Spandau Ballet ¦ Through The Barricades

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Through the Barricades is the fifth studio album by English new wave band Spandau Ballet, released on 17 November 1986 by CBS Records. The band was continuing their efforts to replicate the sound of their live performance on a studio album that they had attempted unsuccessfully with their previous album, Parade. They were also wanting to address any misconceptions about their music that came from the success of their first US hit song, "True", and reshape the style of their music to that of a rock band. The title song, which details the struggles in a relationship, was chosen as the album title because of how they felt they were being perceived. Through the Barricades was also their first album with the label after leaving Chrysalis Records because of the downturn in their popularity in the US after "True".

Through the Barricades reached number seven on the UK Albums Chart and achieved platinum certification for sales of 300,000 units there. Several reviews were critical, faulting either the production or the songwriting. The band was disappointed in the chart performance of the singles. The title song fared best, reaching number six in the UK, but was the only one of the three to make the top ten. The label neglected to release any singles in the US for several months after it had done so elsewhere, and the band found themselves in the same place of not feeling like they were getting the exposure there that they wanted. The fact that members of the band were approached during the making of the album to pursue acting was seen as the start of the band's breakup, which came after the release of their next album, Heart Like a Sky, in 1989.

Background, development and recording

Spandau Ballet's 1983 single "True" became their first song to make the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, where it peaked at number four[4] while also spending a week at number one on the magazine's Adult Contemporary chart.[5] However, before their next single, "Gold", was released there later that year, the band's lead guitarist and songwriter Gary Kemp acknowledged that the softer style of "True" could give people a very limited understanding of their music. He hoped their upcoming US tour to support the True album would disabuse that part of their audience of the notion that the rest of their songs sounded the same.[6][a] The band addressed this concern again in 1985 when they toured there with the British-American supergroup The Power Station as a way of, as Billboard described it, "gaining more rock credibility".[7]

At the time they were already taking action against their label, Chrysalis Records. In his autobiography I Know This Much: From Soho to Spandau, Kemp wrote, "America was not going to plan. 'Gold' had been a hit, although not as big as 'True' ... While we were selling large amounts in Europe and the rest of the world, Chrysalis America were not pulling their weight."[8] Their next two US singles, "Communication" and "Only When You Leave", also did not chart as well there as they did elsewhere,[8][b] which left Kemp sure Chrysalis was to blame.[8][c] The band sued the label in 1985 for not supporting and promoting their work.[9] In the settlement Chrysalis lost their rights to any new recordings by Spandau Ballet, who then signed to CBS Records in 1986.[10]

For their CBS debut, the band "wanted a bigger, meatier sound, one more suitable to the arenas we were now playing."[11] This desire to expand their sound began during the True tour when the band noticed that their chemistry on stage had improved. They decided back then to have their next album capture that feeling of performing live.[12][d] They continued working with True album co-producers Tony Swain and Steve Jolley on its follow-up, Parade, but Kemp felt that album failed to achieve the new sound they were after. In an interview with Number One magazine in 1986, he reasoned, "I think we were a bit afraid of making a big jump after True. The trouble was that Parade the record wasn't like we did it live. People went home and were disappointed by the record."[13]

We're a rock band now.

– Gary Kemp in 1986[13]

The band spent time in Dublin,[14][e] and Kemp began writing the songs for their next album there over the course of six months in 1985.[15][f] During that time, they socialized with the members of Def Leppard, who were also living there.[16][g] Kemp credited them for influencing the arena rock sound on the album.[17]: 2:41 [h] He also credited Live Aid because he felt it made fans want to see live performances, explaining, "People are sick of sitting at home watching pretty people in videos. They want to get out of their homes and be part of it."[15]

I think it's our best album because we were playing so well on it.

– Gary Kemp in 2017[18]

Spandau Ballet decided to try co-producing with someone else once they changed labels[11][i] and chose Gary Langan, a recording engineer they met while working with Trevor Horn.[11][j] Kemp had high praise for Langan's work with his own band, Art of Noise, as well as ABC and Billy Idol.[18][k] Spandau Ballet decided they would test him out in the role of co-producer of one song for their Parade follow-up to see if they worked well together before committing to an entire album with him in that capacity.[11][l] They recorded that song, "Fight for Ourselves", in the winter of 1986[19][m] at Musicland Studios[20] in Munich and decided to keep Langan on as co-producer for the entire album.[19] In a 2017 documentary discussing the remastering of the album, which came to be called Through the Barricades, Langan told the band, "When I heard the demos, I think my first impression was that you'd grown up," and summarized the demos as "an adult step in writing and moving forward."[17]: 2:22  When Kemp and Langan spoke with about the 2017 reissue, Langan discussed how perfect the offer to do the project was for him at the time in that both he and Kemp wanted to leave behind the style of music they had been doing. He described Kemp's vision for the album as "robust."[18][n] Kemp added, "I think we were entering an era, where it was more about 'the album' than about singles, so much, for us."[18]

Kemp was confident that Through the Barricades achieved the sound of live performance they were wanting. At the time of its release, he explained to Number One,[15]

We've captured a lot of that live feel and raw energy on the new album. There are still a lot of misconceptions about us as a band. That's why we called it Through the Barricades. People still think we're all just posers and we can't play our instruments. They're not convinced until they see us play live.


