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"Thompson Twins"
(active 1977 - 1994) U.K.

Thompson Twins

Musical group


The Thompson Twins - who were named after the Tin Tin cartoon - were one of the more popular synth-pop groups of the early MTV era, scoring a handful of hits before fading away into lite-funk obscurity.

Founding member Tom Bailey was attending a teacher's college in Cheshire, England and harboring dreams of becoming a classical pianist when he met Joe Leeway, a fledgling actor, in 1977. The pair hit it off, yet Leeway wasn't part of the original incarnation of the Thompson Twins, which featured Bailey (vocals, keyboards), guitarist Pete Dodd, guitarist John Roog and drummer Chris Bell. During the late '70s and early '80s, the band released a handful of independent singles.

Bailey added his girlfriend Alannah Currie (percussion, saxophone, vocals), Joe Leeway (percussion, vocal) and former Soft Boys bassist Matthew Seligman to the group. The Thompson Twins recorded one album in this seven-piece incarnation, 1982's Set, which was released in America as In the Name of Love. The record was a bomb, and following its release, the group was trimmed to a trio - Bailey, Currie and Leeway.

The revamped Thompson Twins released Quick Step and Side Kick in 1983, and the album became a major hit in the U.K., climbing all the way to number two, as the singles Love on Your Side and We Are Detective reached the Top Ten. In America, the record was released under the truncated title Side Kicks and earned a cult following.

The Thompson Twins had their American commercial breakthrough in 1984 with Into the Gap. The Thompson Twins quickly followed the record in 1985 with Here's to Future Days. But the group's popularity was beginning to decline. Leeway left the group in 1986, and the Thompson Twins remained a duo, releasing Close to the Bone the following year.

Thompson Twins

By the late '80s, the Thompson Twins' audience had decreased substantially. Big Trash, their 1989 debut for Warner, produced the minor U.S. hit Sugar Daddy, but it was overlooked in England. In 1991, they released Queer, which was ignored in both the U.S. and the U.K. In 1994, Bailey and Currie decided to form a new band, Babble, in order to explore newer electronic musics such as ambient.


Source: Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic.com

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