Wild Beasts may have brought bongos back into art rock, but we shouldn’t forget the start of the love affair: 1983, and Spandau Ballet’s “Gold”. It may not have reached #1 (unlike the band’s preceding single, “True”) but in terms of its lasting influence on pop culture, I think we know which song won.
Here, in its extended version (which appeared only on the 12″ single), the heartbroken intro is eked out for as long as possible, a good three minutes strut by before Tony Hadley ventures near the microphone, and halfway through, saxophonist Steve Norman is given a solo long and rigid enough to span the Firth of Forth. And then, when it can’t get any more ridiculous: bongo break down!
“Always believe in your soul!
You’ve got the power to know,
Because Mr. Hadley’s doesn’t give away his advice for free.