Thompson Twins Biography
Thompson Twins was a British pop band founded in April 1977. Originally a new wave band, they transitioned to a more mainstream pop style in the mid-1980s and went on to have a run of singles in the United Kingdom, the United States, and around the world. They changed their name to Babble in 1993 to reflect their transition from pop to dub-influenced chill-out music. They remained as Babble until 1996, when the group disbanded permanently.
The name of the band was inspired by the two clumsy investigators Thomson and Thompson (who are not twins) from Hergé’s comic strip The Adventures of Tintin in English.
They had up to seven members at various times, but their most well-known form was as a trio between 1982 and 1986. During the Second British Invasion, the band became a popular act in the United States, and in 1985, they performed at Live Aid in Philadelphia, where they were joined onstage by Madonna.
Tom Bailey on bass and vocals, Pete Dodd on guitar and vocals, John Roog on guitar, and Jon Podgorski (known as “Pod”) on drums comprised the original Thompson Twins lineup in 1977. Dodd and Roog met for the first time when they were both thirteen years old.
In 1980, the band issued their first single, “Squares and Triangles,” on their own Dirty Discs label, with Bailey, Dodd, Roog, and drummer Chris Bell, who had replaced Edge the previous year. Later that year, “She’s In Love With Mystery” was released as a follow-up single. Since then, the band’s lineup has changed several times. Set, their debut album, was released on Arista Records. Thomas Dolby contributed some keyboards to Set and some live performances, as Bailey had limited experience with synths at the time. The single “In the Name of Love,” sung and written in large part by Bailey, was included in the set. It became a No. 1 dance club smash in the United States, prompting the publication of an album called In the Name of Love (which featured mostly tracks from Set, with two others from A Product Of… (Participation)) to capitalize on the song’s success. It debuted on the Billboard 200 in the United States.
Leeway left the band in 1986, leaving Bailey and Currie to continue playing music for another seven years.In July 1986, the couple released their first single as a duo, “Nothing In Common,” which was only available in North America. It reached number 54 in the United States and number 68 in Canada.
Close to the Bone was released in 1987, along with the single “Get That Love,” which reached No. 31 in the US but only No. 66 in the UK. The album was a disappointment in terms of sales. It only stayed at No. 90 on the UK albums chart for one week and produced no more chart singles. In 1988, a remix by Shep Pettibone entered the Top 50 in the UK, giving “In the Name of Love” a new lease on life.
Big Trash was released in 1989, and the band signed a new recording contract with Warner Bros. Records. The track “Sugar Daddy” reached No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and it would be their last major chart triumph. Queer, released in 1991, was the band’s final album, and it was accompanied by a series of techno-inspired singles released under the alias Feedback Max (in the UK) to hide the band’s identity from club DJs. The single “Come Inside” charted at No. 7 in the United States and No. 1 in the United Kingdom.
Bailey and Currie married in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1991, and moved to New Zealand the following year. The Thompson Twins provided the song “Play with Me” to the Ralph Bakshi film Cool World’s soundtrack in 1992, and Bailey supplied a second tune, “Industry and Seduction.” The duo teamed up with engineer Keith Fernley the next year and changed their band name to Babble. They released two albums, in 1993 and 1996.
Leeway dabbled in acting and tried a solo music career after quitting the Thompson Twins in 1986, but neither was successful. He is currently based in Los Angeles, where he does hypnotherapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Thompson Twins Were?
a British pop band that formed in April 1977. The band consisted of Tom Bailey (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals), Alannah Currie (percussion, keyboards, vocals) and Joe Leeway (congas, percussion, keyboards). They became popular in the mid-1980s with their album Into the Gap and its three singles “Hold Me Now”, “Doctor! Doctor!”, and “You Take Me Up”. The band announced their split in May 1993. Bailey and Currie continued to record under the name Thompson Twins until 1996’s Queer album, which ended with the death of co-founder Bailey the following year.
Where Did The Band The Thompson Twins Get Their Name?
The band The Thompson Twins got their name from the two comic book characters, Thomson and Thompson, who appeared in Hergé’s popular Belgian comics series, The Adventures of Tintin.
Why Did The Thompson Twins Break Up?
The Thompson Twins broke up in 1993 due to creative differences. The band had been together for 10 years and had released six studio albums. Lead singer Tom Bailey said in a interview that the split was amicable and that the band members are still friends. He also said that they may one day reunite for a reunion tour.