Red (T'Pau album)

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Red
Red T'Pau.jpg
Studio album by T'Pau
Released 14 September 1998
Recorded December 1997 - July 1998
Genre Pop, Rock
Length 40:01
Label Gnatfish
T'Pau chronology
The Promise
(1991)
Red
(1998)

Red is the fourth studio album by British pop/rock group T'Pau. It was released in 1998, and was the first album since The Promise from 1991.

The group originally gained success in the late 1980s and split in the early 1990s. In 1997 original lead singer Carol Decker reformed the band with a completely new line-up and released a brand new version of their original hit "Heart and Soul". The new line-up started playing gigs and recorded this album in 1998. The album was released on Decker's own Gnatfish label, and would be released in America during late 1999 with a bonus CD featuring three extra tracks (including the 1997 version of "Heart and Soul"). In 2007, the album was officially released for download.[1] It would be Decker's last album/single release until the 2007 solo single "Just Dream".

Background[edit]

After the original split of T'Pau, Decker attempted a solo career. In 1993, she contributed a track to the soundtrack of the film Dirty Weekend,[2] and the following year a small number of live performances followed.[3] In 1995 she released the single "One Heart" - as the official anthem for the Halifax World Cup Rugby League Centenary '95.[4] It peaked at #130 in the UK.[5] She performed the song at Wembley Stadium during the opening and closing ceremonies.[6] By 1997 though, Decker had taken the decision to build a 'new' T'Pau around her, and get back on the road after assembling a massive amount of new material. Although she considered continuing as a solo artist, it was advised that it would be easier if the band name was rekindled. The newly reformed band featured none of the original members aside from Decker. A brand new version of the band's original hit "Heart and Soul" was released as "Heart and Soul '97" (featuring the future Red album track "Make Love to Me"), and the band went onto Cilla Black's Surprise Surprise TV show to perform the song. However it was not a commercial success.

A 25-date tour followed, including some festivals.[7] The Red album was recorded when Decker was pregnant. The album took approximately six months in the studio, which spanned from December 1997 to July 1998. It was mostly recorded and almost entirely mixed at Roundhouse Studios in London. "Say You Will" was mixed at The Strongroom in London. The album was mastered by Robin at RPM in London. Red was released in September 1998, shortly before a tour entitled 'The Red Tour' commenced. It consisted of thirty-six shows finishing with a sold out London show at the prestigious Jazz Cafe. This tour was accompanied by a radio promo single, "With a Little Luck," and some radio and press, notably a live session for Virgin Radio and a new live appearance on VH-1, which Decker also filmed material for in New York. After that Status Quo invited T'Pau to support them during November and December 1998 on the German and UK leg of their Tour "It's Good To Tour".[8] Despite the touring, the album was not a commercial success, and nor was the re-recorded version of "Giving Up the Ghost" in 1999. Red remains the last album from T'Pau/Decker to date, although announcements of an upcoming future solo album has been made by Decker.[9]

All of the songs were produced by Decker herself, although four of them would feature various additional producers as well. Four of the ten album tracks feature a co-writing credit from Ronnie Rogers, who was the original rhythm guitarist for T'Pau, and the principle songwriter alongside Decker for the band's original line-up. He did not play on the Red album, however he did co-produce a couple of the songs. Though no singles were released directly from the album for sale, the song "With a Little Luck" was released in the UK as a promotional CD single via Gnatfish. "Now That You're Gone" and "Giving Up the Ghost" were included on the single. "Giving Up the Ghost" would be completely re-recorded in 1999 for commercial single release. It was not a commercial success. The single featured "Now That You're Gone" and a live version of "Heart & Soul" which was recorded live in 1998.[10]

