David James Ball was born in Chester, England in 1958. Growing up in seaside resort Blackpool, Dave developed a wide appreciation of contemporary music, including a lifelong love of Northern Soul. Dave taught himself to play guitar, bass, and of course synthesiser, while fully absorbing the culture of the 1970’s music scene.
Ball and future Soft Cell partner Marc Almond met at Leeds Polytechnic in 1976, where they were both studying Fine Art, and started writing and recording together in 1978, before performing their first gig together as Soft Cell at Leeds Polytechnic in December 1979.
Starting their career as a cult band with lowly ambitions, Soft Cell signed to Phonogram Records (Sire in the US) and ultimately sold over twenty million records, including the ubiquitous Tainted Love, which topped the charts in seventeen countries worldwide, as well as today remaining one of the all-time best-selling singles in the US. The band have been covered and sampled by a multitude of contemporary artists from Rhianna to Marilyn Manson, and fans have included everyone from Paul McCartney to Trent Reznor. David
Gray’s cover of Say Hello, Wave Goodbye also charted as a single and featured on his seven million-selling debut album White Ladder.
Soft Cell’s debut single proper, electro club classic Memorabilia is widely regarded as one of the first ever techno records, while other major hits included Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, Bedsitter, What! and Torch, which Adam & The Ants just prevented from becoming the band’s second Number One single in 1982.
Soft Cell went on to release four acclaimed albums, including Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, The Art Of Falling Apart and This Last Night in Sodom.
Soft Cell have been immortalised in popular culture by Alan Partridge (Ruddy hell, it’s Soft Cell!) and Peter Kay (with an infamous appearance on Parkinson), as well as satirised by Rowan Atkinson. Their music continues to appear on compilations, most recently entering the Top 10 album chart in 2017 with a Best Of retrospective.
Disbanding amicably in 1984 to pursue solo projects, Soft Cell reunited in 2001 for a Best Of, plus new studio album, Cruelty Without Beauty, and an international tour, culminating in a triumphant sold-out show at London’s Brixton Academy, and a live album.
In 1983, Dave released his debut solo album In Strict Tempo, which featured Gavin Friday, Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV frontman Genesis P-Orridge and Virginia Astley.
Dave founded his second electronic duo, The Grid, with Richard Norris in 1988. The Grid helped define the burgeoning UK acid house scene of the early 1990s with singles such as Flotation, Crystal Clear and Texas Cowboys, as well as the million-selling single Swamp Thing, immortalised in John Water’s 1998 film Pecker. The Grid returned in 2008 with new album Doppelganger.
The Grid also wrote and produced with Kylie Minogue on tracks from her 1997 Impossible Princess album, including the hit single Breathe, as well as producing Billie Ray Martin’s breakthrough Top 10 anthem Your Loving Arms, which also topped charts across Europe, and was also a major dance hit in the US.
His remix career has included work with David Bowie, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, The B-52’s and many others, while he has also DJ’d at Northern Soul nights across the UK.
Other productions have included The Virgin Prunes, Nitewreckage with Celine Hispiche, Rick Mulhall and Terry Neale. The album was co-produced and mixed by Martin Rushent. Dave has also worked with Jon Savage on Photosynthesis, as well as Marc Almond collaborator Anni Hogan on her upcoming solo album Lost In Blue
Soft Cell release a 9CD/1DVD anthology Keychains & Snowstorms through Universal Music in March 2018, with a number of other releases planned to celebrate the band’s 40 th year.
Dave Ball is currently working on his autobiography for publication in 2018, alongside an expanded version of his In Strict Tempo album. He is available for writing, production and remix work.
For more information, please contact Chris Smith @ Renegade Music email@example.com