2015 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!
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!