After the introductory track, the first song on the album is "Cross the Line", which Kemp described as "much more arena rock for Spandau." He credits their time with Def Leppard as having been his main influence in writing it.[17]: 2:41 

Kemp wrote "Virgin" (originally titled "We Are Virgin") in response to seeing the "harmful" influence that television had on the children of the band's lead singer Tony Hadley.[21][o] The band's manager, Steve Dagger, suggested performing it at Live Aid, and the band agreed, thinking such a great amount of exposure to a new song was a good idea. In retrospect, however, Kemp felt they should have only performed their hit songs and thought Dagger would agree that choosing to play "Virgin" instead was a mistake.[18][p]

"Through the Barricades"

Belfast native Thomas "Kidso" Reilly, who had worked for Spandau Ballet selling merchandise during their 1983 UK tour, became a casualty of The Troubles later that year when he was gunned down by a British soldier.[22][23] When the band played in Belfast during their 1984 tour, Kemp got a first-hand look at the political climate there and was inspired to write "Through the Barricades", using what he had seen as the backdrop for a love song.[24] Hadley found that the band's emotional attachment to the song made it more difficult for him to record the vocals.[25][q] Kemp later acknowledged that Hadley gave his best performance ever.[26]

In the 2017 documentary, Kemp explained that during the mixing of the album they came up with the idea to use a "cinematic element" of the song as an introductory track for the album. Hadley provided the footsteps heard on the track. Kemp described it as "[v]ery sort of Floyd."[17][r]: 11:26 

Release and commercial performance

Through the Barricades was released on 17 November 1986 and received gold certification from the British Phonographic Industry on 25 November for reaching the 100,000 units of shipment threshold.[27] It entered the UK Albums Chart on 29 November to begin a chart run of 19 weeks, the first of which was spent in its peak position at number 7.[28] It also got as high as number 1 in Italy,[29] number 3 in the Netherlands,[30] number 6 on the European Albums chart[31] and in Iceland,[32] number 8 in Norway,[33] number 9 in Germany,[34] number 25 in Sweden[35] and Switzerland,[36] number 26 in Australia,[37] number 27 in Finland,[38] number 48 in New Zealand,[39] number 79 in Japan,[40] and number 84 in Canada.[41] In the US the album was released on 20 March 1987.[42] On 6 May of that year it received platinum certification in the UK for reaching shipment of 300,000 units.[27]

The 2017 reissue was initially planned as a 30th anniversary edition, but because the master tapes had been recorded using a digital machine that had not been manufactured since the 1980s, it was difficult to find one to use to transfer the recordings. Because of the delay, they missed the deadline they needed to release the reissue the previous year.[18][s]


Professional ratings
Review scores
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[44]

At the time of its release Through the Barricades received mixed reviews from the North American trade magazines, some of which still thought the band's focus was on dance music and never acknowledged their transition to rock. RPM insisted that "Fight for Ourselves" "can definitely ignite dance floors".[45] Cashbox only wrote, "Spandau teams with Art of Noise studio wiz Langan for a sonic tour de force of melodic, stimulating dance music."[46] Billboard, however, was critical of the change, noting that "problems arise … when band ventures into harder-rockin' territory--a heavier touch from Art of Noise member Langan might have helped pull it off."[47]

The UK music magazines also had a mixed response. Number One's Karen Swayne wrote that both the title song and the album showed that Kemp "still has a way with a catchy chorus and a sure commercial instinct".[48] Vici MacDonald of Smash Hits gave two ratings in her review: "(Music: 7 out of 10; Lyrics: 2 out of 10)". She thought the lyrics were "terrible" but found the music "extremely spirited".[49] Record Mirror's Roger Morton also felt the need to provide two ratings: "4 out of 5 for presentation; 1 out of 5 for daring". He opined that the songs were "ultimately neutered by the self-conscious classiness of it all".[50]

Retrospective reviews were mostly critical. Paul Evans wrote a brief summary review of most of the Spandau Ballet album discography in The Rolling Stone Album Guide and gave Through the Barricades one and a half stars out of five, citing that the band "took a bizarre turn toward arena rock and power ballads."[44] In a review for AllMusic, Dan LeRoy wrote, "Rocking up Spandau Ballet's smooth white-boy soul, Through the Barricades manages to avoid utter disaster via the tuneful creations of songwriter/guitarist Gary Kemp." LeRoy argued "the production and mix prove the undoing of this effort. Most of the tunes demand guitar and drum bombast; instead, the riff-rocking 'Cross the Line' and 'Fight for Ourselves', in particular, are undercut by the polite-sounding rhythm section." He praised the title-track, which he said "became a deserved hit."[43]


"Fight for Ourselves" was released as a 7-inch single in the UK on 14 July 1986[51] and peaked at number 15, making it their first lead single from any album not to make the top 10 there.[52] While it did chart higher in Ireland, Italy and Spain and on the European Hot 100, its peak positions in other countries were mostly lower than that of the UK.[t] Lead singer Tony Hadley wrote in his 2004 autobiography To Cut a Long Story Short that the mostly unimpressive numbers "hardly squared with our hopes of global success".[62] Critics were mostly negative in their reviews. Although one described it as a "knockout",[63] others summed it up as "crummy"[64] and "absurdly paranoiac".[65]

