Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spandau Ballet - Parade

Today (May 25th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Parade, the fourth studio album from Spandau Ballet. Here in the US, it spent sixteen weeks on the Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 50. Around the world, it went to number 38 in Greece, number 9 in Sweden and Switzerland, number 8 in New Zealand, number 7 in Germany and Norway, number 2 in the UK, and number 1 in Italy and the Netherlands.

Side one opens with "Only When You Leave". As the first single, it went to number 36 in Italy, number 34 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 26 in Germany, number 20 in the Czech Republic, number 12 in Australia, number 10 in New Zealand, number 8 in Norway, number 5 in Belgium and France, number 4 in Spain, number 3 in the Netherlands and the UK, and number 2 in Ireland. The up-tempo song was one I found myself turning to in my college days whenever I had experienced a break up. The catchy guitar riff and steady beat would counter the emotional pain of the lyrics.

The danceable "Highly Strung", the third single, charted at number 83 in Australia, number 46 in New Zealand, number 18 in Ireland, number 15 in the UK and number 8 in France. This is the song of little Jo, a woman who finds life is pushing her over the edge.

The second single "I'll Fly For You" went to number 38 in Australia, number 35 in New Zealand, number 10 in Ireland, number 9 in the UK and number 6 in Italy. This ballad has a cool jazz swing to it, complete with sweet saxophone.

"Nature of the Beast" starts off slow and distant and then explodes with the second verse. The piano, the percussion and the sax make a powerful combo on this one.

Side two begins with "Revenge For Love", the dark thoughts after a divorce. Again, the lyrics are countered by an up-beat, danceable accompaniment.

"Always In the Back of My Mind" reminds us that, even after a break-up, those that mean the most are not so quickly forgotten.

The mid-tempo "With the Pride" is next. Here, singer Hadley pleads with a former love to be left with at least his pride.

"Round and Round", the closing track, was also the fourth single. It went to number 18 in the UK, number 16 in Australia, number 14 in Spain, number 10 in France, and number 9 in Ireland and Italy. I like the vocal harmonies on this one a lot.

I owned a copy of Parade on vinyl, bought when I got home from finishing my first year of college. By the time I returned to school in the fall, it had already been well-played on my turn-table. When it comes to the Spandau Ballet songs here and on True, I know them inside and out. They are so ingrained into my consciousness.

For my various Spandau Ballet album reviews, please click here.


Mark said...

I had this one on vinyl as well and played it a lot throughout the summer and fall of '84 (much to the chagrin of my college roommate). I've never replaced my vinyl with a digital copy, so I'm heading over to Spotify to listen for the first time in years and determine whether I want to pick up a copy.

Martin Maenza said...

Mark, cool. I have a feeling it will be coming back into your life again. ;)