T’Pau burst onto the music scene in 1987 with the hit “Heart & Soul” reaching No. 4 in both the UK & US charts. Taken from the debut album “Bridge Of Spies,” its innovative use of a rap verse by a white female vocalist introduced the world to the distinctive lead vocals of Carol Decker. Signed to Siren Records, T’Pau comprised of songwriters Carol & Ron Rogers (guitar), Dean Howard (lead guitar), Paul Jackson (bass), Michael Chetwood (keyboards) and Tim Burgess (drums). Taj Wyzgowski provided lead guitars on the debut album.
“Heart & Soul” led to a meteoric rise in T’Pau’s fortunes. After a UK arena tour supporting Bryan Adams, the band immediately toured UK City Halls as headliners to tie in with the next single, the classic ballad “China In Your Hand.” Nobody could have predicted the enormous impact of “China” which stayed at No. 1 for 5 weeks – the longest serving No. 1 of the year!
To date, “China In Your Hand” has appeared on more than 150 compilations, and has become one of the most played songs of the 1980’s. After further hits such as “Valentine,” “I Will Be With You,” and “Sex Talk,” the “Bridge Of Spies” album was certified quadruple platinum in the UK, selling 1.2 million copies.
Always a hard working band, T’Pau toured constantly throughout Europe and North America, and in the UK were selling out shows at Wembley Arena & Hammersmith Apollo.
Two further albums followed: the platinum “Rage” (1988), and “The Promise” (1991). In all, T’Pau scored 8 top 30 UK hit singles, UK album sales of 2 million, and world-wide sales of over 4 million.
The original line up of T’Pau split in 1991 after the final hit “Whenever You Need Me” (No. 16), following the merger of Siren with Virgin Records. The final album, “Heart & Soul: The Very Best Of T’pau,” was released in 1993. Ron Rogers returned to production and studio work, whilst Carol embarked upon a co-writing career, occasionally performing solo and guesting on other artists albums.
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. A 25-date UK tour in the summer of ’97, including some festivals, preceded the release of a brand new version of “Heart & Soul” on the band’s own Gnatfish label.
The relaunch included live performances on VH-1, numerous radio and press features, and a performance of “Heart & Soul” on the UK primetime show “Surprise Surprise.”
Encouraged by the response, Carol embarked on the recording of the first new T’Pau album for 6 years, using a new line-up that now formed the mainstay of the live band. After 6 months in the studio, T’Pau emerged to perform an orchestrated version of “China” with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Princess Diana Tribute Concert at Althorp in June 1998. It was broadcast live around the world, and later in a BBC primetime show. All this was no mean feat as Carol had been pregnant throughout the recording of the album and gave birth to her first child, Scarlett Olivia, just 3 weeks before the Diana concert!
The new studio album entitled “RED” (GNRCD 001, RMG Distribution) was released in Sept. ’98. Carol & Rafe McKenna (Ash, The Warm Jets, The Corrs, Electronic) produced the album.
The RED UK Tour saw the band play 36 shows finishing with a sold out London show at the prestigious Jazz CafÈ. The tour was accompanied by a radio promo single, “With A Little Luck,” and a massive amount of radio and press, notably a live session for Virgin Radio and a new live appearance on VH-1. Carol also filmed material for VH-1 in New York in Jan. 1999.
The frantic schedule continued as T’pau were confirmed as special guests on the Status Quo UK & German tours in Nov/Dec playing to an audience of 90,000 people. This tour saw them back on the stage at Wembley & Birmingham NEC.
Carol performed “China” on Ireland’s top rated Kelly Show on New Years Eve to finish off this hectic year.
Constant touring resulted in the release of the “Greatest Hits Live!” CD in 2003.
In 2007, Carol and Ron reunited to release the single “Just Dream”, their first new music together is over 15 years. They continued writing and performing together, with the collaboration resulting in the 5th studio album from T’Pau, 2015’s “Pleasure & Pain”.
Meanwhile, Carol continues to tour, particularly on the festival circuit doing many of the popular 80’s concert tours.