Spandau Ballet



by Abaddon2005 USER (18 Reviews)
September 11th, 2007 | 11 replies

Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist

Spandau Ballet is sort of a weird band in terms of popularity. At the forefront of the 80’s New Romantic movement, Spandau Ballet's success was a mixed bag. They entered the British charts in 1980 with the song ‘To Cut A Long Story Short’,(which was the only good song on their debut album, Journeys To Glory) only to have mixed results with their follow up Diamond which was a lot stronger as a whole, but didn’t deliver much success on the charts. Hence we come to True, which showed a stylistic change in the band’s sound and image, going for a sleek adult contemporary feel along the lines of Make it Big era Wham!. The album’s singles garnered international success, and was the last (and perhaps, only) album to get critical acclaim.

Like so many other 80’s pop albums, True was written with a specific goal in mind, to get singles on the charts. As an album as a whole, this makes for an unvaried batch of songs in terms of sound and composition, while not necessarily bad tracks on their own. All of these songs are essentially driven by synth sounds and bouncy basslines, which allows vocalist Tony Hadley to be put at the forefront of the mix. There is unfortunately so little variation amongst this sound combined with a strong dogma to follow traditional pop song structure that this album only works in doses.

That said, the band did manage to spew out two fantastic songs. ‘Gold’ more or less makes up for the repetitive songwriting, and showcases the best vocal performance on the album(although also some of the cheesiest back-up vocals you will ever hear). The band’s biggest hit, ‘True’ is essentially a tribute to the Marvin Gaye sound, and is a nice break as it has a somewhat different sound from the rest of the album as it’s very laid back.
The weaker songs like ‘Lifeline’ and ‘Foundation’ don’t work because of the faster, upbeat tempo the band wanted to give these songs and the annoying layered and/or backing vocals don’t help either. Though the band gets points for effort, they are simply much more effective when Hadly can sing his lungs out and sustain to his heart’s content. Though this is Spandau Ballet’s best studio album, casual fans of the band are better off buying Gold: The Best of Spandau Ballet, a greatest hits collection.

Recent reviews by this author
John Abercrombie The Third QuartetSearch/Rescue The Compound
Best Interest Camera Shy But Still The StarLinkin Park Minutes to Midnight
John 5 The Devil Knows My NameJust Jack Overtones
user ratings (16)
recommended by reviewer
Wham! Make it Big

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 11th 2007


I like you abaddon.

Spandau Ballet is exactly the sort of mediocre band I should adore, but I never really got into their music.

September 11th 2007


I've only heard the title track but it's one of my favorite songs ever haha. That sexual energy it has, the cheesy lyrics, it's perfect.

Good review man, I always see this on vinyl at my local record store, thinking about picking it up for novelty along with the album with Quiet Riot's 'Cum On Feel The Noize'

September 11th 2007


When they first hit the New Romantic scene with songs like To Cut A Long Story Short and I Don't Need This Pressure On, they were excellent. But they soon started trying far too hard to beat Duran and Culture Club.

True and Gold are great, cheesy songs. Communication is also goodThis Message Edited On 09.11.07

September 12th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Spandau Ballet is exactly the sort of mediocre band I should adore, but I never really got into their music.

Hey, I added you on msn as you seem to be the only person around these parts into this kind of thing and wanted to send some similar stuff but you're never on!

September 13th 2007


Yeah I don't use MSN. You can try emailing me at, I didn't check it for a long time but I'm checking it every day now. I noticed you sent me something to look over a few months ago but it got lost in the shuffle - sorry about that.

November 9th 2008


This much is a true-hoo

December 5th 2010


"Though this is Spandau Ballet’s best studio album"

In your opinion.

May 21st 2011


Album Rating: 3.0

Of course it's my opinion, it's a review...

May 22nd 2011


Yeh but the way you said it it was like this is their best album, so don't bother with anything else except the Greatest Hits. And to say it was the last and only album to get acclaim is also surely wrong. It wasn't done around the same time as Make it Big, so I don't see that comparison either.

Your opinion that True is the best seems to be based on the fact that some famous hits are on this. Quite a few people out there think Parade is the best album based on the overall quality of the album rather than whether it contains a few famous songs or not.

November 11th 2017


Title track is one of my all time favourites not gonna lie

Digging: Beastmilk - Climax

November 11th 2017


this is the soooooooooooound

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy