Sharoma Thompson Twins Compilations

Compilations

There are probably nearing 20 Thompson Twins compilations floating around. They seem to be released by Arista, or their subsidiaries (such as Camden), or their parent company SonyBMG, but some have appeared from other labels, and of course none have appeared that contain Warner Bros. owned tracks from Big Trash and Queer. I have listed on this page just the compilations that I own. There are lots more out there, all variations of the same album, and I don't intend to buy anymore. There's a few 'Best Ofs', one called 'The Collection', one from SonyBMG (as recently as 2006) called simply 'Collection', a few 'Greatest Hits' ones (two are on here) and various other titles. Most contain the same songs with similar pictures of the band on the artwork. There's usually no liner notes or information and in most cases the song versions are all the same. Why there's so many out there is anybody's guess, but it's probably the usual record company greed coupled with the safety of constantly re-releasing the same well-known tracks. Arista also seem to release a lot of "series" compilations, containing tracks from all their artists. The ones that the 'Twins have appeared on are "The Heritage Series" and "Platinum & Gold Collection", although there may be more.
Update: 2007 sees the release of yet another compilation! "Love On Your Side: the Best of the Thompson Twins" is a double CD set with attractive looking artwork, but I still fail to see the point.

Extra-Special Tuneful Twosome! [1982]

Extra-Special Tuneful Twosome!

Original Promo

  1. Make Believe (Special Extended Version)
  2. Runaway (Extended Remix)
  3. Bouncing (Special Remix)
  4. Good Gosh (Remix)

Info

A 12 inch US promo from 1982 (catalogue number: Arista SP-137). I downloaded this in FLAC format from Oink. I'm not sure who created it, but I thank you very much for your efforts. The image you see was also included in the torrent, and here is some recording information the author provided:

  • Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut (With Stock Ortofon OM 5E cartridge)
  • Pre-Amp: Carver CT-7
  • Sound Card: Auzen X-Meridian 7.1
  • Software: DBpowerAMP/Adobe Audition (Manual De-clicking)

Review

Already the frenetic magic of the live band was starting to get lost in studio translation. The special mix of Bouncing highlights how gimmicky sound effects can date and lessen the impact of an once solid track. Despite these shortcomings this rare US 12 inch from 1982 does deliver some excellent pre-trio 'Twins mayhem. Make Believe is great, and I've always had a fondness for Runaway so extending it merely lengthens my enjoyment. The remix of Good Gosh is merely the version from In The Name Of Love (see below) with the clean intro.

Other early tracks

A number of other early tracks that aren't on the first two albums exist. In no particular order:

  • In The Beginning
  • Coastline
  • She's In Love With Mystery
  • Physics & Chemistry
  • Squares & Triangles
  • Open Your Eyes
  • Fast Food
  • Food Style
  • A fast version of Slave Trade
  • Physics & Chemistry
  • Lama Sabach Tani (a dub version of Make Believe)
  • A Dub Product

All of these tracks, with the exception of the fast version of Slave Trade, have been officially released on the APO/Set double issue.

In The Name Of Love [1982]

In The Name Of Love

Original Album

  1. In The Name Of Love
  2. Living In Europe
  3. Bouncing
  4. The Rowe
  5. Make Believe
  6. Runaway
  7. Another Fantasy
  8. Fool's Gold
  9. Perfect Game
  10. Good Gosh

Info

In The Name Of Love was the American answer to the first two 'Twins albums A Product Of, and Set. In similar style to the American "Meet The Beatles", In The Name Of Love combined the "best" of the first two albums, to make it more palatable for the American market, and also cash in on the success of the single, which was riding high in the dance charts at the time.

Review

I can understand why this album came to exist. Obviously, potential Thompson Twins fans being impressed with the new synthpop direction of the breakthrough single would be somewhat confused by the experimental nature of A Product Of, so only two of its tracks make it onto this album. Predictably enough, one of them is Perfect Game, which sounds like classic era 'Twins anyway. As for Set, Tok Tok, Crazy Dog and Blind are omitted - hardly surprising. Though great, these are hardly commercial offerings. I read on Blake Bell's old site that Good Gosh was bumped all the way down to last track since it was written and sung by Joe Leeway and not Tom Bailey.

The First Session [1987]

The First Session

Original EP

  1. A Product Of...
  2. The Price
  3. Could Be Her... Could Be You
  4. Oumma Aularesso (Animal Laugh)

Long since out of print, this four track EP was released in July 1987 and contained four tracks from the first album recorded at the BBC. I am unsure as to exactly when and where these tracks were recorded, and who produced them (although I am pretty sure it wasn't John Peel!). They are very accomplished versions from the debut album, not differing too much in form or style. The EP itself is quite rare; I don't own it myself in fact. If you see it, it's definitely worth picking up.

