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27 | Top 100
'True'
Spandau Ballet
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“True” is without a doubt one of the most memorable ballads of the Eighties and a cast iron pop classic to boot. Guitarist Gary Kemp was heavily influenced by Marvin Gaye and Al Green when he wrote it and wanted to move the band’s previously dance-orientated
Spandau Ballet
Song facts
Composer Gary Kemp
Genre Pop 
Album True
Released 1983
UK Chart Position 1
sound towards a more chart-friendly nu-soul sound.  But he was at first reticent about showing the song to his bandmates, due to its “soft sounding” lyrics – the theme deals with a songwriter being scared to be honest in his lyrics in case his girlfriend finds out they are about her. He needn’t have worried – the track touched a chord with both the band and the public and raced to number one in 21 countries, including the UK. Its success rests on several elements. Singer Tony Hadley reins in his usual histrionics to deliver his most measured vocal ever, Steve Norman’s saxophone solo lasts for just the right length of time and while the glistening Eighties production instantly dates the song, it doesn’t spoil it. Spandau recorded it at the legendary Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas, where a long list of stars including Al Green and James Brown have also cut discs. The result is an Eighties classic with more soul than you’d expect from five Islington boys.



Gary hopes 'True' is a lasting hit 
Gary Kemp
Gary wanted to write a song that people would remember five years later. We're sure he didn't think people would still be playing this tune in the twenty first century!

 


The best song from the greatest decade, the 1980s. A song about writing a song to express love. How perfect is that?


Irene Lang


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Songwriting tips

Find out how to make a great melody in Writing A Song
What makes a good lyric? Find out more at Writing Lyrics
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