Sunday, 31 March 2013

Cassette experiment day 42 - Thompson Twins 'Into the gap'

Ever since I started this whole cassette experiment on February 11th with Sparks’ ‘No. 1 in Heaven’, I’ve had a shortlist of albums that I’m secretly dreading listening to again. I’m sure that some will pack a pleasant surprise while for others the feeling of foreboding will prove to be painfully justified.
One member of that dreaded list has already been and gone and proved much more fun than anticipated (day 29 if you’re wondering), but today I’ve been listening to one of two Thompson Twins tapes currently riding high on the ‘list of dread’.
‘Into the gap’ was released in 1984 when Thompson Twins were at the height of their international popularity, apparently selling around 5 million copies (and that’s an awful lot!).
Listening again in 2013 I can report that this album is definitely ‘of its time’, but that generally, my fears were misplaced. Never a great trouble to critics compiling lists of favourite albums of all time, some of the tracks still stand up reasonably well. Of the singles released from it ‘Hold me now’ is the one that still sounds freshest, of the album tracks I enjoyed ‘Storm on the sea’, which had completely slipped from my mind in the intervening 29 years.
My cassette version includes a ‘whole side of extended remixes’. If you’re a fanatical Thompson Twins fan and don’t already own these remixes (and you probably do) then you might like to seek them out. If you’re not then your life will be no poorer for not hearing them. I generally have a very simple theory about remixes and it’s this – if they were any good they’d be on the album.
One word of caution though – this album contains a credit for the musician who plays the Tablas. Not always a good sign.
I promise to steel myself for ‘Quick step and side kick’ in a few weeks time. I always found it preferable to ‘Into the gap’ at the time!
Happy Easter!
Label – Arista
Year - 1984