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When Tom Bailey pleads, late on his solo debut, “Bring back yesterday”, it’s tempting to assume he’s referring to the period when Thompson Twins ruled the airwaves with tracks like Doctor! Doctor!, You Take Me Up and Hold Me Now. Since their slow, early 90s split, they’ve been neglected, and subsequent work – whether in Babble, or the dub-favouring International Observer, or any number of his other collaborations – has never made the same impact.

But things change, and it’s not time travel back to the glory days he’s soliciting on the album’s penultimate, hands-inthe- air anthem, but the return of a former lover. In fact, it may even be the present where he’s needed: having picked up this magazine’s 2015 Best Live Show award and seen Hold Me Now reworked by Metro Boomin’ for a Gap commercial this year, an impressive solo debut might at last provoke dues to be paid. Cue jackpot sound effects, then, because he’s only gone and made one.

Reminiscent of the Twins for solely brief but reassuring moments – the way his multitracked voice sings “Woah” at the end of opener Science Fiction’s chorus, for instance, is reminiscent of how he began Hold Me Now’s – this also leaves behind the dub and ‘world music’ tendencies of other projects. Instead, it’s far closer in character to Tears For Fears’ Sowing The Seeds Of Love – if predominantly in its colourful ambitions, its emphasis on strong melodies, and occasional evocations of The Beatles – than anything else he’s done.

You’ll hear hints of the Liverpudlians in the lovely Ship Of Fools and the aforementioned Bring Back Yesterday, as well as, more distantly, the contemplative Blue. But there are also surprising bursts of calypso on What Kind Of World – whose stadium-sized chorus calls for a renewed vigilance of the consequences of political and environmental actions – and the delightful If You Need Someone, a song so cheerful one could even imagine Kylie tackling it. Work All Day’s similarly inclined, and, like the comforting closer, Come So Far, calls for an end to violence. So, all in all, Science Fiction suggests Bailey’s got his eyes on what lies ahead far more than on yesterday. Here’s to future days…

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About Classic Pop

In the new issue of Classic Pop magazine we catch up with Johnny Marr to hear about the former Smiths and Electronic star’s superb new solo album Call The Comet. Tom Bailey tells us why he's returning to pop with a new album after years exploring dub and world music – remarkably it’s the former Thompson Twin frontman’s first solo LP. Also making a much-anticipated comeback is Swing Out Sister – Classic Pop talks to 80s icon Corinne Drewery and other half Andy Connell as they break what is effectively a decade of studio silence with Almost Persuaded. Elsewhere, we tell the story of the legendary Factory Records label and serve up a buyer’s guide to the work of Blondie and Debbie Harry. The ever-industrious Neil Arthur tells us about his new project Near Future and gives us details of a new Blancmange album plus we also catch up with Jaki Graham for the inside story on her diverse new album When A Woman Loves. New albums from Tom Bailey, Erasure, Years & Years and Let’s Eat Grandma get the once-over alongside reissues by David Bowie, The Cure, Public Image Limited and George Michael. We also jostle our way to the front to review live shows including Beck, Echo & The Bunnymen and Blossoms. Enjoy the issue!

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