Science Fiction Stories (bootleg)

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This article is about bootleg; for song see: Science Fiction Stories
Science Fiction Stories
bootleg of Soft Cell
Released 1987
Label Big Frock Records
Genre post punk, new wave
Format 12″ (original), CD
Related The Bedsit Tapes
Demo Non Stop
Science Fiction Stories is a bootleg compilation of Soft Cell, released in 1987.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Science Fiction Stories is the first widely available record containing early Soft Cell tracks and demos. It was produced in West Germany in 1987, pressed in supposedly 500 copies. An insert sheet contains lyrics of the songs (some of them with questionable accuracy).[1]

Since some of the tracks on this record are still not released officially and aren't available by other means, plus the amount of copies was limited, it has become the most valued Soft Cell bootleg among fans and collectors.

Track listing[edit | edit source]

All songs written and composed by Marc Almond and Dave Ball. 
I (This Side)
1. Science Fiction Stories”   3:17
2. “Facility Girls”   1:47
3. “Living For Today” (*) 2:06
4. “Factory Fun”   3:24
5. “Penthouse Pet” (*) 1:50
6. “When We Go Marching”   2:33
7. “Purely Functional” (* **) 1:54
II (Other Side)
1. “I'm Sixteen” (*) 4:08
2. Bleak Is My Favourite Cliché”   2:17
3. “Occupational Hazard”   3:42
4. A Man Could Get Lost”   2:56
5. “Mix And Match”   4:20
6. Persuasion(***) 3:32

* These tracks are exclusive to this release
** “Purely Functional” here is a song, and is different from instrumental track on The Bedsit Tapes
*** “Persuasion” is mistitled as “Buy More Now” on vinyl label

Credits and notes[edit | edit source]

The notes in lyrics sheet insert:[1]

Administered by Big Frock Records, Leeds, England.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
The producer of this record like to thank:
Anyone at Mason Studios, Leeds.
Ritchi, for spending a lot of time.
Susan, who makes life so wonderful.
Last not least:
Dave Ball and Marc Almond for great years of Soft Cell existence. (1980-1984)
M.Almond, for still writting exellent songs.
D.Ball, for always new productions as producer.
And anyone at Phonogram, Virgin and Some Bizzare.
We did our best!

Although “Big Frock Records” is mentioned, the actual label created by Ball and Almond is “A Big Frock Rekord”. In addition to all listed labels, the back cover features Vertigo logo and “Published by Metropolis / Warner Bros. Music” note.

Artwork[edit | edit source]

The front cover artwork is a redraw and combination of two early Soft Cell promotional photographs. One with female corset mannequin was taken by Peter Ashworth in Soho, 1981, but Almond was left out.[2] Another, also by Ashworth, is from promo session for Smash Hits! magazine, yet only Almond's head with a hat was used.[3] On the right – a flipped neon sign, as it appears on A Man Can Get Lost and Memorabilia singles.

The back cover features a foreword regarding the duo and content of the record. The design uses elements of various artworks: musical notes from Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing, the evil masks from The Art Of Falling Apart, a Gutterhearts letterhead and an image of a kissing couple of unknown origin. In bottom right corner – Almond's autograph with a face.[1]

Other versions[edit | edit source]

In 1997 a CD version of this bootleg appeared, which also included “The Girl With The Patent Leather Face” and Mutant Moments EP tracks; its front cover is a colored version of first Science Fiction Stories artwork, with added title.[4]

In 2006, after release of The Bedsit Tapes compilation, another bootleg titled as Science Fiction Stories was produced. In fact it's a previous CD release updated with several ‘rare’ tracks by Marc Almond: “In Your Bed”, “This House Is A House Of Trouble”, “Titan Arch” and “Guiltless”. This version has a written summary on releases of Soft Cell demo tracks trough ages, including two previous bootlegs. Its covers' design also differs from predecessors, using elements from artworks of The Whip compilation, Slut EP and Torment single.[5]

Official releases[edit | edit source]

In 2005 and 2006 most of early and demo tracks by Soft Cell, previously appearing on bootlegs, were released with The Bedsit Tapes and Demo Non Stop compilations. Although, Science Fiction Stories still holds its position as public favourite due to having 4 tracks exclusive only to it.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This bootleg was mentioned by Marc Almond in his Tainted Life autobiography while explaining the origin of “I'm Sixteen” song.
  • Bootleg's sleeve can be spotted in a collage of Soft Cell paraphernalia inside the booklet of Heat: The Remixes compilation.

References[edit | edit source]

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