As the lead singer of the Thompson Twins, Tom Bailey became one of the most influential artists in synth pop. Although the Thompson Twins were too eclectic to be tagged as synth pop -- the band juggled a stylistic menu that included funk, punk, disco, and rock -- Bailey helped skeptics to realize that not all electronic music was fronted by icy, monotone vocalists. Bailey was born on January 18, 1956, in Halifax, Yorkshire, England. At the age of two, Bailey was already being taught how to play piano. Inspired by musicians such as Can, Frank Zappa, and Hawkwind, Bailey took classes in classical piano, guitar, and clarinet in college; he also became a music instructor at Sheffield Brook Comprehensive.
Bailey formed the Thompson Twins in 1977 with Pete Dodd (guitars), John Roog (guitar), and Chris Bell (drums). That lineup of the Thompson Twins was short-lived; the group ended up as a trio with Bailey on vocals, guitar, bass, and keyboards, his girlfriend Alannah Currie (percussion, saxophone, and vocals), and Joe Leeway (percussion and vocals). the Thompson Twins became fixtures on MTV during the '80s as the videos for "Hold Me Now," "Lay Your Hands on Me," and "King for a Day" were continuously rotated. Although the Thompson Twins' popularity began to fade in the late '80s, it didn't prevent other artists from imitating their sound and cashing in; for example, in 1988, Information Society, featuring a singer with a voice remarkably similar to Bailey's, sprung onto the American charts. the Thompson Twins released their final LP, Queer, in 1991. In 1994, Bailey and Currie formed the techno-oriented duo Babble. ~ Michael Sutton