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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Thompson Twins

Remixes & Rarities: Collection of Classic 12

Review by Gary Hill

The Thompson Twins were always a cool act. They put out some great music. This double disc collection assembles a number of their rarities from 12 inch singles. There is a tendency here toward club remix sounds. That makes this a little samey. However, enough of the Thompson Twins magic shines through here to keep it interesting from start to finish.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc: 1
Love on Your Side (Rap Boy Rap)
This is a stripped back cut at first. Then more electronic sounds are heard as it works forward. It turns out into quite a powered up 80s rocker eventually. This is dance music, but meaty dance music.
(Bigger & Better) Lies
Very much a dance mix, the funky bass on this is cool. It has some great bits of melody, too. The whole dance remix quality only works so well, though.
Lay Your Hands on Me (Us Remix)
Even before the remix, this was a great song. I think I like the regular version better, but this holds up well in either form. The melodies are great and the arrangement here is solid.
In the Name of Love (12" Dance Extension)
I kind of like some of the percussive elements on this. The song rocks out pretty well in this version. At least it has a good amount of energy.
You Take Me Up (Machines Take Me Over)
This is fun. It’s more organic than some of the rest here. It has a lot of energy and works quite well.
Watching (You Watching Me) (12" Version)
There is some funk built into this beast. It’s another strong one. I love the bass work on it. At times this makes me think of Art of Noise quite a bit.
In the Beginning (7" B-Side)
The noisy percussion in this is fun. There are some ominous melodic moments at times, too.
We Are Detective (More Clues)

I love this song. It has a great rubbery groove and a sense of mystery.

King for a Day (Us Mix)
I’ve always loved this tune, too. The cut works quite well in this mix. It has a bit of an electronic music meets jazz kind of vibe to it.
Doctor Doctor (Extended Version)
Another of my favorites from Thompson Twins, this version has an extended instrumental section. Otherwise it’s pretty similar to the way I remember it. I’d consider this another highlight.
Long Goodbye (Extended Mix)

There’s a bit less energy to this one than some of the other tracks have. Still, the melodies and hooks are definitely quality material.

The Gap (Single / AOR Version)
There is a lot going for this one. The rhythm section is great. The world music elements are also an excellent touch. The whole piece has a strong vibe. The hooks are great, too. This is a standout.
Big Business
The start of this is a little strange with sounds that call to mind both monkeys and someone expressing pain. There’s a great musical section from there before it gives way to more electronic dance type sounds. The weird stuff from the intro returns as this continues. There is some more killer music, too, as the various things collide with one another.
Disc: 2
Sister of Mercy (12" Version)
The story and the music on this one are both exceptional. This is one of my favorite cuts here. It has so much charm to it.
Roll Over (Again)
There is a bit of a funky element here. This is an energized number that’s quite catchy.
Love Lies Fierce
This a very pure dance mix kind of thing. The rhythm section is on fire.
Lay Your Hands on Me (1985 Extended Edit)

I think I like this version better than the one we heard earlier.

The Gap (Extended Version/Club Remix)
This version of the previously presented piece is very much a club mix, as stated. It’s also very cool. I definitely like this one better than the previous version.
Don't Mess With Doctor Dream (Smackattack)
Parts of this are quite similar to “Big Business.” This cut works better, though.
Nothing in Common (Club Mix)
This is a pretty definite dance mix thing. I’m not overly crazy about it.
Hold Me Now (Extended Version)
We get another solid version of this great song here.
Revolution (Extended Version)
There is a lot of energy and a great groove to this. It’s a cover of the Beatles song. It’s an intriguing twist on the tune, too.
Rollunder
There is almost a jazzy element to some of this.
Fools in Paradise

This one is a smooth little number. It’s pretty darned good.

 
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