Review: “Bridge Of Spies” by T’Pau (CD, 1987)

Today’s POP RESCUE is the 1987 number one hit debut album from T’Pau Bridge Of Spies. Should keep this album in your Hand, or should you throw it from the Bridge into the river below? Read on…

T'Pau - Bridge Of Spies (1987) album
T’Pau’s 1987 album ‘Bridge Of Spies’

Firstly, this album contains the big T’Pau hit – their third single – China In Your Hand, and a lot of people are probably blissfully unaware that T’Pau had a career before and after that single.

The album opens with the catchy debut single Heart And Soul, itself starting with breathy vocals from flame-haired singer Carol Decker.

The album’s second track, I Will Be With You, is another great track – musically and vocally, and which served as the final, and 7th, single from this album.

The third track continues the great, powerful, catchy line-up, with the biggest hit – China In Your Hand, which went number 1 in many countries, but didn’t chart in the US. This album version is a little different from the single version – longer, and I think that it doesn’t have as much guitar. The song gets a short reprise at the end of the album.

Friends Like These opens with organ, before lunging into a chugging guitar line. Again, it’s catchy, and stands up perfectly with the three behemoths that have gone before it on the album.

Next up is the second and sixth single from the album – Sex Talk (released under Intimate Strangers title initially). It’s an up-tempo, catchy, again powerful track, and I’ll be surprised if no-one has ever thought of covering this track.

The title track Bridge Of Spies is up next, and continues the quality, showing off Decker’s vocal range perfectly, and like China In Your Hand, comes complete with teasing fake ending.

It moves seamlessly into the much more rocky track Monkey House, so seamlessly that I had to check that Bridge Of Spies wasn’t having another fake ending. This track has a heavy rock drum kit, and chugging guitars. It plays perfectly against Decker’s vocals. Similarly, Valentine, the band’s fifth single, is another masterpiece. ‘You’ve got to shine’ sings Decker, and once again she does.

Thank You For Goodbye is the only track that genuinely sounds a bit dated, and this is purely due to the substantial usage of the obligatory 80s saxophone solo.

Penultimate track You Give Up comes belting in soon afterwards, and again completely hits the mark.

T’Pau’s lead single ‘Heart And Soul’

Where are T’Pau now?

T’Pau found success with their follow-up album, but despite releasing albums since, have never beaten the success of the album and singles featured on Bridge Of Spies.

Carol Decker has continued to perform regularly under the name T’Pau though, and is often found at 80s concerts alongside her contemporary artists from that decade.

Pop Rescue Review Rating

Carol Decker’s vocals are phenomenally powerful throughout this album, and she is perfectly pitched against the rockier drums and guitars. I can see how and why it was so successful.

This feels like a greatest hits album, not a debut. I cannot fault it.

Rated 5 stars - Essential listening.
  • POP RESCUE 2014 RATING:  5 / 5
  • 1987 UK CHART POSITION: #1, certified 4x Platinum.
  • POP RESCUE COST: £1 (from a Poundland store)

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