs are housed in two six-page gatefold disc holders within a 240mm-square slipcase, and the music is complemented by a 64-page hardcover book featuring loads of photos and imagery from Almond’s own archive and an ‘interview/essay’ by Alexis Petridis. Artwork for the cover and elsewhere within the package is by renowned graphic artist Stefan Fähler.

The final song on the tenth CD in this set is entitled I Created Me, a highly appropriate choice for such a distinctive artist who’s enjoyed such a varied career.

“I can’t think of many artists who’ve been able to straddle the underground and the mainstream, to work in the underground and the commercial world, to do out-and-out pop and work with Coil or Throbbing Gristle,” says Almond. “There’s a whole big swathe of the British public that only know me for part of my music, and don’t know me for another part. And that’s absolutely fine. I always thought that music was a ride. You go on it, and sometimes it’s successful and sometimes it’s disastrous, sometimes it gets acclaim and sometimes it gets absolutely knocked down. You pick up different people for different parts of the journey. It just happens. But you’ve just got to go on that ride.”

Trials Of Eyeliner is released on 28 October 2016.


CD 1


  1. Soft Cell – The Girl With the Patent Leather Face
  2. Marc and the Mambas – Fun City
  3. Marc and the Mambas – Sleaze (Readers Wifes Club Edit)
  4. Soft Cell – Sex Dwarf (original version)
  5. Soft Cell – Youth
  6. Soft Cell – Insecure Me (2002 edit)
  7. Soft Cell – Loving You Hating Me
  8. Soft Cell – Heat
  9. Soft Cell – Meet Murder My Angel
  10. Soft Cell – Surrender to a Stranger
  11. Marc and the Mambas – Untitled
  12. Marc and the Mambas – Big Louise
  13. Marc and the Mambas – Torment
  14. Marc and the Mambas – Catch a Fallen Star
  15. Marc and the Mambas – A Million Manias
  16. Marc Almond – Love Amongst The Ruined
  17. Marc Almond and the Willing Sinners – Joey Demento

CD 2


  1. Marc Almond and the Willing Sinners – Gutter Hearts
  2. Marc Almond and the Willing Sinners – Crime Sublime
  3. Marc Almond – Always
  4. Marc Almond and the Willing Sinners – I Who Never
  5. Marc Almond – Body Unknown
  6. Marc Almond and the Willing Sinners – Saint Judy
  7. Marc Almond and the Willing Sinners – The Hustler
  8. Marc Almond and the Willing Sinners – There Is A Bed
  9. Marc Almond and the Willing Sinners – Mother Fist
  10. Marc Almond – The Devil (OKay) (Le diable (ça va))
  11. Marc Almond – Lost Paradise (Le paradis perdu)
  12. Marc Almond – The Stars We Are
  13. Marc Almond – These My Dreams Are Yours
  14. Marc Almond (featuring Nico) – Your Kisses Burn
  15. Marc Almond- Toreador In The Rain
  16. Marc Almond – The Sea Still Sings
  17. Marc Almond – Meet Me in My Dream
  18. Marc Almond – Champagne 

CD 3


  1. Marc Almond – Vision (live)
  2. Marc Almond – Night And No Morning
  3. Marc Almond – Deadly Serenade
  4. Marc Almond – The Edge Of Heartbreak
  5. Marc Almond – Come In Sweet Assassin
  6. Marc Almond – Lonely Go Go Dancer (Open All Night European version)
  7. Marc Almond – Midnight Soul
  8. Marc Almond -My Love (Dave Ball Remix)
  9. Marc Almond featuring Siouxsie Sioux – Threat of Love (Neal X remix)
  10. Marc Almond – One Big Soul
  11. Soft Cell – Darker Times
  12. Soft Cell – God Shaped Hole
  13. Marc Almond – Under Your Wing
  14. Marc Almond – Tantalise Me
  15. Marc Almond – Lights
  16. Marc Almond – Redeem Me (Beauty Will Redeem The World)
  17. Marc Almond – The London Boys
  18. Marc Almond – Stardom Road

CD 4


  1. Marc Almond – Sleeping Beauty
  2. Marc Almond – The Storks
  3. Marc Almond with Aquarium – Gosudaryunia
  4. Marc Almond featuring the Orchestra Rossiya – Pearly Night
  5. Marc Almond – Friendship
  6. Marc Almond and Michael Cashmore – Feasting With Panthers
  7. Marc Almond and Michael Cashmore – The Man Condemned to Death
  8. Marc Almond – Variety
  9. Marc Almond – Lavender
  10. Marc Almond – Trials Of Eyeliner
  11. Marc Almond – Farewell
  12. John Harle and Marc Almond – Ratcliffe Highway
  13. Marc Almond with Jeremy Reed and Othon – The Green Fairy
  14. Marc Almond and Carl Barat – Love Is Not On Trial
  15. Marc Almond – The Dancing Marquis
  16. Marc Almond – Tasmanian Tiger
  17. Marc Almond featuring Danielz – Death of a Dandy
  18. Marc Almond – Zipped Black Leather Jacket
  19. Marc Almond – Life in My Own Way

CD 5


  1. Soft Cell – Memorabilia
  2. Soft Cell – Tainted Love
  3. Soft Cell – Bedsitter
  4. Soft Cell – Say Hello Wave Goodbye
  5. Soft Cell – Torch
  6. Soft Cell – What (mono mix)
  7. Soft Cell – Where The Heart Is
  8. Soft Cell – Numbers
  9. Soft Cell – Soul Inside
  10. Soft Cell – Down In The Subway
  11. Marc and the Mambas – Black Heart
  12. Marc Almond – The Boy Who Came Back
  13. Marc Almond – You Have (full version)
  14. Marc Almond – Tenderness Is A Weakness
  15. Bronski Beat & Marc Almond – I Feel Love (Medley)
  16. Marc Almond – Stories Of Johnny
  17. Marc Almond – The House Is Haunted By The Echo Of Your Last Goodbye
  18. Marc Almond – Love Letter
  19. Marc Almond – Ruby Red
  20. Marc Almond – Melancholy Rose

