Many movies rely on songs to set the mood, and there are some that are relied upon a lot – what we like to call ‘Soundtrack Staples’. This time we look at the baby’s bum smooth ‘True’ from Spandau Ballet, which has become a go-to track for mushy movie moments.
Having commenced their career as a new romantic group with the rather ace electropop blast To Cut a Long Story Short, Spandau Ballet soon veered off into AOR territory, with 1983’s True leading the charge into a white soul boy sound.
It definitely worked, at least briefly, with the track becoming their only hit of note in the USA, peaking at number four in the main charts – the same spot that it hit in Australia. Meanwhile, it topped the singles charts in their UK home, as well as in Ireland and Canada.
The band’s Gary Kemp penned the track in tribute to Clare Grogan of perky Scottish popsters Altered Images, whom he had an unrequited crush on. The song found inspiration from the namechecked Marvin Gaye (“Listening to Marvin all night long”), as well as Nabokov’s classic novel Lolita (from which the peculiar term “seaside arms” was inspired by “seaside limbs”).
True also became a hit in a different form, when it was sampled by PM Dawn as the main musical element for their 1991 smash Set Adrift on Memory Bliss. It made it all the way to number one in the US, and number seven here in Australia.
Here’s the original True video – and, further down, all the movies (that we found) in which the song has appeared so far…
Sixteen Candles (1984)
The introduction for most people to the soon-to-be teen sensation Molly Ringwald, here we’re supposed to believe that she only has geek appeal (when in fact she has everybody appeal)…
The Wedding Singer (1998)
Move over Tony Hadley, Steve Buscemi is about to show you how to really sing it…
Charlie’s Angels (2000)
Drew Barrymore goes on the charm offensive, with a little help from the Spandaus…
Not Another Teen Movie (2001)
What better soundtrack to learn pashing to than Spandau’s True…?
True is definitely the odd one out amongst a bunch of hardcore tracks and the likes of Jet, The Donnas and Poison in this skateboarding comedy starring The OC‘s Adam Brody…
An Irish dramedy starring Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy and Kelly Macdonald, True was somewhat overshadowed by Farrell’s performance of the Bobby Fuller Four hit (although it was a cover) I Fought the Law, which The Clash later made their own.
Ah, bathtime with Spandau Ballet in this Ben Stiller/Drew Barrymore “comedy”…
Dog Gone Love (2004)
Nobody you’ve ever heard of stars in this film that you never want to see about a guy pretending to be gay to enable writing success. Excuse us while we Solvol our eyeballs – and we only watched the trailer. Still, it might have made the Spandaus an extra 25 or so cents of royalties.
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008)
“The right tune creates the right vibe” in this Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) adaptation of Louise Rennison’s coming-of-age books.
“The world’s first fully user-generated feature film” was most definitely not the world’s first film to feature True…
Ugly Melanie (2008)
A French ugly duckling flick also gives us a dose of True…
I Love You, Beth Cooper (2010)
Not the original, but a cover by Lazlo Bane. They’re probably best known as the band who perform the Scrubs theme song, Superman…
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Even if you travel through time, there’s no escaping Tone’s dulcet, erm, tones…
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
This fun romcom starring Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling is great on its own, but just add Spandau Ballet and it’s arguably even better!
Sapore di te (2014)
This Italian romcom dials up the smooth, with not only True, but also Stevie Wonder’s abysmal I Just Called to Say I Love You. Sorry if you like it, but considering he was the guy that gave us the funktastic Superstition, well…
A film based on a short film, and one that isn’t nearly as bad as many people make out (even if it does feature Adam Sandler). True…
Sausage Party (2016)
Hey, even animated smallgoods can’t resist the sweet soul sounds of the Spandaus!
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
A True Sixteen Candles nod. Nice!
Speaking of Sixteen Candles, as well as True, Molly Ringwald also pops up in this lowly-rated romance. Won’t somebody please give her a real role again? Hey Quentin, are you reading this?