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HOW THE MUSIC CHANGED
❏ In 1980 Spandau Ballet were the houseband of the Blitz Kids, whose New Romantic manifesto insisted that style was as important as their new synthesised brand of dance music. When London’s Blitz club hosts Steve Strange and Rusty Egan invented the notion of the once-a-week clubnight, they changed British nightlife habits for ever. Spandau’s music made no less a dramatic gear-change by placing the bass guitar and the bass drum at the front of the sound, as a driving rhythm for dancefloor movers. Within a year of their first hit, To Cut a Long Story Short, the rhythm of the UK pop charts shifted from the lead guitar to the 4:4 dance beat of the bass drum.
Spandau songwriter Gary Kemp claimed at the time: “RnB was the backbone of pop music from 1962 to 1980. And since then, funk. Dance rhythms are the musical basis for all rock bands now. Really, you can’t say ‘rock band’ any more because the music isn’t rhythm-and-blues.”
John Keeble (left): “It’s the difference between listening to funk instead of the RnB they all played in the Sixties.”
➢ Keeble: what changed the rhythm of the pop charts