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Sunday, August 26, 2007


ModMusic: Expressing Ambivalence about the Thompson Twins

There's something about the Thompson Twins that is vaguely unsettling, but it's not their music...it's their ethos, their history, their morality tale. Originally formed out of the post-punk scene in late-70's London, they achieved worldwide pop success (if not critical acclaim) in the 1980's before rapidly disappearing into obscurity. (Babble, a follow-up act for founding Twins Tom Bailey and Alannah Currie, went nowhere; they divorced in 2003, while the third member, Joe Leeway, moved to L.A. to do hypnotherapy,) Their music was imaginative but unsophisticated, their lyrics a bit banal. The band members, even now, admit their failings.

So when the Thompson Twins recently became a hot topic on a messageboard I frequent, I began to wonder: why DID I like them so much as a teenager? Despite having their entire discography on CD, I rarely listen to them...not in years, actually, before putting this post together. The songs are best suited for adolescence, with their overblown emotions and repetitive choruses. ("Doctor! Doctor!" is an absolute embarrassment, there's no way around it.)

But like many things from my teen years, I hold them in some kind of magical esteem. When I kissed the first boy I ever made out with (Darrin Ellison, bless your soul, wherever you are), the music playing in the background was "If You Were Here," on the Sixteen Candles soundtrack. My father heard "Lay Your Hands On Me" on the radio back in 1985, and to this day can sing the chorus...he believes we bonded over the song. (Maybe we did.) And don't even get me started on "Hold Me Now", which was on the breakup mixtape of everyone in my high school.

So it makes me a little sad that Thompson Twins have no official site to link to, or even a retrospective box set...the hallmarks of minor-legend bands. I'm posting a few lesser-known tracks here for your enjoyment.

Watch The Videos:
"Revolution", Thompson Twins ft. Madonna and Nile Rodgers (Live Aid)
"Sisters of Mercy (Piano Intro)", Thompson Twins
"Sugar Daddy", Thompson Twins
"Come Inside", Thompson Twins
"Lies", Thompson Twins
"The Gap", Thompson Twins
"Sugar Daddy", Thompson Twins
Visit: Wikipedia
Then Buy: Quick Step and Side Kicks, Thompson Twins
Big Trash, Thompson Twins
Greatest Hits, Thompson Twins

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