20th May – The Number One Album In The UK – 1983 (Spandau Ballet – True)

Album Spandau_Ballet_True

The Number One Album in the UK on the 20th May, 1983 was from Spandau Ballet with their third album True.

Spandau Ballet, originally formed in 1976 and were called The Cut, changing their name to the The Makers as a punk band.

A couple of years later they became a power pop band and changed their name to Gentry.

Robert Elms, a columnist in the early 1980’s for both The Face and NME writing on fashion and music and chronicling the New Romantic movement, was a friend of the band; he suggested that they alter their name to Spandau Ballet after seeing it scrawled on the wall of a nightclub in Berlin.

The name Spandau Ballet refers to Spandau Prison, that was constructed in 1876 and demolished in 1987, which was located in western Berlin.

A positive buzz was building around London on Spandau Ballet, as their sound evolved becoming more electronic due to the influence of bands such as Kraftwerk; which they were hearing whilst frequenting and playing at nightclubs such as Blitz in Covent Garden, London in 1979-1980; where it was credited with launching the New Romantic subculture as it was located between art colleges – St Martin’s School & Central School – where student fashion designers pushed the boundaries of the time.

Spandau Ballet eventually signed to Chrysalis Records after being involved in a major bidding war; their first two albums Journeys to Glory in 1981 and Diamond in 1982, both achieved Gold sales status, and were produced by Richard James Burgess – who throughout his successful career worked with artists such as Adam Ant and Kim Wilde.

The band’s third album was recorded in the Bahamas between October–November 1982 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, produced by Steve Jolley & Tony Swain.

The end result True released on the 4th March, 1983 which broke the band internationally, reaching the upper echelons of charts around the world.

True, the single was a huge worldwide hit, becoming the sixth biggest selling single of the year in the UK, and charting highly in 20 other countries; it is also well known for being included in the coming of age film Sixteen Candles (1984), starring actress Molly Ringwald, with other artists such as Kajagoogoo, Altered Images, Wham! and David Bowie.

A number of other successful singles were released from the True album including Lifeline, Communication, Pleasure and the No. 2 UK hit Gold.

Track listing :

Pleasure – 3:35

Communication – 3:40

Code of Love – 5:11

Gold – 4:51

Lifeline – 3:36

Heaven Is a Secret – 4:27

Foundation – 4:08

True – 6:30

All songs written by Gary Kemp.


Tony Hadley – vocals

Gary Kemp – songwriter, guitar, vocals, keyboards, piano

Martin Kemp – bass

Steve Norman – saxophone, percussion

John Keeble – drums, vocals

Jess Bailey – additional keyboards

Producers – Steve Jolley & Tony Swain


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