Well I'm Sorry I Don't Pray That Way: No, This Version Wins
"Tainted Love" is by FAR my favorite song to sing in the shower, so I was delighted to come across this lesser-known original version of it. Before clicking, I thought to myself,
"Great! I will do a Version v. Version of this because what's better than listening to 'Tainted Love'? Listening to 'Tainted Love' five times in a row!!!!!!!"
The song: Gloria Jones, "Tainted Love"; 1964
But there will be no Version v. Version of this. No, sir.
Because the original SHATTERS the competition. Kills it. Wins forever, everything.
This original is exactly what I needed to elevate my feelings about "Tainted Love" from grudging admiration to undying love, because it subtracts the snideness of the Soft Cell version and replaces it with sheer, unadulterated tearing it up. (I am not going to stop you from watching the Soft Cell music video though, because it IS gloriously weird.)
This day, November 17 2012, will live in my own personal history: The Day I First Heard The Original Version of "Tainted Love" As Sung By Marc Bolan's Girlfriend*.
(RIGHT?? This chick was the coolest. THE coolest. The COOLEST. Go go Gloria Jones forever.)
*Further Googling has informed me that not only was Gloria Jones Marc Bolan's girlfriend, but also the mother of his child "Rolan Bolan" (can't make that up!), and also sadly the person who was drunkenly driving in the car crash that killed him. Call me a bleeding heart, but I'd file that under "personal tragedy of the sort all too common among hard-partying glam-rockers in the 1970s" not "moral failing".
And this song is still the best.