"Through the Barricades" was released in the UK on 27 October 1986[66] and peaked at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart.[52] Although the band thought it would be successful, they were disappointed that it did not chart higher there.[67][u] It made the top 10 in several other countries[v] and received Silver certification from the British Phonographic Industry on 2 April 2021 for reaching the 200,000 units of shipment threshold.[27] In the US, Cashbox magazine reviewed the song in its Single Releases column in its 20 June 1987 issue and recommended the single to retailers and radio stations.[76] Opinions again varied overall, however, with one reviewer calling it the "best song" on the album[43] and another concluding that "even the title song's beautifully crafted, doubtlessly sincere lament for Northern Ireland ends up sounding bogus".[50]

"How Many Lies" was released in the UK on 2 February 1987[77] and peaked at number 34 on the UK Singles Chart.[52] It charted higher in most of the handful of countries in which it found success.[w] In the US, Billboard[84] and Cash Box[85] magazines noted in their respective 21 March 1987 reviews of the song for US retailers and radio stations that "How Many Lies" was the first single released there from the Through the Barricades album. This song also elicited a variety of comments, with one critic labeling it "a masterpiece",[86] another "The Pits".[87]


Dagger was especially bothered by how little promotion the album received from CBS in America. Kemp found their disinterest "ironic, given America was the reason we'd joined them in the first place". He told Dagger he blamed himself for not having repeatedly written reworkings of "True" to maintain their success.[88][x]

In his autobiography Kemp speculated as to when the first signs that the band would break up began.[89][y] He thought it was their time recording the album in France at Miraval[89][z] when he was reunited with Dominic Anciano, with whom the band had worked on videos, and Ray Burdis, a classmate Kemp and his brother Martin, the band's bassist, knew from their time at the Anna Scher Theatre School. Anciano was there to hear the songs the band was interested in making into music videos. Burdis came to discuss his desire to have the Kemp brothers portray twin gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray in what would be the 1990 film The Krays.[90] Their choice to participate in the film meant they were away from the studio as the band worked on their next album, Heart Like a Sky, which caused a rift between band members.[88][aa] Kemp wrote, "For the rest of the band, the movie must have felt as though we were being unfaithful towards them. For my part, I felt they were being unfair, given all the commitment to the band I'd shown over the years."[88]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Gary Kemp

1."Barricades ‒ Introduction"1:17
2."Cross the Line"4:07
3."Man in Chains"5:40
4."How Many Lies?"5:21
6."Fight for Ourselves"4:22
8."Snakes and Lovers"4:36
9."Through the Barricades"5:58
2017 remastered edition bonus tracks
10."Fight For Ourselves" (Extended Remix)7:27
11."Fight... The Heartache"4:12
12."Through The Barricades" (Extended Version)7:09
13."Cross The Line" (Extended Version)6:17
14."How Many Lies?" (Instrumental)5:24
15."Fight The Heartache" (Alternate Version)3:17
16."Through The Barricades" (Original One Track Gary Kemp Vocal Guide Demo)4:52




