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Spandau Ballet vs. Duran Duran! Who Will Win?

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Spandau Ballet vs. Duran Duran! Who Will Win?

photos: Getty Images

This week at Austin's South By Southwest festival, New Romantic legends Spandau Ballet will perform in the U.S. for the first time in 28 years, and they'll also premiere their new documentary, "Soul Boys of the Western World." (Watch the movie trailer here.) To cut a long story short, we know this much is true: It's going to be awesome.

What's especially awesome is "Soul Boys" will feature some rare footage of the group's iconic showdown on the '80s BBC game show "Pop Quiz." On Dec. 28, 1984, the United Kingdom's two prettiest, pin-uppiest, and pouffiest new wave bands, Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran — sort of the Beatles-vs.-Stones of their day — faced off in an epic TV war of wits and wingtips, answering trivia questions about Howard Jones, Tracey Ullman, the Eurythmics, Cyndi Lauper, and even each other's music. Television "gold" (ahem) was created that day.

Considering the fierce rivalry between the two bands (a recurring hot topic in "Soul Boys"), this was an extremely important event in '80s Britain, at least among female BBC viewers between the ages of, say, 10 and 18. Duran were hungry like the wolf for victory, but Spandau had the power to know they were indestructible. This was nothing less than an historic battle for new wave supremacy.

So who won? Well, we don't want to spoil it for you, but there are two ways to find out: You can watch all four parts of the full "Pop Quiz" episode here, or catch "Soul Boys of the Western World" when it premieres this week. May the best soul boys win! And if you're unhappy with the results, perhaps the BBC can stage a rematch this December for this episode's 30th anniversary.

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