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10 Albums That Changed My Life: Sharleen Spiteri of Texas

Sharleen Spiteri, lead vocalist of the Scottish band Texas, tells Goldmine the 10 albums that changed her life.
Sharleen Spiteri. Photo by Julian Broad.

Sharleen Spiteri. Photo by Julian Broad.

Texas, the Scottish band for which Sharleen Spiteri is the lead vocalist, released its 10th studio album, titled Hi, earlier this year. The album’s title track features a collaboration with Wu-Tang Clan, a reunion of sorts as they had worked together in 1997 and performed at the 1998 BRIT Awards.

During the 2005-2013 period that Texas were on hiatus, Spiteri released two solo albums: 2008’s Melody and 2010’s The Movie Songbook. In 2010, Spiteri was a judge on Sky TV’s music talent show Must Be the Music.

Spiteri co-founded Texas with Johnny McElhone and Ally McErlaine while the three were working at a Glasgow hair salon. The band performed its first show in March 1988 at the University of Dundee. They released their debut album, Southside, in 1989 and have sold over 40 million albums. Their hit singles include “I Don’t Want a Lover,” “Say What You Want,” “So Called Friend” and “Put Your Arms Around Me.”

The following are Spiteri's 10 albums that changed her life.

— John Curley

  

Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On

Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On

My friend Rosalind and I shared a flat in Glasgow while we were both hairdressers and this album was on constant rotation. The electricity was on a meter, and we had to have loads of change to keep feeding it! This record takes me back to this time and place and has massively influenced me as a songwriter and vocalist. Marvin is my ultimate.

  

Dexys Midnight Runners, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels

Dexys Midnight Runners, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels

This was really when I was beginning to form my own record collection, rather than the records that I had inherited from my parents. I remember hearing Dexys for the first time. “Geno” would have been the track and my heart and head went crazy. The excitement I felt was immense! I still feel that excitement to this day whenever I hear this album. Kevin Rowland is a trail blazer and a true soul rebel.

  

David Bowie, Young Americans

David Bowie, Young Americans

I was never really into Bowie until this album. I think the reason being was everything before this was really accented, as in very English, and I really struggled to sing along. It was also more theatrical, which was wasted on me, but Young Americans suddenly opened my eyes to the unbelievable level of songwriting and musicianship that Bowie had. It was now soul, and that captured me.

  

Fleetwood Mac, Rumours

Fleetwood Mac, Rumours

My Dad had just come back from sea, and he would always go out and buy all the latest albums and come home and blast them on the stereo. I never tired of him doing this with Rumours, song after song I loved. I could come in exactly on the gap between tracks. It was never too loud. I just wanted to hear it over and over again.

  

Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

I’m lucky enough to call these guys my friends! I knew this record back to front and loved it when the opportunity came along to work on the Texas track “Say What You Want” together. It changed the way people viewed us. We made a record that hadn’t been done before and really opened a lot of people’s eyes to us being a band that would not stick with what people expected of us.

  

The Beatles, Help

The Beatles, Help!

I made my mum make me a cape after I discovered this album! I learned how to do harmonies due to this record, and the directness of the melody, the lyrics, combined with musical hooks has massively influenced me as a songwriter and continues to do so.

  

Dusty Springfield, Dusty in Memphis

Dusty Springfield, Dusty in Memphis

I’m a massive Dusty fan. The intimacy of this album still takes me on journeys and plays on my emotions, lifting me and breaking me constantly. Dusty’s vocals and performance are on par with Marvin (Gaye). Both their voices haunt me and inspire me constantly to keep pushing.

  

ABBA, Arrival

ABBA, Arrival

If a songwriter doesn’t have an Abba album in their list, then they are a liar! I really didn’t realize how much they had influenced me. I hear it in Texas records throughout. It’s there without even realizing it! I honestly can say that harmonies on this record took me on a new direction as far as combining voices. I would spend hours with headphones on as a kid, studying every nuance.

   

Bob Dylan, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

Bob Dylan, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

This album was probably the beginning of my obsession with soundtracks, even naming my daughter Misty Kid after playing it on constant while I was in labor. This is truly a beautiful record and, to be honest, depending on the season, you ask me my favorite album, it will change. I will probably just work my way through Dylan’s catalog for life, as they have all individually taught me something new.

  

Alton Ellis, Mr Soul of Jamaica

Alton Ellis, Mr Soul of Jamaica

The sound of a sweet angel singing and working their way into your heart. I’ve always felt this way about this album from the very first moment I heard it and continue to gift as many people as I can this record because I think we all need it in our lives!