…. this is a cracking bit of pop music.

mp3 : Spandau Ballet – The Freeze

While making my way through Mad World (see yesterday’s posting),  I got to the chapter on Spandau Ballet which sadly concentrated on the slushy hit single True as it is the song they are best known for over in the States.  But reading it did lead me to dig out my copy of the band’s debut LP Journeys to Glory and give it a spin for the first time in gawd knows how many years. Which is where I realised just how great a song The Freeze is.

It was the second single lifted from the LP, reaching #17 back in early 1981.

The band did of course go onto to become one of the most dull and bland outfits of the 80s and a song like The Freeze is a long way removed from the sort of sounds they are more associated with.  I reckon that if they had broken up on the back of the debut LP then many a modern day hipster would be proclaiming it, and especially this track, as one of the great influencing records of the era.

I can recall a remix version of this song getting played a lot in the sorts of Glasgow discos that I frequented among other great electronic-pop tracks of the day by the likes of OMD, Soft Cell, Simple Minds, Heaven 17, Yazoo, Associates, Human League and Magazine. Turns out it was the b-side of the 12″ and I’ve managed to procure a copy via fishing around on t’internet:-

mp3 : Spandau Ballet – The Freeze (version)


11 thoughts on “TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT….

  1. I have the first single and a couple of others. You’re right about the early songs being well worth a listen. To my ears they were a bit different and original, and it is a pity that they somehow became that terrible crooning pop band only a short while later.

  2. I liked their early stuff such as “Glow” , it’s different in a New Romantic sort of way. That’s why “Gold” or “True” are absent on my blog, crooning rubbish!

  3. Chant Number One was excellent too down the clubs in the 80’s.
    I’m not a huge fan but caught the band playing a midnight greatest hits set in a small bar in Austin at SXSW back in March from a front row spot and it was fantastic.

  4. Diamond has some great stuff too. The singles from the second record weren’t so hot, but the rest of the album is interesting.

  5. Diamond is SB at their height. Journeys To Glory is a great snapshot of the London Blitz at it’s most intense and it’s an album where ideas were forming.
    True is a perfect example of calculation paying off. And while it may not move most people now and sounds “of it’s time” – there are some highlights for me – Gold being one of them.
    Parade is the album which sorted out the grab for dollars and brought back musicianship for these ears, but after Parade, SB becomes an unnecessary unit.

  6. Spandau Ballet, Human League, Simple Minds – bands who made some brilliant music in the late 70s/early 80s, then turned shit. Money and America to blame in each case!

  7. I like Diamond as well – completely up its own arse but that is part of its attraction. Reckon the failure of it sales wise and the success of the lush T Horn remix of instinction was the cause of them abandoning any kind of experimentation and heading down the bland cul de sac they ended up in

  8. Both Journeys To Glory and Diamond were re-released a few years back with all sorts of 12′ mixes remixes and live versions. The ‘club’ versions of Diamond tracks especially bring to mind my first forays into ‘clubbing.

  9. ‘To cut a long story short’ is a favourite of mine from that era and could always guarentee a full dance floor when I was DJing back in the day. Caught them live during the ‘Diamond’ tour and they were great. Sadly all downhill from there.

  10. Journeys to Glory was an exciting album in 1981; the new romantic movement was in full bloom and acts like Visage and Duran Duran gave new meaning to clubbing and wearing lacey tablecloth…Finally saw SB on the Top of The Pops Xmas Special doing a fantastic Chant No. 1; what a great time it was to be young and alive

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