CD 6


  1. Marc Almond – A Woman’s Story
  2. Marc Almond – Tears Run Rings
  3. Marc Almond with Gene Pitney – Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart
  4. Marc Almond – Bitter Sweet
  5. Marc Almond – Only The Moment
  6. Marc Almond – A Lover Spurned
  7. Marc Almond – The Desperate Hours
  8. Marc Almond – Waifs and Strays
  9. Marc Almond – What Makes a Man (Live)
  10. Marc Almond – Jacky
  11. Marc Almond – My Hand Over My Heart
  12. Marc Almond – The Days Of Pearly Spencer
  13. Marc Almond – The Idol (Part 1)
  14. Marc Almond – Adored and Explored
  15. Marc Almond – Out There
  16. Marc Almond – Brilliant Creatures
  17. Marc Almond – Child Star

CD 7


  1. P J Proby and Marc Almond with My Life Story Orchestra – Yesterday Has Gone
  2. Marc Almond – Black Kiss
  3. Marc Almond – Tragedy (Take a Look and See)
  4. Marc Almond with Mekon – Please Stay
  5. Marc Almond – Glorious (radio edit)
  6. Marc Almond – Gone But Not Forgotten
  7. Rosenstolz with Marc Almond – Total Eclipse
  8. Soft Cell – Monoculture
  9. Soft Cell – The Night
  10. Marc Almond with Sarah Cracknell – I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten
  11. Starcluster with Marc Almond – Smoke and Mirrors (Original Version)
  12. System F featuring Marc Almond -Soul on Soul (radio edit)
  13. King Roc featuring Marc Almond – Prime Evil (Boris Dlugosch mix – edit) 3
  14. T-Total featuring Marc Almond – Baby’s On Fire
  15. Mark Schneider with Marc Almond – Perfect Honey (Temptation)
  16. Marc Almond – Nijinsky Heart
  17. Marc Almond – Burn Bright
  18. Marc Almond – Scar
  19. Marc Almond – Bad To Me
  20. Marc Almond – Demon Lover

CD 8


  1. Marc Almond – Oily Black Limousine
  2. Marc Almond – Indigo Blue
  3. The Burmoe Brothers featuring Marc Almond – Skin
  4. Coil with Marc Almond – Dark Age of Love*
  5. Marc Almond – Amnesia Nights (demo)
  6. Marc Almond with Mekon – Theatre of Dreams
  7. Marc Almond – Demented, Deluded, Delirious (Mekon Remix)
  8. Mekon featuring Marc Almond – Out of My Soul remix (edit)
  9. Andrei Samsonov and Laska Omnia with Marc Almond – Passion and Pain
  10. Andrei Samsonov and Laska Omnia with Marc Almond – The Guilt of My Secret (Original Version)
  11. Marc Almond – Three Monkey Tango*
  12. Marc Almond – The Exhibitionist (original first demo)
  13. Punx Soundcheck featuring Marc Almond – Vanity, Poverty, Revenge
  14. Marc Almond – Fur (Jóhann Jóhannsson mix)
  15. Marc Almond – Dead Eyed Child (remix)
  16. Marc Almond – Black Satin (remix)
  17. Marc Almond – Sequins and Stars
  18. Othon featuring Marc Almond – Last Night I Paid to Close My Eyes
  19. Marc Almond – Beautiful Losers
  20. Marc Almond – City of Nights

CD 9


  1. Marc Almond – Tale of a Tart (Hell)
  2. Marc Almond – Urban Velvet (1997 demo)
  3. Marc Almond – The Beautiful Light of Madness (demo)
  4. Marc Almond – Suburban Opera (1997 demo)
  5. Marc Almond – Life’s a Lonely Drag (But I’m Alive) (demo)
  6. Marc Almond – Bluegate Fields (demo)*
  7. Marc Almond – Someone Like Me (demo)*
  8. Marc Almond – I’m Your Karma (demo)*
  9. Marc Almond featuring Armen Ra –Kill Me or Make Me Beautiful*
  10. Marc Almond – When Bad People Kiss
  11. Marc Almond with Othon – The Tango Song
  12. Marc Almond with the Rossiya Orchestra – The Sun Will Arise
  13. Marc Almond with the Rossiya Orchestra – Tenderness
  14. Marc Almond with Antony Hegarty and the Rossiya Orchestra – River of Sorrow
  15. John Harle with Marc Almond – Angel Eyes
  16. Marc Almond – Keep Back Your Tears
  17. X-TG featuring Marc Almond – The Falconer
  18. Marc Almond with the Gaslight Troubadours – Eros and Eye*
  19. Marc Almond with Brian Reitzell – Snake Charmer

CD 10


  1. Marc Almond with Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra – Cry*
  2. Marc Almond with Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra – On My Soul (I Swear)*
  3. Marc Almond – Idiot Dancing
  4. Marc Almond – Dark Is My World (Without Love)*
  5. Marc Almond – Kiss the Ghost Goodbye*
  6. Marc Almond – I Am No One (demo)*
  7. Marc Almond and Neal X – Criminal Lover
  8. Marc Almond – The Crimson Diva
  9. Marc Almond – Rhythm and Blues*
  10. Marc Almond – Suicide Saloon
  11. Marc Almond – For Only You*
  12. Marc Almond – Brewer Street Blues
  13. Marc Almond – Miss Urania*
  14. Marc Almond – The Perfumed Garden of Gulliver Smith (Afghan Candles version)*
  15. Marc Almond – Eyes (demo)*
  16. Marc Almond – Be Still (demo)*
  17. Marc Almond – Late Night
  18. Marc Almond – Hurt Me (edit)
  19. Marc Almond – When I Was A Young Man (live)
  20. T. Rextasy with Marc Almond, Tony Visconti and the Dirty Pretty Strings –Teenage Dream (live)
  21. Marc Almond – I Created Me

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Horrible remastering. Sound quality hurts my ears. Such a shame they released all this and the music sounds so shrill and tinny and unlistenable. Ugh

Graham Hunter


I was at Marc’s concert in Perth on Saturday night. He put on a great show and the crowd loved every minute of it. He also received a very good review in the Perth Courier.

