Track of the Day: 'Texas'

By Kean Tonetti

Past TracksI will establish that I am a lover all things Texan and cliché, which is why I love this quintessentially 80's euro-blues-country jam by a British pop star, of all things.

Chris Rea's "Texas" captures the feeling of crisscrossing the countryside in the summertime--a testament to the European fascination with our tumbleweed-ed state (did you know Scots are obsessed with country music? Its a true story.) The love is mutual--you can still hear "Texas" on local radio stations today, more than 20 years after its release.

I listen to it several times on a bad day. My troubles fade fast with the piano intro, his Tom Waits-y, gravelly voice assuming a Texan affectation and telling it like it is: "warm winds blowin', heatin' blue skies, and a road that goes forever". In keeping with the quintessentially '80s formula, next there's a lovely, screaming guitar peel and a reminder: "It's all gone crazy". (The endearing affectations don't stop there--"I gotta little brothah, several meters high...he's built just like a quahtaback, and he swears he'll testify," Rea sings later).

Note: The original music video is perfectly fitting--I originally assumed it was filmed in Wichita Falls or Uvalde. Then a friend recently pointed out the Euro license plates and bizarre imagery of Hummers and evacuating an anonymous war-torn country. I would LOVE to know the story of how and why this song was conceived--if anyone knows, please tell me.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/09/track-of-the-day-texas/63489/


On iTunes: Chris Rea / "Texas"

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http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/09/track-of-the-day-texas/63489/