Thompson Twins, unlike OMD and The Human League, are a band no more. The act folded following Queer . Creatively, Thompson Twins were far from exhausted, but, like many bands of the 1980s [or any other era for that matter], commercial fortunes waned and the act simply ceased to be the musical juggernaut it once was or at least capable of sustaining viability.
Comprised of Tom Bailey [vocals/synths/writer/producer], Alannah Currie [vocals/synths/writer] and third wheel conga man and background vocalist Joe Leeway, Thompson Twins disbanded. Joe Leeway actually exited following the band's commercial apex here, Here's To Future Days. One shouldn't overstate Leeway's contributions though he did add a certain spice. Here's To Future Days was an artistic and creative zenith in many ways for the trio, but Bailey and Currie pursued music in the band's name for another three albums before calling it a day. Where are the future days?
Thompson Twins closed shop, but a new band was born with Bailey's love of dub and the act was dubbed Babble. Babble gave us two reasonably accessible pop dance recordings in The Stone  and Ether , before Babble concluded. Currie and Bailey were married and had a child, but divorced in 2003 after spending time together floundering artistically in New Zealand. Currie moved back to London, while Bailey went deeper into the realm of dub with his latest moniker International Observer. He's released several recordings under the name. As far as dub goes it's quite beautiful, but sadly there are no trademark, distinctive Tom Bailey vocals to be found and that's a real shame. At least with Babble, Bailey was bubbling to the surface. With International Observer, Thompson Twins truly were dead. Musically, Babble fell somewhere between Thompson Twins and the instrumental International Observer, and would be recommended for investigation, in particular Tribe from The Stone as a great example.
In its formative years Thompson Twins was the creative output of several band members, but like The Human League, the group trimmed down. The Human League formed a core trio around Phil Oakey, Susan Sulley and Joanne Catherall following the departure of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh and got better and stronger with Dare . Thompson Twins, too, ditched several members following the classic In The Name Of Love from Set . What came next was a massive shift in sound and style in keeping with that aforementioned classic. Just as The Human League changed up the game plan, Thompson Twins too were getting smarter and wiser. In 1983, Thompson Twins downsized to the trio for which they would be best remembered. Quick Step And Side Kick  and Into The Gap  were two huge releases and are notable for some major pop classics. Lies, If You Were Here, Love On Your Side and others make Quick Step And Side Kick an easy recommendation. Into The Gap followed with the even bigger mainstreaming of the band stateside with Hold Me Now, Doctor Doctor and You Take Me Up. Honestly, you can't go wrong with these amazing works. If I had to pick, my money goes behind the former, but two of my favorite hits are on the latter. The late producer Alex Sadkin [Arcadia, Duran Duran] working with writer/ creative mastermind Tom Bailey certainly had a a hand in making both of these projects unforgettable classics.
With Thompson Twins on the map, Bailey's next move was arena in mentality [a la Live Aid] as a result of hooking up with former Chic man and producer Nile Rodgers [Duran Duran, Madonna]. It was nothing short of a stroke of genius. Here's To Future Days was a masterpiece from beginning to end. While it didn't contain my all time favorite Thompson Twins' singles, it was a cohesive and unified work of popular art and the album tracks as a unit were far more expansive and interesting than those collected for Into The Gap. This production classic was the work of Nile Rodgers and Tom Bailey. Alex Sadkin added a touch of class by keeping his hand in the mix for the lead off single Lay Your Hands On Me. Sadly, Sadkin [1949-1987] passed away not long after. Sadkin had left his mark on Simply Red's Men And Women , Duran Duran's Seven And The Ragged Tiger , Foreigner's Agent Provocateur  and Arcadia's So Red The Rose . These combined with the two Thompson Twins productions rank as some of my personal favorites from the colorful decade. Sadkin died unexpectedly in a motorcycle accident at 38 years old. Duran Duran's Do You Believe In Shame from Big Thing  was a tribute to the man.
Most intriguing regarding Here's To Future Days is the troubled history surrounding its arrival. Bailey had worked hard year after year shaping the identity of Thompson Twins and the look of the group. He and Currie were the brains behind the operation while Leeway added his own personal touch. Thompson Twins had literally recorded and toured straight for four years easily. Bailey was exhausted. The shape of Here's To Future Days was actually slightly different which explains why there were two different versions of Lay Your Hands On Me when it was released. There was one by Sadkin and one remixed by Rodgers. Following a collapse and a nervous breakdown Bailey was in a bad way. Bailey's health was not good and doctors ordered him rest following a huge Into The Gap World Tour. Here's To Future Days was delayed and given a little guitar-laden production lustre. Ultimately, through and despite all of its troubles, Here's To Future Days remains a stud recording. The project should have sealed Bailey's reputation as the musical genius he was, but oddly things seemed to go awry following the dissolution of the trio to a duo. Odd, given Bailey and Currie truly were the creative engine in the machine.
