Sunday, June 26, 2016

"Gold" by Spandau Ballet

Song#:  1700
Date:  11/19/1983
Debut:  68
Peak:  29
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Spandau Ballet enjoyed their first US hit with the #4 title track to their album True. The ballad would reach #1 at AC and it would be the band's first and only #1 in their UK homeland. This follow-up almost reached the top of the UK chart, but it got stuck at #2. In the US, the song wasn't as popular and it stalled just inside the Top 30 while making it to #17 at AC.

ReduxReview:  "True" was such a distinctive ballad that most any follow-up was gonna pale in comparison, however, this song was a worthy contender. It's a wonderfully sophisticated song led by an excellent vocal turn by Tony Hadley. The UK recognized this and the single came close to topping their chart. Unfortunately, listeners in the US didn't quite get it and the song came and went with little fanfare. It's really too bad. I thought for sure this would be their second Top 10 and was disappointed when it stopped inside the Top 30. It deserved to do better.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  So how did this classy, clean-cut, blue-eyed soul/pop band get their name? Apparently, from a bathroom wall. It seems the band was getting set for a gig, but still had not chosen a new name (they were originally called The Cut and then The Makers). A friend of the band mentioned he was in a nightclub in Berlin and saw the words "spandau ballet" scrawled on the bathroom wall. The band liked it and their new name was set. They did so without really knowing its gruesome origins. Several stories about the phrase are out there, but two seem to be the most plausible. First, during WWI, Germans used a machine gun, the MG 08, that was commonly called the Spandau, which was after the town where it was manufactured. When the gun was used on the front lines or in an area where soldiers would be caught on the bobbed wire fences, the bodies would twitch when the multiple bullets would hit. The twitching would be known as the Spandau ballet. The second common usage seems to come from a prison in Spandau where Nazi prisoners were held after WWII. After their wartime convictions, the prisoners were hanged and as they dangled in the air before their death, their legs and feet would often move about almost looking like they were doing some sort of macabre dance. This then became known as the Spandau ballet.


No comments:

Post a Comment