In an Old School - Back to the 80s interview from 2011, Decker was asked how the reformation of the band came to fruition. She replied "I decided in 1998, after meeting a new manager, to start work again after years of no confidence. We toured "Red", my fourth album, and put it out on my label Gnatfish. I would've loved to have gotten the same level of success again but it didn't happen although I did sell a lot of albums on the road. I was no longer bankrolled, so I couldn't get the PR and TV coverage which you so need."[11] In a 2013 interview for Super Deluxe Edition writer Paul Sinclair, Decker spoke of the album in relation to being a mother and touring commitments. "I had an album out called "Red" in 1998 and I recorded that when I was pregnant with my daughter, who is now 14. I toured it up and down the UK, and then I went across Europe with Status Quo and I left her behind when she was six months old. I sulked my way across Germany – it was just awful. I hadn’t been a mum before. Scarlett was incredibly healthy, my mother moved in to help look after her. I left her safe and sound and well sorted, but I didn’t take into consideration being a new mother, separated from her daughter after six months, with hormones raging… I was in bits. So consequently I haven’t toured, with a capital ‘t’, since then, which is where all these eighties shows have come in brilliantly."[12] T'Pau, including Rogers, would embark on a 28-date UK tour during the spring of 2013, to mark the 25th anniversary of the formation of the band.

Release[edit]

Red was initially released in mid-September 1998 in the UK on CD, via Decker's own Gnatfish label.[13][14] In America it would be released as a two-disc set on November 9, 1999, via Renaissance Records. The second disc included three tracks; the re-recorded "Heart and Soul '97", a live, unplugged version of the band's 1987 UK number one hit "China in Your Hand", and the demo version of the Red album track "Do the Right Dance".[15]

On 16 September 2007 the album was officially made available as a MP3 download from Amazon, including the UK and America.[16][17] It was also made available on iTunes.[18]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "With a Little Luck" Carol Decker, Ronnie Rogers, J. David 3:40
2. "Now That You're Gone" Decker, Scott Taylor 3:14
3. "Do the Right Dance" Decker, Rogers, D. Howard 4:18
4. "Wing & A Prayer" Decker, S. Darlow 4:00
5. "Giving Up the Ghost" Decker 4:54
6. "Make Love to Me" Decker, Rogers, R. Feldman 3:28
7. "Say You Will" Decker, Taylor 3:08
8. "Love Song" Decker, P. Harvey 4:36
9. "Let It All Fall" Decker, Darlow 4:36
10. "Sweet Dreams" Decker, Rogers, J. Dunkley, G. Clayton, S. Boorer 4:06

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[19]
Classic Rock magazine favourable[20]
The War Against Silence favourable[21]

Heather Phares of Allmusic stated "T'Pau returns with Red, its first album since 1991. The group's smooth pop sounds remain intact on songs like "With a Little Luck," "Now That You're Gone," "Giving Up the Ghost," and "Let It All Fall."[19]

For The War Against Silence, a weekly music-review column, reviewer Glenn McDonald reviewed the Red album, revealing "Red", when it finally arrives, is a reunion album only in name. The arrangements, almost perforce, tend to be sparer than T'Pau's intricate sextet-synergy raptures, and there are enough contemporary touches to prove that Decker hasn't spent the last seven years cocooned. Decker's voice, though, somewhere between Marie Fredriksson and Maria McKee, is still capable of airy melancholy and anthemic howl, and her instinct for sentimental magnificence is undimmed. T'Pau have come to seem unfashionable mainly, I think, because they always sounded like they were having uncomplicated fun, and uncomplicated fun, of course, is currently the province of the Spice Girls, and those similarly unworthy of critical tolerance. But fun and seriousness weren't always in opposition, and dance music wasn't always machine-gun bursts of random sensation. Those were two of the great lessons of New Wave, I thought, lessons that didn't stop being true when A Flock of Seagulls got their hair cut. I doubt very many Ani DiFranco or Marilyn Manson fans are going to jettison their respective lifestyles, tomorrow, to help me fuel this T'Pau revival, but Carol Decker remembers, as I suspect some of them will want to when they're older (and perhaps only a little older), where the paths are that take you from grassroots to glam, and how it is that the people at both ends, however much their kingdoms look like islands, still speak the same language."[22]

