Lost in the ’80s: Thompson Twins

lit80s

There are certain acts and albums I absolutely adored in my younger days in the ’80s that I don’t quite care for now. One of these groups is the Thompson Twins, the New Wave trio that broke into the charts big time with the 1984 single “Hold Me Now” and its album, Into The Gap.  As a high-school sophomore, I wore out my copy of Gap, but I really loved their 1982 effort, Side Kicks, which featured “Lies” and “Love On Your Side.”

But while Side Kicks still holds some appeal, I really could go the rest of my life never hearing “Hold Me Now” or “Doctor, Doctor” again.  So, when I came across the new, deluxe remastered editions of both albums that came out late last year, I didn’t exactly rush to purchase Into The Gap.  But after staring at for a few months each time I went to the record store (remember those?) I finally broke down and bought it.  And I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  Again.

“Sister Of Mercy” (download) was the the album’s fourth single in the U.K., while the U.S. got “The Gap.”  The U.S. single faltered in the upper 60’s, but “Sister Of Mercy” became the album’s fourth Top Ten hit in the U.K.  I have to wonder if the song’s lyric, about a woman who finally snaps and stabs her husband to death, was a bit too much for U.S. radio.  Too bad, because while “The Gap” was a decent enough song (love those hand claps!), “Sister Of Mercy” could have been yet another smash for the trio.

The Into The Gap reissue is also packed with tons of remixes and b-sides, including a big favorite, “Passion Planet,” (download) which was originally the b-side of “You Take Me Up.”  While “You Take Me Up” floundered around the 40’s of the U.S. charts, a lot of West Coast radio stations flipped it over and played the hell out of “Passion Planet,” a goofy, just plain fun dance tune we don’t hear enough of these days.  For “Passion Planet” alone, the Into The Gap re-release is totally worth the purchase.

“Sister of Mercy” was not released as a single in the U.S.
“Passion Planet” was the b-side of the “You Take Me Up” single.

Get Thompson Twins music at Amazon or on Thompson Twins




  • JonCummings

    Just had the sudden trauma of remembering that at one point in college, I struggled mightily to get my hair to look just like Tom Bailey's. (At least I wasn't trying to rock an Alannah Currie look…)

    “Sisters of Mercy” is a nice song. I saw the Twins at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion in the fall of '85. My eight-word review: No one in that band could actually sing.

  • http://www.wordsandrewtonkin.com/ andrewTee

    Funny you should mention! It's only in the past year or so that I've come around to “Doctor, Doctor” – I'd always hated it due to the hackneyed “lovesick” lyric theme (cf. “Good Lovin'”, “Bad Case of Loving You”) but the music is really gorgeous, I just pretend they're singing in French. “Hold Me Now” I've always loved. And thanks for the “Passion Planet” shout-out – “livin' on, lovin' on.”

  • http://www.bastardradio.com steed

    Very nice with “Passion Planet”. It's a neat little track, isn't it? Thompson Twins are one of those groups that one day I can love and the next I can hate. I've always thought they were pretty average but even with saying that, I'm enjoying these two tracks a lot. Confusing band for me.

  • http://robertcashill.blogspot.com BobCashill

    Sadly, I remember it too.

  • http://myspace.com/DJChrisXmusic Chris X

    Have loved this band since they broke out back in the early-mid 80s. Never stopped, still love them to this day!

  • http://www.bullz-eye.com DavidMedsker

    Love “Sister of Mercy,” but never saw the video before. Hey, they used the 12″ mix, nice.

    Gotta say, I still think Tom Bailey's hair looks awesome.

  • Eddie W

    Really loved this album (and “Side Kicks” too) when it came out, and still love it today. I like how many of the songs have such different styles/sounds from each other – the straight up pop of “Hold Me Now”, the country-ish “You Take Me Up”, and the Middle East-tinged “The Gap”, etc. It all seemed so exotic to my 15-year-old musical neophyte ears.

    As big a fan as I was/am, I only recently found out about and heard “Passion Planet” for the first time. You're right, it's an awesome track.

  • SteveA

    I was 12 when this album came out and was in love with the new wave sounds at that time – it was so “alternative” then. This album had a great feel to it – mainly the great tracks on it – Hold Me Now, Doctor Doctor , Into the Gap – and the look of the threesome was kinda how I wanted to look back then.
    Thanks for reminding me about this. Great memories it brings back with my sister and cousins while we rock out to this one! :)

  • SteveA

    I was 12 when this album came out and was in love with the new wave sounds at that time – it was so “alternative” then. This album had a great feel to it – mainly the great tracks on it – Hold Me Now, Doctor Doctor , Into the Gap – and the look of the threesome was kinda how I wanted to look back then.
    Thanks for reminding me about this. Great memories it brings back with my sister and cousins while we rock out to this one! :)

  • eddie_w

    Really loved this album (and “Side Kicks” too) when it came out, and still love it today. I like how many of the songs have such different styles/sounds from each other – the straight up pop of “Hold Me Now”, the country-ish “You Take Me Up”, and the Middle East-tinged “The Gap”, etc. It all seemed so exotic to my 15-year-old musical neophyte ears.

    As big a fan as I was/am, I only recently found out about and heard “Passion Planet” for the first time. You're right, it's an awesome track.

  • SteveA

    I was 12 when this album came out and was in love with the new wave sounds at that time – it was so “alternative” then. This album had a great feel to it – mainly the great tracks on it – Hold Me Now, Doctor Doctor , Into the Gap – and the look of the threesome was kinda how I wanted to look back then.
    Thanks for reminding me about this. Great memories it brings back with my sister and cousins while we rock out to this one! :)