Spandau Ballet – Chant No.1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)

17th November 2023 · 1980s, 1981, Music

I was never a New Romantic. I never went to Blitz or Billy’s or Le Beat Route. I have never worn make-up. And yet… 

White funk was just becoming a thing when Spandau Ballet put out Chant No.1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) in the summer of 1981 and I bought the extended 12-inch version with its dub-influenced mix and exuberant horn section.

Today it’s one of only two Spandau songs I am likely to listen to, along with Instinction, and their funk beginnings seem to have been lost amid the balladry of Gold and True.

The video for Chant No.1 was shot inside Le Beat Route, to which the song pays tribute, with a rap even giving directions on how to get there. It became their fourth – and biggest – hit single to date, reaching No.3.

It was the use of horns on their previous one, Glow (a double-A-side with Musclebound) that inspired songwriter Kemp to make this tribute to one of the club DJ Steve Lewis’s favourite tunes, Wheel Me Out by Was (Not Was).

When it came out, Smash Hits alluded to the Pearl and Dean cinema ad beginning and Tony Hadley’s “pompous foghorn vocals.” But they liked it.