One of the great new wave tunes of all-time came out this day in 1983. The trio known as the Thompson Twins (named for detectives in the Tin Tin comics) put out the first single from their Into the Gap album, “Hold Me Now.”
It was the type of song everyone seemed to like and it found its place on mainstream radio, college stations and even in dance clubs, getting to #3 in the U.S. and Canada, and #4 in their homeland of the UK. L.A .alt rock pioneers KROQ had it as one of the top 10 songs of 1984 and it made #1 on Billboard‘s dance charts. It helped the Twins make a major name for themselves and the Into the Gap album go platinum or better in all of the countries mentioned, while the single itself got them gold records at home and in Canada.
It was their second album as a trio, earlier incarnations of the group had as many as seven members including two guitarists and a separate bassist. Although the new version concentrated more on keyboards, the hit did feature real – and sometimes odd – instruments including Allanah Currie playing the xylophone. Singer Tom Bailey said he wrote the lyrics thinking about Currie and himself, something of an on-again, off-again couple at the time. “What it feels like to get back together again after separation, and the kind of ideas that come up and the way that emotion and physicality somehow are brought together,” he describes it as.
The previous album, Side Kicks had given them a couple of hits at home, notably “Love On Your Side” but Into the Gap lifted them into the pop music stratosphere. By 1985 they’d be playing Live Aid, joined by Madonna on stage, but their fame was relatively short-lived. As Allanah of the group noted, “Hold Me Now” was a mixed blessing. It earned them money and fame but also pigeonholed them. “It was really big all over the world which is great, but it was just an accidental thing…(after) we got everybody on our back to write ‘Hold Me Now, Part 2’, but we can’t…we’ll never find a ‘formula’ for what we did.” While the Thompson Twins are no longer an entity, “Hold Me Now” lives on both as a popular radio hit and in use in a number of movies and TV shows including The Wedding Singer, New Girl and The Carrie Diaries.