I have seen Marc a few times now and his voice just gets better and better. In fact I have to say that I’ve don’t think I’ve heard him sing better than he did on Saturday night.

Those that are attending the shows on the rest of this tour are in for a treat. ENJOY!!!

Graham Hunter

I’m trying to track down a Marc Almond/Soft Cell track from the 80’s? I heard a snippet of Marc singing it way back then and have never been able to trace it. All I have are some words/lyrics from the song and I’m not even sure if they are right.

The words go something like this;

Now I’ve found real love, I don’t know much about it.
Now that I’ve found real love, I can’t live without it.
I hope you love me, the way that I love you,
And we can live together as one. (not sure if this bit is right?).

If anyone can point me in the right direction I would be grateful. Thanks.


‘Women’s Story’

Graham Hunter

Hey Mark,

Thanks a lot for your reply. I heard this 30 years ago and had wondered what it was but had never been able to trace it the few times I had tried.

It wasn’t a big deal but it’s good to know what it was after all those years. It did bug me a little bit – I knew I had heard it. Feels good to know now.

Thanks for even taking the time to respond. I appreciate it. Small things can be good.

It is Mark and not Marc – right? :-) Cheers.


my pleasure, I hate it when I can’t place things !

It’s a Cher cover version btw.

Mark ( 100%) haha.

Graham Hunter

Especially when it took 30 years!!!

Yeah, I checked this on Youtube. I also listened to the Cher version. It was produced by Phil Spector – he’s a genius but totally NUTS!!!

Are you going to any of the shows of the current tour?

I’ve managed to get a ticket for the show in Perth, Scotland. I come from Edinburgh.

[…] on from Trials Of Eyeliner, last year’s detailed examination of the career of Marc Almond, comes Hits and Pieces a […]

David Aguilera

“The Heel” is not included. One of my favorites.

David McCallum

This box showed up in my mail today. Beautiful cover, for my two cents. I have to say I didn’t really picture the box being these dimensions. Can’t really compare it to anything else though I guess it’s close to a 10″ EP size. Kinda fun. Marc does address the “odd” edits in this introduction. One could complain he should have sacrificed one of his “children” in order to stick with the original edits but you can’t really complain if the artist is admitting the “crime.” I’m enjoying this retrospective! There is a lot of care showing here.


I received my box this week and the mastering on many of the tracks is beautiful, but did anyone else hear clipped intros on some of the tracks? It was most noticeable on Tears Run Rings, but a few other tracks also have awkwardly clipped beginnings. I was also disappointed by the mastering on the Tenement Symphony tracks, particularly since some of the previous ones sounded so incredible.


Is it just me or do some of the tracks (like My Hand Over My Heart and Jacky) sound thin and dodgy compared to others from the TS album. Like they’ve been mastered from vinyl or old CD singles??


Marc’s intro in the book discusses the loss of some of the master recordings…

RT in Toronto

I would have never forgiven the exclusion of ‘There Is A Bed’. #justsayin


A couple of initial observations (based on Spotify, though I assume it accurately represents the CD box set):

Some slightly dodgy “2016 edits” on this, unfortunately. On disc one, Fun City, Heat, Meet Murder My Angel and Loving You, Hating Me (which is taken from the US single version, not the LP original) are all newly pruned, presumably to fit the CD. Minor for the most part (early fades, etc), though Fun City has a couple of clumsy edits.

The singles appear present and correct for the most part, including the original version of What!, but Down In The Subway is the shorter LP version at 2’52 instead of the 3’22 seven inch, and Where The Heart Is and Numbers have both been trimmed. On the other hand, You Have appears in its superior 10″/12″ Long Version rather than the 7″ edit. Torment appears on the first set of discs as an album highlight rather than in its re-recorded 12-inch single version as part of the singles tracks. Sadly missing from this set is the Sally Timms collaboration “This House Is A House Of Troubles”, which had both a seven and twelve-inch version.

Oliver Neugebauer

I’ve got my copy today from http://www.jpc.de and in my view it’s absolutely awesome! It’s worth every cent! It’s a pure celebration of Marc’s Art!

Matt Harper

Hmmm, i preordered mine in july from amazon & received an email today saying out of stock with no revised delivery date. Udiscover site also showing out of stock.
I do hope it is not a limited run to the point they haven’t made enough for the existing pre-orders. I will be gutted!

SDE Hall of Fame

I spoke to Universal about this earlier and they assure me that Amazon have stock – I wouldn’t panic and I think this will be sorted and people will get what they ordered, although it may cause a few days’ of delay


Had an e-mail from Amazon this morning saying that the item was “unavailable” and “don’t know when it would be back in stock.”
Seems to be an increase in delays or re-arranged dates. George Michael, Public Image Ltd, now this. Next!


E-mail from Amazon this morning to say that this was delayed and they don’t know when it will be in stock.
Why does it seem like everything is being delayed or put back? George Michael, Marc Almond, Public Image Ltd…………

Jaine Brent

I have been a Marc fan since I was 14 & am now 49. I have met him twice by bumping into him, once in Soho & another in Camden & both times he stopped & chatted & allowed me to take a photo. Never was rude or said he was in a rush. Laughed when I said I used to bunk off school & wait outside the old fan club for hours for a peek of him. People who are saying this is expensive? 10 cd’s which would be 9.99 each – go figure. Plus the book & photos etc. If you are not a fan, don’t pay it. Simple. x (p.s I have read the book & can see nothing that Joe is talking about either, I think he imagined it).


