To Cut a Long Story Short

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"To Cut a Long Story Short"
To Cut a Long Story Short single cover.jpg
Single by Spandau Ballet
from the album Journeys to Glory
B-side"To Cut a Long Story Short" (instrumental)
Released3 November 1980
Format7", 12"
GenreNew wave, synthpop
Length3:20 (single version)
6:30 (12-inch version)
Songwriter(s)Gary Kemp
Producer(s)Richard James Burgess
Spandau Ballet singles chronology
"To Cut a Long Story Short"
"The Freeze"
Audio sample

"To Cut a Long Story Short" is a 1980 song by Spandau Ballet. It was their first single and reached number 5 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] It appeared on the album Journeys to Glory.


Allmusic described the single as minimalist "spiky synth pop" with a style reminiscent of early Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark material, and featuring a "dirty, overdriven synth sound and a stomping Gary Glitter-like backbeat". Though largely forgotten today, due to Spandau Ballet's later change in style towards a slick, soul-pop (which occurred around 1983), the reviewer considers that it might fairly be considered "a minor lost classic of the early-'80s U.K. synth pop scene".[2]

Inspiration, meaning and use as sample[edit]

The song has been speculated to be about a veteran, perhaps of Vietnam, who is drafted and suffers from PTSD; the lyrics are told from the man's point of view as a boy being drafted, how he gets no answers as to why he must join the war.[3] "To Cut a Long Story Short" was Vince Clarke's inspiration to write Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough",[4] to which the keyboard style bears a certain similarity.

The signature riff from "To Cut a Long Story Short" is used as a sample looping throughout the Freestylers track "In Love with You" on their album Adventures in Freestyle.[5]

Formats and track listings[edit]

7" single
  1. "To Cut a Long Story Short" — 3:20
  2. "To Cut a Long Story Short" (Instrumental) — 3:20
12" single
  1. "To Cut a Long Story Short" (Mix 1) — 6:30
  2. "To Cut a Long Story Short" (Mix 2) — 3:56


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 518. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ Stewart Mason. "To Cut a Long Story Short - Spandau Ballet | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  3. ^ "Spandau Ballet - To Cut A Long Story Short Lyrics". SongMeanings. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  4. ^ "Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode Songfacts". 2005-11-08. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  5. ^ "Freestylers's 'In Love With You' sample of Spandau Ballet's 'To Cut a Long Story Short'". Retrieved 2016-10-17.

External links[edit]