Purple Zone (song)

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This article is about original song; for other uses see: Disambiguation:Purple Zone
Purple Zone
Track by Soft Cell
Year 2020
Written Marc Almond
Composed David Ball
Riccardo Mulhall
Produced Soft Cell
Philip Larsen
Genre synth-pop
Single Nostalgia Machine
Album *Happiness Not Included
Also in Nostalgia Machine (EP)
“Purple Zone” is a song by Soft Cell recorded for their 2022 studio album *Happiness Not Included. It later was reworked with Pet Shop Boys and officially replaced by this version.

Origin[edit | edit source]

The song was initially inspired by the phenomenon of synesthesia, where, according to Marc Almond, one reaches “an aesthetic zone called the purple zone.” Then he saw the term coming up in other fields, such as religion, politics, and news. He saw ‘purple zone’ as “no man’s wasteland” where people are on at the time, “a period of dark flux.”[1]

Record and release[edit | edit source]

Like the rest of the songs on *Happiness Not Included, “Purple Zone” was recorded during 2020 quarantine lockdowns, with Marc Almond and Dave Ball working separately and remotely on vocals and music.[2] Production is credited to Soft Cell and Philip Larsen.

Almond initially didn't want to include the track on the album, as he thought it was missing something, despite being content with lyrics and music. However the rest of the team greenlit the song and Almond agreed.[1]

The song first became public with a music video published on Marc Almond's official web site.[3] But when Pet Shop Boys got involved, the new version became the definitive one, and more preferable by Almond.[1] Vinyl edition of the album was long in production by that time, meaning that LP copies stayed with original version, while the rest formats got updated, and so will future vinyl repressings.[4] Album was released on May 6th, 2022.

Later in June original “Purple Zone” was announced to appear on third single release of *Happiness Not IncludedNostalgia Machine, but as alternative versions (see bellow).

Other versions[edit | edit source]

Pet Shop Boys version[edit | edit source]

The song was first performed live on Soft Cell's Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret 40th Anniversary tour. It is after the last show which Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe attended to, they were proposed to make a remix for Soft Cell, with Lowe stating that he liked “Purple Zone”.[5] Tennant recorded his own vocals, while Lowe remixed the music. This recording became the definitive version of the song, replacing original on the album, and thus affecting its release date, and receiving a single release.

Remixes[edit | edit source]

Alternative versions of “Purple Zone” were announced as part of Nostalgia Machine single releases a radio edit on CD and extended dub version on vinyl.

Live[edit | edit source]

Personnel[edit | edit source]

  • Written-By (lyrics), vocals – Marc Almond
  • Written-By (music) – David Ball, Riccardo Mulhall
  • Synthesizer – David Ball
  • Production – David Ball, Marc Almond, Philip Larsen

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Written by Marc Almond

Music video[edit | edit source]

Purple Zone
music video by Soft Cell
Still frame from “Purple Zone” video
Released 6 November 2021
Recorded Tate Britain Museum, London, UK
Previous Heart Like Chernobyl
Next Purple Zone
(with Pet Shop Boys)

The video for “Purple Zone” was filmed on 18th August 2021, in Tate Britain Museum, London, UK. The set of the video is blue lit part of installation Rupture No.1: Blowtorching The Bitten Peach by artist Heather Phillipson.[3][6] The director and producer are unknown.

Finished video appeared on Almond's official web site, on November 6th 2021.[3]

Availability[edit | edit source]

“Purple Zone” appears on following records.

Official releases

Year Title Type Version
2022 *Happiness Not Included 
(first pressing vinyl)
Album Original
Nostalgia Machine Single Edit
Nostalgia Machine EP Remix
2023 *Happiness Now Completed Compilation Original
2024 *Happiness Now Digital Other Original

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Marc Almond's official web site remains to be the only place where original “Purple Zone” can be heard online, with its music video in Tate Britain Museum.[3]
  • *Happiness Not Included was leaked on streaming platforms on its initial release date, February 25, containing original version. This release was quickly taken down.

References[edit | edit source]

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