Spandau Balletwas a popular English band who were very popular in the 1980's. In the beginning they performed a mixture of funk and synthpop style of music. They eventually changed their tune and sang the more mellow, mainstream pop. The band started in 1976 when Gary Kemp (vocalist and songwriter) and Steve Norman (guitar and sax and percussion). They both went to Alice Owen’s School in Islington, and were close friends. They both wanted to form a band so they recruited John Keeble, and a little later came Michael Ellison (bass player). Next came their lead singer, Tony Hadley. A few months later, Richard Miller replaced Michael Ellison and eventually he was replaced by Martin Kemp a few years later. The band was originally called, The Makers. They began to perform around the nightclubs and bars in London. Spandau Ballet was a term used for the Nazi prisoners who were hung in Spandau Prison and they were said to dance at the end of their rope. One of the nightclubs where they hung out was, the Blitz, and it was known as the birthplace of the new style of music called, New Romantics.
Some of the major recording companies had the band in the middle of a major bidding war and they finally signed up with Chrysalis Records and then they released, To Cut a Long Story Short. It was an instant success and reached number 5 on the British charts, in 1980. Other hits that followed were, The Freeze, Musclebound, and the album Journeys To Glory (which was released in 1981). Next came their, Journeys to Glory. In March, 1982, they released the album called, Diamond. They released their third album in 1983, and it was called, True. The groups image changed around this time too. Their New Romantic style outfits were replaced with a smart 1940's style suits and clean faces.
Right about this time, Steve Norman became the group’s sax player. Their album, True, topped the charts around the world and from it came several hit singles. They were, Gold, and True. The single, Gold, hit number 1 in some countries. Their follow up in 1984 called, Parade was also a success in Europe, Canada, and Australia, as well as the singles from it. The single, Only When You Leave, turned out to be the last hit in America. The band signed to CBS Records in 1986 and released, Through the Barricades. After that the group took a break but came back in 1989 and released, A Heart Like A Sky. After that the band split up for good. The members went on to work on solo projects and acting roles.
The whole lineup of Spandau Ballet agreed to reunite in December, 2007, and perform a show in Las Vegas. The band has released a total of 19 albums, 23 singles, and has received 1 BRIT Award.
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