»»» Video: Thompson Twins - The First Session

The Best Of Thompson Twins - Greatest Mixes [1988]

Greatest Mixes

Extended and Remixed versions

  1. In The Name Of Love '88 [New Version]
  2. Lies [(Dub) Lies]
  3. Love On Your Side
  4. Lay Your Hands On Me
  5. The Gap [Club Remix Version]
  6. Hold Me Now
  7. Doctor! Doctor!
  8. You Take Me Up [High Plains Mix]
  9. King For A Day
  10. Get That Love
Greatest Mixes

As far as I know this is the first of many Thompson Twins compilations. It's superior to most since it has remix versions instead of the well known single and album versions. The remix version of The Gap for example is hard to find anywhere else. If you see this, it's worth picking up.

The Greatest Hits [1990]

The Greatest Hits
  1. Hold Me Now
  2. Doctor! Doctor!
  3. Lay Your Hands On Me
  4. Don't Mess With Doctor Dream
  5. King For A Day
  6. The Gap
  7. We Are Detective
  8. You Take Me Up
  9. Sister Of Mercy
  10. Love On Your Side
  11. Lies
  12. Get That Love
  13. The Long Goodbye
  14. Revolution

Bonus Remixes

  1. Love On Your Side (Megamix) [Not actually a megamix]
  2. In The Name Of Love (Tom's Full House Mix) [Most likely the Good Karma Mix]
  3. In The Name Of Love (Good Karma Mix) [actually Tom's Full House Megamix]

This compilaton seems to be the first of the so-called 'Greatest Hits' ones and appeared in 1990 on CD and 2x12 inch from Stylus Music. The probable reason for so many 'Twins compilations is the amount of companies and subdivisions of Arista/BMG that seem, or seemed, to exist. The usual tracks are here, and King For A Day is a pre-Nile Rogers mix (with bells and no lead guitar). This release hasn't been in print for years.

Singles Collection [1996]

Singles Collection

Single and Remix versions

  1. Perfect Game
  2. Lies (Remix)
  3. Love On Your Side (Remix)
  4. We Are Detective
  5. Watching
  6. Hold Me Now (Remix)
  7. Doctor! Doctor! (Remix)
  8. King For A Day (Remix)
  9. You Take Me Up
  10. Sister Of Mercy
  11. Don't Mess With Doctor Dream
  12. Get That Love (Remix)
  13. Revolution
  14. Lay Your Hands On Me (US Remix)
  15. In The Name Of Love ('88 Remix)

This rather original compilation appeared in 1996 and attempted to form a singles discography, but with just one CD this is impossible, and so it omits certain songs. It does do a good job though, and there's some real gems on here. The sound quality, for the most part, is excellent, and Perfect Game sounds so fresh it could be a trio-era Twins song, rather than a track from the 1981 album. The US remix of Lay Your Hands On Me also stands out. The songs titled '(Remix)' are usually just the 12 inch mix of the song edited down. For example, the Love On Your Side (Remix) is in fact a shorter version of 'Rap Boy Rap'. Lies, Hold Me Now, Doctor! Doctor!, King For A Day and Get That Love seem to be edits of the 12 inch extended mixes also. This is one of the few compilations that I recommend acquiring.

Master Hits [1999]

Master Hits

Album versions

  1. In The Name Of Love (UK Album Version)
  2. Bouncing
  3. Lies
  4. Hold Me Now
  5. Day After Day
  6. Who Can Stop The Rain
  7. Lay Your Hands On Me
  8. King For A Day
  9. Emperor's Clothes (Part 1)
  10. Follow Your Heart
  11. Perfect Day

To add originality to what is essentially another pathetic attempt at cashing in on the Thompson Twins, Arista added the Set song Bouncing to this collection, and slapped a digitally remastered sticker on the front. The sound quality certainly is different, though no better than anything else-- just louder, as current mastering trends dictate. Still, it's nice to have Bouncing without crackle or hiss, although Sister Of Mercy amongst others is conspicuous by its absence. Quite why Arista insists on releasing so many 'Twins compilations is a mystery to me. They also seemed to have licenced Hold Me Now to be used on every single '80s nostaliga collection under the sun. What a shame to cheapen such a classic song. This may also be the only place to find the UK album version (ie, the original) of In The Name Of Love on CD, and that may be why they titled it such.

