Texas are a Scottish band formed in Glasgow in 1986 by ex “Altered Images” and “Hipsway” bass guitarist Johnny McElhone and lead vocalist Sharleen Spiteri. They released their début album “Southside” in 1989 which featured their first UK top ten single “I Don’t Want A Lover”. However it was in 1997 that Texas truly hit the big time with their 6 times platinum album “White On Blonde”. In their 25 years together, Texas have released 8 studio albums and one Greatest Hits Collection, selling over 30 million albums worldwide.
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the band have released a new album called Texas 25. Featuring 8 re-recorded versions of classic Texas songs produced by NYC maestros Truth and Soul, who have worked with Adele and Amy Winehouse in the past. It also features 4 new songs including the outstanding single “Start A Family”.
Texas 25 is a very enjoyable listening experience with many of the well known Texas songs benefitting from the stripped back production of Truth and Soul. The production emphasises the charming and soulful quality of Sharleen Spiteri vocals and the songs in these arrangements reminds the listener of all those great Motown/Atlantic 45’s of the late 60s and 70s.
The truly outstanding moment of the album for me is the gorgeous single “Start A Family” which finds Sharleen in a reflective mood. I have always been a fan of her voice but her performance here is simply heartbreaking. The whole song is driven by her reflective yearning to have meaningful communication with her loved one. I must admit the first time I sat at home listening to this song, its simple fragile beauty brought me to tears and still gives me goose bumps after hundreds of listens. Other outstanding moments are the new Bluesy version of “I Don’t Want A Lover” and the superb new song “Are You Ready”.
Texas 25 in my opinion is a great album from a great band with great songs sincerely paying homage to the Soul Music they love. They commence an extensive UK Tour in April and it will be exciting to hear these new arrangements live, until then Happy Anniversary Sharleen and co and here’s to the next 25.