Saturday, February 20, 2016

"True" by Spandau Ballet

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1557
Date:  08/06/1983
Debut:  67
Peak:  4
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Soft Rock, Blue-Eyed Soul, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  The basis of this English band formed in 1976 as The Cut. The next few years saw the band changing names a couple of times along with their style, which ranged from punk to power pop. Honing their skills in clubs, the band finally settled on Spandau Ballet as their name and they found their musical stride in the New Romantic movement. After being courted by several labels, they settled on Chrysalis and issued a debut album titled Journeys to Glory. Two songs from the LP reached the UK Top 10 as did the album. More hits followed with their second album Diamond, but it would be their third effort that would break them worldwide. Their album True had already spawned a UK Top 10 single with "Lifeline," but it would be the title track single that would take them to #1. The hit would quickly fly across the pond and capture the attention of US listeners who would make it a multi-format hit (#4 pop, #1 AC, #34 Rock, and #76 R&B). The hit helped push the album to #19 on the US chart (#1 UK). Although the song would be the band's only US Top 10, in the UK they would grab ten Top 10 hits in the 80s.

ReduxReview:  A mandatory high school dance/prom song if there ever was one. I can almost hear the shuffling of feet and scrunching of satin and taffeta gowns in the background. The band's brand of sophisti-pop never really took off here with the exception of this lovely track. How can you not get starry-eyed when this comes on? It's a dreamy song made all the better by Tony Hadley's yearning vocals. This is another one of those songs where when mentioned or played someone will start laughing or go "oh, god, no," but by the second verse they are jammin' to it. I know this much is true - it's an 80s classic.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Although this song didn't hit #1 in the US, it eventually would as part of another recording. In 1991, the hip hop band P.M. Dawn used samples from "True" as the basis for their hit "Set Adrift on a Memory Bliss." The song would be a major hit reaching #1 at Pop. It would also have the distinction of being the very first #1 song after Billboard changed its chart methodology from manual sales and airplay reporting to using Neilsen's SoundScan system of accounting. P.M. Dawn's video for this song features a brief cameo of Spandau Ballet's lead singer Tony Hadley.


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