I have always liked Soft Cell and Marc Almond but this box is not for me. I understand people are different. I like to have 12″ versions of songs. This box totally disregards that. Thankfully there is a 3xcd with the 12’es of Soft Cell and the ‘Treasure Box” 2cd from Marc Almond offers you a trove of 12″ versions as well. He obviously did a ton of collaborations and it would have been nice to have those 12″ versions together in a box. Like someone above already said, if you do a 10 disc box, you might as well add 3 of 4 cd’s with 12″ versions. So in my book this is a “Phil Collinsy”. A massively missed opportunity. But I’m glad for the others who love it. Marc has many fans and there obviously is a market for this.

marc cohen

Marc’s always been plagued by certain kinds of “fans” who are negative opinionated and generally freeks. Buy the collection or don’t, like the guy or don’t, but remember there is no law that forces you, you have the choice so why the whining? Make your choice by all means, but spare us the comentary, we ain’t interested and it’s boring as hell!


And your opinion about the boxset ?

Scott D. Briggs

Really? Why? How do you know this? I love Marc and all, but he’s not precisely
Mick Jagger, Bryan Ferry, or Bono, or whatever.

Brett Linforth

I was lucky enough to have ordered this boxset early from uDiscover so I too shall be receiving the If You Go Away EP. This box set has rekindled my love affair with Marc’s music – an affair that started at the age of 16 when I bought a cheap compilation album featuring Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart. I’m 31 now, have seen Marc live ten times, met him twice (really nice guy and seemed genuinely touched when I told him as he signed my Heart On Snow album that it was his best work since Mother Fist) and made some great friends through his music. October 28th can’t come quick enough! BRING IT ON :-)


Hi Brett,

Just a quick question: does your uDiscover order state that you’re getting the extra CD? I only ask as I ordered it from their site early but it doesn’t say anything about the extra CD on my order.



Unfortunately this is (another) missed opportunity. For starters the title is a touch misleading. Soft Cell did indeed take to the stage for the first time in 1979 but none of the legendary ‘Mutant Moments’ ep is represented here. indeed Soft Cell deserve their own boxset treatment as there are certainly no surpirses to be found in this collection. Marc’s imperial solo period in the 80’s is also woefully light on surprises as the collection just collects what is already available ( no demos, out takes or alt versions )

The ‘unreleased’ tracks that we do have here hardly get the excitement levels rising ( unless you enjoy Jools Holland or Marc Bolan tribute acts ) and that extends to the cover which is just horrible.

There are far better and more satisfying introductions to Marc Almond and Soft Cell for the uninitiated out there, that cost a fraction of the price of this boxset. For the the hardcore Cellmate/Gutter Heart is £70 plus worth it for a handful of recent demos and a few photos ?


Thank you, MB, for sharing the stories of your meetings with Marc. The taxi ride story, in particular, would be a very special memory.

It reminds me a little of a friend’s story about how he stumbled upon Ray Davies alone in a local pub in Melbourne, which subsequently led to a number of friendly local pub meet-ups during a period where Ray Davies must have been living in Melbourne (during the 80s, I think it was).


I met Marc a couple of times and both times he was polite, appreciative and generous with his time.

The first time was in NY in 1984. My friends and I had just left a Some Bizzare evening, where Anita Sarko was DJing after a Test Dept. concert. We were on the sidewalk outside the venue when Marc came outside with a couple of other people. He came walking past my group and knowing who he was I called out his name. He stopped and I spoke with him, introducing my friends. He was on his way to Danceteria, which was where we were heading, so we shared a cab. Marc even paid for the taxi. When we arrived at Danceteria, Marc walked us in past the doorman. I didn’t want to appear ungrateful, so I thanked him and offered to buy him a drink. He declined and that was that.

The second time was a record store meet and greet in San Francisco at Tower Records near SFSU. There were only two of us there at the time to say hello. I had brought a copy of his poetry, The Angel of Death in the Adonis Lounge. He graciously signed it and I mentioned our previous meeting. He was nice to enough to say he remembered that evening. And once again, I was impressed with his receptiveness and kindness.

Scott D. Briggs

I just recalled, a good friend of mine met Marc years ago in London, I believe,
at some nightclub, either in the 80s or early 1990s, and he (I think kind of taking the piss etc.), asked her, hey Margaret, buy us a drink luv (or somesuch)?! and she did! hehe! Just recalled that story now.


The Marc and the Manbar single ‘Torment’ is not included? (it was after Black Heart?)


it is canaras5
Cd1 – Marc and the Mambas – Torment


Joe Mac Pherson, I have read the book you mention (Tainted Life) and I’m confused. Could you please inform whre in this book Marc writes about you?

Matthew Best

Seconded! I’d like to know where Marc writes about Joe as well. It must be in a different edition of the book to the one I have…


10 CDs and no sign of the 7″ promo version of “Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go”. Really??


I met Thomas Dolby when he was touring the US with his Invisible Lighthouse film. Very nice person, signed a couple of my favorite TD things I had brought, got a photo taken with him, had a quick but engaging conversation with him. Genuinely cool gentleman.

I’ve met a couple of others over the years, and I’ve been fortunate enough not to have had any really bad experiences. Just lucky, I guess.

Scott D. Briggs

Thomas Dolby always struck me as a guy who would be shy, funny and gracious
in person. I’ve always heard he is, so that doesn’t surprise me. He seems to be
one of the few artists to have a self-deprecating, realistic and ironic handle on his
own career and his standing in the field, and a truly dry, mordant, but warm, sense of humor.
I once saw him being interviewed on some British TV show (Whistle Test?) by Andy Partridge
years ago and it has to be one of the wittiest, funniest exchanges ever in history.
The two of them in a room together for a few hours would have you in the hospital
you’d be laughing so hard! I was, just watching this for like 10 minutes. I was in total
hysterics when they both wanted to kick some silly robot talking to them “in the nuts,”
as Andy interjected to Thomas Dolby, during the interview….

