Gorge Yourself On Disco: Spandau Ballet’s “Diamond” Boxed Set Edition [part 1]

Reformation | UK | 4×12″ | 1982 | C BOX 1353

Spandau Ballet: Diamond Boxed Set 4×12″ [1982]

  1. Chant No. 1 [I Don’t Need This Pressure On][Remix] 8:04
  2. Instinction [Remix] 6:58
  3. Paint Me Down [Remix] 6:24
  4. Coffee Club [Remix] 6:48
  5. She Loved Like Diamond [12″ Version] 3:41
  6. Pharaoh 6:35
  7. Innocence And Science 4:15
  8. Missionary 7:15

Ironically, I was initially resistant to the perverse charms of Spandau Ballet’s second album, “Diamond.” I had bought “Journeys To Glory” and was not convinced. Hearing “Chant No. 1” and “Paint Me Down” on college radio in the Summer/Fall of 1981 did not convince me, to put it mildly…at the time. As funk was the flavor of the month in the Post-New-Romantic UK at the time, I was dismissive. I wrote off “Diamond” and the band until I heard “Lifeline” and it was yet another re-imagining of the band as blue-eyed soulsters, that actually won me over. I bought the US 12” of “Lifeline” and got back on the Spandau train. Once MTV showed the concert “Live Over Britain” the notion of collecting this band became newly valid to me.

It helped that my friend Jayne was smitten with both Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet and over time, her allegiance shifted from the former to the latter. Jayne had bought the second album of the band in an exotic, boxed set of 12” singles configuration. I had never seen this otherwise and since Jayne had worked at the holy Record City in Fern Park, Florida, she undoubtedly had access to things I could only dream of. I managed to assuage my need for the album with a standard US pressing of the LP. After buying “True” and loving the zesty soul-pop therein [shame about the title track…] and having already owned “Journeys To Glory,” I had a great interest in investigating the bizarre sidestep that was “Diamond.”

In the interim, I apple-seeded my friends with “Lifeline” on mix tapes of the period I recorded. My friend Richard was taken enough with the newly approachable Spandau sound to buy a copy of the “Diamond” boxed set at a record store where I had missed seeing this and he reported his disappointment of the album, so I made the selfless sacrifice to buy it off of him for his cost! At last! The ultimate expression of what would become my favorite Spandau Ballet album was ensconced in my Record Cell by sometime in late 1983 by my estimate.

The not at all homoerotic poster that accompanied the boxed set

The box sported four 12″ singles, spinning at 45 r.p.m., a 2’x3′ poster as seen above, with a lyric/credit sheet insert as seen below. All of this came in an inch thick heavy cardboard box.

As a graphic designer, I can’t help but notice that the word “diamond” on the track “She Loved Like Diamond” had a typographic error. Notice the new word “Daimond.” Oh well. What was especially desirable about the box, other than the best fidelity possible at that time, was that the first five songs were all remixed into extended versions. Given that there were two singles released in advance of the album, it was highly significant that the remixes of “Chant No. 1 [I Don’t Need This Pressure On]” and “Paint Me Down” as given here were quite different to the 12″ singles released in advance to the album. So this was not just a compilation of the 12″ version a fan might already own. This was new sauce entirely. This might have been the first instance of multiple 12″ mixes almost two years in advance of the dawning of ZTT/Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Next: …Journeys To Excess

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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2 Responses to Gorge Yourself On Disco: Spandau Ballet’s “Diamond” Boxed Set Edition [part 1]

  1. I believe I have a copy of this version of the album as well, so apparently all your so-called “friends” had copies of this before you! Picture Nelson from the Simpsons pointing and exclaiming “HA HA!”

    You’re quite correct that white-boy funk quickly replaced the New Romantic sounds in many a band, and gave birth to a few of note like Haircut 100, but I recall enjoying the “new” SB sound even as I missed the inspired songwriting found on Journeys to Glory. To this day those first four 12-inchers in the box set are lovely to listen to, though I confess it has been so long since I last listed to the latter four that I no longer recall them — and of course none of those are on their “12-inch” collection! Harumph!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      chasinvictoria – Too true about the “Twelve Inch Collection” disc. Two of these “Diamond Box” mixes did find their way onto the excellently compiled but brickwall mastered “Reformation” 3xCD BSOG that EMI issued in 2002. If not for the mastering, that set did cut the mustard as a good example of a compilation of the “if you could only have ONE release by an artist…” variety.


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