There are some albums which are career defining for an artist, and others which improve with each subsequent release. That certainly applies to TEXAS, we do however have a soft spot for the album which kicked it all off for them, 30 years ago. The band are now giving us a chance to hear that album, Southside, in its entirety, and live on their upcoming tour. The dates incidentally have been rescheduled to next year.

The bands debut album was a massive international hit, thanks in part to the lead track, I Don’t Want A Lover. The single made the top ten in the UK and right across Europe. Southside debuted at number three in the UK and eighty-eight on the US Billboard 200 album charts.

The album is something very special, and the single too. We’ve been checking out some of your comments about the song and it seems you love it just as much now as you did back in the day……

This track is still as fresh as it was when it was released in the 80’s on the album Southside which I still believe is the best album they produced. (still have this album on cassette).

Reggie – I don’t want a lover, I just need a friend… Who’s willing to break quarantine to come and hug me. I just need a hug.

David – I was 19 when this came out. It still sticks in my mind..what a classic Still listening now.

And the best has to be this one……

Steve – Talk about an “intro” : this song has one !! I’m sure the band was living in Tooting or Balham at one point I used to be a Male Stripper in Darwin, this was my intro song, Love it!!!

This is our favourite version of the song with the BBC SSO recorded at the Barrowland Ballroom, it is absolutely epic.

As what inevitably happens after that phenomenal start, follow ups can be tough for any performer. It was in 1997 when Texas brought out the incredible WHITE ON BLONDE and that, as they say, was that. The album entered the Chart at number one and became their biggest seller. To date it has been certified six-times platinum in the UK, that means they’ve shipped out a hell of a lot of copies, in excess of 1.8 million to be precise.

The album churned out a string of hit singles too. Tracks which have become radio and live favourites over the years. Everything from Black Eyed Boy and Halo. We really love Put Your Arms Around Me and the title song, White On Blonde. It would be wrong of us not to include this video though.

The follow up album, The Hush (1999) debuted at number one on the album charts and went triple platinum. The band’s Greatest Hits album, released in 2000, was another big seller, again debuting at number one and getting six-times platinum. Texas would go on to release a further two studio albums, Careful What You Wish For in 2003, and Red Book in 2005, both of which were certified gold in the UK.

The band then went on a bit of a break giving Sharleen a crack at a solo career. Her debut album, Melody, came out in 2008. A couple of years later she released The Movie Songbook which had a real mix of film favourites on it, including Take My Break Away (Top Gun), Pretty Woman and the Olivia Newton John Classic Xanadu.

The Songbook is still one we play on long car journeys, and a couple of years back something very spooky happened. We were heading to Manchester to see Ed Sheeran play live. We were staying at The Lowry Hotel and arrived just in time to get changed and head off to the Arena. Sharleen’s album was playing as we pulled into the car park.

As we got to the hotel entrance, I kid you not, Sharleen got out of a cab, with her entourage, and hobbled up the hotel steps. I say hobbled because she had a huge cast on a clearly injured leg. A part of me wanted to go and tell her we’d just been listening to her album in the car, but that’s not really my style and also Ed’s gig was calling too.

If you are planning to go see them live and celebrate the fantastic Southside, it’s nice to know a bit of history.

The band actually took their name from the 1984 Wim Wenders movie Paris, Texas and were put together by Johnny McElhone who was destined to become chart king on more than one occasion. He was bassist for the three albums by Altered Images in the early 80s. Their biggest hit was undoubtedly Happy Birthday (below), but I have to be honest and say I really love Don’t Talk To Me About Love

Not that it’s particularly relevant, but Altered Images are still going as an all girl group now. Johnny then went on to Hipsway.  In 1987, they had a Top 20 hit with “The Honeythief.” But, a year before that hit success, Johnny, and guitarist Sharleen Spiteri, formed another Scottish band – Texas. They made their performing debut in March 1988 at Scotland’s University of Dundee.

As well as playing Southside in its entirety, they’ll be churning out some of their biggest hits too, and if you’ve not seen them live before, this is definitely the gig to catch. With a bit of luck we’ll get songs from their last album JUMP ON BOARD, which has a great track list, including the lead single Let’s Work It Out.

The 30th Anniversary of Southside Tour brings them to St David’s Hall in Cardiff, originally set for this October, the date has been moved to Tuesday 18th May 2021 at 7pm. Original tickets are still valid and if you’d like to get yours, they’ll cost you anywhere between £52.50 and £138, the latter includes the whole VIP Experience. But I can tell you a lot have already sold out. For more details, go here. CARDIFF

They play Venue Cymru Theatre in Llandudno on Tuesday 25th May 2021 (original date 24th October this year). The venue is still showing the original date but we can assure you it is next year. As it stands now there are only three tickets left at £138 each, but this is the whole VIP Experience. If you’d like more details, go here. CYMRU

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