Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Friday 80s Flashback for March 3, 2023

[Still True] -- Depending on the source, this weekend's Flashback album was released on either February 28 or March 4 of 1983. Either way, it is 40 years old as of this week. I'm talking about True, the third studio release by the English new wave band, Spandau Ballet. They already had something of following in their native UK, but the release of True, and in particular the album's title track, brought Spandau Ballet international acclaim and success. 

It certainly grabbed my attention around the spring of 1983, when "True" was released as the album's third single. I still have my copy on 45-rpm.

As an album, True ushered in a new sound and style for Spandau Ballet. While they had previously pursued  the night club and dance audiences associated with early new wave efforts, audiences which the band starting losing after their second album, songwriter/guitarist Gary Kemp decided to focus on soul and R&B influences, notably Marvin Gaye and Al Green. Kemp's new songs were more lounge oriented and leaned heavily on the sound of Steve Norman's saxophone and singer Tony Hadley's expressive range, but overall were still infused with a New Romantics flair. 

"True" peaked at #1 and #4 on the UK Singles and US Billboard Hot 100 respectively, and it enjoyed global chart success. Much of that success was likely due to a music "video that cast singer Tony Hadley as a young Frank Sinatra, crooning about the sound of his soul" [AllMusic]. Spandau Ballet's next single, "Gold," also performed well, though it did not reach the mega-hit status of its predecessor: It peaked at #2 in the UK, but reached only the top 30 on US charts (#29 on both US Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box charts, and #17 on the US Adult Contemporary chart). As much as "True" is the better known single, and I do still love it, I might prefer "Gold" just a little because of its "Always believe in your soul" message. Maybe. Let me know what you think. 

True reached the #1 position on the UK Albums chart while peaking at #19 on the US Billboard 200. It was also a top ten album in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. Spandau Ballet continued to release albums throughout the 1980s, and they enjoyed success in Europe, Canada, and Oceania. But they never again reached those dizzying heights to which they had soared with True

FlashbackTrue (March 4, 1983)

Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

I'll see you in seven!

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