Spandau Ballet

To Cut a Long Story Short

Song Review by

The spiky synth pop of Spandau Ballet's first single, "To Cut a Long Story Short," owes more to the seemingly uncommercial likes of early Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark than to the smooth, soulful pop hits that turned the bandmembers into megastars within the year. Built on not much more than a dirty, overdriven synth sound and a stomping Gary Glitter-like backbeat under Tony Hadley's herky-jerky vocal tics, "To Cut a Long Story Short" is almost minimalist, but it has an infectious, bubblegummy quality that links it to the kind of gloriously dumb glam rock one-hit wonders that undoubtedly helped inspire the future Spandaus at an impressionable age. If the group had never gone on to much, this would likely be considered a minor lost classic of the early-'80s U.K. synth pop scene; as it stands, it's so unlike Spandau Ballet's later, bigger hits that it's largely forgotten.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Journeys to Glory 1981 EMI Music Distribution / Chrysalis Records 3:20
The Singles Collection 1985 Alliance 3:20
The Twelve Inch Mixes 1986 Disky 6:06
Club for Heroes 1992
Various Artists
3:21
Pop & Wave, Vol. 2 1993
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:20
Electricity [Alex] 1994
Various Artists
3:22
Greatest Hits [Capitol] 1995 Capitol 3:22
This Is the 80's [Alex] 1996
Various Artists
WEA International 3:20
Once in a Lifetime 1997
Various Artists
Telstar
1980: 20 Original Chart Hits 1997
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:21
Dance Club Retro, Vol. 1: New Wave 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 6:32
Relax: Ultimate 80's Mix 1998
Various Artists
Polygram 2:52
Retro 80's, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:20
CMJ the Year in Alternative Music 1981 1998
Various Artists
Chronicles / Polygram 3:19
Music for Heroes 1998
Various Artists
Bebutante 3:22
Now: 1980 [2 CD] 1999
Various Artists
Virgin / EMI 3:20
The Collection 1999 EMI Music Distribution 3:22
Totally Pop [1999] 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:20
Original Gold 2000 Disky 3:21
Gold: The Best of Spandau Ballet 2001 Chrysalis Records / Capitol 3:22
Atomic 80's: The Definitive Eighties Album 2001
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:19
Electric Dreams: '80s Synth Pop Classics 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
The Original Electro Album 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:19
Reformation 2003 EMI-Capitol Entertainment Prop. / Capitol / EMI 6:31
Rewind: The Best In Music & Video [Bonus DVD] 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:21
12"/'80s 2005
Various Artists
Family Recordings 6:27
Singles, Rarities & Remixes 2006 EMI Music Distribution 5:57
Essential 80s [EMI Gold] 2007
Various Artists
EMI 3:20
The Original 80s Box Set 2007
Various Artists
EMI 3:22
The Original Electro-Pop Box Set 2007
Various Artists
EMI 3:21
Playlist: Electro 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 3:21
This Is 1980 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 3:19
Once More 2009 Mercury 0:00
Anthems: Electronic '80s 2009
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:19
Essential 2011 EMI Gold 3:21
Greatest Ever! Electric Eighties 2013
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 3:20
The Story: The Very Best of Spandau Ballet 2014 Rhino 3:22
The Other Side of the 80's [Rhino] 2016
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image
Various Artists
Digital 3:21
No Image
Original Soundtrack
Rhino
No Image Parlophone / Warner Music 3:19
The New Romantics [EMI 2009]
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Top of the Pops 1980 [EMI]
Various Artists
EMI 3:20