Thompson Twins

The Thompson Twins are a British band which emerged in the 1980s in the immediate aftermath of New Romanticism, scoring a string of hits and conquering the USA in the process.

They were originally a new-wave act who, after the founding threesome moved south from Sheffield, had so little money that they lived as squatters in London, with the personnel rising to seven members. After a lucky break, they were signed up to Arista records and group leader Tom Bailey (born January 18, 1956) paid off four of the members in return for their instruments.

The remaining trio - singer and main musician Bailey; lyricist and percussionist Alannah Currie (born September 20, 1959); and multi-instrumentalist and stylings guru Joe Leeway (born November 15, 1957) - broke into the UK charts at the beginning of 1983 with "Love On Your Side". Further hits from debut album "Quickstep And Sidekick" followed, with Bailey's flame-red hair and bright ponytail and Currie's wasp-swatting style at the xylophone swiftly becoming endearing images of an exciting new act.

At the end of 1983, a single "Hold me Now" was released. It defied the trends of the electronic pop which was still dominating the charts, relying almost wholly on an emotive piano, some clever percussion from the New Zealand-born Currie and a heartfelt vocal from Bailey. It hit the Top 3 and remains one of the more timeless singles from an era and decade which tends to date a little more easily than others. Three equally as mature singles followed into 1984 - the poppy "Doctor Doctor"; the quirky, accordion-dominated "You Take Me Up" (at No.2, their biggest UK hit); and the haunting "Sister Of Mercy". The corresponding album, "Into The Gap" was one of the best sellers of the year. The trio had peaked.

In 1985, they had three hits which were palpable compared to the previous year's highs, but still made headlines when they performed at the American end of Live Aid and were joined onstage by the fresh-faced Madonna, who was in only her second year of fame. As the most talked about and hippest woman on the planet at the time, her appearance with the Thompson Twins should have helped their cause further, but by the end of the year, by which time they'd enjoyed three US Top 10 hits, they'd plummeted substantially.

Leeway left and the remaining duo soldiered on for another seven years, only occasionally puncturing the singles charts and never again making the Top 40.

Bailey and Currie, despite years of denying romantic inclinations at the height of their fame, got married and now raise their family in New Zealand while still occasionally dabbling in music under the name Babble. The band have, however, declined to follow the examples of many of their contemporaries and reform to tie in with a nostalgic rebirth of the 1980s. The two divorced in 2004.

Much merriment was gained from their name (they took it from the detectives in bowler hats who featured in the Tintin comics) as there were three in the band; none of them were twins; and none of them were called Thompson.


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Much merriment was gained from their name (they took it from the detectives in bowler hats who featured in the Tintin comics) as there were three in the band; none of them were twins; and none of them were called Thompson. Warwick is cousins with Whitney Houston who has also had a successful singing career. (Nathan, 1999). The two divorced in 2004. Warwick's sister Dee Dee Warwick also had a successful singing career, scoring a Top 20 R&B hit in the form of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" in 1967. The band have, however, declined to follow the examples of many of their contemporaries and reform to tie in with a nostalgic rebirth of the 1980s. Drug charges were dropped when she agreed to complete a drug treatment program, donate $250 to charity, and make an anti-drug public service announcement directed at youth[1] (http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread13055.shtml). Bailey and Currie, despite years of denying romantic inclinations at the height of their fame, got married and now raise their family in New Zealand while still occasionally dabbling in music under the name Babble. Miami-Dade Police officers reported finding 11 marijuana cigarettes inside a lipstick container.

Leeway left and the remaining duo soldiered on for another seven years, only occasionally puncturing the singles charts and never again making the Top 40. In 2002, Warwick was arrested at Miami International Airport for possession of marijuana. As the most talked about and hippest woman on the planet at the time, her appearance with the Thompson Twins should have helped their cause further, but by the end of the year, by which time they'd enjoyed three US Top 10 hits, they'd plummeted substantially. During this period, she was perhaps best known for hosting infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network, a 900 number psychic service. In 1985, they had three hits which were palpable compared to the previous year's highs, but still made headlines when they performed at the American end of Live Aid and were joined onstage by the fresh-faced Madonna, who was in only her second year of fame. Her career took a major downturn in the 1990s, with only a few moderate selling albums released and no major singles. The trio had peaked. In 1986, Warwick led the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) benefit single "That's What Friends Are For" with Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder; it was a number one hit, and garnered Warwick's fifth Grammy.

The corresponding album, "Into The Gap" was one of the best sellers of the year. Warwick's next hit was her 1982 full-length collaboration with the Bee Gees, Heartbreaker. Three equally as mature singles followed into 1984 - the poppy "Doctor Doctor"; the quirky, accordion-dominated "You Take Me Up" (at No.2, their biggest UK hit); and the haunting "Sister Of Mercy". The accompanying album, Dionne, was her first to go platinum. It hit the Top 3 and remains one of the more timeless singles from an era and decade which tends to date a little more easily than others. A five-year hiatus ensued, ending with "I'll Never Love This Way Again", produced by Barry Manilow. It defied the trends of the electronic pop which was still dominating the charts, relying almost wholly on an emotive piano, some clever percussion from the New Zealand-born Currie and a heartfelt vocal from Bailey. Her career slowed greatly in the 1970s, with no big hits until 1974's "Then Came You" with the Spinners.

At the end of 1983, a single "Hold me Now" was released. More hits and a few Grammies followed in the last two years of the 1960s. Further hits from debut album "Quickstep And Sidekick" followed, with Bailey's flame-red hair and bright ponytail and Currie's wasp-swatting style at the xylophone swiftly becoming endearing images of an exciting new act. A 1967 LP called Here Where There Is Love became a big hit, as did her single "I Say A Little Prayer." Her next big hit was unusual in that was not written by Bacharach and David; "(Theme From) Valley of the Dolls" was a smash success, as was the follow-up, "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?". The remaining trio - singer and main musician Bailey; lyricist and percussionist Alannah Currie (born September 20, 1959); and multi-instrumentalist and stylings guru Joe Leeway (born November 15, 1957) - broke into the UK charts at the beginning of 1983 with "Love On Your Side". Warwick weathered the British Invasion better than most American artists, and she released only a few minor hits in the late 1960s, most notably 1966's "Message to Michael". After a lucky break, they were signed up to Arista records and group leader Tom Bailey (born January 18, 1956) paid off four of the members in return for their instruments. The song was a moderate hit, but the follow-ups were unsuccessful until 1964's "Anyone Who Had a Heart". This was followed by "Walk on By", a major hit in Britain.

They were originally a new-wave act who, after the founding threesome moved south from Sheffield, had so little money that they lived as squatters in London, with the personnel rising to seven members. Her first solo single was 1962's "Don't Make Me Over"; her name was misspelled on the credits, and she soon began using the new spelling ("Warwick"). The Thompson Twins are a British band which emerged in the 1980s in the immediate aftermath of New Romanticism, scoring a string of hits and conquering the USA in the process. She began singing gospel with her family. Dionne Warwick (born December 12, 1940 as Dionne Warrick) is an American singer, best known for her work with Hal David and Burt Bacharach as songwriters. ISBN 0823084256.

Watson-Guptill Publications. The Soulful Divas: Personal Portraits of over a dozen divine divas from Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, & Diana Ross, to Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, & Janet Jackson. Nathan, David (1999). Ayres, Sabra: Dionne Warwick's Charges Dropped in Plea Bargain (http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread13055.shtml), Associated Press, June 5, 2002.

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