Certifications for Through the Barricades
RegionCertificationCertified units/sales
Netherlands (NVPI)[95]Gold50,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[96]Gold50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[27]Platinum300,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "I'm glad 'Gold' is going to do well over here; it's shaking off the enigma of (the song) 'True'. It's selling us as a band. The thing that worried us about America is people didn't know Spandau Ballet, they knew 'True' … People who only know Spandau Ballet for the soft focus image on 'True' ... well, we wanted to come over and show ourselves with all our hard edges, transport our history over to America."[6]
  2. ^ "'Communication' and 'Only When You Leave' had fallen away early."[8]
  3. ^ "The spat between Wright and Ellis, the two company owners, was worsening and it seemed to us we were being affected like the children of a disintegrating marriage."[8]
  4. ^ "While we were on tour last year we really gelled together as a unit,… and we wanted to get some of that feeling into this LP. True was very different live from on record. With this LP we didn't want to have such a large gap."[12]
  5. ^ "The best time we had was together in Dublin."[14]
  6. ^ "Spandau's 17th single, a song about love across the Protestant and Catholic divides of Northern Ireland written, like the album, in Dublin during six months of last year, is as far removed from the pleasure-loving, soul boy days of 'Chant No. 1' as possible."[15]
  7. ^ "Dublin was full of musicians, and we spent days with Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Def Leppard, who were both living there."[16]
  8. ^ Gary Kemp: "'Cross the Line' is the opener, and it's much more arena rock for Spandau. And I think it may have had something to do with who we were hanging out with in Dublin." Steve Norman: "Def Leppard!"[17]
  9. ^ "We wanted to move on from Swain and Jolley[.]"[11]
  10. ^ "An engineer cum co-producer was what we were after and Gary Langan was our first choice. He'd been Trevor's engineer for years and had worked with us on the fateful Pleasure Project."[11]
  11. ^ "Gary had worked with people like Billy Idol, the Art of Noise and we'd worked with him with Trevor Horn. He'd done that Beauty Stab album for ABC, which I though sounded great. Gary was a great, great engineer … the best engineer in the world."[18]
  12. ^ "We would go back to Munich and record one track to see how things went. If it worked, we'd take on the album with him."[11]
  13. ^ "Working in Germany in the wintery new year of 1986, we got off to a great start with the song 'Fight For Ourselves' and rubber-stamped Langan through into continuing the co-production of the whole album with us."[19]
  14. ^ "This was a time when Gary wanted to change direction and it was about doing the tour. There was this whole vision and it did need to be robust. And it was somewhere where I wanted to go. All that time [when I worked] with Trevor Horn was really amazing pop, but I now wanted to go and do something different."[18]
  15. ^ "'We Are Virgin', which we performed at Live Aid, is about Tony's kids. I saw him with his children in Ireland, which must be the most frightening situation for them ever. And it's frightening watching them: they're like little sponges that soak up and imitate everything they see. You think: my God, how much should you protect a child that's sitting in front of the TV watching everything from News at Ten to The A-Team? There's so much harmful junk… So 'We Are Virgin' is an anthem for them."[21]
  16. ^ "Yes, we should have done what Queen had done and did a medley of our hits, because we had enough, but I think [manager] Steve Dagger will say that it was one of his very, very few mistakes in the history of his management career, when he suggested it. We thought 'Virgin' was a really strong song – I don't think we'd written 'Fight For Ourselves' at that point, it was the first one I'd written – and we decided to debut a song and get some coverage out of it. And that was a real mistake, of course it was."[18]
  17. ^ "When we recorded it there was a lot of pressure to get it right. I remember working on the vocals in the studio at Musicland, as Gary and the others watched from the control room. It was incredibly off-putting, everyone going on about the sentiment of the song, and how important it was."[25]
  18. ^ Gary Kemp: "And it was not until the mix that we then thought, you know, what would be a great idea is if we took an element, a sort of cinematic element of '[Through the] Barricades' and had that at the beginning as an intro…" Gary Langan: "Like a little overture." Gary Kemp: "Yeah, like a little overture, and we decided to have some footsteps. Very sort of [Pink] Floyd. And who was that? Was that Tony?" Steve Norman: "Yeah."[17]
  19. ^ Gary Kemp: "To be honest, I wanted to get it out last year for the 30th anniversary, because we'd been doing that on the other packages, but we had a real problem with it because we recorded this on a particular digital machine, that was only in fashion for about a year, it seems. So the masters were all on this particular format (Mitsubishi X50). We couldn't find this particular machine anywhere. There was one in Holland, and then by the time someone tested it, it was broken. In the end, we found one in New York but it really took a few months, and we missed the deadline that we wanted, to get the reissue out on the 30th anniversary."[18]
  20. ^ "Fight for Ourselves" also got as high as number 5 in Italy,[53] number 7 in Ireland,[54] number 10 on the European Hot 100,[55] number 11 in Spain,[56] number 16 in Australia[57] and the Netherlands,[58] number 20 in Belgium,[59] number 23 in Switzerland,[36] number 32 in West Germany[60] and number 33 in New Zealand.[61]
  21. ^ "We were confident it would be a huge hit. When it peaked at Number 6 in November ’86, we were all disappointed. It deserved to be a bigger hit."[67]
  22. ^ "Through the Barricades" also went to number one in Italy[68] and also reached number 2 in Spain,[56] number 3 in the Netherlands,[69] number 4 in Ireland,[70] number 6 on the European Hot 100,[71] number 7 in Norway,[72] number 10 in Belgium,[73] number 14 in West Germany[74] and number 50 in Australia.[75]
  23. ^ "How Many Lies" also reached number 5 in Italy,[78] number 17 in Ireland,[79] number 23 in the Netherlands,[80] number 25 in Belgium,[81] number 32 in Spain,[56] number 66 on the European Hot 100[82] and number 86 in Canada.[83]
  24. ^ "He was haunted by the lack of interest shown by them towards the Barricades album, which was ironic, given America was the reason we'd joined them in the first place. 'It's my fault, Steve,' I told him one day. 'I keep changing our style. I should have just written 'True' over and over again.'"[88]
  25. ^ "As I move back through this decade one question is beginning to circle above me: where did the end start?"[89]
  26. ^ "I think it's here, in Chateau Miraval Studios, Provence, where two young wannabe film producers are arriving, and the end may be about to begin."[89]
  27. ^ "Becoming Ronnie didn't help. I was suddenly looking in two directions outside of the group. More importantly, the process was beginning to infringe upon the band's business. Martin and I were back with Anna Scher and Charles Verrall to do workshops for The Krays, which occasionally meant having to be absent from the recording studio during the making of the album ... it was helping to split the band into two camps, and Dagger was trying to hold us all together."[88]


