Sunday, September 15, 2013

Curtain Call: Spandau Ballet From '83

OK, pop fans... I'm spinning the hits today. On this side of the pond, once again, we were very late to the party. By 1983, Spandau Ballet already had a pile of hits in the UK, and some of those early songs should have been huge here, especially "Chant No. 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)," but I digress. The band didn't hit the Top 40 here in America until the No. 4 smash "True." The followup, "Gold," was a modest hit at No. 29 that same year. Unfortunately, that's two-thirds of their American hit-making output. Both of these songs appeared as live versions on the flip side of the not-so-successful "Round and Round" 12" single, from the album 'Parade,' in 1984.

Now, and this is a big pet peeve of mine, nowhere on the back cover of my 12" single will you find where and when these live versions were actually recorded. I have been digging around and believe with some certainty these songs were taken from a May 1, 1983 show at Sadler's Wells in London. If you think I'm wrong about that, please let me know. By the sound of it, the entire crowd was made up of wildly excited 13-year-old girls. The other curiosity is the addition of a female backup singer, but let's remember everyone was doing it back then, even INXS, Simple Minds and Elvis Costello.

Also, here is a fun little article on lead singer Tony Hadley about being a heartthrob that was in the Mirror last month.

Finally, in case you didn't know, Hadley has an interesting live album that recently came out.

Spandau Ballet - True (Live Version) (mp3)
Spandau Ballet - Gold (Live Version) (mp3)


Echorich said...

Massive SB fan here...well up until Through The Barricades...Parade doesn't get it's due. I was a wonderful pop album that was the next, in my opinion, positive step in the evolution of their sound after True.
Chant No.1 and Gold are my ATF Spandau tracks with Musclebound a very close 3rd. The Gold 12" mix really could have been a Bond Theme...
I think you are right about the live track being Sadler Wells. The True Special Edition album has a few other track from that show and they have the same sound to my ears.

Brian said...

Hi Echorich. We love all of the same SB songs! Wish there were a few more of us over here.

Echorich said...

Someday I would like to purchase and original David Band painting of something related to SB.

Andrew said...

Echorich, you are not alone in wanting to own one of the David Band paintings. Since his death his work has become even more collectible and rarely comes up for sale. I own a couple of pieces and curate a website of his work during this period where he was prolific with sleeve designs for Spandau, Aztec Camera etc. Check it out at and there's a Facebook group where people share their collections and rare images. Feel free to join. Nice blog by the way :-)