The Art of Falling Apart

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The Art of Falling Apart
Soft Cell - The Art of Falling Apart Coverart.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 1983
RecordedAugust–September 1982
LabelSome Bizzare, Sire, Vertigo
ProducerMike Thorne, Soft Cell
Soft Cell chronology
Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing
The Art of Falling Apart
This Last Night in Sodom
Singles from The Art of Falling Apart
  1. "Where the Heart Is" b/w "It's a Mugs Game"
    Released: November 1982
  2. "Loving You, Hating Me" b/w "It's a Mugs Game"
    Released: 1982 (North American release)
  3. "Numbers" b/w "Barriers"
    Released: February 1983
  4. "Heat" b/w "It's a Mugs Game"
    Released: 1983 (US release)

The Art of Falling Apart is the second full-length album by the English synthpop duo Soft Cell, released in 1983.

The album reached No. 5 on the UK charts, although its two singles "Where the Heart Is" and the double A-sided single "Numbers" / "Barriers" both failed to reach the Top 20, breaking the duo's run of five consecutive Top 5 singles in the UK, reaching No. 21 and No. 25, respectively.

Initial copies of the album included a bonus 12 inch EP containing the tracks "Martin" and "Hendrix Medley".


The song "Martin" was inspired by the 1978 horror film Martin directed by George A. Romero.[1]

The song "Numbers" refers to the banned 1967 novel Numbers by John Rechy.[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[3]
Robert ChristgauB-[4]

In a joint review of The Art of Falling Apart and Berlin's Pleasure Victim, Michael Goldberg of Record remarked that while the opening tracks "Forever the Same" and "Where the Heart Is" are decent, Marc Almond's monotonal vocal style quickly wears thin, and David Ball's use of the same synthesizer stylistics on every track similarly "[makes] the whole album sound like variations on one theme." He particularly derided the synth-pop renditions of Jimi Hendrix songs, saying "Just that concept ought to elicit a chuckle. Suffice to say that Soft Cell are not able to do for the Hendrix songs what they did for Gloria Jones' 'Tainted Love'."[5]

The album was ranked at number 4 among the "Albums of the Year" for 1983 by NME.[6]

Track listing[]

All tracks written and composed by David Ball and Marc Almond, except where noted.

  1. "Forever the Same" – 5:06
  2. "Where the Heart Is" – 4:34
  3. "Numbers" – 4:55
  4. "Heat" – 6:11
  5. "Kitchen Sink Drama" – 3:56
  6. "Baby Doll" – 6:44
  7. "Loving You, Hating Me" – 4:18
  8. "The Art of Falling Apart" – 5:01

Extra tracks on remastered CD: SOME BIZZARE/MERCURY (558,266-2, June 1998)

  1. "Hendrix Medley" – 10:20 (Jimi Hendrix, Billy Roberts) [on bonus 12" with initial copies of the vinyl LP]
  2. "Martin" – 10:16 [on bonus 12" with initial copies of the vinyl LP]
  3. "Barriers" – 7:05 [double A-side of "Numbers" 7" and 12" singles]
  4. "It's a Mug's Game" – 8:15 [B-side of "Where the Heart Is" 12"]


Soft Cell
  • Marc Almond - vocals, production
  • David Ball - synthesizers, multi-instruments, backing vocals, production
Additional personnel
  • John Gatchell - trumpet, horns
  • Mike Thorne - production
  • Harvey Goldberg - engineering, mixing
  • Don Weshba - engineering


  1. ^ Making The Art of Falling Apart by Mike Thorne Archived 2 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ LGBT Song of the Day – Soft Cell – Numbers 16 April 2017 edit/ incomplete note; Looking for why or when it may have been banned. Found nine published versions/ editions since original publication and right way through to recent years at but no actual dates or territories where it was banned.
  3. ^ Allmusic review
  4. ^ Robert Christgau review
  5. ^ Goldberg, Michael (June 1983). "The Art of Falling Apart/Pleasure Victim review". Record. 2 (8): 28–29.
  6. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
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