Album in My Spotlight

Bridge of Spies by T’Pau

For ‘Album in My Spotlight’ I will share what a specific album means to me!

This album was:

  • Produced by Roy Thomas Baker
  • Engineering and mixing by Jerry Napier
  • Carol Decker – vocals
  • Ronnie Rogers – guitars
  • Tim Burgess – drums, percussion
  • Michael Chetwood – keyboards
  • Paul Jackson – bass
  • Taj Wyzgowski – guitars
  • Peter Ballin – tenor saxophone
  • Gary Barnacle tenor saxophone (for the single version of “China in Your Hand”)
  • Songs were written by Carol Decker and Ron Rogers

Released in September of 1987, Bridge of Spies is an album I have a lot of love for. As it was released 1 year before my birth its not one I purchased originally. But I have memories of being enchanted by the presence of Carol Decker singing China in Your Hand at a young age and as we got into the 2000’s I discovered the music of T’Pau properly and have been a fan since. This album I really like.

5 singles were released from it, and good singles they were too. The album is good as a whole, too, where it captures a rocky pop sound and an overall sound package unique to T’Pau. The vocal of Carol Decker is always a joy to listen to, strong and commanding is how I describe it. When Gary Barlow decided to be a bell-end that time on The X-Factor about Carol’s voice he couldn’t be more wrong.

Yes, this song list includes the brilliant China in Your Hands. Hard to find anyone who doesn’t like this track. I have given it quite a bit of thought on what the song is all about, as T’Pau have a lot of interesting lyrics and concepts.

Also released as singles were Heart and Soul, I Will be With You, Sex Talk and Valentine. Let’s take a closer look at the tracklisting:

  1. Heart and Soul
  2. I Will be With You
  3. China in Your Hand
  4. Friends Like These
  5. Sex Talk
  6. Bridge of Spies
  7. Monkey House
  8. Valentine
  9. Thank You for Goodbye
  10. You Give Up
  11. China in Your Hand (reprise)

Heart and Soul has a very catchy hook that draws you right into the song from the go. It has plenty of energry. The vocal begins with Carol’s spoken words (something that features a fair bit throughout the album). In this track, she sings against her spoken word for quite a lot of the song and it works well, never grating like this kind of thing can. A very good single, I think, with plenty of nice vocal and musical moments.

I Will be With You was always massively underrated in the opinion of me, and many others (judging by YouTube commenters). The track bursts into life with lovely belting choruses from Carol. Its lyrics seem to contain a refreshing mix of heartache and positivity. Great track and it always draws some kind of nostalgic ‘trapped in time’ feelings whenever I listen to it.

No track is bad on this album at all, but some especially stand out. Let’s end the track analysis with the title track Bridge of Spies. This one starts off a lot more mellow, but Carol’s voice is as strong as ever as she sings a song that has an interesting narrative. It features the Glienicke Bridge found in Germany which was known as the “Bridge of Spies”. This bridge was used for the exchange of spies and prisoners, with the song being inspired by a final exchange between Anatoly Sharansky a Russian who had been held in a Soviet prison and accused of spying for the US. Bridge of Spies is sung from Anatoly’s perspective as he crosses the bridge to meet his wife. It’s a good solid track.

Fun Fact: This album was not named Bridge of Spies in America, just self-titled as "T' Pau",

This album does not fall into the depths of filler, I happily breeze through a full listen every now and again. And there are plenty of stand-out tracks to indulge in, which I do, often. It is worth remembering that this was the debut album for T’Pau so they certainly hit the ground running. Timeless music by a timeless band, presented here in a very good album. Highly recommended to give Bridge of Spies a look.

Buy on Amazon (I will receive compensation if you purchase through this link)

Bridge of Spies by T’pau

Right, I am off to give it another listen. Until next time, take care x

Ben




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