Spandau Ballet

The Story: The Very Best of Spandau Ballet

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Initially, this 2014 anthology very closely resembles 2000's Gold, which is generally considered the essential set among the multitude of Spandau Ballet compilations. In addition to their best-known 80's hits ("True," "Only When You Leave," "Musclebound," "Through the Barricades"), The Story is updated with their 2009 single "Once More" from the reunion album of the same name. Hardcore fans will likely already own most of these tracks, though it is a worthy introduction to the London-based new romantics, demonstrating all the style and might that made them stars three decades prior. The real draw here is the addition of three new songs recorded with legendary producer Trevor Horn, which are available only on this release. Eschewing the acoustic style they had adopted on their 2009 material, these new songs represent a return to classic, soulful form. The single "This Is the Love" is a richly realized, sax-laden pop gem that could have been made during their mid-80's heyday. Likewise, the other two tracks, "Steal" and "Soul Boy," are also of surprisingly good craftsmanship, showing that both the group and Horn are still capable of producing vital material. As far as career-spanning anthologies that boast new tracks go, this one holds up quite well.

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