30 years since China In Your Hand hit number one!

Carol Decker marks the 30th anniversary of China In Your Hand reaching number one in the UK music charts with a set of live shows, including Brighton's Concorde 2 on November 24.


Even so, the anniversary still seems just a little unbelievable for Carol: “One minute you are thinking about things in your recent past or not so long ago and then suddenly it is miles behind you! I have just turned 60! How awful! But we thought we would put some gigs together for the anniversary.”

Particularly as the 80s are so current again. There was a time when it was the decade everyone loved to denigrate, particularly during the 1990s when everything went indie. T’Pau were all glamourous, but everything went all grungy: “But then in 2001, I got a call to join Paul Young and Kim Wilde and Go West on a tour, and I just haven’t stopped since.”

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T’Pau burst onto the music scene in 1987 with the hit Heart & Soul reaching number four in both the UK and US charts.

With the next single China In Your Hand they took it all a fair few levels higher. China stayed at number one for five weeks, the longest number one of the year.

Curiously, Carol hadn’t realised the song was going to be quite so special: “We had gone into the studio in America, and we picked all the songs we were doing. China In Your Hand was not even finished. Ronnie and I had started the song, and we had a very basic version on cassette. But (producer) Roy Thomas Baker wanted to dump a song that we were doing that just wasn’t working, and he asked if we had anything else. I said ‘We have got this, but it is not really finished’ and he listened and he said it was a fantastic song.

“My favourite song is Heart & Soul which from the song-writer’s point of view is a much cleverer song. Ronnie and I really felt proud when we wrote that song. Heart & Soul is an amazing song, and I didn’t think China would be what it was. It was thanks to Roy Thomas Baker. I have to give him credit for his magnificent production on that. But really it was also timing. It was not that we didn’t think the song was any good. The song wasn’t written when we got our record deal. China wasn’t written when we went into the studio. I think it means the same to me now when I sing it as it always did. It is our flagship song. But the song has opened so many doors for me. I always close the set with it. I suppose if I was being slightly ratty, which I have got absolutely no right to be, I would say that I feel a little bit distilled into one song when we had many hits and the album was quadruple platinum. Sometimes you think it would be lovely if people remembered the other songs, but it is great to be remembered for one song!”

Carol can be found on Twitter at @caroldecker. Her autobiography is called Heart and Soul. http:// www.tpau.co.uk.