❚ THIS WEEK 40 YEARS AGO Spandau Ballet’s first single peaked at No 5 in the UK chart three weeks after its release and exactly one year after the unknown band’s debut at the legendary Blitz Club. More amazingly, in their first year Spandau had been booked to play live on only 10 occasions (two of those on TV, the last being Top of The Pops)! That’s how sudden was their rise during 1980. That’s how phenomenal was their fan base powered by the New Romantics movement.
Tonight at 8pm GMT the band celebrate by premiering online the video Rockpop In Concert which evokes the Parade Tour of 1984-85, their biggest globally, launched with five nights in Tokyo and its UK leg culminating in December ’84 with six nights at London’s Wembley Arena (one more than Duran Duran achieved). These were Spandau’s international glory years, fronted by the dazzling vocals of Tony Hadley. This rare 45-minute video captures their taste for flamboyant designer-fashion in their performance at Dortmund’s Westfalenhalle arena, filmed for the German TV show Rockpop and aired in January 1985.
Also marking their 40th anniversary, Spandau have released a choice new compilation album titled 40 Years – The Greatest Hits, as a triple CD set and as double vinyl LPs.
Sax-player Steve Norman says: “I hadn’t heard these mixes for almost 40 years. I’d actually forgotten that we did two 12-inch mixes of ‘Story’. The band’s energy is all over it, which is how I remembered it sounding.” In a promo vid drummer John Keeble notes: “Oh, and I’ve got a credit for backing vocals… about time too!”
➢ Watch tonight’s streaming of Spandau’s Rockpop In Concert video at You Tube: 4 December 8PM GMT / 12PM PST / 3PM EST. The show will continue streaming for the next 48 hours
➢ Order Spandau’s new album 40 Years – The Greatest Hits, plus new items of merch
➢ View Spandau’s first appearance on Top Of The Pops playing To Cut a Long Story Short, on 13 Nov 1980
➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s:
1980, The Invisible Hand of Shapersofthe80s accounts for the unprecedented rise and rise of Spandau Ballet