Metro MRX

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This article is about song; for flexi single see: Metro MRX / Remembrance Day
Metro MRX
Track by Soft Cell
Year 1980
Written David Ball
Composed David Ball
Produced Soft Cell
Genre post punk, minimal wave
From Mutant Moments
Also in Metro MRX / Remembrance Day
“Metro MRX” is a song by Soft Cell, from their debut 1980 release Mutant Moments EP.

Origin[edit | edit source]

“Metro MRX” was written by David Ball during his early years in Leeds Polytechnic.[1] Theme of the song is typical for his and Almond's projects at the time, which criticize consumerism and mundane life style. Initially Ball was singing it, but after meeting Marc Almond and forming together Soft Cell, Almond took the role of the vocalist.[2]

Record and release[edit | edit source]

The duo was performing the song on early live shows.[1] In 1980 it was recorded at Leeds Polytechnic's studio for their debut record Mutant Moments EP.[3] The track later appears in 2005 on The Bedsit Tapes compilation with other early Soft Cell demos, then in 2018 on Keychains And Snowstorms box set as a remaster.

Other versions[edit | edit source]

Flexipop[edit | edit source]

“Metro MRX” was later pitched for duo's first single release in 1981, with their other early songs – “A Man Could Get Lost” and “Persuasion”, but didn't make it in favor of newly written “Memorabilia”.[4] The track still was recorded during 1980 studio sessions with producer Daniel Miller,[3] to be used as one of the backing tracks for live shows.[5] New version received faster, more dance-oriented arrangement, with Almond adding more soulful vocal approach. It was later recorded and released on a flexi disc single for anniversary issue of Flexipop magazine – the track ends with Almond and Ball singing “Happy birthday, dear Flexipop” and short quiet fragment of “Bedsitter” demo.

Remaster of Flexipop version appears on Keychains And Snowstorms box set, but with differently mixed vocals (both main and backing), comparing to first release. This mix also appeared on some bootlegs.

Live[edit | edit source]

Live recordings of the song appeared on bootleg records, but one officially released recording belongs to video of Soft Cell's 1981 show in Leeds, on Keychains And Snowstorms box set.

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Written by David Ball

Metro MRX arriving in his car
Metro MRX is wanted on the phone
Metro MRX executive dinner
Metro MRX is never on his own

He's my favourite mutant (x2)

Metro MRX is a cog in the machinery
Metro MRX polished shoes and pin stripe
Metro MRX impersonal and straight faced
Metro MRX expensive talc and aftershave

He's my favourite mutant (x2)

Metro MRX not a clone but a look alike
Metro MRX the city's full of him
Metro MRX is only part of business
Metro MRX a persona in a briefcase

He's my favourite mutant (x2)

Mutant (x3)

Availability[edit | edit source]

“Metro MRX” appears on following records.

Official releases

Year Title Format Version
1980 Mutant Moments EP Original
1981 Metro MRX /
Remembrance Day
Single Flexipop
2005 The Bedsit Tapes Compilation Original
2018 Keychains And Snowstorms Box set Original
Flexipop demo
Live video
Bootlegs
Title Format Version
Futurama Album Live
Live At The Warehouse Album Live
Live At The Retford Porterhouse Album Live
Big Frock Mutants Album Live
Collectors Edition - Vol. 6 EP Flexipop demo
The Live And Studio Adventures Of Soft Cell Compilation Flexipop demo
Science Fiction Stories (CD) Compilation Original

Original and ‘Flexipop’ demo versions are also available on streaming platforms.

Listen[edit | edit source]

Official uploads on YouTube

Metro MRX []

Metro MRX (Flexipop Version) []

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • “Metro MRX” is the first Soft Cell song that received radio play: at Futurama II festival on September 1981, Dave Ball met John Peel and gave him test pressing copy of Mutant Moments, the only copy of EP existed at the time, – the song appeared on Peel's Radio 1 show 3 times.[3][6]
  • Flexipop version of “Metro MRX” also was played on Peel's show, two months later after release.[7]
  • “Metro MRX” chorus is referenced on the back cover of Mutant Moments EP as note above track listing: “Who is your favourite mutant?”

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Tainted Life (autobiography by Marc Almond)
  2. Soft Cell - Interview (Interview with Dave Ball). John Clarkson. 31 July 2008. (pennyblackmusic.co.uk)  archived
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 SOFT CELL Interview - The Electricity Club (Interview with Dave Ball). Chi Ming Lai. 18 August 2018. (electricityclub.co.uk)  archived
  4. Keychains And Snowstorms: The Soft Cell Story (box set book)
  5. Electronic Boy (autobiography by David Ball
  6. 23 September 1980 | John Peel Wiki. (FANDOM powered by Wikia)
  7. 10 December 1981 | John Peel Wiki. (FANDOM powered by Wikia)
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