80s ALBUM FILLERS OR POTENTIAL SINGLES: PART 1: SPANDAU BALLET

This is a new series, I will listen to all the 80s albums released by the decade’s artists and judge the songs that were not singles (in the UK) from an album.  I will give my opinion whether the remaining songs were just fillers or could have been singles.  How many singles I can find will determine the final rating of how good the album is as a whole.  Below 49% = Poor/50-64% = Average/65-79% = Very Good/80-100% = Excellent.  There will be a different artist each blog.  I am a big fan of all the artists I review in this series, so I have to think hard if the song would wow the chart public, even if they are my favourite songs!

PART 1:SPANDAU BALLET

Members – Tony Hadley (Lead Vocals/Synths) /Gary Kemp (Guitar/Keyboards/Backing Vocals)/Martin Kemp (Bass) /John Keeble (Drums/Backing Vocals)/Steve Norman (Sax/Guitar/Percussion).

Other MembersPrevious – Michael Ellison (Bass)/Richard Miller (Bass).

JOURNEYS TO GLORY(#5) (1981)

Tracks
To Cut A Long Story Short/Reformation/Mandolin/Musclebound/Age of Blows/The Freeze/Confused/Toys.

Singles –
To Cut A Long Story Short (#5)/Musclebound (#10)/The Freeze (#17).

Potential Singles
Mandolin – Easily fits in with the medieval New Romantic feel of the released singles with a funky bassline.

Confused – The guitars remind me a little of the later Big Country only on a lesser scale.  Very tuneful and more poppy upbeat than the rest of the album.

Toys – One of my favourite tracks, anthemic New Age Rock and perfect for the star of the 80s a-la Ultravox with superb vocals from Tony Hadley.

Fillers
Reformation (A little repetitive)/Age of Blows (Unremarkable instrumental, drags a little).

FINAL ALBUM RATING
Very good album! 6 singles from 8 tracks. 75/100.

DIAMOND (#15) (1982) –

Tracks
Chant No 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)/Instinction/Paint Me Down/Coffee Club/She Loved Like Diamond/Pharaoh/Innocence and Science/Missionary.

Singles
Chant No 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) (#3)/Instinction (#10)/Paint Me Down (#30)/She Loved Like Diamond (#49).

Potential Singles
NONE

Fillers
Coffee Club (Although some fans’ favourite, not mine, monotonous chorus and sounds like a very rough demo)/Pharaoh (See above!)/Innocence and Science (Relaxing mood music, not for the charts)/Missionary (Too long, I’m not sure what it’s meant to be).

FINAL ALBUM RATING
Average album! 4 singles from 8 tracks. 50/100.

TRUE (#1) (1983) –

Tracks
Pleasure/Communication/Code Of Love/Gold/Lifeline/Heaven Is A Secret/Foundation/True.

Singles
Communication (#12)/True (#1)/Gold (#2)/Lifeline (#7).

Potential Singles
Pleasure – Classy feel, snappy and catchy chorus, matches perfectly with the singles released.

Heaven Is A Secret – Just enough to be a hit, great lyrics and memorable chorus.

Foundation – Could have been a summer hit I think. Easy chorus and upbeat enough.

Fillers
Code Of Love (Nice, pleasant song but wouldn’t be a hit).

FINAL ALBUM RATING
Excellent album! 7 singles from 8 tracks. 87.5/100.

PARADE (#2)  (1984) –

Tracks
Only When You Leave/Highly Strung/I’ll Fly For You/Nature Of The Beast/Revenge For Love/Always In The Back Of My Mind/With The Pride/Round And Round.

Singles
Only When You Leave (#3)/Highly Strung (#15)/I’ll Fly For You (#9)/Round And Round (#18).

Potential Singles
With The Pride – Dramatic enough to be a hit and reflects the singles released.

Fillers
Nature Of The Beast (Not very memorable and disappointing Spandau track for me)/Revenge For Love (Nothing grips the listener from this)/Always In The Back Of My Mind(Pleasant enough but not great).

FINAL ALBUM RATING
Average album! 5 singles from 8 tracks. 62.5/100.

THROUGH THE BARRICADES (#7) (1986) –

Tracks
Barricades (Intro)/Cross The Line/Man In Chains/How Many Lies?/Virgin/Fight For Ourselves/Swept/Snakes And Lovers/Through The Barricades.

Singles
How Many Lies? (#34)/Fight For Ourselves (#15)/Through The Barricades (#6).

Potential Singles
Cross The Line – Funky guitar Pop, love this song.

Man In Chains – Strong lead and backing vocals, rocky guitars, could have been a smash.

Swept – Has a slight Motown feel if you listen carefully, nice song and great guitars and sax give it some emotion.

Fillers
Barricades (Intro) (Well it IS just an intro)/Virgin (strong vocals by Tony but not enough to grab you as a song)/Snakes And Lovers (Passed me by on first listen).

FINAL ALBUM RATING
Very good album! 6 singles from 9 tracks.  66.6/100.

HEART LIKE A SKY (#31) (1989) –

Tracks
Be Free With Your Love/Crashed Into Love/Big Feeling/A Matter Of Time/Motivator/Raw/Empty Spaces/Windy Town/Handful Of Dust.

Singles
Be Free With Your Love(#42)/Crashed Into Love (#96)/Raw (#47)/Empty Spaces (#94)

Potential Singles
Big Feeling – Reminds me of an 80s Genesis, I’m not sure why).

Motivator – Funky Pop, would be a hit.

Windy Town – A would be hit, similar of Haircut 100 style.

A Handful Of Dust – Powerful vocals carry this to be a hit!

Fillers
A Matter Of Time (unremarkable ballad)/

FINAL ALBUM RATING
Excellent album!  8 singles from 9 tracks.  88.8/100.

My favourite 80s Spandau Ballet tracks?

Top 20 in no particular order –

1   Through The Barricades
2   I’ll Fly For You
3   Round And Round
4   True
5   She Loved Like Diamond
6   Communication
7   Mandolin
8   Musclebound
9   To Cut A Long Story Short
10 Motivator
11 Lifeline
12 Toys
13 Only When You Leave
14 How Many Lies?
15 Instinction
16 Pleasure
17 Chant No 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)
18 Swept
19 Fight For Ourselves
20 Raw

Check back for another 80’s artist review :).

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