Marc Almond is an English vocalist, songwriter, and arranger from Southport, Merseyside, who rose to fame as one-half of the synthpop duo Soft Cell, which released three albums between 1981 and 1984. Concurrently, he released two 1982–83 albums with the goth–cabaret side-project Marc and the Mambas. As a solo artist, he released nine full-length studio albums and several EPs between 1984 and 1995 on Some Bizzare, including two with backing by Mambas follow-through the Willing Sinners.
He was born Mark Peter Sinclair Almond on July 9, 1957, in Southport, Lancashire; the first of two children borne to Sandra Mary Diesen and Peter John Sinclair Almond, Second Lieutenant of the King’s Liverpool Regiment. When he was six, the family settled in Horsforth, West Yorkshire.
As a child, Almond absorbed music from his parent’s collection, including jazz artists like pianist Dave Brubeck and singer Eartha Kitt. While attending Aireborough Grammar School, he listened to psychedelic and blues-rock artists like Free, Jethro Tull, The Doors, The Who, and Van der Graaf Generator. The first single he purchased was “Green Manalishi” by Fleetwood Mac.
In 1970, Almond became a devotee of T. Rex and changed the spelling of his forename to Marc in honor of Rex frontman Marc Bolan. Another icon during this period, David Bowie, introduced Almond to the work of Belgian songwriter Jacques Brel. Further influences from this period included diva Dusty Springfield and theatrical rock performer Alex Harvey.
After earning O-Levels in Art and English from King George V School, Almond studied Performance Art at Southport College. He later attended Leeds Polytechnic, where he made several Warhol-influenced mini-movies and staged three theatre pieces: Zazou, Glamour in Squalor, and Twilights and Lowlifes.
During his time at Leeds Poly, Almond met Dave Ball, an electronic musician in the Fine Arts department. In 1978, they formed the duo Soft Cell and recorded multiple demos. Their 1980 EP Mutant Moments landed them a contract with Phonogram subsidiary Some Bizzare. Between 1981 and 1984, they released three albums: Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, The Art of Falling Apart, and This Last Night in Sodom.
Vermin in Ermine
Stories of Johnny
Marc Almond released his second solo album, Stories of Johnny, in September 1985 on Some Bizzare.
A Woman’s Story
A1. “A Woman’s Story”
A2. “The Heel”
A3. “A Salty Dog”
A4. “The Plague”
B1. “The Little White Cloud That Cried”
B2. “For One Moment”
B3. “Just Good Friends”
Ruby Red – Stained
A1. “Ruby Red”
A3. “I’m Sick of You Tasting of Somebody Else”
B1. “Broken Hearted and Beautiful”
B2. “Jackal Jackal (Mustapha Tomb Stone Teeth)”
A1. “Blood Tide”
A2. “Healthy as Hate”
A3. “Things You Loved Me For”
B1. “Body Unknown”
B2. “Unborn Stillborn”
Mother Fist and Her Five Daughters
On April 6, 1987, Marc Almond released his third proper solo album, Mother Fist and Her Five Daughters, his second of two co-billed to the Willing Sinners.
The Stars We Are
Marc Almond released his fourth solo album, The Stars We Are, in September 1988 on Some Bizzare.
- Vermin in Ermine (1984 • Marc Almond and the Willing Sinners)
- Stories of Johnny (1985)
- A Woman’s Story (EP, 1986)
- Ruby Red – Stained (EP, 1986)
- Violent Silence (EP, 1986)
- Mother Fist and Her Five Daughters (1987 • Marc Almond & the Willing Sinners)
- The Stars We Are (1988)
- Jacques (1989)
- Enchanted (1990)
- Tenement Symphony (1991)
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