Soft Cell might not be to everyone’s taste. It depends on what you think of Marc Almond and his often outrageous lyrics, for the most part.
I personally think his singing style suits Dave Ball’s magnificent production very well – and would probably struggle to imagine their songs any other way.
I only knew Soft Cell from their big hit, “Tainted Love”, which captures some of the duo’s spirit, but by no means truly represents them.
This song is most glorious in its extended form. The first three minutes consist of the instrumental with a clarinet over the top, which sets the majestic scene for the later parts of the song.
The synth strings in this song are some of the most moving sounds I’ve heard in a while, and are a key reason why this song is so brilliant. The choruses are so wistful, the verses wry and slightly dejected.
“Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” was released in 1981 on the debut album from Soft Cell, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. But this more resplendent version was released a year later in ’82.