In light of the success of the single "In the Name of Love" from their second album Set
, Tom Bailey did the only decent thing he could - he fired most of the band, keeping just Joe Leeway and Alannah Currie - and for a few years Thompson Twins became a pop success story.
The 1984 release Into the Gap
, was the really big hit for the trio, but before that was this album, their third, and it remains their greatest. I've listened to it many, many times over the years, to the point where I know it back to front, and - having just sat down for another listen now - I've realised I love it even more than I thought.
It's easy to say some of this is quite straightforward synth/pop, and the two opening tracks, "Love On Your Side" and "Lies", are pretty much that, but they are also irresistibly catchy, and set the record on the right track.
What follows are some pretty inventive tracks, such as "Judy Do" and the oddball "Watching" (with Grace Jones appearing on vocals), while "Tears" has a grabbing drama about it, and "We Are Detective" is fun and amusing.
Showing another side to the group are two gentler pieces, one in the middle of each side of the original UK release ... "If You Were Here" and "Kamikaze", and they lose nothing in comparison.
However, it is a shame that the record can't quite keep the pace to the end. "Love Lies Bleeding" really is basic pop, without much else going for it, while the concluding "All Fall Out" is unforgivably dreary. I suppose neither are really bad songs in essence, but they are a bit of a comedown after what had come before.
Overall though, Quick Step & Side Kick
remains a wonderful collection of 80's synth/pop from a band that deserved more credit than they received. Thompson Twins were to record more fine material after this, but none of their subsequent albums matched this one.Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor