Classic Albums 4 – Rick’s Road (Texas)

So, we’re onto Classic Album No. 4 – Ricks Road by Texas. This didn’t seem to get the same traction as some of their later albums but, in my view, it is jam-packed full of quality. There is a bluesy vibe that gives this album a soulful feel. This, combined with the great pop overtones, makes for an evolution from the previous album, Mother’s Heaven. Sharleen Spiteri’s voice is as smooth as honey and blends with Ally McErlaine’s guitar and Johnny McElhone’s bass to perfect harmony.

The album begins with So Called Friend, an upbeat pop number that gets the listener into the mood and then comes Fade Away, which has a hard-edged guitar riff and a thumping rhythm. This is where I think I can hear that blues influence, with a great heavy bass part from McElhone to drive the song along. Listen To Me is one of the highlights for me – a melodic, soulful song that shows Spiteri’s voice off at its best.  Next comes You Owe It All To Me –  the intro is a classic with great keyboards and the kicking first lines ‘I never thought they’d be a time, when all you’d wanna do is fight’. There is angst in Spiteri’s voice and the use of flat notes / minor chords and heavy echoing keyboards just adds to the mood.

Beautiful Angel carries on with the mood, albeit with a bit more of an upbeat feel only to be slowed down by So In Love With You – another angsty song that has soaring vocals and a chorus that makes great use of subtle guitar chords.  From the opening notes of You Got To Take A Little Time you know it’s going to be an uplifting song, the harmonica gives it a hint of the deep south. It’s a foot-tapping ride that makes me smile. Then they hit you with the sultry I Wanna Go To Heaven – a reversal in the vibe, a guitar-based blues track that takes you back to the general blues vibe of the album. I love the use of keyboards on this track – not used hugely, but really effectively.

As the  album gets towards the last third, Hear Me Now raises the tempo again. This is a pop song with another guitar solo (there a few on this album!). The end of this song suddenly slows down, which is a great bit of work for the sequencing of this album, because the following songs are back to the slower tempo.  Fearing These Days and I’ve Been Missing You. The second of these is one of my favourite tracks on Rick’s Road with its hypnotic, steady rhythm (almost like a horse trotting along), great guitar and keyboard work, and wonderful singing. Finally there is Winter’s End – a perfect way to finish off. The gentle sadness in this song winds the listener down – Sharleen Spiteri sings “It’ll never be the same again” – and for me it wasn’t. This is far and away my favourite Texas album. The blues feel, the quality of musicianship, the attention to the melody, and a voice that is to die for, make Ricks Road just awesome. I can’t believe I didn’t include Sharleen Spiteri in my series of Classic singers, but she’ll definitely been in the next round.

That’s all for now. The link to Rick’s Road is below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5x2gh8PqRY

About George Fripley
I am a writer who enjoys writing humour, satire, poetry and sometimes a bit of philosophy. I live in Perth, Western Australia and occasionally get a poem or article published. It's all good fun! I have two books available for unwary readers, Grudges, Rumours and Drama Queens- The Civil Servant's Manual (This contains all that anybody could ever want to know about why government runs so slowly) and More Gravy Please! - the Politician's Handbook. (available through Amazon)

2 Responses to Classic Albums 4 – Rick’s Road (Texas)

  1. Anthony Turi says:

    This is a great album, which I felt never got the full recognition it deserved at the time. Thank you for writing about it 🙂

    • Thanks for reading – my taste tends to vary (wildly sometimes) but Rick’s Road is just so full of emotion, soul, whatever you want to call it, that I get hooked every time I listen to it!

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