Thompson Twins Songs Ranked

Thompson Twins were a British pop band that formed in April 1977. Initially a new wave group, they switched to a more mainstream pop sound and achieved considerable popularity from 1983, scoring a string of hits in the United Kingdom, the United States, and around the world. In 1993, they changed their name to Babble, to reflect their change in music from new wave to dub-influenced chill-out. They continued as Babble to 1996, at which point the group permanently dissolved. The band was named after the two bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson in Hergé’s comic strip The Adventures of Tintin. At various stages, the band had up to seven members, but their most known incarnation was as a trio between 1982 and 1986. They became a prominent act in the US during the Second British Invasion, and in 1985, the band performed at Live Aid, where they were joined onstage by Madonna. Here are all of the Thompson Twins songs ranked.

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10. We Are Detective (Quick Step & Side Kick, 1983)

“The band plays the role of their Herge namesakes. Intentionally silly lyrics like “There’s something odd about his gloved left hand” are stated rather than sung by Alannah Currie in something between a bored drawl and a creepy narration.”

9. In the Name of Love (In the Name of Love, 1982)

“Listening to this music takes me back to high school. I really love these songs. This is a great compilation of my favorites from TT.”

8. King for a Day (Here’s To Future Days, 1985)

“Anyone that grew up in the 80’s knows the Thompson Twins. Of all of their songs, King For A Day is my favorite. My six year old niece loves it.”

7. Lay Your Hands On Me (Here’s to Future Days, 1985)

“The UK version is a bit too measured for my taste, with the ethereal angelic choir breathily intoning “oh, lay your hands…” I prefer the US version, with its assertively sung-chanted-shouted “oh, lay your hands!”, with a stronger beat afterwards. The guitar solo breaks things up nicely, too. I realize that puts me in the distinct minority, but I am what I am.”

See more: Thompson Twins Albums Ranked

6. Doctor! Doctor! (Into the Gap, 1984)

“I’m more of a guitar – band kind of guy but if it has to be synth-pop then give me this. An expansive, inclusive ballad with a big chorus and piping synth solo as its best assets and Tom Bailey’s straining vocal and that awful line “I was only dreaming’ ya” as its weakest. That said the good far outweighs the bad making this one of my favourite songs of that rather dodgy New Romantic plinky-plonky pool era of the early 80’s which the music press at the time saw as the second British Invasion”

5. All Fallout (Quick Step & Side Kick, 1983)

“Their image sucked and has resulted in them being largely forgotten, but ‘Quick Step…’ is a fantastic pop album, full of sprightly tunes, catchy melodies and cute lyrics. Every track is hugely enjoyable and the closing ‘All Fall Out’ is arguably their finest moment.”

4. If You Were Here (Quick Step & Side Kick, 1983)

“If you really read the lyrics, it actually looks like it’s about how the man doesn’t want to be in a relationship anymore. It seems like maybe he’s cheated or something and feels he needs to fix himself (like the crack in the ceiling he needs to repair). If I AM on the right track though, I wonder why they would put this song at the end of Sixteen Candles when Jake Ryan and Sam are finally getting TOGETHER. This was must MY interpretation of the lyrics.”

3. Love On Your Side (Quick Step & Side Kick, 1983)

“The Thompson Twins had a bizarre career trajectory — no success / massive success / no success. 83 and 84 were their big years — after that nobody gave a monkeys. This was their breakthrough single, a clever slice of synth pop that propelled ‘Quick Step & Side Kick’ to the top of the charts. Nice one.”

2. Lies (Quick Step & Side Kick, 1983)

“A song that got my brother and I hooked for some time. We’d clap our hands over our heads and shove our faces close to one another, attempting to ape the video. It was early signs of MTV encroaching on American pop radio, where we were getting new and exciting alternatives to Air Supply and Bob Seger. Yeah, it was just this side of trashy and disposable, but it’s surprising how many enjoyable singles are.”

1. Hold Me Now (Now That’s What I Call Music II, 1984)

Hold Me Now has this gorgeous, melancholic melody filled with longing. It is one of those rare pop songs in which every interval of the song, even in the verses, is worth paying attention to. The chorus is also noteworthy, featuring a somewhat monotone lead vocal paired with a soaring falsetto. What it suggests to me is someone caught in an unhappy life wanting to break out and find happiness. I must have heard this song a hundred times at least on the radio or 80s playlists, but I never get tired of hearing it.”