With over 35 million records sold and countless hits under their belt, the time is only appropriate for Scottish music icons Texas to turn back the years and look back on what they have achieved in their 25 years as a genre-blending, hit machine. The band first found their mainstream footing in the late eighties with the massive international single I Don’t Want A Lover. Over the preceding 25 years the band, led by the flawless vocal brilliance of front-woman Sharleen Spiteri, have turned out a massive catalogue of 8 albums including the bands international breakthrough record, 1997’s White On Blonde, and singles including Summer Son, Getaway, Halo, Inner Smile, Once Ii a Lifetime and the bands signature hit, Say What You Want, a hit single that got the band onto the international main-stage and solidified them as one of the top selling bands in the world.
Over the years, Texas have released a couple of collections that serve as a nod to those era-defying treasures including a greatest hits compilation and a BBC Sessions package. Now the band have put time into a new compilation that pays further tribute to their legacy as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Texas 25 comes in two forms – a standard edition and deluxe 2-disc version so it would be a no-brainer that I would recommend going that extra bit further to purchase the latter format given the additional tracks on the offer here although the standard would suffice for followers of the band who may already own the bands catalogue.
The record boasts a thorough run through the Texas catalogue as they revisit some of their most successful singles. The collection isn’t just about pulling together a string of hit singles however; it’s about giving the tracks a makeover with each of the numbers being reworked in a slick Motown setting. Even later career hits like The Conversation which was once country drenched lends itself well to the soulful vibe that the band have decided to swim within with this latest project.
Other highlights on the standard disc include some of the bands signature hits such as Inner Smile, I Don’t Want A Lover and a reggae-ish version of Summer Son but it’s the bands breakthrough record, White On Blonde that basks in the spotlight the most with Say What You Want, Halo, Black Eyed Boy and one of my personal favourite up-tempo Texas hits, When We Are Together, delivering some of the records most commercial and successful moments here in big-band, Motown style – a style that suits these hits with perfection. It’s a style that provides a classy, nostalgic dressing to some of the bands most treasured pennings and it’s no surprise that the band have opted to revamp these songs with a Motown feel to them given many of the bands previous songs containing roots in the genre and Sharleen’s solo releases being drenched in Motown and big-band melodies.
With the focus being placed on the bands back catalogue, they have also spared time to put a few new numbers together for fans and those like myself who have followed the band through the years will not be disappointed with the new numbers the band have gifted to us. Start A Family sits as the records opening track and lead single for the collection and is confident as it paves the way for what’s to come while Are You Ready has ‘single’ written all over it with its radio-friendly quality, rich vocals and a melody that would lend itself very well to the number one spot on the charts.
This record should be seen as much more than a greatest hits compilation from one of the world’s greatest bands – Texas 25 is a celebration of an act that have conquered the industry for 25 years and redefined what it means to be a band in a world where one hit wonders and reality show artists unfortunately rule the roost. Texas have created a catalogue of classic hits that have and will continue to stand the test of time and this collection is proof of their versatility and relevance in music after quarter of a century mastering the art-form.