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Spandau Ballet returns with “This Is The Love”

11 September 2014 10 Comments
This blog belongs to Radio Creme Brulee – an internet music radio station that broadcasts globally.

DOCU_GRUPO2015 is slated to be the year of a rivalry resurrected as New Romantic acts Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet return with new albums. The anticipation is high for both acts. Duran Duran left audiences exhilarated with a Mark Ronson produced “back to basics” album titled “All You Need is Now” in late 2010. The album was touted as the sequel to their milestone album “Rio” and it truly delivered. For Spandau Ballet, the story is quite different. Their last studio album of original material was released back in 1989. The ill-fated “Heart Like A Sky” was every bit a true Spandau album but failed to ignite the band’s commercial aspirations and let to the band folding. Spandau Ballet has been toiling away in the recording studio with musical genius Trevor Horn at the helm of production. It is like a match made in heaven. The expectations are undoubtedly high and there is a huge curiosity factor around what Spandau Ballet in 2015 sounds like – given that their sound has almost inextricably been attached to that of the 80s.

It looks like fans do not have wait as long as 2015 to hear what new Spandau sounds like. Their new single “This Is The Love” surfaced on BBC Radio 2 around two days ago. It is the lead single for a deluxe compilation titled “The Story”(slated for release in October 2014). “This is the love” is one of three new tracks on the compilation.

The song’s noteworthy elements are its “big band” production, string arrangements, Tony Hadley’s trademark dramatic vocals, Steve Norman’s saxophone sections, and an overall orchestral sound. The song opens with a lot of promise with Steve Norman’s blissful saxophone intro (how often do you hear sax intros these days?). Unfortunately, the song quickly moves into a very middle-of-the-road verse with rather underwhelming lyrics.

Couldn’t buy more time;

Couldn’t even spin a dime;

And Then the world went all sublime;

you came by

Sadly, the chorus is no better. Tony Hadley does sound amazing though and he still has the ability to hold a note forever. He ranks among one of the world’s greatest vocalists so it is impossible for him to do anything wrong vocally on the track. It is a shame he was not working with more substantial material. The song’s only saving graces are its top-notch production and Steve Norman’s saxophone sections.

If “This Is The Love” is indicative of the Spandau sound of 2015, it is unlikely that they will be sonic rivals of Duran Duran – which may not necessarily be a bad thing but it might also not ignite the interest of audiences in the way that Duran Duran does. We have high expectations of the two other new tracks off “The Story” by Spandau Ballet. Hopefully, those songs will be the light of day sooner than later. Meanwhile, here is a full-length clip of ‘This Is The Love” by Spandau Ballet.

STAR RATING: 3 out of 5 stars

Find out which other artists that emerged in the 80s have returned with new material in recent years RIGHT HERE!

Broadcasting Worldwide

We are an American internet radio station that broadcasts WORLDWIDE. The station features an eclectic mix of current pop and rock music from both sides of the Atlantic alongside hits, forgotten gems, and rarities from the last three decades. The music of Spandau Ballet is a fairly regular staple on Radio Creme Brulee. We also feature “rare for radio” tracks by the band such as “Be free with your love“, “Round And Round“, and “Once More“. Currently, “Steal” by Spandau Ballet is getting 5 plays EACH per day on our station. In fact, we play plenty of newer music by bands that rose to prominence in the 80s. Noteworthy examples include Tears For Fears, a-ha, INXS, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Johnny Hates Jazz, Simple Minds, and Culture Club.

Give us a spin when you get a chance.
We just might become your alternative of choice!



10 Responses to "Spandau Ballet returns with “This Is The Love”"

  1. Frannie says:

    I don’t think it’s too bad. I’m not the biggest fan of Spandau but this is the kind of orchestral sound that I tend to associate with them. Tony’s vocals do sound great. I guess it’s a little predicatable but I don’t know if their fans would accept it if they changed too much. Whereas DD is more known for changing their sound.
    Speaking of DD, did you see them on the Fashion Rock on US tv earlier this week? They did a medley of their biggest hits. They are so cool. Despite being a fan of their music, I have never seen them live. I will definitely have to see them when their new album comes out.

