The Story of Pop: 1999 (Chapter 17)

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It’s Thursday – although with the four day week it may feel like a Wednesday – meaning it’s time to hop aboard our musical time machine of 20 years ago in another edition of The Story of Pop: 1999. This week: one of the biggest pop rock bands to come out of Scotland launch the follow up to a huge selling album from 1997…

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The story of Texas, fronted by one of the greatest female vocalists of all time in formidable Glasgow lass Sharleen Spiteri (we will fight you on this, because she is) is an intriguing one. If you asked the average chart watcher on the street what they were best known for prior to the mid 90s, the answer would probably have been their 1989 top 10 debut ‘I Don’t Want A Lover’. By Sharleen’s own admission however, despite being very popular in Europe – and particularly in France – in Britain they couldn’t get arrested.

That all changed when Spiteri and her songwriting partner Johnny McElhone decamped to Paris to write their fourth album. That album became 1997’s million selling ‘White On Blonde’, which spun off deliciously infectious radio and chart hits like ‘Say What You Want’, ‘Halo’ and ‘Black Eyed Boy’ to name but a few. Eight years into their career and suddenly Texas were very big news in Blighty indeed.

 

But after the massive unprecedented success must come the follow up. And for Texas, that time came in the spring of 1999, with ‘The Hush’. Any worries that ‘White On Blonde’ was a lightning bolt that wouldn’t strike twice were confounded when it proved to be another chart topping smash upon its release that May, eventually being certified three times platinum in the UK alone.

Three singles in total made their way from the album into the hit parade – ‘In Our Lifetime’ was the first, hurtling into the top 5 on this very week in 1999, and this was quickly followed up by the Giorgio Moroder influenced disco guitar delights of ‘Summer Son’ (#4 in August) and ‘When We Are Together’ (#12 in November). Here’s then, to Texas, one of the most consistent names in contemporary guitar pop in the 90s – and with hits like these, who could deny them?

 

 

Don’t forget to follow our playlist on Spotify – updated weekly so you never miss a song from the story of pop in 1999. And you can leave your memories of the songs below in the comments or Tweet us, using the hashtag #StoryofPop1999.

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