An excellent round-up of the 15 hit singles that, between late 1980 and fall 1984, saw Spandau Ballet transcend every prediction ever levelled at their music, and establish themselves among the most versatile British bands of their era. From the utterly convincing white boy Funk of the early "To Cut A Long Story Short", "The Freeze", "Musclebound" and "Chant No 1", through the bodyswerve to ballad-ville that ushered in the age of "True" and "Gold", and onto the near-anthemic guitar pop of "Only When You Leave" and "Highly Strung", The Singles Collection suffers only from its failure to tell the tale in strict chronological fashion.
Thirty years after their first recordings and almost twenty after they disbanded, british prime new romantics came back with a new CD (containing re-recording of some of their most popular tunes plus a couple of new songs) and a tour in 2009. Recorded live at the famous O2 Arena in London, this DVD caught the band in an inspired night: it's hard to believe they were away for so long, since their perfomance was so hot, tight and, at the same time, so relaxed it seemed they were never apart. They surely didn't lose any of their musicanship. And none of their elegance either, for the matter.
Changing their band name as often as they changed the genre of music they played, Spandau Ballet began as a punk rock band calling themselves The Cut. Shortly after they changed their name to The Makers, and again In 1978 they changed their sound to a more power pop renaming themselves Gentry. Changing their sound once again to a more polished, synth heavy pop with an emphasis on the romantic the band changed their name for a last time to Spandau Ballet after (as the story goes) seeing the name "Spandau Ballet" written on a lavatory wall in a bar in Berlin…
Spandau Ballet were nearing the end of their time as a commercial force when this 74-minute concert documentary was filmed in Birmingham on December 16 and 17 in 1986. However, they were still packing the seats in front of a large, enthusiastic crowd on this well-shot movie, directed by one of the most prominent figures in music documentary-making (Geoff Wonfor, most famous for directing The Beatles Anthology series). It's a straightforward record of a flashy mid-'80s hit pop band in concert, with plenty of shadowy, shifting colored lighting and much slick posing by the fashionably dressed on-stage players. The 13-song set contains a number of their biggest hit singles, including "True," "Gold," "Through the Barricades," "Fight for Ourselves," "Chant No. 1," "To Cut a Long Story Short," and "Lifeline."