Tuesday, 3 July 2012

1987








Firstly I would like to thank Carol for giving me permission to do this blog.  It is a big year for both her and T'Pau, as it is 25 years since Carol and T'Pau 'blasted' on the music scene, all the way back in 1987!!  We have agreed that #T'Pau25 started on 2nd May 2012, which is the day Heart and Soul was released in America, as the previous release of it in the UK flopped first time around.  It means a lot to me doing this blog because I have followed T'Pau and Carol for the past 25 years, and music plays such a huge part of my life.  I can 'drift away' listening to Carol's lyrics, as they all have such meaning, and lyrics, to me, is what makes a great song.  I also think that the background colour of red is so appropriate as it has several links with Carol.

I also thought it would be nice to 'finally' have somewhere where all of the T'Pau music videos can be kept, instead of keep logging onto You Tube.  As well as the music videos, I have made some of my own as various projects over the years never had music videos.

If you're not viewing this on a computer or laptop, choose 'view as web-page' when you click on to it so you get the right formatting.

When clicking on to a 'link', to go back to the blog afterwards, don't click on top right cross as it will take you out of the blog, but click on top left arrow.




T'Pau/Carol Decker Official on Facebook



1980

The Lazers

Carol's first band was called 'The Lazers', and two of her songs, 'Headache' and 'Rivet' were included on the 1980 album 'Brum Beat-Live At The Barrel Organ'.


Carol would have been 23 at this time, and she would tour the pub and club circuits, just like any band of that era, waiting for her 'big break'.  Record deals weren't just handed out as easily as they are today, with shows like The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and The Voice.  You really had to work hard to achieve success, and when you actually achieved that success, you know you had actually 'earned' it.

They would send 'demo' tapes to record companies.  Remember there wasn't any Cd's in those days!!  Also, it was a 'tough' business as having the door slammed in your faces several times was the norm at the time.



The above is a review of the Lazers' performance by Mike Davies.  "I couldn't begin to describe the sheer electric excitement with which Carol Decker of the Lazers ripped me apart.  This was the first time I'd seen the band live and I would sell-up house to follow their gigs round the country-if I wasn't paying rent in advance! Forget Little Miss Dynamite-this is Little Miss Nuclear Bomb!  The Lazers are going to be stars, Carol Decker is going to be a whole bloody solar system-or the business may as well go into liquidation en masse!

Well he was right about Carol being "a whole bloody solar system!!".
This was 32 years ago in 1980.  Carol was 23, but she still had to work hard for the next seven years before that success came.

Seven years of sending off demo tapes, continuing to tour the pub and club circuit.  There was no glamour involved.




1987


Biography


T'Pau were formed in 1986 in Shropshire.  Prior to being called T'Pau, they were known as 'Talking America', where Carol was to meet Ronnie.  They wanted another name, a more 'catchy name'.  Carol was watching Star Trek whilst doing the ironing and Mr Spock's paternal grandmother, the high Vulcan Priestess' name was mentioned. "T'Pau".  Carol liked the 'onomatopoeia' of it, and that is how T'Pau were named!!

A Very rare single cover to "Heart And Soul" with the Star Trek 'hand logo'.




T'Pau from Star Trek




Carol Decker


Carol was born on 10th September 1957 in Liverpool and was educated in Wellington, Shropshire.
She is the singer/co-writer of all of T'Pau's hits.  She is the 'front woman' for the band.  In the 80's and part of the 90's, Carol's partner was Ronnie Rogers, rhythm guitarist/co-writer of the songs, for 13 years. They parted in the 90's, but still remain good friends. Carol was 29 when the band first made it big with Heart and Soul, and 30 with China In Your Hand.  In a recent interview on Loose Women, they were discussing that that was quite old to find fame in the music business.  Carol was quoted as saying "ancient!!", as compared to some of the artists of today, they can be as young as 16/17!!

Carol met, who was subsequently to be, her future husband, in 1996.  His name is Richard Coates. They married in 2006.  They both have two children, Scarlett, 14 this year and Dylan, 10 this year.  Richard is a restaurateur and co-owns 'The Cherry Tree Inn' in Henley-On-Thames, with Carol.

Years ago, when the band first made it big, Carol said she would never marry, and, in her own words was 'allergic' to kids!!  Things couldn't have panned out more differently.  And Carol wouldn't have it any other way!!

