British synth-pop pioneers Soft Cell formed in 1980 in Leeds, England, by art students Almond and Dave Ball, who had previously collaborated on music for theatrical productions. They scored a massive hit in 1981 with their provocative cover of "Tainted Love," and their debut album, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, went on to become a big success. By 1984, however, the short-lived duo had broken up, with Almond immediately plunging into solo work with various electronica projects.
As a solo artist, Almond has embraced genres from disco to goth, drawing from influences as diverse and avant-garde as radical theorist Georges Bataille, the French cabaret of Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel, and street-wise rock of Lou Reed. (Almond recorded a 1988 duet with Nico.)
Soft Cell reunited in 2002, touring to back their greatest-hits compilation, The Very Best of Soft Cell.