The 2017 release of Jump On Board, the ninth studio album by Texas, continued the long-running adventures of the Scottish pop-rock band. One of the most memorable occurred on 15 February 1997, when they went to the top of the UK album chart for the first time, with White On Blonde.
It had been a long road to the summit for the band fronted by Sharleen Spiteri, coming nearly eight years since their first album chart appearance in the UK with Southside, in 1989. It was also a dramatic comeback in commercial terms. That debut album, which reached No. 3, contained the No. 8 hit single ‘I Don’t Want A Lover,’ but ten subsequent chart singles had all peaked below the top ten, as did the albums Mothers Heaven and Ricks Road. So the stakes were high for White On Blonde, and Texas delivered — to the tune of six-times platinum.
The album got off to a hot start early in the new year of 1997 when ‘Say What You Want’ became a No. 3 smash, still the biggest of the band’s career. That created the momentum for the album to crash into the chart at No. 1, where it spent a week, returning to the top for another week in August, by which time it had two more top ten hits on it, in ‘Halo’ and ‘Black Eyed Boy.’
They were far from done even then, as the album was certified for UK shipments alone of 1.8 million copies (it was also platinum in France and Switzerland) and ended with a tally of five top ten singles. ‘Put Your Arms Around Me’ and ‘Insane’ both made that grade, the latter accompanied by a remix of the initial hit, now renamed ‘Say What You Want (All Day Every Day).’
“It’s our time now,” Spiteri proudly told Q magazine in the summer of 1997. “When our first album, ‘Southside,’ came out, the record company said, ‘She’s the girl, let’s plaster her face everywhere.’ I wasn’t ready. Now it’s not their decision, and I am ready. We all knew we couldn’t just go to the studio and say ‘Here we go again’. I never gave up, because I knew we could make a great record.”
White On Blonde can be bought here.
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