Ronnie Rogers



Ronnie was born 13th March 1959 in Shrewsbury.  He was the the Rhythm Guitarist /co song-writer of the band, along with Carol.  They had a 13 year relationship during part of the 80's and 90's.  As mentioned above, they remain very good friends.  Ronnie now lives in Wales, and is still in the music business, and has his own group called 'The Ronaldo's'.  Himself and Carol still write material together.

Tim Burgess


Tim was born 6th October 1961 in Macclesfield, and was the Percussionist/Drummer of the band.
He no longer is involved in the music industry, and now lives in Toronto.  He now works on digital distribution for music and films.  What a waste of a  drummer!!

Michael Chetwood


Mike was the oldest member of T'Pau, and was born on 26th August 1954 in Telford.  He played on the keyboard, and was responsible for the 'ever so well known' opening of China In Your Hand. 
I'm not sure of what Michael does at the moment.

Paul Jackson


Paul Jackson was born on 8th August 1961 in Telford.  He was the Bass Guitarist to the band.
Since the original line up split at the end of 1991, Paul is now in the band 'Dawson'.

Taj Wyzgowski



Taj was the lead guitarist on the album 'Bridge Of Spies' but left the band before they found their fame, and was replaced by :

Dean Howard


Dean was born on 7th May 1961, and took over from Taj as lead guitarist.  A brilliant guitarist, as, although he wasn't responsible for any of Bridge Of Spies, except the single version of China In Your Hand, he toured, playing the songs live. His talent was rewarded when the band split when he went on to tour and record with Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan.  He also formed a band with Spandau Ballet's Drummer John Keeble called 'The Herbs' in the 1990's.


The Herbs promo picture

Dean doing what he does best at a 'Herbs' concert at The Borderline Club in the 90's.


Photo by Deano Hollett


Click on the links below for T'Pau/Carol Wikipedia :

Wikipedia page for T'Pau

Wikipedia page for Carol Decker

One of the very first quotes I ever heard about Carol Decker was that of such a complementary one, and one that Carol should be proud of :


"Springsteen in a split skirt"




She was being compared to a world-wide multi-talented rock artist, and, in essence, that's exactly what Carol was " a multi-talented rocker".  She was renowned for her 'flame' coloured hair, her short skirts and her high-heels.  These were her trademarks!!  Not to mention, most importantly, her vocal talents!!

I would say there wasn't that many bands around at that time with female lead singers, which I would say was a bonus.  Carol was one of a kind, and has been described as "Striesand", to name a few.  From being able to sing such beautiful ballads, to 'rocking it up' live, she was so diverse, which is one of the reasons why T'Pau were so popular.

Decker/Rogers was the new writing partnership 'sensation'.  They both worked together so well, and to this day, the formula is still there.  They have both written with numerous artists, but they both know how each other ticks musically and they are still writing together.

You don't really get that many writing partnerships, that can spring to mind, nowadays do you?









I was 15 when T'Pau first came onto the music scene way back in 1987, but it wasn't over here that they first found fame!!  It was America.


Heart And Soul

Heart And Soul was originally released over here in the UK, entering the charts at I think 98, and then disappearing without a trace!  It was quite an unusual style of song at the time-a rapping vocal over the main vocals, which Carol described on Pebble Mill as her "feeble attempt at a rap song".  Well, feeble or not, it put T'Pau on the map!!



Intimate Strangers

The next single to be released was 'Intimate Strangers', later to be released 'live' and re-named 'Sex Talk'.  This didn't do very well in the charts either, which must have been a frustrating time for the band, but things were about to change!!





Heart And Soul America

It was then released in America on 2nd May 1987, and after being featured on a Pepe Jeans advertisement all around the cinemas, it started to climb up the Billboard Hot 100 chart, eventually reaching number 4!!  It was in the American charts for 6 months!!  Carol has said that "Heart and Soul" in America is like "China In Your Hand" is in this country, popularity wise.

Carol's theory as to why America took the song to their hearts was that America was the "home of rap" and that it was her "feeble attempt at a rap song"!


Bridge Of Spies




Bridge of Spies - T'Pau


Bridge Of Spies first charted 26/09/1987, and last charted 05/11/1988.  It was in the UK charts for a staggering 59 weeks.  It's highest position was number 1.  It generated 6 singles, five of which were released in the UK (see below) and 1 being released in Germany-Bridge Of Spies.
It went quadruple platinum selling a staggering 1.2 million copies in the UK alone!!  It got to number 31 in America, and was titled 'T'Pau'.  There was a mention that the American record company simply forgot to print the album title.  I don't know how true this is.

In total, the album reached top 20 in nine countries, (top ten in six), click on the link to 'Bridge Of Spies' Wikipedia further down.