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  53. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e dischi (in Italian). Retrieved 4 June 2023. Select "Singoli" in the "Tipo" field, type "Fight for Ourselves" in the "Titolo" field and press "cerca".
  54. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Fight for Ourselves". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  55. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3, no. 33. 23 August 1986. p. 16. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 4 June 2023 – via World Radio History.
  56. ^ a b c Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  57. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 286. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  58. ^ "Spandau Ballet – Top 40 Hitdossier-artiesten". Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  59. ^ "Spandau Ballet – Fight For Ourselves –". Ultratop. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  60. ^ "Spandau Ballet – Fight For Ourselves – Offizielle Deutsche Charts". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  61. ^ " – Spandau Ballet – Fight For Ourselves". Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  62. ^ Hadley 2004, p. 188
  63. ^ Andrew Panos (19 July 1986). "Spandau Ballet: Fight for Ourselves". Number One. No. 161. p. 38. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  64. ^ Stuart Bailie (19 July 1986). "Spandau Ballet: Fight for Ourselves". Record Mirror. Vol. 33, no. 29. p. 11. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  65. ^ Wilkinson, Roy (20 December 1986). "The Chart Challenge" (PDF). Sounds.
  66. ^ "Releases" (PDF). Record Mirror. 25 October 1986. p. 3. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  67. ^ a b Hadley 2004, pp. 188–189
  68. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e dischi (in Italian). Retrieved 11 February 2024. Select "Singoli" in the "Tipo" field, type "Through the Barricades" in the "Titolo" field and press "cerca".
  69. ^ "Top 40-Lijst Van Week 1, 1987". Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  70. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Through The Barricades". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  71. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3, no. 50. 20 December 1986. p. 16. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  72. ^ " – Spandau Ballet – Through The Barricades". Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  73. ^ "Spandau Ballet – Through The Barricades –". Ultratop. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  74. ^ "Spandau Ballet – Through The Barricades – Offizielle Deutsche Charts". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  75. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 286. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  76. ^ "Single Releases >Feature Picks >Spandau Ballet – Through the Barricades" (PDF). Cashbox. 20 June 1987. p. 9. Retrieved 9 December 2023.
  77. ^ "News digest". Record Mirror. 31 January 1987. p. 14. Retrieved 12 February 2024 – via
  78. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e dischi (in Italian). Retrieved 11 February 2024. Select "Singoli" in the "Tipo" field, type "How Many Lies" in the "Titolo" field and press "cerca".
  79. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – How Many Lies". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  80. ^ "Spandau Ballet – How Many Lies?". Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  81. ^ "Spandau Ballet – How Many Lies? –". Ultratop. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  82. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 4, no. 9. 7 March 1987. p. 15. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  83. ^ "RPM 100 Singles". RPM. 25 April 1987. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  84. ^ "Reviews > Singles > Pop > Picks > Spandau Ballet – How Many Lies" (PDF). Billboard. 21 March 1987. p. 75. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  85. ^ "Single Releases >Feature Picks >Spandau Ballet – How Many Lies" (PDF). Cashbox. 21 March 1987. p. 9. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  86. ^ Bell, Max (14 February 1987). "Spandau Ballet: How Many Lies". Number One. No. 191. p. 38. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  87. ^ Wilkes, Jane (7 February 1987). "Spandau Ballet: "How Many Lies"". Record Mirror. Vol. 34, no. 6. p. 12. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  88. ^ a b c d e Kemp 2009, p. 258
  89. ^ a b c d Kemp 2009, p. 243
  90. ^ Kemp 2009, p. 244
  91. ^ "Top 100 Albums (January to December 1986)" (PDF). Music Week. 24 January 1987. p. 25. ISSN 0265-1548 – via World Radio History.
  92. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1987" (in Dutch). Dutch Charts. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  93. ^ "European Charts of the Year 1987 – Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 4, no. 51/52. 26 December 1987. p. 35. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  94. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts – 1987" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  95. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Spandau Ballet – Through the Barricades" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 20 September 2019. Enter Through the Barricades in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 1986 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".
  96. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.


  • Hadley, Tony (2004). To Cut a Long Story Short. London: Sidgwick & Jackson. ISBN 978-0-283-07386-1.
  • Kemp, Gary (2009). I Know This Much: From Soho to Spandau. London: Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-0-00-732330-2.


Veröffentlichungen von Spandau Ballet die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

40 Years: The Greatest Hits ¦ Through The Barricades ¦ To Cut A Long Story Short ¦ Parade ¦ Gold: The Best Of Spandau Ballet ¦ True

Spandau Ballet auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Spandau Ballet war eine New-Romantic-Band sowie Pop- und Dance-Band. Sie wurde in den späten 1970er Jahren gegründet und stammt aus dem Londoner Stadtbezirk Islington. Ihre größten Erfolge feierte sie zwischen Herbst 1980 und Frühjahr 1987, darunter waren Hits wie To Cut a Long Story Short, Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On), True, Gold, Through the Barricades und Fight for Ourselves.

Mitte 1990 löste sich die Gruppe auf. Fast 20 Jahre später kehrte die Originalbesetzung im Herbst 2009 wieder mit einem neuen Album und Live-Auftritten zurück.



Die Schulfreunde Gary Kemp und Steve Norman besuchten die Dame Alice Owen’s School im Londoner Stadtteil Islington. Sie teilten das Interesse an Musik und wollten eine Band gründen. Die Band gründete sich 1976 und nannte sich zunächst The Roots, mit Kemp und Norman an der Gitarre. Norman übernahm später Saxofon und Percussion. Später stieß der Mitschüler John Keeble dazu, der Norman kennengelernt hatte, als er sein Schlagzeug im Musikraum der Schule lagerte. Die Drei trafen sich regelmäßig in den Mittagspausen zum Proben. Nach Keeble stieß der Bassist Michael Ellison zur Band. Tony Hadley, ein Bekannter von Norman, übernahm den Gesang und komplettierte das Quintett. Man spielte überwiegend Coverversionen etwa von den Rolling Stones oder den Kinks.

