Number Ones: #97


  • THOMPSON TWINS Get That Love (Arista)
  • Week Ending 21st March 1987
  • 2 Weeks At #1


A lot had happened in my life since the last time a brand new Thompson Twins single had appeared in August 1985. Quite a bit had happened to the Thompson Twins in that period, too. Joe Leeway had departed, leaving the Twins as an actual duo for the time in their history. The UK record-buying public had also virtually deserted them by the end of Here’s To Future Days troubled campaign, a lame and unnecessary cover of The Beatles’ Revolution failing to even make the Top 50.

So, what could Tom and Alannah do to halt the slide?

As far as Britain was concerned, 1986 passed without anything from the band, but America still cared enough to offer them a shot at the theme song for a Tom Hanks film entitled Nothing In Common. It helped that their label Arista was responsible for the soundtrack, but it was an opportunity to consolidate the comparative success of Here’s To Future Days enjoyed on the US charts. The single didn’t do too badly, just missing the Top 40, although the lack of a UK release seemed to signal an almost permanent shift in attitude towards an act who just two years earlier had been such an integral part of the British pop scene.

However, on March 9th 1987, the day of U2’s The Joshua Tree, there was an even more important comeback. The Thompson Twins returned with Get That Love. My priorities were clear; the 12″ single by my old favourite pop group was far more urgently needed than Bono and chums’ latest opus.

(In fact, I was able to afford both, but we know who got played first!).

Call it blind loyalty. Call it wishful thinking. But I somehow expected Get That Love to fare a little better than in at #68, out a week later, before sensationally rebounding after critical reappraisal a stint in the Woolworths ex-chart bins, and hitting a new high of #66.

No matter, I was fully back on board with all things TT, and that felt like a good thing. Get That Love was a sort-of step (or three) backwards, evoking the spirit (and sound) of 1982’s Lies; the lyric cheekily has a line, “telling lies, lies, lies to myself” just in case nobody had already noticed the similarity. The chorus was, I suppose, a bit lightweight and bland…but wasn’t that the UK charts’ defining characteristic of the time? The biggest compliment you could pay the record, and Thompson Twins, was Get That Love didn’t sound as chronically out of place on the radio as the most recent efforts by Nik Kershaw, Howard Jones, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, OMD and even Paul Young did by the start of 1987.

Most pertinently of all, it was the first Thompson Twins single to go straight into my chart at #1 since Don’t Mess With Doctor Dream, some 18 months earlier.

They were back! Back!! Back!!!


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