A song from The Beatles’ Let It Be inspired the hook of Spandau Ballet’s “True.”Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet explained the meaning of “True.”“True” became a massive hit in the United States and the United Kingdom.
A poster for The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ | Movie Poster Image Art / Contributor
The recording of The Beatles‘ Let It Be got documented in the film of the same name. Subsequently, a television airing of the movie inspired Spandau Ballet’s “True.” “True” might not exist without one line from Let It Be.
How a catchy melody from The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ inspired a member of Spandau Ballet
Gary Kemp is one of the founders of Spandau Ballet. During a 2017 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Kemp discussed the origin of “True.” “One night in the summer of ’82, I was watching The Beatles’ documentary Let It Be on TV in my bedroom,” he said. “When it ended, I began picking on my Eko acoustic guitar.”
Kemp had a strong reaction to one song from the album and film Let It Be. “The song that stuck in my head from Let It Be was ‘Dig a Pony,’” he said. “On the song’s opener, John Lennon sings ‘I, hi-hi, hi-hi, I dig a pony.’ I loved how he took that one word —’I’ — and turned it into a snaking melody.”
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How the melody of The Beatles’ ‘Dig a Pony’ inspired Spandau Ballet’s ‘True’
Kemp explained how the lyrics of “True” evolved from there. “Picking at my guitar, I tried to come up with a melody that also curled around the word ‘I,’” he recalled. “The line I came up with was, ‘Ah ha-hah hahh-hi / I know this / much is / true-oo.’
“I jotted down, ‘I know this much is true,’” he remembered. “Then I asked myself, ‘What do I know that’s true?’ Instead of answering the question, I decided the song would be about how much I was going to tell you about the truth.”
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How ‘True’ performed on the pop charts in the United States and the United Kingdom
“True” became Spandau Ballet’s biggest hit in the United States. It reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 18 weeks. None of the band’s other songs hit the top 10 in the U.S. The track appeared on the album of the same name. True reached No. 19 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for a total of 37 weeks.
The Official Charts Company says “True” became the group’s only No. 1 single in the United Kingdom. It topped the U.K. chart for four weeks and lasted on the chart for 15 weeks. Meanwhile, the album True hit No. 1 in the U.K. for one of its 90 weeks on the chart.
“True” is a classic new wave song and it might not exist without The Beatles’ Let It Be.
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