Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Through The Barricades - Spandau Ballet

Through the Barricades Album - Great 80s Music

Through the Barricades - Spandau Ballet
Spandau Ballet's album Through the Barricades was their fifth studio album and the first one for the record company CBS. It featured the heartfelt Through the Barricades single along with the two singles Fight for Ourselves and How Many Lies.

After the release of this album the band toured the UK to promote it little realizing that this would be their last tour for thirty years. I was lucky enough to be able to be at one of these shows and Spandau Ballet really seemed to be at the top of their game - it was a fantastic performance.
Through the BarricadesCheck Price
Track listing:-

  • Barricades -- Introduction

  • Cross the Line

  • Man in Chains

  • How Many Lies?

  • Virgin

  • Fight for Ourselves

  • Swept

  • Snakes and Lovers

  • Through the Barricades

Fight For Ourselves

1st Single from Through the Barricades

The first single released from the album was Fight For Ourselves which reached number 15 in the UK charts.

Let’s look at some of the background to this album - Gary Kemp wrote the whole Through the Barricades album while the band were living in Ireland for a year. At the time Spandau Ballet were in dispute with their original record company Chrysalis over the way the company had failed to promote them in the US market. When you listen to the lyrics it could be that Gary Kemp is writing about Spandau Ballet's legal woes......

Then again Gary Kemp was getting quite political around this time and had also teamed up with Billy Bragg (a well known left wing singer) and was supportive of the UK's Miners Strike so he could have just been telling everyone to stand up for what they believed was right.

Everybody, we've got to fight for ourselves

Whatever you believe the lyrics to be about one thing is for certain the song was catchy and easy to sing along to.

Through the Barricades - The Single

Through the Barricades was the second single to be released off of the album of the same name. It was written while the band were in Ireland and as Gary Kemp (the songwriter and guitar player of Spandau Ballet) said at the time "....(whilst)...we don't think to ourselves as a political band, but we can't ignore what is happening just around the corner.

Through the Barricades is essentially a Romeo and Juliet story set in Northern Ireland between a boy and a girl, one Protestant and one Catholic. It was a top ten hit in the UK and was also big in Europe (staying at number one for eight weeks in Italy) and the haunting melody has made it a favorite for the band and a large number of fans.

Through the Barricades showed Gary Kemp's songwriting abilities at their best. It also played to Tony Hadley's vocals beautifully with him giving his best performance to date on the single. The use of the drum and pipe marching music is so reminiscent of Ireland's Parades that it tugs even more at the heartstrings. Through the Barricades was also one of my favorites (can you tell?).

The line in the song Through the Barricades that goes - "as our hearts go to their graves" has been debated in some areas as to whether it means a suicide pact or an end of a doomed affair. What do you think?

Personally I think they made a suicide pact if you listen to the line 'the stars reach out and tell us there's only one escape' I can't think that it would be anything other than death.

How Many Lies

The Third Single from Through the Barricades Album

How Many Lies was their third and last single off of the album Through the Barricades. Although the band didn't realise it at the time How Many Lies was to become their last Top 40 hit single.

As I mentioned earlier this song was written when the band was in dispute with their record company while Gary Kemp was also getting very political. When you initially listen to the song you assume it’s between a couple, by knowing the background and where Gary’s head was at you start to wonder if it was a swipe at Chrysalis or even a political statement.

When you initially hear the song you assume it's between a couple, but knowing where Gary's head was at could it be a swipe at Chrysalis or even a political statement? Enjoy the song and let me know what you think.

How many lies must we tell?
How many lies must we see?
How many times must we say, it's for the best?
And leave truth as the casualty?

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