Longing, romance and strong emotions – hardly any other band has been able to express these moments in such a well-tempered way as the British pop formation Spandau Ballet. Their big hit singles of the eighties like “True” or “Gold” have become timeless classics of pop music.
Spandau Ballet – Biography and great successes of the 80s
The origins of Spandau Ballet go back to the seventies. In 1976 the band formed around singer Tony Hadley in London, the UK’s cultural capital. The music club “Blitz” in London was the source of a new wave of music that soon spread throughout Europe and was called “New Romantic”. It is regarded as one of the formative youth cultures of the 1980s, which included such internationally successful bands as Duran Duran, Ultravox and Visage. All these formations created a soft, slightly dreamy pop sound, which formed a contrast to harder directions like punk or metal.
The band has been extremely successful since its foundation: All in all, they sold 25 million albums worldwide. The original line-up included Tony Hadley (vocals), brothers Gary and Martin Kemp (guitar, bass), Steve Norman (saxophone, percussion) and John Keeble (drums).
Their debut single, released in 1980, was still influenced by late punk and reached the Top 10 of the British charts. Her first two albums “Journeys to Glory” (1981) and “Diamond” (1982) as well as the single releases from them were also able to establish themselves high up in the UK charts. They gradually crystallized the typical Spandau Ballet sound: a warm, soulful pop sound with refined soul elements, carried by the pleasant voice of Tony Hadley.
A career with international success
The big international breakthrough came in 1983 with the third album “True”. The resulting singles “True” and “Gold” became world successes that still fascinate us today. The series of successes continued afterwards with the album “Parade”, released in 1984. With the single “Through the Barricades” from the album of the same name from 1986, the band was also able to score another international hit. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Romanticism is the keyword that probably best describes the musical style of Spandau Ballet up to the present day: a dreamy, harmonious sound with saxophone, warm string carpets and piano passages.
The band’s outer appearance also matched this: Their serious suits, ties and neat hairstyles differed clearly from the outfit of many other musicians of that time. Here there was no provocation or protest, but a soulful turn inwards was favoured. And it was precisely this romantic inwardness that was well received by the audience and manifested itself in growing success.
However, the album “Heart Like a Sky”, released in 1989, was not able to continue the earlier success. At the beginning of the nineties the band broke up for the time being. Since then Tony Hadley worked on his solo career, the other members also pursued their own projects.
But this did not mean the end of Spandau Ballet: in 2009 the founding members re-formed and gave their first concerts. In the same year the album “Once More” was released, which contains new recordings of many old world successes and two new songs. The band is still touring worldwide.
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