[…] Just in case you aren’t aware, if you’ve previously ordered this from Amazon UK you don’t need to re-order. You’ll get the lowest price. Trials of Eyeliner is released on 28 October 2016 and you can read much more about the set over here. […]

Robert Lett

I always take one or two things to get signed if the artist is willing. Eleven pieces signed is a lot to ask for IMHO but it’s really mean to call you out like that in print. They could have just set a number of items if that was not OK. Awful. I met one of my biggest musical heroes a few years ago and she was just horribly cold and mean, meeting your heroes is not always a good thing. Sometimes better to just enjoy the art.

Scott D. Briggs

Meanwhile, I even once briefly met Alison Moyet backstage at an appearance
of hers on LI opening for various other bands, or a festival type night for WLIR FM,
and anyway, I didn’t even say hi to HER, she just beamed as she walked by and
specifically said cheers TO ME, for no apparent reason, but she was aces!!
What a nice lady! Goddamn! I’ll never forget that, even though I didn’t in fact,
meet her, as such. Her total coolness to even a stranger backstage, made a MASSIVE impression on me.


Amazon UK have dropped pre-order price to £66.88 today (20/7/16)

Auntie Sabrina

This is currently £66.88 not £96.99 at Amazon.co.uk

Just saying…


And for the record Ocean Colour Scene’s guitarist Steve Cradock is an absolutely lovely guy and he gave fans a generous amount of his time in an impromptu signing at the Moseley Shoals festival in Birmingham just this weekend. There are many who could follow his example in a complete lack of self-importance in this celebrity obsessed culture we now inhabit.


I met Marc on Fire Island in the early 90’s. He was a bleached blonde. Extremely friendly. I didn’t ask him to sign anything or for a photo but we did have some fun. ;)

Scott D. Briggs

Wacky! I just cannot imagine him as being a nasty bloke. He must’ve just had
record store signings events phobia, or anxiety disorder, or whatever.


To balance things out, here’s a nice signing story…

As an ardent, long-time Peter Hammill fan (since a very young teenager), when he at last came to Australia, I presented him with his and VDGG’s complete CD collection to that date – I daren’t tell you how many that was, but I will say that the pile even included a bootleg. (I just brought the booklets. Needless to say, I left my LPs and 45s at home.)

He sat at a table with me, post-concert, and signed every single one of them, telling me stories about different ones as he signed them. He even did his famous ‘M’ symbol on one. He then went on to sign many CDs and LPs from others. Finally, a group of us (I guess, representing the devoted ‘faithful’ down under) stood about him for about an hour, quizzing him, and he patiently answered all of our questions (except for the one about the lowdown on why he split with Nic Potter, which he respectfully declined to answer).


Those signed CDs still have pride of place in my record collection.


I should give my *lovely-meetings story* too. I met Brett in 95 DMS tour. they played leicester, I waited at venue mid afternoon … just a handful of fans … he was utterly lovely and charming. he signed a pic I took of him from w’hampton 94 squashed down the front. he dedicated it to me. beautiful writing. took photos with me/other fans. saw him again in 1999 at a HM after-show, just as friendly. suede are in my top 3 bands, they say never meet your heroes. but I remember how I was on cloud 9 after that day. couldn’t have been any happier.

Mike appleby

I don’t see anything in that passage to take offence over. Or is there another passage.


I’m a bit confused now too. perhaps there is more

Matthew Best

I have the book in front of me. Here’s what Marc says about record store signings around the time “The Stars We Are” was released:

“Then, as if this hell wasn’t bad enough, there was something else. Record-store in-house signings. These are really nerve-wracking and particularly unpleasant. I always think of the scene in the film Spinal Tap when nobody turns up to their band’s signing, and the company rep proffers his ass to be kicked. I was most surprised when people did turn up, when queues went all around the block and people waited dutifully with their records to get them signed, with the album playing over and over and over again in the background – ad nauseam.

In Los Angeles I was beseiged by fans at the radio station and the signings. I remember one attractive girl bared her breasts for me to sign, and I scrawled by autograph across them. To my horror, she returned an hour later. She had quickly gone to a tattooist who had gone over my signature, disfiguring both her breasts. If I’d known I would have taken more care.

But the descent into hell was not yet complete, and downward we went. Promotional tours also involved meeting the staff at the record pressing and packing factories, meeting the people who shrink-wrap the album, and posing with them all for snapshots…..”


Joe wrote that story here also last year or 2 years ago as well. There is quite a bit of drama in that message…not sure I believe any of it.

Scott D. Briggs

As far as this testimony goes, it sounds that, at the very least, Marc was just one
of those artists who were either not prepared for such events, or just not
suited temperamentally to host them, or even remotely enjoy them. I can
imagine that he might’ve seen it as bizarre, uncomfortable, or nerve-wracking.
It just wasn’t his scene. If so, he should’ve stopped doing them, but yeah,
there’s tons of pressure when you’re a rising artist, especially, to do them.


Joe, Marc’s star has certainly not fallen and I had the great pleasure of seeing him perform a wonderful sold out show at The Royal Festival Hall, London last Sunday. I have seen him perform on many occasions and have also met him many times. He is very quietly spoken and a very nice man. I have not read his book but cannot imagine him being nasty for no reason. I am looking forward to the box set very much.


the way I look at it is, either sign 11 things or don’t. if you are *happy enough* to sign them at the time – then don’t go and slag the person off later in the book for bringing 11 items.
I don’t know what the book says exactly, I’ve not read it. just seems from Joe’s description everything was honky dory at the time at the signing … then all this stuff was said after the fact. to me that’s not on.

Scott D. Briggs

Yes it has, nobody in this entire fecking country of the USA knows who he even IS,
minus a few thousand old 80s fans or goths, or whatever, or collectors or record
store chaps. Maybe in Europe or UK or Australia or whatever, it hasn’t, I honestly
don’t know.


Joe, my condolences to you. Your a fan, if not for people like you Marc Almond would be nothing, least of all selling 10CD box sets well after his prime. Actually who is Marc Almond anyway…Doesn’t feature in my music collection!

I had the pleasure of meeting Charlie Watts a few years ago in Oxford Street and he was very engaging and an absolute gentleman. That’s a true rock icon for you!

