The Gloria Jones Challenge – Round 12

The Gloria Jones Challenge is our ongoing examination of the many, many, many covers of Jones’ classic Northern Soul jam “Tainted Love” – to see how they stack up compared to the original.

Today’s challenger gives the song a dark and minimalist twist.

But first, the original to which all covers try to pay tribute to.

And now, today’s challenger – Coil.

Postcard Editor: I’ve always appreciated Coil, and when their slow, minimalist, yet expansive sound works; it really really works. However, I’m not sure that’s the case here. The drawn out vocal delivery tries to instill more weight to the lyrics than the actual words can support. In a weird way, I’ve never been more aware that this is a pop song than with this version, as it falls apart under all of this serious intent. That being said though, this was an incredibly imaginative version (love the bells and sporadic industrialized orchestra blasts) and from one of the most influential yet underrated proto-industrial bands of all time.

Postcard ChaCha: There is definitely not another version of Tainted Love that truly embraces the idea of a love gone terribly, terribly wrong like this one does. Dark and even a bit frightening at times, this version is based on a relationship where one lover has contracted HIV from the other. Comparatively speaking, Gloria Jones never had it quite this bad. I don’t particularly care for the arrangement, but based on the seriousness of this subject, I would say Coil certainly does get their point across.


1. Shades Apart
2. Dave Phillips
3. My Brightest Diamond
4. Marilyn Manson
5. The Re-Entrants
6. Coil
7. Alejandra Guzman
8. Pussycat Dolls
9. Straight No Chaser
10. Impedance
11. Max Raabe
12. Stella Starlight Trio


1. Dave Phillips
2. Stella Starlight Trio
3. Max Raabe
4. The Re-Entrants
5. My Brightest Diamond
6. Marilyn Manson
7. Alejandra Guzman
8. Shades Apart
9. Pussycat Dolls
10. Straight No Chaser
11. Coil
11. Impedance

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