The Gloria Jones Challenge – Round 14

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 throws in one of the first covers of the song and gives it the girl group touch.

But first, as always, the original by which all challengers must be judged.

And now, Ruth Swann (although it says online that the correct spelling is actually Swan – so either/or).

Postcard ChaCha: Recorded in 1975, just 11 years after the original version, this contender seems to follow the original more than any of the others. There are pronounced differences, most apparent being the layered vocals and delivery of Ruth Swan. But it has this weird girl group vibe and her voice is just so damned pitchy. I like the arrangement, but it’s so close to the original that I can’t really give it many creative points. It basically sounds exactly what it is: a 70’s version of a 60’s soul song.

Postcard Editor: Definitely the most faithful version we’ve reviewed so far, but not sure that’s a good thing.  Musically they stick so closely to the Jones version, with only a slight difference in where they put the accents to the beat and a few other small touches (nice bass run in the transitions to the chorus), that you at first think you’re hearing the original.  But combining that with Swan(n)’s occasionally pitchy vocals, this almost comes off a karaoke performance.  This is not to say it’s awful, it’s just like a bizarro world version of the original.  So close, but clearly off in some weird way.


1. Dave Phillips
2. Stella Starlight Trio
3. Max Raabe
4. The Re-Entrants
5. My Brightest Diamond
6. Ruth Swan(n)
7. Marilyn Manson
8. East German Polka Band
9. Alejandra Guzman
10. Shades Apart
11. Pussycat Dolls
12. Straight No Chaser
13. Coil
14. Impedance


1. Shades Apart
2. Dave Phillips
3. East German Polka Band
4. My Brightest Diamond
5. Marilyn Manson
6. The Re-Entrants
7. Ruth Swan(n)
8. Coil
9. Alejandra Guzman
10. Pussycat Dolls
11. Straight No Chaser
12. Impedance
13. Max Raabe
14. Stella Starlight Trio

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