In the Classic Rock Magazine of January 1999, Dave Ling reviewed the album. He noted "Eight years on, T'Pau has very much become a vehicle for flame-haired siren Carol Decker, who co-wrote all the material, handled the production and now owns the name, all rights reserved. Sonically, T'Pau still favour smooth, occasionally faceless walls of melody best exemplified on "Now That You're Gone" and "Make Love to Me". Could have lived without the Big Country flavoured "Do the Right Dance"; and surely Paul McCartney will be suing Decker for re-writing 'Wings' "With a Little Luck" and re-titling it "Wing and a Prayer"? Nevertheless, this is a solid enough comeback album."[23]

Personnel[edit]

  • Carol Decker - Vocals, Producer
  • Jez Ashurst - Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
  • Dave Hattee - Drums, Programming on "Love Song"
  • Dan McKinna - Bass
Additional personnel
  • Producers of "With a Little Luck" - Decker, Rafe McKenna, Marco Sabiu
  • Producers of "Do the Right Dance" and "Let It All Fall" - Decker, McKenna, Ronnie Rogers
  • Producers of "Love Song" - Decker, McKenna
  • Marco Sabiu - Programming on "With a Little Luck"
  • Rafe McKenna - Mixing
  • Simon Dawson, Rafe McKenna, Feddy de Faye, Alan Jenkins, Roberto Pieroni - Engineers
  • Jeremy Gill, Simon Morris, Peter Sberi - Assistant Engineers
  • Robin - Mastering
  • Spencer Cozens - Keyboards on tracks 2, 4-7, 10
  • Scott Taylor - Guitar on tracks 2, 6, 7
  • Kat Evans - Fiddle on "Do the Right Dance"
  • Ray Weston - Drums on tracks 3 and 9
  • Tom Howard - Main Photography
  • Patricia O'Niell - Make Up
  • Deluxe - Design
  • Wye Media - Artwork

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.gnatfishrecords.com/catalogue.html Gnatfish records.com
  2. ^ http://www.tpausite.de/songs/songs.htm
  3. ^ "#TPau25 - 25 Years Of TPau and Carol Decker: 1993/94". Tpau25official2013.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  4. ^ "Carol Decker - One Heart (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  5. ^ "Chart Log UK: Asher D - Dyverse". Zobbel.de. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  6. ^ "#TPau25 - 25 Years Of TPau and Carol Decker: 1995/6". Tpau25official2013.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  7. ^ "#TPau25 - 25 Years Of TPau and Carol Decker: 1997". Tpau25official2013.blogspot.co.uk. 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  8. ^ "#TPau25 - 25 Years Of TPau and Carol Decker: 1998". Tpau25official2013.blogspot.co.uk. 1998-06-02. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  9. ^ http://jameswhaleradio.co.uk/?p=449
  10. ^ http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=217750
  11. ^ "Back to the 80s: Interview with Carol Decker from T'Pau - Kickin' it Old School | tBlog.com". Oldschool.tblog.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  12. ^ "Interview: Carol Decker". superdeluxeedition. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  13. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Tpau/dp/B00000G6U2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393689874&sr=8-1&keywords=t%27pau+red
  14. ^ http://www.discogs.com/TPau-Red/release/4591148
  15. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Red-TPau/dp/B00001ZSUJ/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_aud?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1393690262&sr=1-1&keywords=t%27pau+red
  16. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-TPau/dp/B001ILQU2M/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1393690189&sr=1-1&keywords=t%27pau+red
  17. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Red-TPau/dp/B0012JR290/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1393690262&sr=1-1&keywords=t%27pau+red
  18. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/red/id261932601
  19. ^ a b T'Pau (1998-11-09). "Red - T'Pau | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  20. ^ "Classic Rock » The Archive » January 1999 » Page 74 » T'Pau". Archive.classicrockmagazine.com. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  21. ^ http://www.furia.com/page.cgi?type=twas&id=twas0202
  22. ^ http://www.furia.com/page.cgi?type=twas&id=twas0202
  23. ^ "Classic Rock » The Archive » January 1999 » Page 74 » T'Pau". Archive.classicrockmagazine.com. Retrieved 2013-05-24.