Thursday, March 30, 2017

"Only When You Leave" by Spandau Ballet

Song#:  1996
Date:  07/28/1984
Debut:  68
Peak:  34
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  This UK band broke through in the US with their big #4 hit "True." It was the title track to their third album, which made it to #19. Of course both the song and album reached #1 in the UK and made them stars. Their success in the UK continued when they issued their follow-up LP Parade. It would hit #2 mainly on the strength of this first single that got to #3 (their eighth UK Top 10). Listeners in the US were not quite as thrilled with the song and it faltered after getting into the Pop Top 40 (#35 AC/#40 Rock). As a result, the album stalled at #50. Both the single and album would be the band's last ones to reach the US chart. They would remain popular in the UK for another couple of albums, but by the early 90s, disagreements within the band lead to a breakup. A reunion later in 2009 sparked a new album that reached #7 on the UK chart.

ReduxReview:  Their British sophista-pop worked well for a few songs in the US, but that was enough for listeners and the band ended up getting ignored here. I just don't think they had enough good material to sustain the audience here. Since I liked the True album, I bought the new one when it came out and I was highly disappointed. Except for this first single, none of the songs really caught my ear. It was all well-crafted, but none of it stuck in my head. While I'm not surprised by the peak of this single, I do think it is a lovely piece of Britpop.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Following the band's break up, only lead singer Tony Hadley sought a solo career. His debut LP, 1992's The State of Play, didn't feature any significant hits and disappeared quickly. Since then he has recorded three other solo albums. His last one in 2015 was a Christmas album. He also dabbled in acting and made his West End debut appearing as Billy Flynn in the revival of Chicago. He also appeared on two British TV reality competition shows. He would finish sixth on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here in 2015 and in 2003 he would win the show Reborn in the USA. That show took ten British pop stars who were virtually unknown in the US and took them to the States to perform in various cities. Performances were voted on each week an act was eliminated.


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