Joe Mac Pherson

Thank You, Scotty_G,
And all the very kind people here who’ve renewed my belief that this world still holds a lot of sincere, caring people.
The day I met Marc Almond, in 1988, of the 11 recordings I brought from my honestly, huge library of his entire recording career, only The Stars We Are, his album he was promoting at Moby Disc Records in Los Angeles, was actually issued in the USA. Everything else was an import from Europe. Why? Because quite simply, no US record label was interested in releasing this material, including Soft Cell 12″ singles. His other projects, like Marc & The Mambas or The Willing Sinners releases? Non existant in the USA.
It took a long time for him to obtain a US label, after Soft Cell dissolved. Even Soft Cell had a multitude of 12″ singles that saw no US release. WHAT! Yes, it’s true. I know, because I remember how expensive his music was, imported from the UK and The Continent. I remained the most steadfast buyer of his music, long after Greater Los Angeles radio stations stopped playing anything he recorded. I was seeking his music, when a number of the best record stores weren’t ordering his imports because they weren’t selling, so why bother with unsold inventory?
But I continued paying for his recordings. From vinyl to CD, 12″ singles and CD singles, and yes, almost all of it was imported. There were times in the 1990’s when the college stations or KROQ were playing the latest releases by Duran Duran, ABC, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Annie Lennox, Siouxie & The Banshees, New Order, and I’d call the stations: “Why aren’t you playing Marc Almond’s new album? He’s still recording, and I wish you realized that.” And the stations ignored my Marc Almond requests.
So, in 2000, when I read that terrible description of meeting me, one of the most loyal buying supporters any musician would appreciate for always being there, long after so many others passed him by, it really did wreck me. I simply couldn’t believe how cruel, how awful he could write such words. And the realization that all his charm and smiles were completely artificial. Major hypocrite. The Stars We Are? His star fell a long, long time ago. I must say, I got really good money for his signed music. Those records were worthless to me now. Until this article came out, I essentially forgot about him. Just like so many others have, years ago.


How awful!

John Archbell

Hi Joe

I was sorry to hear about your story. It certainly caught my atrention! Ignore what people say about not taking loads of gear to get signed. After all, you may never have had an opportunity to meet Marc again. I did the same with Duran Duran at an HMV signing. The band even signed a vinyl bootleg!! Lol

I’m also sorry you felt the need to sell your prized collection. If I had seen a negative reference to me in a band members’ auto biography, I would have thought, ‘Well, they won’t forget me in a hurry!’ Then in the future, when said (or sad) artist have too much time on their hands because Album sales have dropped and they’re not making money any more, they can ponder what they had written about me and possibly have one or two regrets?? Maybe not, but at least I got recognition instead of being drowned in one of the bullshit ‘the band can do no wrong’ brigade!!

I wish you good fortune Joe.

Scott D. Briggs

This story really puzzles me, I mean, it was clear that you didn’t just want
to get stuff signed to sell it later, or whatever. He must have realized that.
Even when I met Stephen King in 1982 these bookseller idiots were bringing
bags and bags of stuff for him to sign, and they clearly were just doing it
to make a buck, mainly. He still sat there and graciously signed it!
Maybe Marc had a glimpse of his very limited version of musical “fame,”
looking 20 years down the line, or something, and was miffed?
Maybe it had little if nothing at all to, in fact, do with YOU? It’s really bizarre.
One of the weirdest such tales I’ve ever heard! I haven’t read Marc’s
autobio., but now I guess I’ll have to read it for laughs, if nothing else.
Or tears.

Chris Squires

Ouch, that sounded painful. Never meet your heroes. Won’t mention mine by name, but it wasn’t bad, he was polite, I was frozen, but it just made me realize I had put him on a pedestal since 1984 and he was just a normal bloke. His brother however was an absolutely lovely chap. Less pressure and all that. The low point was when I got an email that was very disparaging the “I don’t owe you anything – who the eff do you think you are” kind of thing as I was trying to resurrect some old early live recordings, like GB above illegally to the letter of the law. He was absolutely right, mind you, but it still hurt a bit. I guess even our heroes can have bad days.


Our heroes are just humans, too…..

Auntie Sabrina

Never mind Joe, devote your time and money to your wonderful supportive freinds.

Marc’s loss lovely…


11 items for signing?
It doesn’t excuse Marc having a go at you in print, but that is way too much man. Never meet your heroes with 11 bits of Memorabilia to sign

Scott D. Briggs

Perhaps. I usually have always erred on the side of only bringing a couple of items
to be signed or inscribed, even at author events at Cons, etc. over the years, or
musical or filmic ones. I just bring a few choice items and I’m glad and happy
with that when they do indeed sign ’em. Bringing like bags of stuff, is sometimes, or always,
kind of pushing it, I grant you.

Paul Edwards

Sorry to hear that Joe. It’s so true when people say you should never meet your heroes.

If you’d been pestering him in a restaurant etc then I get why celebs can be arses but this was a PR exercise!

Scott D. Briggs

I met Bryan Ferry at Tower Records NYC in 1995: this was indeed an organized
event, of course, with about 300 people on line, I got him to sign a Roxy Music
book from the 80s, and let me tell you, he was the most gracious and funny guy
you could have hoped him to be, as one of your idols or not. Every inch the witty,
gracious gentleman. It was boss! I still have the signed book framed up on my
apt. wall. So perhaps I’ve had some better luck in this regard than most.
Although, sadly I had a negative run-in with Anton Fier of Golden Palominos
a few years ago during their reunion, wherein he refused to sign a 1990s GP
retrospective CD, citing “having had a hard time on that project and negative
associations with it.” Well, that’s cool but it was pretty uncool in the manner
in which he handled this. But, I just put it away, and respected his decision.

Derek T.

Like others, I would have liked to see a disc with 12″ versions. A DVD with promo videos would have been fantastic too. All the same, it’s still an amazing collection. Really looking forward to it. And I ordered in time to get the bonus disc. Result!


