"Those of you who already have a copy of this great album and especially if you have a truly remastered copy you have been warned! Unless you want to pay a bomb in these tough economic times for what effectively amounts to well-designed cardboard you are no better off and indeed would be worse off given the price tag on this baby if you get this.
Other than "True", this is my favourite Spandau Ballet album as every track here just like in the previous album deserve to be on any best-of compilation of the band. "Purist" fans usually despise this side of Spandau Ballet pointing instead to their earlier work as one of the pioneers of the "New Wave" movement but to be realistic once that great genre died off in the early 80s the band had to re-invent itself to remain relevant and as far as New Romantic smooth pop goes, few bands have even come close to the very high standards Spandau Ballet achieved.
This is why this mini-lp replica sleeve (mlps) version is such a disappointment; as far as mlps designs go, this version while not the best one I've seen is not the worst and is fairly well designed out of unfortunately very thin cardboard but at least looks as though the glue will hold for awhile and there is also a nifty A4-sized colour poster of the band and an insert with all the lyrics in both English and Japanese and so the mlps design in itself is not perfect but acceptable.
The sound quality, however, of the cd itself is horrible! It certainly has not been remastered at all and to make things worse even sounds worse than the old cassette that I had all those years ago! You would think that they could at least have gone through the trouble to remaster this album so as to justify the price that they are asking us to cough up to "upgrade" from our existing cds to this! The Japanese "sound engineer" in charge of this project should be ashamed of himself for such a terrible standard of work.
Very, very disappointing for fans and if you don't already have this brilliant album, do yourself a favour and save yourself some cash and get the "normal" remastered version in the jewel-case format and if you already have the cd, don't even bother with this wasted opportunity to be a genuine upgrade worth getting.
As for me, I'm thinking of getting a properly remastered cheaper version out there and switching the discs so that this acceptable mlps design can house a cd that is more deserving of the format.
Very, very, very much NOT recommended!"
bobby morrow | United Kingdom | 06/24/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"...whether you'll like it or not is open to debate. 'Parade' (the new 2 CD 1 DVD edition of 'True' features the 2003 master) was remastered by Andy Walter, notorious for his work on the Duran Duran special editions of a few months ago. Mr Walter favours the over-compressed route which means 'Parade' is LOUD but also trebly, tinny and hard on the ears after a bit. The original CD of 'Parade' was so very dreadful, however, it still manages to be an improvement! Subtle it ain't, so if you hated the recent Duran's, I wouldn't bother with this...
Packaging is a bit lacklustre too. 'Parade' is in a rather flimsy digipak sleeve (similar to the Belinda Carlisle Sp Ed of 'Heaven And Earth' last year, features NO sleevenotes, lyrics etc of any kind just a nasty fold-out piece of paper with a few photos adorning it. The 'True' packaging is a little better having a pouch for the DVD and looking a little more like it wasn't knocked up in 10 minutes.
I should say something about the music! 'Parade', of course, was the follow up to the multi-platinum 'True', destined not to be as successful but still a decent set. A lot of the songs sound like 'True' and 'Gold' wannabes but it's a good, solid album that people remember fondly and, it has to be said, this was the last time a Spandau album would feature on the charts so heavily.
So, you pays your money etc... If you don't mind a bit of compression, this new remaster will sound good to you, but if you yearn for a more natural, 'musical' sound, you'll probably be disappointed in this 2 CD set."
Kyle W. Elsbernd | Janesville, WI United States | 11/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a little passe, but I don't care. This album is pure pleasure. It's a teeny bit pompous, due to Tony Hadley's vocal stylings, but in a charming way. It's a little bravado, a little posing, a little like a man who refuses to grow up. The 16 year old who writes furtive love poems under the desk. The boy who, like a good school boy should, paid his dues and finally got to the big stage. So he's only ten years too late. It doesn't matter because it's still, well, True...There is a surprising versatility in the material. You will hear torch songs ("I'll Fly") and pop-funk ("Highly Strung") and drama ("The Nature of The Beast"). Yes, it's totally 80s. But Tony Hadley is the quill. The man can sing. I see he won a British tv game show recently, in which several "has-beens" are put on the road in America, and voted off over the course of several weeks. It's a shame he's reduced to this, because he is a treasure. Maybe he just tried to hang on too long. It's a shame that people like him and songs like these are considered cheesy, because it really is good stuff. Just enjoy it. Like riding a moped, it's fun until somebody catches you doing it."
A GREAT FOLLOW UP TO "TRUE"
G. McDermott | Palm Springs | 01/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Spandau Ballet is one of my all time favorite 80s bands. Eventhough there CD "True" is actually their best in my opinion, "Parade" comes a 2nd close.The first single release "Only When You Leave" which reached a paltry No.34 on Billboards Hot 100 back in 1984 is one of their absolute classics, and which became Spandau Ballets last Top 40 hit.Other great songs are "Highly Strung", "I'll Fly For You" and "Round & Round".Between Steve Normans sax, John Keebles drums and Tony Hadleys voice with Gary Kemps songwriting this band is one of the most underrated bands of all time.A definite must for your CD collection....though it doesn't have my favorite song "Gold", this CD is a keeper."