Texas – White On Blonde (1997)

FrontCover1White on Blonde is the fourth studio album by Scottish rock band Texas, released by Mercury Records in February 1997. The album was the band’s first number one, and became their biggest seller. It has been certified 6x Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for sales of over 1.8 million copies.

The album included five UK Top Ten singles, “Say What You Want” (UK #3), “Halo” (UK #10), “Black Eyed Boy” (UK #5), “Put Your Arms Around Me” (UK #10) and “Insane” (UK #4) which was released as a double A-sided single with “Say What You Want (All Day, Every Day)” – a new version of the 1997 hit featuring additional rap vocals by the Wu-Tang Clan.

White on Blonde has been certified 6x Platinum in the UK, which indicates sales of over 1.8 million copies in that territory. The album was also a major success in various European countries, such as France where it peaked at #2 on the French Album Charts. Worldwide, sales of White on Blonde are estimated at around 4-5 million copies.[citation needed] The album was produced by the band themselves, along with Mike Hedges and former Eurythmics star Dave Stewart.

AlternateFrontCoverAlternate frontcover from Japan

White on Blonde has received many honours since its release in 1997. It was voted the 86th greatest album of all time by Q magazine readers in 1998. The album is also ranked #34 in Q’s “Best 50 Albums of Q’s Lifetime,” included in Q magazine’s “90 Best Albums Of The 1990s,” and included in Q magazine’s “50 Best Albums of 1997.”

White on Blonde became the first Texas album to top the UK Album Charts and is one of only two Texas albums (along with The Greatest Hits) to be certified 6x Platinum in the United Kingdom.

In 2010, White on Blonde was nominated in the BRIT Awards Best Album in the past 25 years. (by wikipedia)

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Unexpectedly, Texas became a popular sensation prior to the release of White on Blonde when Chris Evans made the soulful single “Say What You Want” the de facto theme song on his morning program on Radio 1. On the strength of his support, Texas was catapulted to previously unthinkable success, and the majority of the fans who thought the number one single was fine shouldn’t have been disappointed with the full-length album. A combination of roots-rock and soul, White on Blonde occasionally has more style than substance, but Sharleen Spiteri’s gorgeous vocals and the band’s professionalism make the record a charming, ingratiating listen. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Eddie Campbell (keyboards)
Richard Hynd (drums)
Ally McErlaine (guitar)
Johnny McElhone (bass)
Sharleen Spiteri (vocals, guitar)
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Gini Ball (strings)
Susan Dench (strings)
Terry Disley (keyboards)
Steven Granville (background vocals)
Sally Herbert (strings)
Claire Miles (strings)
Claire Orsler (strings)
Chris Pitsillide (strings)
Alex Silva (keyboards)
Anne Stephenson (strings)
Roger Ward (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. 0.34 (Introduction) (McElhone/Spiteri) 0.34
02. Say What You Want (McElhone/Spiteri) 3.53
03. Drawing Crazy Patterns (McElhone/Spiteri) 3.52
04. Halo (McElhone/Spiteri     Texas, Mike Hedges     4:10
05. Put Your Arms Around Me (McElhone/Spiteri/Stewart/Hodgens) 4.33
06. Insane (McElhone/Spiteri) 4.45
07. Black Eyed Boy (McElhone/Spiteri/Campbell/Hynd/Hodgens) 3.10
08. Polo Mint City (McElhone/Spiteri) 1.37
09. White On Blonde (McElhone/Spiteri) 3.46
10. Postcard (McElhone/Spiteri) 4.00
11. 0.28 (Interlude) 0.28
12. Ticket To Lie (McElhone/Spiteri/Hodgens) 3.31
13. Good Advice (McElhone/Spiteri/Rae/Christian) 4.50
14. Breathless (McElhone/Spiteri) 3.55

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Texas – The Hush (1999)

FrontCover1The Hush is the fifth album by the Scottish rock band Texas. Released in May 1999, the album debuted at number one in the United Kingdom and spent a total of 43 weeks on the UK Album Charts. It has been certified triple platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.

The album included the singles “In Our Lifetime” which reached number 4 in the United Kingdom. “Summer Son” was released as the second single from the album and peacked at number 5 in the UK. The third and final single to be released was “When We Are Together” which peaked at number 12 on the UK Singles Charts.

The Hush has been certified triple platinum by the BPI for UK sales in excess of 900,000 copies. This makes it the band’s second most successful studio album after their previous album, White on Blonde (1997), which had been certified 6x Platinum.

Pitchfork.com: “Summer Son” bounces along like two-toned buttocks frollicking under a silk skirt, while the title track slowjams erotically like Spiteri rubbing down her body with her eyes closed, lips blooming to reveal marble teeth and a sentient tongue. Well, no. Really, there’s more to this “music” than the singer’s looks. Really. Stop looking at that. She’s out of our league. Give me that back. I want the artwork!

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Blessed with a stylish production and sharp commercial songs, White on Blonde made Texas into superstars everywhere except America — a situation familiar to many British acts of the ’80s and ’90s. Like most of their peers, Texas failed to deliver in the U.S. because of bungled promotion, since singles like “Black Eyed Boy” could have easily fit onto adult alternative radio. Texas must have been aware of this, since they switched labels in America, releasing White on Blonde’s sequel The Hush near-simultaneously in the U.S. and the U.K. — a sure sign that they were aiming for the big time. As it turns out, they pulled off a minor coup with The Hush — they build on the strengths of White on Blonde, creating a sophisticated, sexy pop album that manages to balance commercial and creative concerns, with seemingly very little effort. It won’t please longtime fans, who might be pining for a return to the rock of their early records, but the album’s lush blend of melody, blue-eyed soul, dance and pop is undeniably alluring. Wisely, they take their cue from Sharleen Spiteri’s hushed vocals, which are sultry but never histrionic. Some could argue that the entire affair is too self-consciously mature — after all, the majority of the album is devoted to mid-tempo pop numbers, and even the up-tempo cuts never work up much of a sweat — but the fact remains, few bands are capable of delivering a mainstream pop record as assured and listenable as this. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Eddie Campbell (keyboards,
Johnny McElhone (bass)
Ally McErlaine (guitar)
Sharleen Spiteri (vocals, guitar)
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Ben Chapman (additional beats)
Giuliano Gizzi (guitar on 06.)
Richard Hynd (drums, programming)
Kenny MacDonald (programming 0n 01., 05.)
Tony McGovern (guitar on 03.)
Mark One (scratches on 02.)
Paul Smith (guitar on 03.)
Mathew Vaughan (programming on 02.)
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String section (on 06. + 07.):
Dervilagh Cooper – Emma Kerr – Rachel England – Susan Dance

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Tracklist:
01. In Our Lifetime (McElhone/Spiteri) 4.06
02. Tell Me The Answer (McElhone/Spiteri/Hodgens) 3.54
03. Summer Son (McElhone/Spiteri/Campbell/Hodgens) 4.04
04. Sunday Afternoon (McElhone/Spiteri) 4.21
05. Move In (McElhone/Spiteri/Rae/Christian) 4.28
06. When We Are Together (McElhone/Spiteri) 3.30
07. Day After Day (McElhone/Spiteri) 4.37
08. Zero Zero (McElhone/Spiteri/Campbell) 1.42
09. Saint (McElhone/Spiteri)  4.46
10. Girl (McElhone/Spiteri) 3.46
11. The Hush (McElhone/Spiteri/Rae/Christian) 4.53
12. The Day Before I Went Away + Let Us Be Thankful (hidden track) (McElhone/Spiteri) 6.28

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