Sounds like a great collection, a bit pricey though. Poor Joe, meeting one’s musical heroes can be daunting and sometimes awful. I bumped into Nick Cave once when drunk in a concert venue, he claimed that I was very aggressive, I was drunk and leary not aggressive. At least I didn’t punch him for bumping into me.

Scott D. Briggs

In all fairness, your run-in with Nick Cave does not sound like the er, most optimal
situation to be meeting such a figure. For either of you. Just saying. It wasn’t like
this was an organized signing or meet and greet, or backstage with a pass after
a show. And if you show up drunk and stoned out of yer mind, and the artist is as well,
or not, it’s not likely to end, or go well.

Matthew Best

Now I’m going to have to go and read the damn book again!

Joe Mac Pherson

I used to have tremendous respect for Marc Almond. In the 1980’s, long after Soft Cell broke up, I was buying everything he continued to record- his various solo albums and projects. Living in Los Angeles meant most of it was issued in the UK, or Europe, so I diligently sought his music out in the Import Sections of the better L.A. record stores. By the time he released The Stars We Are in 1988, I had a wonderful, vast library of his albums, projects, Soft Cell releases, 12″ singles. Almost everything was an expensive import.
In 2000, he issued Tainted Life, his autobiography. I thought it exceptionally well written, fascinating, often really funny. Very informative, about the man and his music.
BUT: To my great dismay, astonishment and honestly, it hit me real hard, he wrote the most awful things about me. Really terrible things. You’d think his experience was a monstrous visit to Hell. It was actually an in-store meet and greet, signing his music, for the fans. The record store was Moby Disc Records in Sherman Oaks, in Los Angeles, California. The line of fans to meet him in 1988 wasn’t vast. Less than a hundred people, actually. I didn’t bring my entire Marc Almond music library- that would have required a serious box- but to show him my genuine appreciation of ALL his music, I brought about 11 specifically selected recordings, a time span, that meant a great deal to me. Because his music meant that much to me.
I quickly discovered that no one in the crowd had my volume of music with them. Maybe 2-3 records at the most, or just his new album. His record company associates realized I had an impressive selection, definitely beyond what others had. They politely asked me if I wouldn’t mind being the last in line, since everyone else had far less music with them. I obliged; no problem. I patiently waited, and then I was there, last in line, talking to Marc Almond.
He seemed incredibly nice. He appeared to be really pleased that I’d been a true, supporting fan of his music throughout the years. He signed my music with an extraordinary signature, and for me, it was a dream to talk to the man who created this music I valued so highly.
Then I read his autobiography. He described that day at the record store, specifically mentioning me and the music I had, and honestly, you’d think I did everything in my power to ruin his day, or week. I gave him absolute courtesy, sincere politeness, genuine words of praise and encouragement towards his future recordings. I thanked him, so very much, for his time. I made it quite clear that this signed music meant a great deal to me.
In his autobiography, he described his short period of time with me in the most demeaning, insulting way possible. I was really distressed, reading those words. It was humiliating. I showed the passage to friends of mine, and one said, “Joe, you were buying his music on import records in the US, when most people here forgot about him after Soft Cell.”
They didn’t find his record store experience amusing. They felt really bad for me. My name isn’t actually brought out in the book (Remember, the record store appearance was in 1988; his autobiography came out in 2000), but I knew exactly who it was, that brought all those records. ME.
I never bought another recording by him again. I sold all my valued, signed music. His book description of meeting me, a dedicated fan, sounds like a really miserable trial for him. Reading about myself, I felt condemned. His career in the US hasn’t been so grand for decades. I’ll call it Karma.

Neil Kelly



wow, that’s real bad Joe. I can imagine how upsetting that must have been. especially from
someone so important to you. luckily I have never had anything like that happen from any
of my favourite artists. but something did happen from the singer of a band I liked a lot.

I’ve seen a lot of gigs over the years and always used to take pics. anyway I was having a
huge clear out and thought I didn’t really need photos and photos of so many gigs and put
a load of negs/photos on ebay. these were not professional photos. just point and shoot.
but I figured someone might want them.

anyway, an email arrived via ebay from Ian mcnabb saying to take the photos down. it
wasn’t asked politely. it was abusive, full of expletives and just plain vile. this was long
before you could report ebay members/emails. this was around the time of the re-union
which wikipedia says this:

‘December 2007. However, certain shows on this tour were heavily criticised by
fans on the Message Boards at http://www.ianmcnabb.com for their allegedly disorganised
nature, especially with regards to McNabb’s performance’

I have no idea if he was having *problems* that year and that could explain the

I saw they were playing leicester this year, so I sent an email to ian via
his website, saying seeing that live date in my town reminded me of all what
happened, saying that *whatever* the situation, I did not deserve to be spoken
to like that. he did not reply …

it’s a shame cause I loved I.works so much.

Scott D. Briggs

Both of these stories really made me cringe tonight. I’m a huge fan of
both Marc and Soft Cell, and also Icicle Works, from ages ago, but,
there is just no excuse for this type of behavior and treatment of and towards
serious, dedicated fans and, in your case, journalists or photographers.
It’s not like with the Marc Almond 1988 signing, his people told fans to
only bring a couple of items, or would be signing latest release only, or whatever.

These days this is often case, to keep things streamlined or for marketing
reasons, or fairness to other people showing up for a particular event
or signing. Honestly, I doubt either of these artists, today, would
even get 100 fans to show up. My local library system doesn’t even have
a SINGLE Marc Almond or Soft Cell CD, even from years ago, which actually,
shocked even myself tonight when I did an online search. Icicle Works,
probably the same. A lot of these artists are really cult artists AT BEST,
and some need to check their egos and their sense of their own importance.
It’s really shameful. It’s also not like, with your photos, you were standing
to make some huge profit off Ian McNabb’s image or whatever. So
absurd and lame, sad. Shameful. And then Marc puts out a $200
boxed set that nobody can even find here in the USA, and even if they
did, most people unless they A. even remember who he is and B.
are willing to shell out that much dosh for it would even CONSIDER
buying such a thing. It’s a really absurd situation. Most people I run into
these days don’t even have the faintest who either of these artists are.
And that’s coming from someone who is a fan of both, and has followed
their careers more or less, since the early ’80s. Most musicians,
writers, and celebs I’ve met over the years have been just lovely people,
but some have seemed a bit aloof, but usually at signings and things
they’ve never been less than gracious to me, at least. It’s very
disappointing to hear all this. I cannot understand why Marc
in particular would’ve balked at such a dedicated fan showing up
in the late 80s to have his prized recordings signed! It’s not like
he would’ve been worried it was just for a guy to make some cash
reselling it all. the Marc Almond collectibles market in 1988 wasn’t
precisely the Andy Warhol original litho market, was it? Oh my God.