Nach einigen Monaten wurde Michael Ellison am Bass durch Richard Miller ersetzt, bis zuletzt Gary Kemps Bruder Martin Kemp einige Jahre später zur Band stieß und die Rolle des Bassisten übernahm. Zu dieser Zeit hatten die Gruppe bereits einige Live-Erfahrung gesammelt. Steve Dagger, ein gemeinsamer Freund der Bandmitglieder, wurde von Gary Kemp und Norman gebeten, das Management zu übernehmen. Dagger wurde schnell zum integralen Bestandteil des beginnenden und dauerhaften Erfolgs. Die Band benannte sich 1976[1] zunächst in The Makers, später in The Cut und dann in The Gentry um.[2]

Erfolge als Spandau Ballet

1979 änderten sie den Namen schließlich in Spandau Ballet. Der Journalist Robert Elms, der mit der Band befreundet war und für das britische Modemagazin The Face schrieb, sah diesen Namen an der Wand einer Toilette in einem Berliner Nachtklub im Zusammenhang mit dem Kriegsverbrechergefängnis in Berlin-Spandau, was die Musiker zu ihrem Bandnamen inspirierte. (Eine andere Erklärung ist die Übernahme eines sarkastischen militärischen Ausdruckes aus dem Ersten Weltkrieg. Alliierte Soldaten nannten das Bewegen von Leichen, die im Stacheldraht von Schützengrabensystemen hängend von deutschen Spandau-MGs getroffen wurden, „Spandau-Ballett“.[3]). Hinter der Umbenennung verbarg sich aber kein politischer Ansatz, im Gegenteil, die Gruppe gab sich zu Beginn ihrer Karriere betont unpolitisch. Der Musikstil wechselte ins Elektronische, als die Bandmitglieder häufig die Londoner Clubszene um das „Sally's“ und das „Blitz“ besuchten, wo sie mit der Musik von Kraftwerk und Telex in Kontakt kamen. Im „Blitz“ wurde die Modebewegung der New Romantics geboren, die sich selbst zunächst Blitz-Kids nannten.

Spandau Ballet war eine der ersten Bands dieser Musik- und Modebewegung. Die Band, die durch die Kontakte mit den angesagten Clubs bereits zu Beginn ihrer Laufbahn dort auftreten konnte, erspielte sich schnell eine große lokale Fangemeinde. Die ersten Auftritte der Band, beginnend am 17. November 1979 auf einer Privatfeier und organisiert vom eigentlichen Initiator der Band, dem Manager und Clubbesitzer Steve Dagger,[1] wurden durch Mundpropaganda gezielt in Clubs lanciert, ohne die Musikpresse oder interessierte Plattenfirmen einzuladen und um die „Rockisten“ zu verärgern, wie der Auftritt im Scala Kino im März 1980. (Ende 1979 hatte die Band von Chris Blackwell, dem Chef von Island Records, einen Plattenvertrag angeboten bekommen, den die Musiker jedoch ablehnten, weil sie eine eigene Plattenfirma ins Leben rufen wollten[1]). Dagger versendete auch keine Demobänder der Band und beeinflusste die Kritiken der Musikpresse durch gezielte Informationen. So schickte er Robert Elms mit einer Kritik zum NME und Barry Cain zum Record Mirror. Nach der Ausstrahlung der halbstündigen Dokumentation 20th Century Box für den Privatkanal London Weekend bemühten sich mehrere Major-Plattenlabel nach nur acht Auftritten der Band um einen Vertrag. Für Spandau Ballet kamen nur CBS und Chrysalis in die engere Wahl. Chrysalis bot eine Beteiligung von 14 % statt der üblichen 8 % und bekam den Zuschlag.[4] Vertraglich war dabei der Vertrieb des bandeigenen Labels Reformation durch Chrysalis Records geregelt.[1]

Mit der Unterzeichnung des Plattenvertrages im April 1980 kam sehr schnell der Erfolg. Die erste Single To Cut a Long Story Short schaffte es im November 1980 in nur zwei Wochen nach der Veröffentlichung in die britischen Charts und erreichte Platz 5, ebenso ihre erste LP Journeys to Glory (1981), die bereits zehn Tage nach den Studioaufnahmen veröffentlicht wurde. Die Alben Journeys to Glory und Diamond (1982) wurden vom Elektroniktüftler Richard James Burgess produziert, der auch am Sound der Band Visage beteiligt war, die ebenfalls zu den New Romantics zählen. Burgess prägte auch den Begriff „New Romantics“.[5]

Mit dem im Frühjahr 1983 von Tony Swain und Steve Jolley produzierten Album True und der gleichnamigen Single, die beide die Chartspitze in Großbritannien erreichten, stellte sich dann auch der langersehnte Erfolg jenseits des Atlantiks und in Asien ein. Swain und Jolley veränderten den Sound der Band von den für New-Romantic-Bands obligatorischen Synthesizern hin zum souligen Pop, der von Hadleys Stimme dominiert war. Es folgte das, wie die seit 1981 entstandenen Alben, „in einem gefälligen Disco-Stil“ gehaltene Top-10-Album Parade (1984); über belanglose Dance-Music deutlich hinausgehend schließlich die LP Through the Barricades (1986).[1] Allein in Großbritannien konnten sie zehn Singles in die Top Ten der Charts bringen, neben den genannten auch Musclebound/Glow, Chant No. 1 (Don’t Need This Pressure On), Instinction, Lifeline, Gold, Only When You Leave, I’ll Fly for You und Through the Barricades.