The album was as diverse as an album of its time could be; such powerful ballads from the likes of "China In Your Hand", "Valentine" and "I Will Be With You" to the rockiest such as "Sex Talk" and "Monkey House", not to mention "Heart And Soul" which was basically a double vocal song, one of the vocals being "rap".

The diversity is what made T'Pau so appealing, and to this day, none of the records have dated.
Carol did mention once that she actually lost her voice during the recording of the album.  I'm not surprised when you hear songs like "Valentine's" vocals!

Below is an album preview to 'Bridge Of Spies'.  It has clips from all of the songs on the album.  I found it on You Tube.  If you haven't already got the album, then this should tempt you to click on the 'download now on i-tunes' button above!!





The track listing is as follows :-
  1. Heart and Soul
  2. I Will Be With You
  3. China In Your Hand
  4. Friends Like These
  5. Sex Talk
  6. Bridge Of Spies
  7. Monkey House
  8. Valentine
  9. Thank You For Goodbye
  10. You Give Up
  11. China In Your Hand (reprise)
     Adverts for the 'new album'.




I have found a list of the top 100 selling albums of the 80's in the UK,  and Bridge of Spies is number 23!!!!
Click on the link below for the complete list.  It's interesting to see who T'Pau are higher than!!  The Eurythmics, A-ha (Debut album!!), Wet Wet Wet, Level 42 and The Human League to name a few!!




Heart And Soul re-release UK

Heart and Soul - Bridge of Spies

Before the band knew where they were, Heart And Soul had been re-released over here in the UK, first charted 1/08/87, last charted 31/10/87, and was in the charts for 14 weeks, and was gradually creeping up our charts!! At this time, they had to fly home to promote it over here!!  And guess what?  It reached number 4 over here as well!!

I think it got to the stage for the band that their schedule was so tight they were jetting to and from America, promoting the single in both places!!  It must have been weird for them, however, first getting fame in America, and people not knowing who they were back here in the UK!

It was quite an unusual song for its time, a kind of 'dance' song with overlapping 'rapping' lyrics.  Was a very catchy tune.

Here is "Heart and Soul's" chart performances from Wikipedia :



Eight top ten positions; thirteen top twenty positions and one thing that was a surprise to me was that it got to number one in Canada!!  I never knew that!!  And it stayed in the Canadian chart for 25 weeks!!

Heart And Soul Cassingle (Cassette Single)

The cover to the Cassette Single of Heart And Soul was completely different to that of the single and 12" releases.  The picture was from the same shoot as the "Bridge Of Spies" album cover, but in black and white.



Heart And Soul was the only single by T'Pau that didn't have a CD Single release.


On The Wing Live


I do believe this was T'Paus first ever TV appearance in the UK on the children's Saturday morning programme No. 73.  They were promoting "Heart And Soul".  Here is them singing the B-Side of it, "On The Wing".

Design and artwork by Stella-Bella 

Here is the 'original' Heart And Soul video, which I have heard was the American version.  I don't know how true this is.  Cool dancing Carol!!


Here is the version that we are used to.



Below is an iTunes link to purchase the video to "Heart And Soul"!!

Heart and Soul - T'Pau



I believe this was their first ever Top Of The Pops appearance!!  Carol has always said that one of her career hi-lights was her first ever Top Of The Pops.  I would imagine it was every up and coming bands 'dream' to appear on the programme as it was such an institution what with everyone growing up with it,  and also 'a box to tick', saying "I've done that"!



An advert by Woolworths.  Greatly worded 'T'Pauwerful Stuff!'



T'Pau performing Heart and Soul live at the Princes Trust rock gala 1988 in the presence of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.





Here is a picture that Carol recently tweeted after the sad death of Robin Gibb.  She said "R.I.P. Robin.  It was a pleasure doing shows with you".





I think it was one of Carol's proudest moments meeting Princess Diana.




Now I couldn't finish with Heart And Soul without posting the 12" mix!! I saw Carol tweet recently saying she didn't have a copy of it, so here it is Carol.  A lot of people can't listen to some B-Sides they love, or some remixed versions of some of the songs as they are only on vinyl, and not many people have record players now.  So here is a treat for you!!

Heart and Soul 12" Mix



A very rare picture of the band.




