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T'pau


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

Pop/rock

Status:

Most recent release, The Virgin Anthology (4CD compilation, 2017); most recent release of original material, Pleasure and Pain (2015)

See also:

T'pau Central

Comparisons:

Other '80s pop groups

Covers/own material:

Own material

General comments:

T'pau is a pretty poppy band fronted by the forcefully-voiced carol decker and they are a guilty pleasure of mine. they released three albums (Bridge of spies, eponymously titled in the usa, Rage, and The Promise) and then (i believe) broke up in or around 1992. The first and last were the only albums released in america. The first features the hit "heart and soul" and is a damn fine record. Rage never sunk in my mind, but that may have been because I bought it on vinyl and never really listened to it much. The Promise was supposed to be their return to fame, but its, ahem, promise never materialized. not as good as Bridge of spies, but still listened to more than Rage. (woj@smoe.org)

"Heart and Soul" has long been one of my guilty pleasures, too, though I only bought the 45 and never the whole album. Damn, but those were bad days for vinyl—the quality is the worst I've ever run across—nearly unplayable. (Neile)

I never noticed T'pau either at the time. But last year, someone bought me their "greatest hits", and it was a real discovery. Pity I missed them first time around. (lombaeg@donald.interpac.be)

Comments about live performance:

I've only ever once seen T'pau live, but it was good enough to make me want to buy the album. It was just after their initial success with the singles off Bridge of spies when they played live at a free festival in my hometown, Den Haag. I expected the regular pop group fare, i.e., a weakly reconstructed version of the great singles and a few weaker album tracks. I was amazed when they opened with an extremely powerful version of "Sex talk" and followed this up with "On the wing" and "Bridge of spies", two tracks I'd never heard. Believe me, hearing "Bridge of spies" for the first time, and then live, it's a great experience. Nothing much to say about the rest of the set except that besides playing the singles they unpacked a few songs I thought were good enough to warrant buying the album the next day as a great investment. I never regretted it. (marcel@kimwilde.com)

Recommended first album:

Bridge of spies seems to be the only universally accepted one, but if you want to start off a little more adventurously, try Red instead. (marcel@kimwilde.com)

Recordings:


Bridge of spies (T'pau in USA)

Release info:

1987—Siren (Virgin)—CDSRN8

Availability:

Poor

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Carol Decker—vocals
Ron Rogers—rhythm guitar and some bits
Tim Burgess—drums and percussion
Michael Chetwood—keyboards
Paul Jackson—bass
Taj Wyzgowski—guitar solos

Produced by:

Roy Thomas Baker

Comments:

Of course this debut album contains the breakthrough singles "Heart and soul" and "China in your hand", but personally I prefer the album tracks such as "Monkey house", "Thank you for goodbye" and the title track. It's good, solid rock with not a lot of big surprises, but at the same time, it sound a little different from the standard rock and roll fare. And of course, "Valentine" is one of the most emotional songs the group has ever produced. I used to regret falling in love with two of my female friends over this song.... (marcel@kimwilde.com)

Rage

Release info:

1988—Siren (Virgin)—CDSRN20

Availability:

Poor

Ecto priority:

Not recommended, for fans only. (marcel@kimwilde.com)

Group members:

Carol Decker—vocals
Ron Rogers—rhythm guitar and some bits
Tim Burgess—drums and percussion
Dean Howard—lead guitar
Michael Chetwood—keyboards
Paul Jackson—bass

Produced by:

Roy Thomas Baker, Carol Decker, Ron Rogers, Tim Burgess

Comments:

The 'difficult second album' was unfortunately too difficult for T'pau. Where they should have followed up on the brilliant debut album, they chose to change direction and produce some very naff cliché rock songs. There are a few shining moments of brilliance, but they are too rare to make Rage worth owning. (marcel@kimwilde.com)

The Promise

Release info:

1991—Siren (Virgin)—CDSRN32

Availability:

Poor

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Carol Decker—vocals
Ron Rogers—rhythm guitar and some bits
Tim Burgess—drums and percussion
Dean Howard—lead guitar
Michael Chetwood—keyboards
Paul Jackson—bass

Produced by:

Andy Richards

Comments:

Climbing back from the Rage fiasco, this album contains strong rock songs and some bright pop as well. The production makes this album sound a lot brighter than its predecessors, whereas the songs have been written with a lot more soul and conviction, it seems. Some tracks, like "Whenever you need me" and "Hold on to love" have an instant appeal, whereas some of the other tracks may take a little more time to grow on you. If you go for some light rock and pop, this is your stuff. (marcel@kimwilde.com)

Heart and soul: The very best of T'pau

Release info:

1993—Virgin—TPAUD 1 (UK), 077778680925 (I)

Availability:

Poor

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Carol Decker—vocals
Ron Rogers—rhythm guitar and some bits
Tim Burgess—drums and percussion
Dean Howard—lead guitar
Michael Chetwood—keyboards
Paul Jackson—bass

Produced by:

Roy Thomas Baker, Andy Richards

Comments:

Contract-fulfilling cash-in by the record company. Of course this album focuses most on the debut album (6 of the 12 tracks), but still this is a good introduction to the band, if you need it. If you've got the three previous albums, this disc is superfluous. (marcel@kimwilde.com)

Red

Release info:

1998—Gnatfish Records—GNRCD001 (UK)

Availability:

UK

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Carol Decker—vocals
Jez Ashurst—electric and acoustic guitars
Dave Hattee—drums
Dan McKinna—bass

Guest artists:

Spencer Cozens—keyboards
Scott Taylor—guitar
Kat Evans—fiddle
Ray Weston—drums

Comments:

The rumours are true—this CD truly is the best one T'pau has made. It's still not available outside of England. Of course the group still has a certain kitsch appeal, but oh well, the whole eighties were about that, weren't they? (marcel@kimwilde.com)


Thanks to Marcel Rijs for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-12-16 17:35:09.
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