The band took its name from Spandau Prison in Germany, where many executions by hanging were carried out before and during World War II. While dangling at the end of the rope, many victims would twitch and jump, which came to be called the "Spandau Ballet".
In 1999, Hadley, Norman and Keeble unsuccessfully sued songwriter Gary Kemp for hundreds of thousands of pounds in royalties. They claimed a verbal agreement dating back to 1980 entitled them to a one-12th share of royalties from hits and that their contributions to the records entitled them to money.
Between 1980 and 1989 they spent 159 weeks on the UK singles chart. Ten singles reached the top ten: "To cut a long story short" (number five), "Musclebound" (number ten), "Chant No.1 (I don't need this pressure on)" (number three), "Instinction" (number ten), "Lifeline" (number seven), "Gold" (number two), "Only when you leave" (number three), "I'll fly for you" (number nine) and "Through the barricades" (number six). "True" was their only number one, which topped the chart for four weeks in 1983 and reached number four in the United States.