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Thompson Twins

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:

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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.

Tom Bailey
Vocals, synthesizers, bass, guitar
Alannah Currie
Vocals, percussion
Joe Leeway
Vocals, keyboards, synthesizers