Hold Me Now [2000]

Hold Me Now
  1. Hold Me Now
  2. Lay Your Hands On Me
  3. Love On Your Side
  4. Let Loving Start
  5. Doctor! Doctor!
  6. Love On Your Back
  7. Beach Culture
  8. Nothing In Common
  9. The Gap
  10. You Take Me Up

Like Master Hits this is a haphazard affair, with the only saving grace being the presence of a few real rarities, on CD for the first time. These are Let Loving Start (Hold Me Now 7 inch b-side which is purely instrumental, unlike the 12 inch version), Love On Your Back (the rather strange but oddly appealing 7 inch b-side to Love On Your Side, which itself seems to exist in two mixes) and Beach Culture, the 7 inch b-side to Lies. Nothing In Common is also present here. As budget compilations go I heartily recommend it, although don't pay too much. Are you starting to notice a trend with that photograph? It gets used an awful lot on 'Twins compilations.

The Greatest Hits [2003]

The Greatest Hits
  1. In The Name Of Love (US Version)
  2. Lies [single mix]
  3. We Are Detective (7 Inch Version)
  4. If You Were Here
  5. Love On Your Side (7 Inch Version)
  6. Hold Me Now [early version]
  7. Doctor! Doctor!
  8. You Take Me Up
  9. Sister Of Mercy (7 Inch Version)
  10. Don't Mess With Doctor Dream
  11. Lay Your Hands On Me (12 Inch Version)
  12. King For A Day [early version]
  13. Nothing In Common
  14. Get That Love
  15. Lucky Day
  16. Roll Over

If this was the only 'Greatest Hits' or 'Best Of' that existed of the Thompson Twins, it would be excellent, and on its own it is, but when it appeared, despite my excitement (and it only cost £6.99), I did curse at the idea of yet another compilation (and one so unoriginally entitled 'The Greatest Hits'). Still, as I said, it does deliver. All the classics are here, and a lot of them are in exciting rare forms. Hold Me Now is an early pre-mix from 1983; much more subtle and gentler than the well-known version of the song. Lies appears in its single version; again, a tad more subtle than the album mix. Sister Of Mercy is also a rare single mix, sounding almost dub-esque with its wonderful percussion drenched in skillful reverb. Lay Your Hands On Me is similar to the excellent US remix of the song that appears on the Singles Collection, and is simply beautiful in this extended form (very much superior to the tacky album version). King For A Day, also, is the rarer pre-mix before Madonna favourite Nile Rodgers got his hands on the track. This greatest hits collection is indeed extremely well executed and the one to acquire above all the others. All the classics appear in alternate forms, and to suger coat an already sweet offering, a couple of real rarities appear at the end: Lucky Day and Roll Over appear on official CD for the first time. Lucky Day is probably the best b-side and non-album track the 'Twins did, and Roll Over is another lost gem from the Here's To Future Days era. I believe their presence here is due to long-time 'Twins fan Blake Bell, who wrote the extensive liner notes and compiled the tracks. Full credit to Blake! The artwork is also original and sees the return of the classic 'Twins logo. Definitely a compilation to pick up, regardless of whether you own any other TT CDs.

The sound quality defies the current fasion of mastering CDs at the maximum output and compressing every sound to be as loud as possible. However, I've found the actual volume of the tracks to be a tad lower than most other Thompson Twins CDs (album reissues and compilations alike). Therefore, when recording it digitally onto your own compilations, a small level boost of 3.5dB adds enough volume to allow the tracks to sit equally alongside the rest without them clipping. Once again, full credit to whoever mastered the CD-- excellent sound quality that wasn't compromised for the sake of loudness. If only every other CD was likewise mastered.

The Quick Step & Side Kick Collection [2007]

"A model of varied and skilled songwriting and extraordinary self-contained music-making the trio plays almost everything you hear on keyboards the album bounces from start to finish, but no two tracks have much in common other than a good mood and a strong beat."

-Ira Robbins, TrouserPress

The Quick Step & Side Kick Collection

"...When I had a high-quality digital version available on one of the many re-releases and compilations, I used that. When I came across a track that hadn't been digitized straight from the original production masters, I used my (thankfully still well-preserved) vinyl."

-Derek Donovan, October 2007

Info

This fan-made collection is another product of foremost TT fan Derek Donovan, who created the excellent A Product Of CD. As fate would have it, in March 2008 an official reissue of this album and its bonus tracks finally appeared, rendering part of Derek's exhaustive efforts somewhat obsolete (since he was forced to source a lot of the tracks from vinyl). However, much of this beautifully packaged set is still of great interest, especially the presentation and the special DVD. The official reissue pales in comparison in terms of completeness; literally everything is here. If you want the full Quick Step' experience, this is the only place it can be found.