And I hate to tell Marc, in the USA at least, in 2017, it’s even worse.
Given there’s hardly any record shops left, as well. And no stations
playing this music anymore, or hardly any, and no MTV 120 Minutes
even around to promote “alternative” music and all. I mean,
I met Peter Hook a few months ago on LI NY at a lecture-signing,
ok, and even Peter was ardently taking photos with anyone who showed up,
if they desired, and signed all sorts of stuff, including a guy’s original
Hooky-type rare bass guitar that he often plays, etc.!! And I daresay
that Peter Hook has a larger, er, public profile and following than
any of the aforementioned. It’s really astounding. And this Pete Burns
story below is even sadder, really. He must have been whacked out
on whatever, at the time! I can well imagine. There’s just no excuse
for this type of treatment of your fans, as long as they’re respectful
and such. I still may buy the Marc box set, but good lord, the price
is really high. I saw this at Rough TradeNYC months ago, it just sits
there. I don’t think it’s flying off the shelves at that price, and as
an acquired taste as Marc’s music is. He’s never been a household name
and prob. never will be at this point. But I am still a big fan of his
music, don’t get me wrong.


What a total shame that happened. I feel that some artists embrace the dedication of fans while others have a total disconnect. I remember meeting The Beautiful South many years ago and bringing a few rare vinyl pieces for them to sign. They thought it was very cool and even Paul remarked how even HE didn’t have most of these. This sparked a great conversation about the controversy of the “Welcome To” original cover, and why it was changed.

On the flip-side was my interaction with Pete Burns from Dead or Alive at a signing. I brought my “Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know” Japanese picture disc to have signed. He opened it, pointed to the picture on the disc of him holding the guitar and said, “I don’t play guitar. You’re stupid for buying this”. Then he slipped the disc back in the sleeve and sloppily signed the back.

I feel that artists should always remember their roots and never forget the fans.

Randolph Thanos

I find these comments very unfair and one-sided. Famous folks do not owe anything to anyone. They give their art and creative expression to the world and it is your choice to buy it or not, like it or not or like the person or not. There are two sides to every story. Just because someone is famous it doesnt mean they are perfect. Really, get over feeling slighted and look beyond your tears.

Scott D. Briggs

Not the point, Randolph, of course they don’t owe us a thing, but if you’re
an artist or author or film person, etc., public figure, having a public
signing or whatever, given the parameters of that event, you jus do not
treat fans this way, unless they’ve given you some very excellent reason
to not treat them well. If you don’t like doing public signings or meet
and greets, or are uncomfortable doing them, just don’t do ’em! I met
Stephen King at a Con in 1982 and he signed gazillions of fans’ stuff,
and never bitched, but after that he stopped doing most conventions,
and the world didn’t end. But, he treated his fans and followers like gold
when he did/does do these events and signings. He doesn’t owe us
a thing, but, King knows how to have some class and be the true
artist and pro. that he is! Even when I met him as a shy, somewhat
intimidated (to be meeting such a massive idol of mine), 13 year old in 1982 or whatever, this was apparent.


I am not a fan of his, and it’s probably a good thing because this box sounds great. What would someone suggest to me to get into him?


I note that Stevo Pearce has commented on the promotional trailer video, stating that the release is not approved by Some Bizzare.

I know that Stevo certainly owned the rights to a number of Almond’s releases, including the two Marc and The Mambas albums, the Jacques album and the Absinthe album; all of which were re-released through Some Bizzare a few years ago.

Clearly, Universal would not have proceeded with this project without clearance from all of the relevant copyright holders, therefore Stevo’s comments may just be a case of sour grapes rather than the right to withhold content that appeared on his label imprint.

I think this is a good, solid anthology. The history discs are not going to resonate with every fan, however, I’d rather listen to a selection that means something to Marc than to a label curator/employee.

I pre-ordered the set via the website on the day that Marc’s info service dropped its email announcing the set, so I’ve bagged the bonus EP of versions of If You Go Away captured during Marc’s recording career. I was, however, charged £100 for the set. I received an email an hour later saying that the box set price had been adjusted and I would receive the appropriate refund in around 5 working days. Nothing received as of today, however, the email landed at 5.25pm on Friday 8th July, so close of business tomorrow should be the fifth full day’s wait.

In summary, a good collection.


Sadly the same thing for me… May I ask you to post here when you have been refunded?


Hi Victor,

I had to chase the refund after a week had elapsed, but the team apologised and said it was an oversight. The refund then landed a couple of minutes after they replied to my enquiry.

Hope you’re enjoying the box set and EP!


Dr Avalanche

Very nice boxset, although I miss his collaboration with Jim Thirlwell/Foetus: The Flesh Volcano from 1987.


yes; – really love his voice. Have preordered altho I hope the price might come down


Really? At 10 CD’s, I would have thought it would have been complete works rather than an anthology. Then I read his Wikipedia page. 21 solo albums and 8 live solo albums, 5 studio albums and 3 live albums with Soft Cell, 2 studio albums and 2 live albums with the Mambas. I really don’t know anything about Marc Almond except “Tainted Love” / “Where Did Our Love Go”. This guy is no slouch resting on his laurels.


Is this box what was once supposed to be the ‘Pop Troubadour’ box set, but was postponed because of legal problems?