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by Aneta Tadeusiak
"You have this special kind of voice that will become more and more perfect with time" - so Diana Ross once said to 23 year-old Sharleen Spiteri, the singer of Texas. Indeed, at the moment everyone seems to acknowledge Sharleen's vocal talent, no matter what genre of music they're into, from Method Mad to the Manics. Now, aged 32, Sharleen dedicates "Day After Day", from the new album "The Hush", to none other than the legendary lady of soul - Diana Ross.
"Paris, Texas", by Wim Wenders, was the movie that inspired the Glasgow-based band to choose the American sounding Texas as their name. Back in 1986, John McElhone, Ally McErlaine, Sharleen Spiteri, Stuart Kerr (later replaced by Richard Hynd) and Craig Armstrong (whose duty took over Eddie Campbell) formed the group and later in 1989 their debut single, "I Don't Want A Lover", was released, reaching number 8 in the UK singles charts. The first album, entitled "Southside" made it into number 3.
The next release, "Mother's Heaven" (1991) didn't have much success, neither did "Rick's Road", released two years later. From that period of their career stands out the remake of Al Green's "Tired Of Being Alone", which became a fairly big hit, reaching number 15 in the UK charts.
But their huge success was yet to come with the release of "White On Blonde" (1997). The album peaked in the UK charts and sold over 4 million copies world-wide. "Say What You Want", the first single, soon became a true classic, reaching number 3 in the UK, but also top ten positions in many other countries.
The follow-up singles, "Halo", "Put Your Arms Around Me" and "Black Eyed Boy" all managed to get into the top ten and helped establish Texas as one of the most glorious bands of the UK music industry.
To the surprise of some of the public, "Say What You Want" gained itself a remake, by Texas and Wu-Tang-Clan's Method Man and RZA, showing a different aspect of the British band's sound.
More respect and acknowledgement was coming not only from the fans, but also from the people within the industry, as in 1998 Texas received the British Ivor Novello award for the entire body of work. Not bad, given that the peak of Texas creativity was yet to come...
"For me, this new record is not just our best yet, this is the Texas album we've been building up to throughout our entire history" says Sharleen about their newest album. Released earlier this spring, "The Hush", has been receiving many positive opinions from both fanbase and music critics. According to the singer, for the first time the band managed to gather all their influences which, merged, gave the result of something fresh, inspiring, amazing and positive.
The first single, "In Our Lifetime", easily recognised amongst all the other songs because of its distinctive, Oriental sound, became a huge hit (number 4 in the UK) and has had an immense airplay in Europe so far.
It looks like Texas are even more successful after the release of the new album. No wonder, 10 years of experience and collaborations with people like Dave Stuart (ex-Eurythmics), Mike Hedges (Manic Street Preachers) and lately, Spike Stent (known for mixing some of the Spice Girls and Massive Attack tracks), plus a beauty-polls winning singer, makes for a good class popularity.