In the early '80s, Spandau Ballet arose as one of the darlings of Britain's new romantic movement.
In the early '80s, Spandau Ballet arose as one of the darlings of Britain's new romantic movement. Along with ABC, Duran Duran, and the Human League, the flamboyantly dressed giants of nocturnal posturing catapulted into the international spotlight with a stream of underground dance and mainstream pop hits fusing club culture aesthetics with blue-eyed soul, rock swagger, and stylized elegance. This three-disc anthology documents the quintet's meteoric rise to the top of the international charts (beginning with its 1981 debut, Journeys to Glory). The collection assembles all the highlights ("To Cut a Long Story Short," "Chant No. 1," "Communication," "Paint Me Down"), including top 40 U.S. hits like "True," "Gold," and "Only When You Leave." Also included are noteworthy album cuts, alternate mixes, and extended 12-inch versions. One disc features material in a live setting. Although the 39-track set is at times overkill, Reformation is a fitting glance back at a group whose lofty ideals to dominate the world were actualized (albeit briefly), culminating with an appearance at Live Aid in 1985.—CR