The Gloria Jones Challenge – Round 15

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 it the late 80’s Manchester alternative rock treatment.

But first, as always, the original.

And now, the song as done by Inspiral Carpets.

Postcard Editor: This is one of the few challengers to truly make the song their own, as opposed to merely trying to reinterpret the song in their particular style. If they were singing different lyrics you wouldn’t even be able to recognize this as “Tainted Love”, and as that might be a huge strike against another challenger, it works incredibly well for this version. The straight four on the floor beat, the endless wall of fuzz guitars and the relegating of the famous two beat that comes between “Sometimes I feel I’ve got to” and “run away” to a keyboard hit that is in the mix as opposed to on top of it really transform the song. To their credit it still has a lot of swagger and hook to it, it’s just all the Carpets own.

Postcard ChaCha: I totally dig the fuzzed out, distorted guitars and psychedelic keyboards this contender brings. I am not, however, totally crazy about the vocals or the overall direction the song takes. It sounded so promising at the beginning and I found myself excited at the thought of a seriously rockin’ version of “Tainted Love,” but ultimately, I was disappointed. I actually said ‘FREE BIRD Carpet Dudes’ out loud and although I know that’s probably an overdramatic stance to take, they drag that ending out for like FORTY SECONDS. I had high hopes for this contender, but they lost me with too much feedback on the guitars, too much repetition and an unnecessarily long ending.


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


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. Inspiral Carpets
10. Alejandra Guzman
11. Shades Apart
12. Pussycat Dolls
13. Straight No Chaser
14. Coil
15. Impedance

4 Responses to “The Gloria Jones Challenge – Round 15”

  1. Thank you for a great post.

  2. Right on!


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