Single Stories: Spandau Ballet, “Gold”
35 years ago this week, Spandau Ballet released the single that would go on to become the second biggest hit of their career, and if we have to tell you what song it sits behind, then we can only presume that this is the first time youâve ever read the words âSpandau Ballet,â because everybody knows their biggest hitâ¦and weâre certain that this, at the very least, is accurate. Written by Gary Kemp and produced by the duo of Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, âGoldâ was represented on MTV by a video which seems equally inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark, Goldfinger, and Duran Duranâs âHungry Like the Wolf,â all of which are probably true to varying degrees, as you can see if you revisit the video:
Directed by Brian Duffy, who also helmed videos for ABC and The Human League, the âGoldâ video featured a woman covered in the titular substance, and while you may not recognize her, the actress in question is Sadie Frost, who would subsequently appear in such films as The Krays (starring the Kemp brothers, and probably not coincidentally), Bram Stokerâs Dracula, Splitting Heirs, and Shopping. âGoldâ went on to hit #2 on the UK Singles chart, and while it only hit #29 on the Billboard Hot 100, it was nonetheless Spandau Balletâs second biggest hit in America, which should give you some idea of how much difference there was between their US success and their UK success. Nevertheless, the song remains one of the best known songs by the band on either side of the pond, as well it should: itâs got a hook that sticks with you for 35 years and counting.
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