Soft Cell and the Drow

It’s funny how some things can just get inexorably linked in your mind. The 1981 song “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell (a band whom, as far as I know, never had any other song even close to being a hit) will forever be linked in my mind with the drow.

The reason is that, way back in the heady days of 1981, when MTV actually played music videos, this song ended up being the #3 pop hit of the year. Thus, it saw a lot of play on MTV, and as a 15 year old, I was watching a lot of MTV. During the summer months (and weekends during the school year) I’d regularly stay up painting miniatures and playing wargames, and MTV would always be on in the background.

For whatever reason, I happen to vividly remember painting a selection of Ral Partha 25mm elves as drow (I was very keen on drow as villains back then in those pre-Drizzt days) and this song must have been playing while I was doing so. For whatever reason, when I hear this song on the radio, I invariably think of painting those Ral Partha figures with their black faces and white hair.

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Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

3 thoughts on “Soft Cell and the Drow

  1. For similar reasons, I associate blue dragons with both "The Safety Dance," and the Eurythmics' "Here Comes the Rain Again."
    ; )

  2. I was listening to a lot of Tull at the time so it's Minstrel in the Gallery and Cold Wind To Valhalla and Dun Ringill that bring back a lot of D&D/AD&D memories for me.

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