To mark the release of Spandau Ballet’s fourth studio album, originally released on 22 June 1984 reaching number two in the UK album chart with big success worldwide.
These reissues have been fully remastered and cut at AIR studios London by award-winning mastering engineer John Webber, under supervision from Gary Kemp and one of the album’s original producers Tony Swain.
Spandau Ballet’s fourth studio album, Parade, is a celebration of the moment when the boys from North London first went global.
The chart-topping success of their previous LP, True, created an unprecedented demand to see the band live not just in the UK, United States and rest of Europe but in Australia, New Zealand and the Far East.
The 1980s second British Pop Invasion was already complete. A staggering 35 percent of the US Billboard singles and album charts was now comprised of British acts including Spandau. The band had replicated home grown Spandaumania with four sell out shows to screaming teens in Los Angeles at The Wilton and The Palace in December ‘83.
For Ivor Novello winning songwriter Gary Kemp this latest collection of songs would provide the soundtrack for a victory lap of honour around the globe with Spandau’s World Parade ‘84 – ‘85 tour. Preparing to step onto a bigger stage a new arena friendly sound was needed.
“With this album I almost saw the new songs more as a device for us to become a live act,” says Gary Kemp. “Somewhere between writing True and Highly Strung we’d become this live band, which was odd because we started out as a band that was very much about not playing live. Now the fact that we were playing bigger venues became an influence on some of the songs, like With the Pride. I kept thinking, how will these songs sound live? I do think we wrote Parade knowing we were about to go on a 10 month tour.”
Reuniting with True’s award winning producers Tony Swain and Steve Jolley (Alison Moyet, Bananarama, Imagination), the band considered recording in LA to consolidate their US success before finally deciding on Musicland, legendary composer/producer Giorgio Moroder’s studio in Munich where Queen were also recording.
The industrial setting with guitars, both electric and acoustic, to the fore shifted the band’s sound from the Marvin Gaye influenced soul of True to the more raucous Highly Strung and sleek rock ballads like Only When You Leave, Round and Round and I’ll Fly For You. The last of these being the song that opened up Italy’s heart to the band with their first Top 10 hit, a love affair that continues to this day.
The accompanying MTV programmed videos also embraced 80s pop royalty’s new jet-set appeal with Highly Strung shot in Hong Kong and I’ll Fly For You shot in New Orleans, both directed by Simon Milne. All four singles were hits worldwide.
By the time Spandau began to play Parade live with a record breaking six sell out nights at London’s Wembley Arena in December ‘84 the group had become part of an even more far reaching pop phenomenon. The original Band Aid line-up topped the charts that Christmas. By the time their Parade tour was complete in ‘85 it was time to step up once again in front of Live Aid’s estimated two billion audience. Parade was the stepping stone to that and the band’s own stadium successes that were still to come.
SPANDAU BALLET PARADE
A1 Only When You Leave
A2 Highly Strung
A3 I’ll Fly For You
A4 Nature Of The Beast
B1 Revenge For Love
B2 Always In The Back Of My Mind
B3 With The Pride
B4 Round And Round