China In Your Hand




China In Your Hand (Single Version) - T'Pau - Hits


China In Your Hand first charted in the UK 24/10/1987 and last charted 30/01/1988.  It was in the charts for 15 weeks.  It started off quite low in the charts.  Today, if a song was destined to make it to number 1 it would enter straight at number 1, more than likely.  But, all those years ago, even the greatest of the hits would 'gradually' climb up the charts.  I think 'China' was at number 1 on its 4th week of release.  Here are a few facts and figures for China In Your Hand :

  • It was the 600th number 1 single in the UK
  • It stopped a Beatle-George Harrison from getting to number 1 with his single 'Got My Mind Set On You'
  • I've only just found out that "Bridge of Spies" stopped another Beatle from getting to number 1 in tha album charts - Sir Paul McCartney!!!!
  • It was the longest serving number 1 of 1987, where it stayed there for 5 weeks!!
  • It was number 1 when Bridge Of Spies got to number 1, one of only 72 acts to achieve this in over 50 years of chart history.  It cemented Carol and her bandmate's place in history.  I remember Carol being interviewed many years ago and she said that Elton John told her "I haven't even done that!!!!"
  • T'Pau were actually touring with Bryan Adams when China In Your Hand got to number 1.  It's not often a support act has that kind of success is it?  The 'bums-on-seats' were probably there to see T'Pau!! Carol joked once saying "they got the biggest cheers!!".
  • It is no doubt a firm favourite 80's song to a lot of people.  The people that have said to Carol "I had my first kiss or dance to it!"  
  • It has appeared in a lot of charts of the 80's including favourite top 100 songs of the 80's.
  • At the last count, quite a few years ago, "China" had appeared on over 150 compilation albums!!
  • When T'Pau got their record deal "China" was an unknown track.  They got their record deal on the strength of tracks like "Valentine", "Heart And Soul" and "Sex Talk".  However, one track was not working and they were one track short for the album.  Carol put her hand in her pocket and pulled out a tape, which was "China In Your Hand!!" and said "Well I've got this!!", Can you believe that!!  If it wasn't for that one track that wasn't working, "China" may never have seen the light of day!!  And the rest with regards to "China" is history!!  

Here is "China's" chart performances from Wikipedia :

6 number one's, 11 top ten's and 13 top twenty's!!

China In Your Hand Cassingle (Cassette Single)

The cover to "China's" Cassingle version was slightly different to the cover we are used to.  The shot was different and it was in colour.






A Bryan Adams advert with 'T'Pau' as support.  Look at the date, 3/11/1987.  The band would have been number one then with 'China In Your Hand!!'



An advert advertising a gig in Germany in March 1988.


Carol hanging out with her 'new friend!!'



The song did very well in a number of European countries, including getting to number 1 in quite a few!!

If Carol had a pound for every time she was asked what the song actually means, well, let's just say it would amount to a lot.  It has nothing to do with a china 'tea cup'.  It relates to Mary Shelly writing about Frankenstien.  The album version, which is longer than the single version, explains the story better, before the single edit.

To this day, it remains a 'timeless' classic, and at the last count has appeared on over 150 compilation albums!! "Kerching!!".

Here is the video of the song. 






The above was at the 1988 BPI awards, where they opened the show with a breathtaking performance of China In Your Hand.  BPI later changed to the Brits.  They were up for best group, best single and best album, but unfortunately, Wet Wet Wet seemed to have all the luck.



The above was the band at an awards ceremony in Ireland in 1988.  It hasn't been on You Tube that long.  Carol picks up an award for best new international group and then they perform China.  Carol's vocals are simply amazing!!

It's even made an appearance in a routine in Dancing On Ice!!





Here is a photo that was given to all fan-club members





Omg!! Look what I've just found in my T'Pau 'archive folder!!'




I've always loved this photo of Carol, such a natural shot.



An older and rarely seen picture of Carol
Doesn't she look fab!!




Happy Christmas everyone!! 




Created by Deano Hollett July 2012




5 comments:

  1. This blog is truly amazing Deano... the history you have covered in such detail is quite simply remarkable!! Be proud babes - VERY PROUD!!

    Love Ya, Stella xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks darling,
      Was great to hear Carol saying it was fantastic!!!!
      Love you darl,
      Deano xx

      Delete
  2. Very nice blog! I remember Heart & Soul breaking in the US, courtesy of the US Chart Show on Radio 1 every Saturday afternoon. Looking forward to the new reissue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you like it Eric. I think we are all looking forward to the deluxe edition.
      Kind Regards,
      Deano #TPau25

      Delete
  3. Hi- can you help me? I saw T'Pau at I think, Poole Arts Centre in 1987. It was my first ever concert and was brill!
    The support act were great too but I can't remember who they were. I 'think' it was Big Country maybe? Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete