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 News Oldies 06/11/2003

Retro: T'Pau

Gillingham, Kent, UK (By Mikey)

Shropshire Lads and a lass whose No.1 hit in 1987 had the distinction of being the 600th chart-topper and the best selling single of the year with 'China In Your Hand'. T'Pau (Mr Spock's Vulcan female friend in Star Trek) comprised writers Carol Decker (vocals) and Ron Rogers (guitar), plus Michael Chetwood (keyboards), Paul Jackson (bass), Tim Burgess (drums) and Taj Wyzgowski (guitar).

On the road to success
T'Pau burst onto the music scene in 1987 with the hit "Heart & Soul" reaching No. 4 in both the UK & US charts. Taken from the debut album "Bridge Of Spies," its innovative use of a rap verse by a white female vocalist introduced the world to the distinctive lead vocals of Carol Decker. Signed to Siren Records, T'Pau comprised of songwriters Carol & Ron Rogers (guitar), plus four session players.

"Heart & Soul" led to a meteoric rise in T'Pau's fortunes. After a UK arena tour supporting Bryan Adams, the band immediately toured UK City Halls as headliners to tie in with the next single, the classic ballad "China In Your Hand." Nobody could have predicted the enormous impact of "China" which stayed at No. 1 for 5 weeks - the longest serving No. 1 of the year!

To date, "China In Your Hand" has appeared on more than 150 compilations, and has become one of the most played songs of the 1980's. After further hits such as "Valentine," "I Will Be With You," and "Sex Talk," the "Bridge Of Spies" album was certified quadruple platinum in the UK, selling 1.2 million copies. Always a hard working band, T'Pau toured constantly throughout Europe and North America, and in the UK were selling out shows at Wembley Arena & Hammersmith Apollo.

Two further albums followed: the platinum "Rage" (1988), and "The Promise" (1991). In all, T'Pau scored 8 top 30 UK hit singles, UK album sales of 2 million, and worldwide sales of over 4 million.

The original line up of T'Pau split in 1991 after the final hit "Whenever You Need Me" (No. 16), follows the merger of Siren with Virgin Records. The final album, "Heart & Soul: The Very Best Of T'Pau," was released in 1993. Ron Rogers returned to production and studio work, whilst Carol embarked upon a co-writing career, occasionally performing solo and guesting on other artist's albums.

A new beginning...
By 1997, Carol had taken the decision to build a new T'Pau around her, and get back on the road after assembling a massive amount of new material. A 25-date UK tour in the summer of '97, including some festivals, preceded the release of a brand new version of "Heart & Soul" on the band's own Gnatfish label.

The relaunch included live performances on VH-1, numerous radio and press features, and a performance of "Heart & Soul" on the UK primetime show "Surprise Surprise."

Encouraged by the response, Carol embarked on the recording of the first new T'Pau album for 6 years, using the new line-up that now formed the mainstay of the live band. After 6 months in the studio, T'Pau emerged to perform an orchestrated version of "China" with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Princess Diana Tribute Concert at Althorp in June 1998. It was broadcast live around the world, and later in a BBC primetime show. All this was no mean feat as Carol had been pregnant throughout the recording of the album and gave birth to her first child, Scarlett Olivia, just 3 weeks before the Diana concert!

The new studio album entitled "RED" was released in Sept. '98. Carol & Rafe McKenna (Ash, The Warm Jets, The Corrs, Electronic) produced the album. The RED UK Tour saw the band play 36 shows finishing with a sold out London show at the prestigious Jazz Café. The tour was accompanied by a radio promo single, "With A little Luck," and a massive amount of radio and press, notably a live session for Virgin Radio and a new live appearance on VH-1. Carol also filmed material for VH-1 in New York in Jan. 1999.The frantic schedule continued as T'Pau were confirmed as special guests on the Status Quo UK & German tours in Nov/Dec playing to an audience of 90,000 people. This tour saw them back on the stage at Wembley & Birmingham NEC.

Carol performed "China" on Ireland's top rated Kelly Show on New Years Eve to finish off this hectic year. 1999 will maintain the same momentum; with UK & European club dates planned for the spring; festivals for the summer, supported by a UK & European tour.

HERE AND NOW XMAS TOUR NEWS - Carol will be one of the artists taking part in the 2003 Here And Now Xmas Tour. The full line-up will be: T'Pau, Paul Young, Five Star, Howard Jones, Heaven 17, Nick Heyward, ABC, Curiosity Killed The Cat, China Crisis, and Kim Wilde. For ticket information check out the Here And Now web site.


Friday 12 - Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
Saturday 13 - Brighton Centre
Sunday 14 - Cardiff International Arena
Wednesday 17 - Newcastle Telewest Arena
Thursday 18 - Manchester Evening News Arena
Friday 19 - London Wembley Arena
Saturday 20 - Birmingham NEC

T'Pau Discography

08 August 1987 Heart and Soul - Chart Position No.4, 13 weeks on chart*
24 October 1987 China In Your Hand - Chart Position No.1, 15 weeks on chart*.
30 January 1988 Valentine - Chart Position No.9, 8 weeks on chart*
02 April 1988 Sex Talk (Live) - Chart Position No.23, 7 weeks on chart
25 June 1988 I Will Be With You - Chart Position No.14, 6 weeks on chart
01 October 1988 Secret Garden - Chart Position No.18, 7 weeks on chart
03 December 1988 Road To Our Dream - Chart Position No.42, 6 weeks on chart
25 March 1989 Only The Lonely - Chart Position No.28, 6 weeks on chart
18 May 1991 Whenever You Need Me - Chart Position No.16, 6 weeks on chart
27 July 1991 Walk On Air - Chart Position No.62, 2 weeks on chart
20 February 1993 Valentine (re-issue) - Chart Position No.53, 1 week on chart
(*) Top 10 single

1987 Bridge Of Spies
1988 Rage
1991 The Promise
1993 Heart and Soul: The Very Best of T'Pau
1998 Red
1999 Greatest Hits

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