Thursday, March 10, 2022

"Tears Run Rings" by Marc Almond

Song#:  3773
Date:  01/21/1989
Debut:  89
Peak:  67
Weeks:  8
Genre: Synthpop, Europop

Pop Bits:  Almond was one half of the UK synthpop duo Soft Cell (with David Ball) who scored a major hit with their #8 remake of "Tainted Love." It would end up being the duo's only song to reach the US Pop chart making them a one-hit wonder. They did much better in their UK homeland where they earned five Top 10 hits. However, after their third album didn't perform as well as their first two, the duo decided to call it a day and went their own ways. Almond immediately began a solo career. Between '84 and '87, he would issue out three albums that did moderately well in the UK. Still looking for a bigger solo breakthrough, Almond signed with Parlophone Records for his fourth album The Stars We Are. Released in the fall of '88, the LP was a bit more commercial leaning that his previous efforts and its first single, "Tears Run Rings," would to fairly well reaching #26 in the UK. A second single faltered at #40, but a third single, "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart," would become a major hit reaching #2 (see below). That success led to the LP getting picked up by Capitol Records for US release. The label would also issue out "Tears Run Rings" as the first single. It would do well at Modern Rock (#8) and Dance (#9). The tune would cross over to the Pop chart, but it would only stick around for a couple of months. Oddly, the label would not push out a second single and that left the LP peaking at #144. It would be Almond's only solo single and album to reach the US charts.

ReduxReview:  This slice of new wave-ish Europop would most likely please anyone who was into Depeche Mode, New Order, or Tears for Fears at the time. The verses kept the song chugging along just fine, but it was the anxious chorus that punched through the groovy drone and elevated the track. It should have done better and even made the Top 40, but it just didn't have the whack-you-over-the-head hooks that US pop radio required. Still, it was a good track and the album was a nice piece of work as well. Almond had a diverse solo career and it is worth looking into. I'm particularly fond of his 2017 mostly covers album Shadows and Reflections.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Almond would continue to release albums over the years with varying results. He would return to the UK Top 10 in 1992 with the #4 hit "The Days of Pearly Spencer." He also experimented with different styles and sounds which included an album of songs by French star Jacques Brel, one of Russian romance/folks songs, and a song cycle about the supernatural history of London. While in Soft Cell, Almond also had a side project called Marc and the Mambas. That group recorded albums in '82 and '83 that made the UK chart. Soft Cell would reunite on occasion and released new albums in 2002 and 2022.  2) For his '88 album The Stars We Are, Almond recorded "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart." It was a remake of a song written by Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook, and first recorded in 1967 by the pair under the moniker David and Jonathan. It was not issued out as a single. Later that same year, the tune was picked up and recorded by US star Gene Pitney. His version would be issued out as a single and in the UK it became a #5 hit. In the US the song would fail to chart. Almond recorded the song as a solo effort for his album and it was initially scheduled to be the LP's third single. That version found its way to Gene Pitney who like it enough to contact Almond to see if he wanted to re-record it as a duet. Almond jumped at the chance and the duet version quickly came together and got pushed out as a single. It would become a big hit in the UK reaching #2.


No comments:

Post a Comment