The original and still the best single-disc Soft Cell compilation (at least up through the band's long-awaited reactivation in 2001), The Singles 1981-1985 is just what it says it is, and what a collection it is. Along with other genre- and era-defining compilations such as Depeche Mode's similarly titled singles disc and Visage's best-of, The Singles 1981-1985 captures the sheer luxuriant thrill and shock of England's early-'80s electro-pop boom. Even more to the point, though, it also stands up perfectly in later years, ...

The Singles 1998, PolyGram

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