Story of the Song - Spandau Ballet, True (1983)

By Robert Webb
Friday 27 March 2009 01:00

Gary Kemp had long desired to emulate the Motown greats.

Sitting on the bed at his parents' house in 1982, strumming his guitar, he hit on something that he figured might just fulfil that ambition. "Why do I find it hard to write the next line / When I want the truth to be said," he sang, commenting later that "it became a song about trying to write a love song to someone who didn't know your true thoughts." A girl he had pinned his hopes on at the time was resisting his amorous advances. "The lyrics were delicately influenced by Nabakov's Lolita, a book that she'd given me."

"We never realised the full potential of this song until we started to record it," said Kemp. "Everybody, including the roadies, [sang] along to it," he said. "It was at that moment that I knew we had something special." The final version ran to six minutes and became the band's signature tune and the title track to their bestselling album. The single release made No.1 in the UK in April 1983 and was their sole Billboard hit, branding Spandau Ballet as one-hit wonders in the United States.

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