“I love the girl,
But god only knows it’s
Getting harder to see the sun coming through.”
—Gorillaz, “Every Planet We Reach is Dead”
- Explosions in the Sky — Greet Death
- Hot Chip — One Pure Thought
- Beck — Send a Message to Her
- Radiohead — House of Cards
- Wild Beasts — Plaything
- Kanye West — All of the Lights
- Spandau Ballet — Gold
- Dionne Warwick — You’re Gonna Need Me
- These New Puritans — Drum Courts—Where Corals Lie (after Richard Garnett)
- Friendly Fires — Helpless
- Arcade Fire — My Body is a Cage
Every bit as grim as it sounds.
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.