Thompson Twins – Into The Gap (1984): Review

Produced by Tom Bailey/Alex Sadkin
Label – Arista

In a recent interview, Thompson Twins leader and mainstay Tom Bailey has proffered withered comments of his collective’s credibility as a memorable act. “We were probably charlatans who didn’t deserve the serious fan acclaim we actually received at the time”. For a group who were at the fore front of what was termed “the second English invasion of America” during the mid 80s, one believes he is seriously down playing the pop relevance and undeniable success they achieved. It’s easy to mock 80s pop, possibly due to the fashions of the time (yes the Twins were genuine “tragic haircut” members), the over polished production techniques, and the shallowness of much of the material, but The Thompson Twins could write and perform enduring tunes, and for that reason they deserve at least a footnote in pop history, whatever Bailey believes. For example, one only has to listen to the timeless synth ballad “Hold Me Now” from this album to realize that a great song transcends any genre of music, in any decade.

Whereas the 1983 predecessor “Quick Step And Side Kick” was integrally a dance/pop breakthrough for the threesome with floor highlights “Love On Your Side” and “Lies”, “Into The Gap” lessens the obvious rhythmic influence, and opts for a more direct clean cut sheen. The big hooks are augmented with Bailey and Joe Leeway’s skilful use of simple synth melodies and Alannah Currie’s bright lyrical input. The trio effectively attempt minimal experimentation with African styled backing vocals on “You Take Me Up”, and Middle Eastern melody on the Dance oriented “The Gap”. The highlights are the singles, “Hold Me Now”, “Doctor Doctor”, “You Take Me Up” and “Sister Of Mercy”. In addition the melancholic and darker “Storm On The Sea” deserves praise for its subtle change of momentum given that much of the album is so direct and stylized. No, “Into The Gap” won’t change your life, but it’s fun, credible and one of the superior pop albums of the decade.

Guaranteed high impact, I wished I’d have been their bank manager.

7/10

Track Listing
A1 Doctor! Doctor! 4:38
A2 You Take Me Up 4:26
A3 Day After Day 3:48
A4 Sister of Mercy 5:08
A5 No Rest for the Wicked 4:02
B1 The Gap 4:43
B2 Hold Me Now 4:44
B3 Storm on the Sea 5:26
B4 Who Can Stop the Rain? 5:45

Hold Me Now

Doctor! Doctor!

You Take Me Up

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2 responses to “Thompson Twins – Into The Gap (1984): Review

  1. “Into The Gap” won’t change your life, ? it changed mine dramatically. It is a masterpiece of synthesizers, melody, and percussion, there is no other album like it.

    • I’m delighted you feel that way about the album. There was a lot of synth pop nonsense in the 80s. Fortunately, this is one of the better albums from the period.

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