1997



Jan Cyrka


1997 was to be a busy year for Carol.

She collaborated with guitarist Jan Cyrka on a few tracks for his forthcoming album 'Prickly Pear'.

Jan is a British guitar player.

In the early 80's he formed a band called 'The Broadway Metal Chior'.  The lineup featured himself on guitar, Kevin Riddles (bass, ex-Anglewitch; Tytan), Kevin Fitzpatrick (keyboards) and Andy Beirne (drums).  Unlikely vocalist Max Gelt-a deli owner from Florida-was drafted in on vocals, but after six weeks of touring, he broke his leg and returned to Miami.

The band released an album in 1985 called 'And God Gave Us Max', but split soon afterwards.
After the band broke up, most of the band returned to session work, but Cyrka was to spend three years in 'Zodiac Mindwarp' and 'The Love Reaction' (under the name Flash Bastard).  After a support slot with Guns N' Roses,  Cyrka left the band to focus on solo work.  He released his critically acclaimed debut, 'Beyond The Common Ground', in 1992.  The track "Western Eyes" was used as the theme to the Radio 1 Rock Show.

1995's follow -up album "Spirit," continued the melodic style but dialed-down some of the guitar pyrotechnics of....Common Ground.

1997's "Prickly Pear" dialled down the hystrionics further and included vocals from T'Pau singer Carol Decker.

Jan was also an endorsee of Trace Elliot and Hamer Guitars.  He is responsible for the theme tune of the Jeremy Kyle show in ITV .

Jan has also written a long-running column for Guitarist magazine.




Prickly Pear



Carol was to contribute to three songs for this project.  I had heard there were going to be a few more, but it ended up being three.  Once you listen to them, I'm sure that the three chosen will satisfy you.  What with Jan's fantastic guitar skills' and Carol 'rocking it out', the songs are simply 'classic'.

Our version of the album featured two songs featuring Carol :

  • Hard Rain Falls
  • In A Broken Dream
The Japanese version was the only version to include a third song with Carol called 'Dear Heart'.

The Reverse of the Japanese version, which included 2 extra tracks, one being the one mentioned above.




Hard Rain Falls





Carol definitely 'rocks it out' on the above vocals!!

In A Broken Dream






Carol also 'rocks it out' in the above track.  Which goes to show how versatile she is vocally.  Going from a beautiful ballad to 'rocking the house down!!'  That is what she is renowned and loved for.

Now, rumour has it that the group 'Thunder' were recording in the studio next to Carol and Jan, when they recorded 'In A Broken Dream', and they could hear them recording it and liked it so much, they decided to release it as a single!!!  What a cheek is what i say!!  Here is their version : 




Not being biased, he he, but Carol definitely gets my vote.  She definitely 'rocks it out' more!!!!

Dear Heart

Here's a treat for you all.  It's the song 'Dear Heart' as featured on the Japanese version of the album, so many of you won't have heard it before.  It's not as rocky as the previous two, but it's a great 'catchy' melodic song.









T'Pau2

By 1997, Carol 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.

Carol did seriously consider going back on the road billed as Carol Decker, but was advised it would be easier if she rekindled the band name, although the project is mainly her 'baby'.

Carol's distinctive long flame-red hair was now shorter and highlighted blonde.  Carol admits she looked and felt more relaxed about things in general.

The new band line-up were as follows :

  • Carol Decker      Vocals
  • Jez Ashurst         Electric and acoustic guitars
  • Dave Hattee       Drums
  • Dan McKinna     Bass
Here is a publicity photo of her at the time, although her hair was, I would say, shoulder-length at this time as in the cover of the new album, coming up.


It is a lovely picture of Carol, which I am sure you will all agree.

Heart and Soul '97

Ten years since the 'original' release of Heart and Soul, Carol decided to re-arrange it and release it as a single with the 'new' line-up of the band.

She set up her own record label 'Gnatfish Records', and 'Gnatfish' is, apparently an old nick-name of Carol's!!

There is a video to it.  I, myself, have only ever seen it once on the band's website, so it is a very rarely seen video.  I have made my own video.

Heart and Soul '97 was released under BMG Records.


Here is the video I have made.




I would say the '97 version is definitely a more 'rockier' Heart And Soul, and there is more going on with the 'overlapping' lyrics.  A great tune.

It was featured on Cilla's 'Surprise Surprise' just before its release.  Carol looked great as per usual.


.
The band embarked on a 25-date tour, including some festivals, which was a huge success!!  T'Pau, and most importantly, Carol was back where she belonged!!

T'Pau Vs Society Remix of Heart And Soul '97




I can't find the tour dates for love nor money, but I have got some professional photos that were taken during the tour.

The tour was a 'Greatest Hits' tour.  I have found my ticket for the Maidstone gig at The Corn Exchange, and because a friend and I met Carol afterwards, we missed our train home!!



The tour was during the summer of 1997.





Photos copyright www.sean.co.uk

Great photos aren't they!!

The relaunch included live performances on VH-1, numerous radio and press features, as well as the 'Surprise Surprise' appearance.

Encouraged by the response, Carol embarked on the recording of the first new T'Pau album for 6 years, using the new line-up that now formed the mainstay of the live band.

Greatest Hits 2

1997 was also to see another 'Greatest Hits' release by Virgin Records.  The initial one was released in 1993.  Whether Virgin did this as a 'ten-year-anniversary' of the original T'Pau, or saw it as an opportunity as Carol had reformed the band and was to release a new album and go back on the road, I don't know, but it had more songs on this release (17 in total) and "China" was the single version.  







You can see by the track-listing below that not only does it it include the hits, but it includes a lot of classic T'Pau tracks, of which I would say, more from The Promise, which was such a great album!!









Created by Deano Hollett July 2012

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