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Spandau Ballet

Spandau Ballet was a New Romantic band of the 1980s. Gary and Martin Kemp formed the band in 1979 with Steve Norman, John Keeble and Tony Hadley. They began performing and generating positive buzz around London, eventually signing to Island Records and releasing "To Cut a Long Story Short", a British hit in 1980. This was followed by "The Freeze" and "Musclebound" and the well-received album Journeys to Glory.

The followup album Diamond performed poorly, and the band met with veteran producer Trevor Horn, who advised them on how to revamp their image and sound. Horn also took the Diamond album track "Instinction" and gave it a bombastic dance remix that sounded not unlike the work he would later do for Frankie Goes to Hollywood. It was a massive hit.

With newfound confidence and a cleaner, radio-friendly sound, Spandau Ballet finally broke into the mainstream with True (1983). It topped the charts on the both sides of the Atlantic and launched several hit singles. But the followup, Parade (1984), was critically drubbed for failing to move the band's sound forward. Its single "Only When You Leave" became their last American hit.

In 1986 Spandau Ballet signed to Epic Records and released Through the Barricades, which saw the band trying to move away from the pop/soul influences of True and Parade and more towards rock. The title track was a hit single in the UK, but the album did nothing in America. After a hiatus from recording during which the Kemps established themselves as credible actors in the gangster film The Krays, the band released Heart Like a Sky in 1989. The album bombed and Spandau Ballet from whom Gary Kemp was already feeling estranged split up for good.

Martin Kemp went on to land an acting role in the UK soap opera Eastenders, while Tony Hadley floundered trying to establish a solo career. Gary Kemp did a little more acting, appearing in a supporting role in the Kevin Costner hit The Bodyguard, and in 1996 released a critically praised solo album, Little Bruises.