◼ TODAY’S THE DAY THE HOTTEST NEW BAND OF 1980 released their debut single 30 years ago. Inside a year, Spandau Ballet had clicked with clubland’s coolest fan base, played only eight bookings, refused to make any demo tapes but instead spent that year winding up the media and the music industry with word-of-mouth rumours of a youth movement right behind them.
On October 10 Spandau signed an unprecedented deal with Chrysalis, on October 27 they released To Cut a Long Story Short driven by a monophonic synthesiser: Daa-didi dada dada di-di dada didi daaa! On November 15 the single entered the chart. Bingo – Top of the Pops.
In 1980, for every new band firing up their ambition in the wings, Spandau acted as a fuel injection system. For electro bands who had been nibbling at success — OMD, Simple Minds, Japan, Ultravox — here was the bandwagon. And they jumped on board.
NOW TURN TO OUR INSIDE PAGE
➢ Full timeline of Spandau Ballet’s wind-up year from tease dates to Top of the Pops in 12 months!
HERE’S THE VIDEO FOR Spandau’s ORIGINAL, NOW IN HD…
➢ My full history of the birth of the New Romantics
in the Observer Music Monthly
➢ Elsewhere at Shapers of the 80s: 190+ acts who set the style for the new music of the 1980s
I remember seeing Gentry at the Marquee supporting, I think, a Scottish band called the Jags. Musically they were pretty standard fare but their styling was interesting and Tony Hadley was mesmerising.