  2. @Frannie: You HAVE to watch DD the next time they go on tour. They are a brilliant LIVE act. I first saw them in 2000 while I was a sophomore in college. My dorm neighbor, resident advisor and I went for the show together. That was the show that made me a die-hard fan. I had never really paid attention to Simon Lebon as a vocalist. His performance of “Ordinary World” was stellar. They were at their commercial low at that time and were reduced to a 3-piece with Warren Cucurullo (who I really miss – I wish he was still part of the band). I saw them again in 2011 when they were promoting “All You Need is now”. Some great performances. Their performance of “The Chauffeur” was beyond electrifying. Yeah, there is no way you can miss them on their next tour – and you know they will tour the US first. They always do.

    The Spandau track was a bit underwhelming but you are right – this was probably the path they would go down on anyway. A radical change would probably not go down well with their fans. They definitely became more adult contemporary by the mid-80s.

  3. Terry says:

    Alright, give them a break…first off it’s “couldn’t even SPIN a dime” not “spend” ~ they are just warming up, they’ve been away a long time. I was surprised with the orchestral sound, but Tony is very into that at the mo…so I think his influence and excitement with his orchestral tours has some bearing. Tony’s vocals are better than they were in the 80’s…I saw him live in 2011 in New York City and when I say his voice goes right through you…un-believeable power! Let’s see what they come up with for a proper album in 2015 before we start writing them off…

  4. Rob Martin says:

    As a long term Amican fan of both groups, I’ve always felt that it would be a great idea of a double bill tour with Spandau in Support of Duran and then the 2 groups joining for a finale. It would be a good opportunity for Spandau to regain stateside exposure and ticket sales would go through the roof internationally. At this stage of the game if the legal and business logistics could be worked out, such and endeavor would rival any current concert tour.

  5. @Terry: I am really hoping this is just a warm-up. There is a lot of conversation in pop music forums as to whether or not there actually is an album due in 2015 from Spandau. I was hoping for one but it looks like the new material they were working on basically comes down to the three new tracks on “The Story”. Once again, we hope this is not true. It has been a few years since we’ve interacted with Spandau’s management so we have not verified anything yet. We’re still hoping a new album is in the works. Tony sounds amazing as always. We definitely have not written them off. Just out of curiosity, how did you hear of our radio station? We’re curious to know. Thanks once again!

  6. @Rob Martin; Thanks so much for the comment. I think Spandau would be open to this but I doubt Duran Duran would be willing to share the stage with anyone else. The idea is great though and it would make loads of business sense for whoever funds the tour. I don’t see legal issues here. Business logistics are a whole different question altogether. Just out of curiosity, how did you discover our radio station? We would love to know.

  7. JonnyM says:

    Morning everybody
    my take on this……….
    Lyrically Challenged
    Take a load of meaningless rhyming words and then use them at the end of each line then build the beginnings of the line without thinking.
    The problem with fifty-somethings trying to write poignant lyrics is that their listeners can see straight through them. They are also fifty-somethings.
    This is songwriting at its very poorest. If you havent still got it, just cover your old material. afterall, your lead singer clearly has still got it, so let him do what hes good at rather than making a fool of him by making him sing this dross. And remember, the grannies that want to listen to you actually want to hear your old songs.

  8. @JonnyM: We weren’t nuts about the lyrics each other – but in general, we’re not really “lyrics” focused at all so if they’re lackluster, it is not the end of the world for us. We were expecting something a little more avant garde with the new material. We loved what Trevor Horn did with the last Robbie Williams album. We were hoping he would bring that type of magic to the Spandau material.

  9. Richard H. says:

    I’m a very tough critic and I think the song is great. It’s not that often that I love a song the first time I hear it. This song I loved the first time I heard it. I think the song is a home run.

  10. @Richard: It looks like a bunch of our listeners also warmed up to the track almost instantly. The initial few seconds with Steve Norman’s sax intro are amazing. I mean, we barely ever hear the saxophone in pop music these days – so that was nice but I felt like the verses were quite lackluster. “Steal” on the other hand is brilliant. Just out of curiosity, how did you discover our radio station and blog? We would to know. Thank you so much for the comment!

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