Imagery

Details

Derek, like myself and many fans, was extremely disappointed by Superfecta's 2004 resissue of the albums. Despite the capacity of an audio CD to hold 80 minutes of music, that issue only contained a handful of bonus tracks. The album as it was originally issued on cassette tape in 1983 contains a full side of remixes. Together with the album tracks the time still adds up to less than 80 minutes. Discounting bonus tracks, the audio mastering on the 2004 reissue is amateurish at best. It suffers from dropout on occasion - totally unacceptable in this day and age. So, Derek went about compiling the ultimate anthology of the album, containing everything possible in both audio and visual form. He came up with a five disc collection, as follows:

Disc One

The original album with the 'Double Play' remixes as it all appeared on cassette. Rather than source the remixes from tape (as I once did) Derek used vinyl issues of the same tracks. The album tracks themselves have of course been issued on CD already, and the source used here is arguably the best one: the Japanese K2 issue.

  1. Love On Your Side
  2. Tears
  3. Lies
  4. We Are Detective
  5. Love Lies Bleeding
  6. Watching
  7. If You Were Here
  8. Kamikaze
  9. Judy Do
  10. All Fall Out
  11. Love Lies Fierce
  12. Long Beach Culture
  13. No Talkin'
  14. Rap Boy Rap
  15. Frozen In Time
  16. Fallen Out

Disc Two

The singles from the period, given completist treatment. This disc is far superior to the 2008's 2nd disc. All versions of all singles are presented in chronological order, first in their 7 inch form, with b-sides, and then in extended/12 inch form, with their alternate b-sides. All versions and all b-sides, normal length and extended. Even mono mixes are included. When a track has appeared previously as a Double Play mix they aren't reproduced here. NB: the track entitled "No Talkin'" is actually "(Dub) Lies" and the 7" version of Dancersaurus is simply the 12" version with the piano coda hacked off. These two are not included.

  1. Lies (UK single version)
  2. Beach Culture
  3. (Bigger and Better) Lies
  4. Lies [mono]
  5. Love On Your Side (single version)
  6. Love On Your Back
  7. Love On Your Side - No Talkin'
  8. Love On Your Side [mono]
  9. We Are Detective (single version)
  10. Lucky Day
  11. We Are Detective (More Clues)
  12. Lucky Day (Space Mix)
  13. Watching (single version)
  14. Watching (You Watching Me)
  15. Dancersaurus (Even Large Reptiles Have Emotional Problems)

Disc Three

The movie soundtrack. Basically the live concert audio in digital form, taken from the Laserdisc audio. Quite likely this will never be reissued, so surviving Laseridsc audio and video of the concert is the best we have. My own VHS of this concert has long since worn away. Preserving the audio on CD for posterity was an excellent move. Also included here are later studio remixes.

  1. Kamikaze
  2. Love Lies Bleeding
  3. Judy Do
  4. Tears
  5. Watching
  6. If You Were Here
  7. All Fall Out
  8. Lucky Day
  9. Lies
  10. We Are Detective
  11. In The Name Of Love
  12. Beach Culture
  13. Love On Your Side
  14. Lies (Extended)
  15. Love On Your Side (Extended)
  16. Love On Your Side Megamix

Disc Four

A DVD entitled "The Video Collection". Contains the four videos of the singles as well as the full concert itself, again taken from the Laserdisc and not the VHS.

  1. Kamikaze
  2. Love Lies Bleeding
  3. Judy Do
  4. Tears
  5. Watching
  6. If You Were Here
  7. All Fall Out
  8. Lucky Day
  9. Lies
  10. We Are Detective
  11. In The Name Of Love
  12. Beach Culture
  13. Love On Your Side
  14. Lies [video]
  15. Love On Your Side [video]
  16. We Are Detective [video]
  17. Watching [video]

Disc Five

A data CD-ROM that contains all the audio tracks in mp3 as well as other rarities, such as the ultra rare 'Twins Peak' bootleg. [Contents]

In conclusion, this is an excellent set offering everything you need to immerse yourself in the Quick Step' experience, reliving those days of 1983 all over again. Full credit to Derek for his exhaustive efforts compiling all this and applying, where necessary, hiss reduction and de-clicking. The artwork, of course, is second to none and very aesthetically pleasing. I particularly like the cover for the singles disc.