You probably know them from their massive ’80s hit “True” (and the TRUE album, which is available tomorrow on CD again in the States for the first time in years)…
…and its equally exquisite follow-up single, “Gold”…
But did you know Spandau Ballet started out as an underground dance/funk/new wave act, complete with New Romantic fashions and dance floor grooves? It’s true (heh). As an integral part of the post-punk Blitz Kids scene, Spandau were more focused on getting your butt on the dance floor than being the soundtrack for a slow dance at your prom.
Their 1980 debut single, “To Cut a Long Story Short”, became an immediate sensation, hitting the Top 5 in the UK and Top 20 in Australia, France, Ireland and Spain.
Things got even funkier with their 1981 single, “Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)”, with a guitar lick that would make Nile Rodgers green with envy. And those horns!
And let’s talk about those clothes – Spandau Ballet were at the forefront of fashion, combining pirate and Cossack-inspired looks with New Romantic glam.
They took their look to an insanely fantastic level in the video for “Instinction”, complete with brown leather trousers, plaid flannel and Ushankas in a look that could only be described as “hunter chic”:
While Spandau Ballet were underground dance club sensations in the U.S., they never really broke through in a big way until 1983’s “True”. To celebrate the recent 30th anniversary of this release, the band is premiering a new, warts-and-all documentary titled “Soul Boys of the Western World” at this year’s South by Southwest on March 12th. They’re also going to play their first concert on American soil in 28 years that same evening at the Vulcan Gas Company in Austin.
To catch you up to speed, check out this playlist of Spandau Ballet’s greatest musical moments: