For this “Things That Bring Back Memories” post, I am going to pick something pertaining to the topic of “Music“. There are so many songs that I can remember from years ago, and since music is a huge part of our family, the memories come streaming back when you hear a certain song.
Do you ever have that tune that comes on the radio, and you can just automatically remember where you were, who you were with and what you were doing? It amazes me, how as I get older, I can’t remember things from last week – but have that certain song come on the radio on a “Flashback” day, and “BOOM”, I am back in the place I was when I heard it. Don’t know if it’s the side effects of my brain surgery, which they said might affect certain memory, but I’m so glad that I can remember some things of the “good old days.”
So to get on with this “Things That Brings Back Memories” blog post for this week, I’m going to pick “True” by Spandau Ballet, which was released in March, 1983. Whenever I hear just the opening of this song on the radio, the volume goes up. Reminds me of the skating rink days and hearing the DJ call out for “slow skate”. So many memories in music for me – definitely a huge part of my life. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here it is:
The song “True” is one that most of us from the 80’s grew up with and could sing along to, with no problem. It was also one that everybody knew, either from hearing on the radio, or by watching the movie “Sixteen Candles”!
The band has tried many times to get back together, and come out with more great music, but it seems that there are only a few that we remember from them. I heard that they were actually going out on tour again, so many they are going to change it up. Check it out at their website link at the bottom of the post. It’s amazing how after so many years, that those of us who grew up with this music, can still remember so many of the words, but can’t remember what we did yesterday!! ha/ha
So, is there a song that brings back great memories for you? Leave a comment below, and let me know.
More Info on the Song “True / Spandau Ballet”:
“True” is the third studio album by British band Spandau Ballet. It was released in March of 1983 on Chrysalis Records. While Spandau Ballet’s first twoalbums earned them European popularity, True made them worldwide stars and was heavily influenced by jazz, soul and R&B. It reached number 1 on the UK charts, the Top 20 in the United States, and charted in numerous countries around the world. The title track spent four weeks at number 1 on the UK singles charts and went to number 4 in the United States.
Other singles from the album included “Gold” (a no. 2 UK hit and a Top 30 hit in the U.S.), “Lifeline”, “Communication”, and “Pleasure”. Later album releases by the band never equaled the success of True.
“True” was remastered on CD and stereo SACD in 2003 for its 20th anniversary. In June 2010, a special edition was released on 2 CD’s and DVD as part of the 2010 Spandau Ballet reissues series, featuring remastered 12″ remixes and B-sides, plus a live concert.
In 2008, the album was given away free with copies of the Daily Mail newspaper.
“Why do I find it hard to write the next line? Oh, I want the truth to be said. I know this much is true.”
Those lyrics from the hit Spandau Ballet song “True” have made their way into music history. The title track from their third album was released in 1983, reached No. 1 in 21 countries, No. 4 in the U.S., and continued to find popularity over the next few decades through covers, samples, like the 1991 P.M. Dawn song “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss”, cameos in the movies and placement on TV, including Steve Buscemi in “The Wedding Singer” and Edward Norton on “Modern Family.”
Gary Kemp, who wrote the song, said that at the time he was “having this sort of platonic relationship with a singer” and that he “ended up writing a song really to her. There’s a few cryptic clues in there.” As for the sound, “I think I wanted to write a song that was a bit like a Marvin Gaye, Al Green song, a blue-eyed soul song. It was at a time when it was me concentrating on melody first rather than the sort of riff and the groove.”
“The song was about trying to write a song but being scared about being too honest and them finding out that it was about them,” he explained. “So, you know, ‘Why do I find it hard to write the next line? When I want the truth to be said’ but it’s because you’re a bit shy of it.” – Fox News
More Info on the Band:
Spandau Ballet are a British new wave band formed in London in the late 1970’s. The band was inspired by, and an integral part of, the New Romantic movement, and became one of the most successful groups to emerge during the New Romantic era.
The group’s debut single “To Cut a Long Story Short”, which reached No. 5 in the UK in 1980, was the first of ten UK Top 10 hits, including a No. 1 single in 1983 with the song “True”, a No. 2 single “Gold” and a No. 3 single “Only When You Leave”. The band has had eight UK Top 10 albums, including three “greatest hits” compilations and an album of re-recorded material.
The band was formed in 1976 as The Cut, with Gary Kemp and Steve Norman on guitar, later saxophone and percussion. Kemp and Norman were attending Dame Alice Owen’s School, Potters Bar, and were close friends, as they shared a similar interest in music and a common desire to form a band. They were joined by fellow student John Keeble, who met Norman when he stored his drum kit in the school’s music room; they met regularly at lunchtimes to practise. They were joined by bass player Michael Ellison, and by Tony Hadley, who knew Norman, as lead singer. After a few months, Richard Miller replaced Michael Ellison on bass, before Kemp’s younger brother, Martin Kemp, took over the role a couple of years later. By this time, the band had already gained some live experience. Steve Dagger, a close school friend of the band members, was asked by Steve Norman and Gary Kemp to manage them. He was to be an integral part of the band’s success.
The band changed its name to the The Makers in 1976 as a punk band and played at the Roxy in the early years. In 1978 they became a power pop band and changed the name to Gentry and played a small number of gigs, including at Kingsway College. They changed the band’s name to Spandau Ballet after a friend of the band, journalist and DJ Robert Elms, saw the phrase ‘Spandau Ballet’ scrawled on the wall of a nightclub lavatory during a visit to Berlin. The expression “Spandau Ballet” was slang used by Allied troops in the trenches in the First World War referring to the twitching of the corpses hanging on the barbed wire and repeatedly hit by Spandau machine gun fire from the German lines. The name also refers to Spandau Prison and the many hangings there, especially in 1945–46 of Nazi war criminals, when the victims would twitch and jump at the end of a rope. The new Spandau Ballet, with Martin Kemp and Tony Hadley, began performing with this name around London. Their music had been in the style of the early Rolling Stones or The Kinks, but became more electronic after they attended clubs such as Billy’s and Blitz where the New Romantic scene was spearheaded and they listened to bands like Kraftwerk and Telex.
Spandau Ballet were involved in a major bidding war, but signed to Chrysalis Records and released “To Cut a Long Story Short,” produced by the electronic musician Richard James Burgess. Released 10 days after the band emerged from the studio, “To Cut a Long Story Short” became a top 5 hit in late 1980. This was followed by further top 20 hits with “The Freeze”, “Musclebound”, and the Gold-certified debut album Journeys to Glory in 1981.
The follow-up album, Diamond, also produced by Burgess, was released in 1982. This album was certified Gold by the BPI and featured the funk-flavored Top 3 hit “Chant No. 1”. The band had Burgess remix every single from both albums for inclusion on each single’s B-side and for 12-inch club releases. These mixes were later released as a boxed set. However, the second single from Diamond was “Paint Me Down,” which broke their run of top 20 hits by stalling at No. 30, and the third single, “She Loved Like Diamond”, failed to make the UK Top 40 at all.
Trevor Horn remixed the track “Instinction”, which was released as the fourth single from the album. Backed with a special dance remix of “Chant No. 1” on the 12-inch single version was very well received, and returned the band to the UK top 10 after the poor chart performance of their previous two singles. The group also had success in the United States when “Chant No 1” peaked at No. 17 on the dance charts in 1981.
Some Other Interesting Facts:
- The band took its name from Spandau Prison in Germany, where many executions by hanging were carried out before and during World War II. While dangling at the end of the rope, many victims would twitch and jump, which came to be called the “Spandau Ballet”.
- In 1999, Hadley, Norman and Keeble unsuccessfully sued songwriter Gary Kemp for hundreds of thousands of pounds in royalties. They claimed a verbal agreement dating back to 1980 entitled them to a one-12th share of royalties from hits and that their contributions to the records entitled them to money.
- Between 1980 and 1989 they spent 159 weeks on the UK singles chart. Ten singles reached the top ten: “To cut a long story short” (number five), “Musclebound” (number ten), “Chant No.1 (I don’t need this pressure on)” (number three), “Instinction” (number ten), “Lifeline” (number seven), “Gold” (number two), “Only when you leave” (number three), “I’ll fly for you” (number nine) and “Through the barricades” (number six). “True” was their only number one, which topped the chart for four weeks in 1983 and reached number four in the United States.
- The song was composed by group leader Gary Kemp who wrote the song at his parents’ house, where he lived at the time. It is a six-minute (in its original album version) slow pop-ballad love song that in part pays tribute to the Motown artist Marvin Gaye, who is mentioned in the lyrics, and the sound he helped to establish.
- The song was featured in the 1984 movie Sixteen Candles during the school dance scene.
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