There were neither any Thompsons nor any twins in the band, but this former seven-piece anarchist collective made it big as a trio in the mid-80’s, remembered at least as much for their hair as for their music:
Leader Tom Bailey had a red mop that was massive on top and short at the sides, with a long rat tail at the back.
Alannah Currie, a slightly-built New Zealander who relocated to South London, had frizzed-out hair that suggested a tonsorial electrocution, while Joe Leeway’s dreadlocks belied the fact that, despite his Nigerian heritage, he grew up a Manchester mod.
In 1980, the Thompson Twins were all living in extreme poverty on the same street in South London, and it was amongst the squats that the aforementioned seven-piece band emerged.
In one of the final sessions for their second album, Set, three of the seven twins (Alannah, Tom and Joe) went in the studio to hash out a track to fill out the second side of the LP.
What they came up with in about 20 minutes was In The Name Of Love, a bouncy, dance-oriented synth-pop number that became a big club and radio hit. Soon they were out on their own as a threesome.
The Thompson Twins specialised in accessible early-MTV-style synth/dance pop and they were huge from 1983 to 1985 – reaching their peak with the single Lay Your Hands On Me and the album Here’s To Future Days – before suddenly vanishing as quickly as they had arrived.
Among their hits were Hold Me Now (US #3), Lay Your Hands On Me (US #6), King For A Day (US #8), Doctor! Doctor! (US #11) and Lies (US #30).
Bailey and Currie renamed the band Babble in 1993.
Vocals, synthesizers, bass, guitar
Vocals, keyboards, synthesizers