Science Fiction Stories

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This article is about song; for bootleg release see: Science Fiction Stories (bootleg)
Science Fiction Stories
Track by Soft Cell
Year 1978
Written David Ball
Composed David Ball
Produced Soft Cell
Genre post punk, minimal wave
From The Bedsit Tapes (demo)
Also in Magick Mutants
“Science Fiction Stories” is a song by Soft Cell, known as one of the early demo tracks. In 2019 it was re-recorded and released on Magick Mutants EP.

Origin[edit | edit source]

“Science Fiction Stories” was written by David Ball during his early time in Leeds Polytechnic. It was the first song he wrote on the synthesizer, as well originally singing until forming Soft Cell with Marc Almond.[1]

Record and release[edit | edit source]

“Science Fiction Stories” is one of many early demo tracks recorded between 1978 and 1980.[2] It first become widely known in 1987, appearing on a bootleg compilation of the same name. Another unofficial record of unknown origin contained an instrumental mix of the same demo, with only Almond's vocals singing the chorus with vocoder effect and, supposedly, additional sound effects.[3]

The demo was officially released in 2005 on compilation of early tracks The Bedsit Tapes. In 2018 it was remastered and included in Keychains And Snowstorms box set.

Other versions[edit | edit source]

In 2018 the song was re-recorded with proper studio treatment for Magick Mutants EP, released in 2019.[1] Unlike in original demo, vocoder effects weren't applied to Almond's new vocals, and it also lacks additional sound effects. An instrumental version of the track exists within promo CD of the EP.[4]

Personnel[edit | edit source]

  • Original demo version
  • Studio version
    • Production – Soft Cell
    • Engineering (vocals) – Jonny Solway, Rob McFarlane
    • Engineering, programming – Jon Savage
    • Mixing – Philip Larsen

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Written by David Ball
Some parts of the text might be incorrect, please edit if errors actually occur or remove this notice if everything is right.

Living
With automation
Living
With modification
Living
With other civilization
Living
You're one of the nation

Science fiction stories
Told us of the future
Science fiction stories
Not to be for content

(repeat the verse and chorus)

Availability[edit | edit source]

“Science Fiction Stories” appears on following records.

Official releases
Year Title Type Version
2005 The Bedsit Tapes Compilation Demo
2018 Keychains And Snowstorms Box set Demo
2019 Magick Mutants EP
Bootlegs
Title Type Version
Science Fiction Stories (CD) Compilation Demo

Original demo version is also available on streaming platforms.

Listen[edit | edit source]

  • Official uploads on YouTube
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Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The demo originally starts with a countdown and flight noise samples from the opening of 60s TV series Thunderbirds;[5] it is how it appears on first bootleg release.[6]
    • It also can be heard on “instrumental demo tape” version of the track.[3]
    • In The Bedsit Tapes version only the noise sample was left.[7]
    • In Keychains And Snowstorms remaster all samples were removed (see Listen).
  • On song list flyer for duo's first gig at Leeds Polytechnic, designed by Ball, “Science Fiction Stories” has an image of flying saucer and Earth in space.[8]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Soft Cell - Interview with Dave Ball (Interview with Dave Ball). John Clarkson. 14 June 2019. (pennyblackmusic.co.uk)  archived
  2. The Bedsit Tapes (Soft Cell compilation)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Soft Cell Instrumental Demo. (YouTube)
  4. Soft Cell - Magick Mutants EP (CDr, EP, Promo). (Discogs)
  5. Thunderbirds (1965) - Intro (Opening). (YouTube)
  6. Science Fiction Stories / Vinyl. (YouTube)
  7. Soft Cell - Science Fiction Stories. (YouTube)
  8. Electronic Boy (autobiography by David Ball)
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