This was originally a #5 hit for Gene Pitney in the UK in 1967. When Almond covered the song in 1989, he invited Pitney to sing on it with him, which Pitney was happy to do.
This hit #1 in many countries including the UK, but Pitney's record label refused to release it in America, where Pitney was from. They were afraid that young listeners who were not familiar with Pitney or Almond would think they were a gay couple.
Almond was a member of the group Soft Cell, who had a hit with "Tainted Love" and broke up in 1984. He went on to have a very successful solo career, with many hit songs in the UK.
Gene Pitney in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: "I was in the UK and my agent asked me if I would like to re-record one of my hits with Marc Almond. I was happy with that because 'Tainted Love' is a classic. I was playing in Bristol and I had to be in London for 10 in the morning to record my vocal 3 or 4 times. Then I went up north for another show. Marc's arrangement was very different from mine, so I was singing it one way in the morning and a different way that night! Our 2 vocals were edited together and I couldn't believe the result because it sounded so like we were standing next to each other, and I had never met him."
Arnold and Pitney met up for the video at the Neon Junkyard in Las Vegas. Gene says, "It was the only place in the world where you could have a neon junkyard. It was full of old neon signs and they wired up these old signs and parts of them lit up. It freezes out there at night in the wintertime and the cameramen were wearing blankets and coats, but the record was booming across the desert and it sounded great."
Suggestion credit: Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above
In an interview with Mojo Magazine January 2008, Marc Almond was asked if he was aware of the cheese factor when he recorded this duet. Almond replied: "I'm not sure. I'd been doing that song in live shows, so I went to see him play at Bow Town Hall (in East London) to an audience of loyal housewives. Gene was a great singer, and a consummate professional, but he was in the cold winter of his career. I joked to EMI that maybe Gene would be interested in doing a guest backing vocal of the song. Clive Black called him up, and Gene was straight there, stripped off to the waist in the studio and giving it his all. I didn't think of it as camp or cheesy. I was simply thrilled that he was doing it. The record was #1 all over Europe, and Gene was soon back in all the big theatres."
Kc from Raleigh, NcI prefer the original version to the Marc Almond/Gene Pitney version. I always felt this version was over the top.
Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumThis morning I read that Gene Pitney died and I feel sad; he was a very good singer, a talented songwriter and he had a specific voice. The next time I'll hear one of his songs I'll feel like I'm going to cry. Thank you Gene Pitney for your talent.
Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumBeautiful song of Gene Pithey; I also like the cover from Marc Almond singing with Gene Pitney. "He's a rebel" the hitsong from the Crystals, produced by Phil Spector is written by Gene Pitney I like this one too.