Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Music Box: Thompson Twins

As musically lost in the '80s as I am, even this Howard Jones wannabe can admit what's aged well (The Pretenders' debut) versus what hasn't (KajaGooGoo's "White Feathers"). So when my friend Greg asked me if I wanted an extra copy of the reissue of "Into the Gap" by the Thompson Twins he'd wound up with, I wasn't entirely sure it was worth the shelf space in my humble Chelsea abode. In the end, he sent it -- along with a bunch of other goodies -- as part of a birthday package, so while lying in bed with Mikey this weekend I decided to pop it in my stereo and give it a listen. Now can I tell you what a pleasant surprise it was? I'm sure you remember the great singles "Hold Me Now" and "Doctor! Doctor!," but equally good were the peppy "You Take Me Up," and "Day After Day," plus the Middle Eastern-tinged "The Gap," and ballads "Storm on the Sea" and "Who Can Stop the Rain."

I don't know if it's just so ingrained in my mind -- I think I saw them in concert a half-dozen times back when, including an early 1983 show at Royal Oak Music Theatre and at Mesa Amphitheatre the following year when we met Tom Bailey and nearly fainted! -- but it plays like a veritable greatest hits, yet doesn't even include a number of their biggest songs like "In the Name of Love," "Lies," "Love on Your Side," "King for a Day" or "Lay Your Hands on Me." So impressed was I that I think I'm gonna shell out 40 bucks for the "Quick Step and Sidekick" (aka "Sidekicks") and "Here's to Future Days" reissues. I think it's safe to say this is music that will last a lifetime (mine, at least), even if it leaves my Limahl blond-on-top, dark-on-the-bottom roots showing ...

"You Take Me Up," the third single from "Into the Gap," just missed the U.S. Top 40.

The Thompson Twins performed their mega hit "Hold Me Now" on July 13, 1985, at Live Aid in Philadelphia, then follow it up with a cover of the Beatles' "Revolution." You might recognize the chick singing backing vocals who wasn't "takin' off shit today because you might hold it again" her "10 years from now" ...

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Anonymous said...

Love me some Twins...

but I must say, Madonna's tambourine technique is on a par with Tracey Partridge.

nojarama said...

If you buy the Thompson Twins re-issues through, you'll not only save on the import fees (no VAT tax for US buyers etc.),you'll get them in 7 working days! They're excellent BTW!

Sorry you don't appreciate the Kajagoogoo's "White Feathers" album, I still adore it myself. And "Islands" still sounds wonderful as well IMO.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

Actually I do still LOVE "Islands" and was thrilled when it came out on disc! "On a Plane" was always my fave!

Blobby said...

I LOVE this disk. But I heart 'Storm on the Sea'.

Brionity said...

The whole Thompson Twins catalog holds up so well. They were amazing live too, as you must remember.

The percussion was so large and produced so fully, it doesn't have any of the flatness of so much of the other '80's bands.

Did you ever listen to the Babble discs that came after? SO great as well.