True – Spandau Ballet | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#4); 1983

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

For a band in the vanguard of Britain’s “New Romantic” movement of 1980 – with its anti-punk stance of makeup and ultra-fashionable clothes – one would never guess that they took their name, Spandau Ballet, from graffiti scrawled on the wall of a Berlin bathroom stall.

After three years of U.K. chart success, they bailed out of the rapidly fading New Romantic scene, ditched the dance-pop beats, and morphed into a White-Soul crooner group. Joining up with producers Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, who were riding high with their slick hits for Imagination and Bananarama, Spandau Ballet released True, the album and single.

The single’s smooth sound brought the group a #1 Adult Contemporary hit. The accompanying video even featured lead singer Tony Hadley as a young Frank Sinatra. In 1984, director John Hughes cast True in its first full-length feature film: the teen angst flick, Sixteen Candles.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Tony Swain
  • Steve Jolley
  • Spandau Ballet

Lyrics Written by:

  • Gary Kemp


  • “True” won a BMI award for being one of the most played songs in history, with over four million airplays in the United States