There is literally not a lemon in the bunch on Here's To Future Days. Each and every song is infinitely listenable. The hits range from opener Don't Mess With Doctor Dream to the more important Lay Your Hands On Me and King For A Day. But for my money, to be honest, it is the remainder of the project that gets my blood going whenever its on play in my vehicle. Future Days, like lead-off single Lay Your Hands On Me, is positively epic. Love Is The Law certainly riffs on a classic, but at least it's their own Love On Your Side. The sad, but beautiful You Killed A Clown and Emperor's Clothes [Part 1] [not sure what happened with Part 2] are just extremely well-penned pop compositions. Bailey is truly a genius of the Paddy McAloon [Prefab Sprout] or Green Gartside [Scritti Politti] variety when it comes to constructing his music. Tokyo and Breakway are energized, booming pop songs that are injected with massive fun and creative twists that are both unique and enjoyable. About the only track that feels lazy and uninspired is a remake of The Beatles' Revolution, a poor choice for the Thompson Twins stamp, but you can see where Bailey's mindset was at the time.
Here's To Future Days was Bailey's artistic and commercial zenith as far as grand musical concepts go. It was Bailey's The Seeds Of Love [Tears For Fears] or So Red The Rose [Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes' splinter project]. It was a work that defined a band as much as Roland Orzabal helped define Tears For Fears with his magnum-opus. It was indeed a mammoth work that he poured every ounce of his creative energy into, as his ill-health would attest, and the results are remarkable still.
Thank the God above that Edsel Records somehow acquired the rights to re-release the Thompson Twins catalogue because A Product Of..., Set, Quick Step And Side Kick, Into The Gap and Here's To Future Days have all been reissued as two disc deluxe editions fully remastered. They are available at a great price from the United Kingdom. What are you waiting for?
Here's To Future Days Alone has over 154 minutes of music and while some of the additional remixes and instrumentals on the bonus disc are okay they are just that - a bonus. The official 11 track original release of Here's To Future Days is magnificent and to hear it in its glory is an aural experience.
Better yet, Into The Gap and Quick Step And Side Kick [and it was really hard to choose] are both amazing deluxe editions as well. Some of the Into The Gap b-sides like Passion Planet are worth the price of admission. Furthermore, I purchased the Edsel Records Box set which included all four re-releases [A Product Of... and Set are combined for one release] and quite frankly they were dirt cheap. Music doesn't get made that achieves the kind of quality achieved by Thompson Twins and to think you can have the box set for the cost of a Britney Spears CD is nearly criminal. Seriously- it's a crime! These Edsel reissues of the best of Thompson Twins' catalogue are essential and will be all you need from the band if you look no further.
There are a few random best of collections out there that do capture some of their other hit selections like Get That Love and Long Goodbye from Close To The Bone. You'll need to find Big Trash if you want Sugar Daddy or Bombers In The Sky. Those two works produced by a combination of Rupert Hine [The Fixx], Bailey, Currie, Steve Lillywhite [U2/ Big Country] and Keith Fernley, probably aren't as good as Queer, the recording for which Thompson Twins ended their career. Queer is a bit like pop ecstasy, but it's definitely stretching the boundaries of their original sound. If you want to hear Come Inside, Flower Girl or My Funky Valentine you'll need to find this one. It lays the groundwork and signals the fanbase they are clearly stepping toward dance and dub. It's clear from Queer Babble was waiting in the wings. Open letter to Tom Bailey: Please Mr. Tom Bailey, even if you don't reunite with Alannah Currie, you are a wizard, a musical genius, a master of word and sound, please reconsider the possibility of a return to the sweet sounds of Thompson Twins. You are missed. You are loved more than you know. You would be sincerely welcomed back into loving arms. Please, one more time. *// Fortunately, in the meantime, I have my classics. You'd be wise to seek these out. Here's To Future Days remains an '80s gem and one that captures the magic of Bailey, Currie and Leeway at their height before it all strangely dissolved.
Thompson Twins Discography:
A Product Of... [Participation] 
In The Name Of Love  [US]
Quick Step And Side Kick *
Side Kicks 
Into The Gap *
Here's To Future Days *
Close To The Bone 
The Best Of Thompson Twins: Greatest Mixes 
Big Trash 
Greatest Hits 
Babble: The Stone 
Babble: Ether