80's Bands and Artists


Thompson Twins

The Thompson Twins

Thompson Twins were a British Pop group. The band formed in April 1977, and disbanded in May 1993. They achieved considerable popularity in the mid-1980s, scoring a string of hits in the UK, the U.S. and around the globe. The band was named after the two bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson in Hergé's comic strip, The Adventures of Tintin. The most popular incarnation of the band was the trio of Tom Bailey, Joe Leeway, and Alannah Currie.

They broke into the UK Singles Chart and the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart at the beginning of 1983 with "Lies" and "Love On Your Side", which became the band's first UK Top 10 single. Further singles from their third album Quick Step and Side Kick (called simply Side Kicks in the U.S.) followed with "We Are Detective" (another Top 10 UK hit) and "Watching". Bailey's flame-red hair and bright ponytail and Currie's wasp-swatting style at the xylophone swiftly becoming endearing images of an exciting new act. Bailey primarily wrote the music (with significant enough input from Leeway that he received co-authorship credit on all tracks), and Currie contributed most (if not all) of the lyrics. Leeway was primarily responsible for the band's live visuals. During 1983, the band had the opening spot on The Police concert tour in the U.S.

At the end of 1983, a new single, "Hold Me Now", was released. A simple love song with gentle guitar lines, it marked a clear break from the Thompson Twins' previously dance-oriented sound. The song was an international chart success, peaking at number three in the US and becoming their biggest American hit, and also hitting number four in their native UK. Further hit singles followed in 1984: the Top 5 UK pop hit "Doctor! Doctor!"; the quirky "You Take Me Up" (reaching number two and their biggest UK hit); the haunting "Sister of Mercy"; and "The Gap", with its Middle Eastern rhythms (this was not released in the UK). The corresponding album, Into The Gap, was one of the biggest selling of 1984, selling five million units worldwide and topping the British album charts. The band also embarked on a world tour in support of the album.

A late 1984 single, "Lay Your Hands On Me", saw the band attempt to build on their success, but the visuals of the band draped in jewels contrasted sharply with the prevalent theme of Band Aid for famine relief in Ethiopia. The single did well, making the US Top 10 (and #13 in the UK), but by then the trio had peaked.

While working on the follow up to Into The Gap, Bailey suffered a nervous breakdown. Nile Rodgers was subsequently called in to help finish the album, which appeared in September 1985. Here's To Future Days (itself making the Top 5 in the UK and Top 20 in the US) spawned the track "King For A Day", which made the US Top 10, but peaked outside the Top 20 in the UK. Other singles included the anti-drug message "Don't Mess With Doctor Dream" (UK #15) and an unsuccessful cover of The Beatles' 1968 hit "Revolution". The Thompson Twins made headlines when they performed at the American-end of Live Aid in July 1985 and were joined onstage by the fresh-faced Madonna, who was in only her second year of fame. The UK leg of the album's support tour had to be cancelled because of Bailey's breakdown (fans with tickets received a free live album as compensation) and the album itself was delayed by many months, causing the band to lose momentum. Despite this, after coming to agreements with their concert promoters, the latter half of 1985 saw sell out tours for the band in the USA and Japan.


Wikipedia contributors. Thompson Twins. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. July 30, 2008, 15:41 UTC. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Thompson_Twins&oldid=228827250. Accessed August 3, 2008.