Wednesday, November 30, 2011

80's Guilt #20: Spandau Ballet “True” (1983) / Johnny Hates Jazz “Shattered Dreams” (1987)

I bought a ticket to the world / But now I've come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line? / Oh, I want the truth to be said.

The third line may have been a cop-out after the writer was unable to think of anything else to say. Or maybe this is just what Spandau Ballet wanted us to think, as a way to distract the world of homophobes from noticing how outstandingly gay they appear in the video. Partially through androgyny and sexual ambiguity (which was fashionable throughout '80s MTV), they look like men who are specifically targeting grown ass men.

Johnny Hates Jazz was included for similar reasons. While "True" is one of the most recognizable one-hit-wonders of the 80's***, "Shattered Dreams" is the better song. We appreciate the repeated lines from the verses and bridge during the fade out ("So much for your promises..") and obviously the lack of an obnoxious saxophone solo. (And P.S. what's up with saxophone solos making a [hopefully brief] comeback in 2011? We're with Johnny on this one... referring to Smooth Jazz anyway...)

***Real quick... We take issue with people who are anal enough to dispute obvious one-hit-wonders simply because the band's record company made an effort to create some career artists... After the relatively huge success of these two songs, an unremembered follow-up single which charted at #31 for one week is considered a FLOP, not a hit! In the case of both "True" and "Shattered Dreams," this is exactly what happened. (In the United States anyway... Both bands were considered career acts overseas.)

No comments:

Post a Comment