One-Hit Wonders / Second Best Songs: Spandau Ballet As part of NPR's series "One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs," BBC Radio legend Zane Lowe nominates "Gold" by Spandau Ballet. The group is mostly known for its 1983 Top 10 hit "True."
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Zane Lowe On The Power Of Spandau Ballet

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Zane Lowe On The Power Of Spandau Ballet

Zane Lowe On The Power Of Spandau Ballet

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This is a one-hit wonder from the group Spandau Ballet.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TRUE")

SPANDAU BALLET: (Singing) I, I, I, I, I, I - I know this much is true.

INSKEEP: This song, "True," was a Top 10 hit in 1983, success that Spandau Ballet was never able to match again - at least not in the United States. That's what longtime BBC radio DJ Zane Lowe wanted to emphasize for our series One-Hit Wonders, Second-Best Songs.

ZANE LOWE: It just blows my mind that America didn't recognize the value in "Gold." Gold is a smasher.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GOLD")

SPANDAU BALLET: (Singing) Thank you for coming home. Sorry that the chairs are all worn. I left them here, I could have sworn.

LOWE: I mean, the beginning is melodic, and it's emotional. It's almost melancholic. And it just leads you up to this dynamic, Thor-style hammer drop of the chorus, which has, like...

(SOUNDBITE OF THUMPING)

LOWE: I mean, any song that has a...

(SOUNDBITE OF THUMPING)

LOWE: ...In it is a smash.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GOLD")

SPANDAU BALLET: (Singing) Gold - always believe in your soul. You've got the power to know you're indestructible, always believing. You are gold - gold.

LOWE: I've had one default karaoke song. I mean, that would suggest I'm invited to karaoke. I'm never invited to karaoke. But if I was invited to karaoke, my go-to karaoke song is, hands down, "Gold."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GOLD")

SPANDAU BALLET: (Singing) After the rush has gone, I hope you find a little more time. Remember we were partners in crime.

LOWE: I know I'm putting, like, a slight humor on this because it's one-hit wonders and you've got to approach this thing with tongue in cheek, but for me, you know, I have really vivid memories of driving around with my mom in Auckland when I was growing up listening to the radio and Spandau Ballet, you know, kind of being omnipresent, not just "True." "Gold" was one of those moments that really jumped out even as a kid. I just think it has that real power, has a powerful vocal.

And it's just a strange song. They're a strange band, Spandau Ballet. Maybe that's why they're a one-hit wonder because, you know, "True" was the most kind of obvious, straight-down-the-line, smash, Top 40 radio-type moment for them, but they definitely had enough hits to make a greatest hits album, which kind of goes to show that Spandau Ballet in other parts of the world, predominately the United Kingdom, are considered a legacy at.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GOLD")

SPANDAU BALLET: (Singing) Something I could have learned. You're indestructible, always believing.

INSKEEP: Zane Lowe talking about the song "Gold" by Spandau Ballet, his choice for our series One-Hit Wonders, Second-Best Songs. You can hear Zane Lowe these days on Apple's Beats 1 radio.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPANDAU BALLET'S "GOLD")

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