From Dangerous Minds, news about a new photographic "coffee table book" on the life of today's birthday boy, Marc Almond:
Back in March, when the book was first announced, Almond remarked:"Marc Almond" will be limited to 1300 copies worldwide, hand numbered and bound in purple fabric. There will be 300 copies of the standard edition priced at £40 and 1000 copies of a limited special edition for £60 that includes unreleased songs on a 7” single. The first 500 copies sold of the limited edition will also be signed by Marc.
“Putting a book like this together is very difficult because it brings up all kind of emotions. But it’s important to me to paint an honest picture, which means that as well as the many wonderful memories, working on the book has also forced me to resurrect certain things I’d rather hoped had been consigned to history. But that’s great. It would be too easy to fall into the comfort zone of nostalgia. The book goes much further than that. The whole process has been bittersweet and yet cathartic. I’ve really enjoyed working on it and it looks fantastic.”
It does... the perfect companion to his hilariously bitchy autobiography, Tainted Life (Ever the diva, Almond settles a score in every chapter! Highly recommended if you like pop star tell-alls.)
The book will feature over 200 images from international photographers and Almond's personal archives, interwoven with stories and text co-authored by Almond and author Mark Paytress. Including these...
"This was our preferred cover for Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret but the record company thought it too menacing and subversive. Dave looks quite convincing in the role of switchblade-carrying psychotic!"
"I always knew Soft Cell had a limited shelf life, that in order to create a longer, more lasting career I’d have to alienate the mums and dads and commit a kind of commercial suicide. 'Torment and Toreros' took that idea a lot further; I always call it the document of a nervous breakdown. But through my blurred vision, that sprawling, flamenco-influenced Gothic opera in red and black was definitely the birth of me as an artist."
"What I like about this cover image for 'Stranger Things' is that it looks like the album feels. It was a much more filmic sounding record, with loads of samples and a late-night trip-hop feel. Producer Jóhann Jóhannsson had a fantastic library of musical references in his studio in Iceland, and made a great-sounding record. It was my second album away from a major label, and I was enjoying the freedom of making a record without having a record company bigwig standing behind me interfering."
"I instigated bringing Soft Cell back because I wanted to work with Dave again. We’d written some songs together for 'Tenement Symphony', and there’d never been any animosity between us. I wanted to know what we could do 17 years on. But as soon as it became a Soft Cell project, the old ghosts returned. Stevo owned the songs so we had to bring him back if we wanted to play them live. Dave didn’t have a manager so Stevo stepped in. But when we were writing and recording in the studio, it was great, the chemistry was still there. Dave could still write effective songs with fabulous hooks. I liked a lot of 'Cruelty Without Beauty'. It sounded like a 21st century Soft Cell record. [But] by the time we toured America, it had gone horribly wrong. Dave and Stevo seemed to bring out the worst in each other and animosity and sourness crept in. It was a shame. We’d had a lot of fun making the 'Monoculture' video a few months earlier. Our last gig, in some club in Thessaloniki in Greece, was ghastly. It hadn’t been advertised, so hardly anyone turned up. Things had gone badly wrong. It was just like the old days. I thought, I can’t do this any more."With or without Dave Ball, many happy returns to the god-like Peter Mark Sinclair "Marc" Almond (born 9th July 1957).
And just in case anyone (could they ever?) doubts his camp credentials, here's Ruby Red for your delectation:
The book "Marc Almond" is available via First Third Books.