Ende 1984 war die Band an den Aufnahmen der Band-Aid-Single Do They Know It’s Christmas? beteiligt und nahm 1985 am Live-Aid-Projekt von Bob Geldof teil. Sie traten dort im Londoner Wembley-Stadion auf. Ende 1985 war die erfolgreiche LP The Singles Collection mit sämtlichen Single-Hits der Gruppe erschienen.

Nach Erscheinen der routinierte Pop- und Dance-Songs enthaltenden Platte Heart Like a Sky im Spätsommer 1989 begann der Erfolg zu bröckeln. Sie floppte für ihre Verhältnisse, auch wenn die LP und die Single-Auskopplungen Raw und Be Free With Your Love in den oberen Charts landeten.[1] Nach internen Zerwürfnissen, die teils auch vor Gericht ausgetragen wurden, ging man im Jahr darauf getrennte Wege.

Getrennte Wege und Reunion

Tony Hadley veröffentlichte im Frühjahr 1992 seine erste Soloplatte, und die Kemp-Brüder widmeten sich ab 1990 ihrer Schauspielkarriere. Für ihr Mitwirken als Hauptdarsteller in dem englischen Film The Krays von Peter Medak über die Kray-Zwillinge ernteten sie 1991 sehr gute Kritiken.

Gary Kemp spielte 1992 im Film Bodyguard eine Nebenrolle, Martin Kemp war in der britischen Seifenoper EastEnders zu sehen.

Gegen Ende der 1980er-Jahre, als die New Romantic-Welle verebbt war, erinnerte sich Gary Kemp an seine Kindheit im Londoner East End und an die Arbeiterklasse, der er entstammte. Er beteiligte sich am Projekt „Red Wedge“, das von Paul Weller ins Leben gerufen worden war und Jugendliche dazu bringen wollte, sich für (sozialdemokratische) Politik zu interessieren und zu engagieren.

Im März 2009 verkündete die Originalbesetzung von Spandau Ballet ihr Comeback und stand nach knapp 20 Jahren am 13. Oktober 2009 in Dublin erstmals wieder gemeinsam auf der Bühne. Für das im Herbst 2009 erschienene Album Once More wurden viele alte Hits mit neuem Arrangement aufgenommen. Die Welttournee führte die Band im März 2010 auch nach München, Berlin und Düsseldorf.

Am 31. Juli 2014 gab die Band auf ihrer Website bekannt, zusammen mit dem britischen Musikproduzenten Trevor Horn an einem neuen Album zu arbeiten.

Im Juli 2017 gab Hadley per Twitter seinen Ausstieg aus der Band bekannt.[6]

Als neuer Sänger der Band wurde Ross William Wild in die Band genommen, die er allerdings im Frühjahr 2019 zugunsten eigener musikalischer Werke wieder verließ.[7] Daraufhin kam es zur erneuten Auflösung der Band.



JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[8]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
1981Journeys to GloryUK5

(29 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 6. März 1981

(17 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 5. März 1982

(42 Wo.)DE

(90 Wo.)UK
(4 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 4. März 1983
(19 Wo.)DE
(9 Wo.)CH

(39 Wo.)UK
(16 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 25. Mai 1984
1986Through the BarricadesDE9
(23 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)CH

(19 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 21. November 1986
1989Heart Like a SkyDE29
(11 Wo.)DE
(3 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 23. September 1989
2009Once MoreDE30
(3 Wo.)DE

(5 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 19. Oktober 2009

grau schraffiert: keine Chartdaten aus diesem Jahr verfügbar


  • 2005: Live from the N. E. C. (2 CDs)


JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[8]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
1985The Singles CollectionUK3

(54 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 4. November 1985
1991The Best of Spandau BalletUK44

(3 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 16. September 1991
2000Gold – The Best of Spandau BalletUK7

(30 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 4. September 2000
2014The Story –
The Very Best of Spandau Ballet

(14 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 10. Oktober 2014
202040 Years – The Greatest HitsUK15

(4 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 27. November 2020

Weitere Kompilationen

  • 1986: The Twelve Inch Mixes
  • 1989: The Best Of
  • 1994: Greatest Hits
  • 1996: The Best of Spandau Ballet
  • 1997: The Collection
  • 2002: Reformation
  • 2003: The Collection II
  • 2005: The Essential
  • 2012: The Albums 1980–84 (Box mit 4 CDs)


Höchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[8]
(Jahr, Titel, Album, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
1980To Cut a Long Story Short
Journeys to Glory

(11 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 3. November 1980
1981The Freeze
Journeys to Glory
(8 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 12. Januar 1981
Journeys to Glory
(10 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 23. März 1981
Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)

(11 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 6. Juli 1981
Paint Me Down
(5 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 2. November 1981
1982She Loved Like Diamond
(4 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 11. Januar 1982
(10 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 29. März 1982
(9 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 20. September 1982
(10 Wo.)UK
(7 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 31. Januar 1983
(17 Wo.)DE
(7 Wo.)CH

(15 Wo.)UK
(18 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 11. April 1983
(16 Wo.)DE

