(re-run from Aug. ’02)
SPANDAU BALLET TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT CHRYSALIS
GENRE: Early 80’s British New Romantic synth pop with hair tonic
This is my favorite Spandau Ballet record. That is it their debut 45 is somewhat telling – as far as I am concerned, it was all downhill after this. The LP it ended up on was a bit of a disappointment (“Journeys To Glory”)…they made a few more good singles, but…never anything as good as this ever again. The vocals are over-dramatic – but the sequenced synth was catchy, the programmed drums were full-on…didn’t they wear togas or something? They didn’t put their picture on the picture sleeve of this single (maybe only on the Australian issue or something).
Remember the “New Romantics”? This was that. Or one of ‘em anyway. It wasn’t punk rock.
This single didn’t even have a B-Side! The B-Side was a ‘version’ (i.e. dub mix). Even the 12” didn’t have a B-Side – just longer versions of the one song.
Because they weren’t going to be touring for the foreseeable future, when the debut LP came out, the record company (Chrysalis/Reformation) decided to ‘tour’ their videos in nightclubs! What? You want me to pay money to go into a nightclub and watch music videos? I think I’m busy that night…
Kind of like watching Harry Connick Jr. portray a serial murderer (I forget the name of the movie), I enjoyed seeing the Kemp brother portray the evil British hoodlums “The Kray Twins” in the film of the same name. As far as I know, they didn’t star in any other films.
Their 2nd album (“Diamond”) was issued as a box set of 12” singles – the first time that kind of thing was done, I think.
I still have UK LP’s for the first 4 x Spandau Ballet full-length releases, and a few 7” singles (“Paint Me Down”, “Diamond”, “Chant No. 1”)…but I never had any use for songs like “True”. Also in the vault is a video (or three) of live shows from the 80’s.
I am still amused by this single – but, when placed next to some of it’s contemporaries, it has a poise, a style, a certain smugness…I have a bit of a hard time taking it too seriously.
…to cut a long story short I lost my mind!
2007 Addendum: Pictured is "Journeys To Glory", their debut album.