Thompson Twins

In the Name of Love

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The most important song on the Thompson Twins' first U.S. release was one of those brilliant accidents that make pop music an always-entertaining crapshoot. In The Name of Love is a re-released version of the band's first two British albums, A Product Of... and Set, and is filled with the skewed guitar pop that had become the band's early trademark. While the results occasionally suggest the likeable eccentricities of groups like Split Enz (especially on "Bouncing" and "Perfect Game"), the Twins -- then numbering six members, including leader Tom Bailey -- would undoubtedly have vanished without a trace if they'd kept on in that direction. And, in fact, the original lineup split soon after Set was released. But it was "In the Name of Love," recorded at the last minute as album filler, that led to the reformation of the band in its best-known incarnation (Bailey, Alannah Currie, and Joe Leeway) and ended up pointing the way to stardom. Trading jerky new wave rhythms for a sleek, synth-powered club groove, the Steve Lillywhite-produced "In the Name of Love" was a U.S. number one dance hit, made distinctive by its simple keyboard hook and loads of ethnic percussion. Unfortunately, it's by far and away the best thing on this album, and those not curious about the group's early days will probably do better seeking it out on a greatest-hits collection or '80s compilation.

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