(9 Wo.)UK
(12 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 1. August 1983
(6 Wo.)DE
Erstveröffentlichung: November 1983
1984Only When You Leave
(12 Wo.)DE
(7 Wo.)CH
(13 Wo.)UK
(12 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 18. Mai 1984
I’ll Fly for You
(12 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 13. August 1984
Highly Strung
(8 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 8. Oktober 1984
Round and Round
(8 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 26. November 1984
1986Fight for Ourselves
Through the Barricades
(10 Wo.)DE
(5 Wo.)CH
(7 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 14. Juli 1986
Through the Barricades
Through the Barricades
(13 Wo.)DE

(10 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 27. Oktober 1986
1987How Many Lies?
Through the Barricades
(4 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 2. Februar 1987
Heart Like a Sky
(3 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 22. August 1988
1989Be Free with Your Love
Heart Like a Sky
(13 Wo.)DE
(4 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 14. August 1989
Empty Spaces
Heart Like a Sky
(2 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 13. November 1989
1990Crashed into Love
Heart Like a Sky
(2 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 12. Februar 1990
2009Once More
Once More
(1 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 19. Oktober 2009

Weitere Singles

  • 1985: The Smash Hits Interview (Flexi)
  • 1987: To Cut a Long Story Short
  • 2000: Gold (The Sun Mixes)
  • 2014: This Is the Love (VÖ: 3. Oktober)
  • 2015: Gold (Live 1983)


  • 1981: The Video Collection
  • 1987: Over Britain – Live in London!
  • 1990: Live
  • 1991: The Best of Spandau Ballet
  • 2004: Live from the N. E. C.
  • 2009: The Reformation Tour 2009: Live at the O2 (UK:GoldGold)
  • 2014: Soul Boys of the Western World

Auszeichnungen für Musikverkäufe

Goldene Schallplatte

  • Australien Australien
    • 1984: für das Album Parade
  • Kanada Kanada
    • 1983: für die Single True
  • Italien Italien
    • 2015: für das Album Once More
    • 2019: für die Single Through the Barricades
  • Japan Japan
    • 1985: für das Album Parade
  • Neuseeland Neuseeland
    • 1981: für das Album Journeys to Glory[9]
  • Niederlande Niederlande
    • 1986: für das Album Through the Barricades
  • Spanien Spanien
    • 1983: für das Album True
    • 1987: für das Album Through the Barricades
    • 1990: für das Album Heart Like a Sky
    • 2024: für die Single True


  • Kanada Kanada
    • 1983: für das Album Spandau Ballet
  • Neuseeland Neuseeland
    • 1985: für das Album Parade[9]
    • 1986: für das Album The Singles Collection
  • Niederlande Niederlande
    • 1983: für das Album True
    • 1984: für das Album Parade
  • Spanien Spanien
    • 2001: für das Album Gold – The Best of Spandau Ballet

2× Platin-Schallplatte

Anmerkung: Auszeichnungen in Ländern aus den Charttabellen bzw. Chartboxen sind in ebendiesen zu finden.

Land/RegionAus­zeich­nung­en für Mu­sik­ver­käu­fe
(Land/Region, Auszeichnungen, Verkäufe, Quellen)
Silber Gold PlatinVer­käu­feQuel­len
 Australien (ARIA)0! S Gold10! (PDF-Datei, S. 3)
 Deutschland (BVMI)0! S Gold10!
 Italien (FIMI)0! S 2× Gold20!
 Japan (RIAJ)0! S Gold10! (PDF-Datei, S. 5)
 Kanada (MC)0! S Gold1
 Neuseeland (RMNZ)0! S Gold1 4×
 Niederlande (NVPI)0! S Gold1 2×
 Spanien (Promusicae)0! S 4× Gold4 ES2
 Vereinigtes Königreich (BPI) 5× Silber5 5× Gold5 8×
Insgesamt 5× Silber5 17× Gold17 16× Platin16


  • Martin Kemp: True – The Autobiography of Martin Kemp. Orion, London 2000, ISBN 0-7528-3769-9.
  • Tony Hadley: To Cut a Long Story Short – An Autobiography. Sigdwick & Jackson, London 2004, ISBN 0-283-07386-1.
  • Gary Kemp: I Know This Much; From Soho to Spandau. Forth Estate, London 2009, ISBN 978-0-00-732330-2.




  1. a b c d e f Wieland Harms: The Unplugged Guitar Book 2. Gerig, 1996, ISBN 3-87252-250-7, S. 77.
  2. New Page 1. Abgerufen am 25. September 2021.
  3. Warlord Games (2016). Bolt Action: Armies of Germany. 2nd Edition. Bloomsbury, ISBN 1-4728-1780-X, S. 33.
  4. Spandau Ballet, the Blitz kids and the birth of the New Romantics. In: 4. Oktober 2009, abgerufen am 1. Oktober 2010 (englisch).
  5. FASHION / The British supermarket of style. In: Abgerufen am 1. Oktober 2010 (englisch).
  6. Heul! Tony Hadley verlässt Spandau Ballet. 3. Juli 2017, abgerufen am 25. September 2021 (deutsch).
  7. Abgerufen am 5. Juli 2022.
  8. a b c Chartquellen: DE CH UK US
  9. a b c Dean Scapolo: The Complete New Zealand Music Charts: 1966 – 2006. Maurienne House, 2007, ISBN 978-1-877443-00-8 (englisch).

Spandau Ballet ¦ Through The Barricades
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