During the third week of April, 1984, Thompson Twins won the Screamer of the Week with “You Take Me Up,” the third single from Into the Gap. This song is the band at its most earnest – and its best. They seem to be taking a stab at something close to Blue Grass – and it works. The harmonica, the call and response, the lack of synthesizers (are those real cowbell I hear?). And most importantly, the song answers the musical question: ‘what’s the solution to being caught up in an oppressive post-industrial economic system that depends on forced labor?’ The answer? Love, of course!
The video takes that idea even further. ‘What do you do when you are wrongly convicted of a crime and placed on a chain gang?’ Why, you sing about love and magically free yourself (even more effective than DNA testing)!
My favorite moment comes 2:00 in when Tom Bailey belts out the lyric
I believe in TODAY!
(believe boy, believe boy)
It’s better that way when you work through the night.
That’s a pretty good lyric, isn’t it. I’ll admit that when I worked in news and found myself on the night shift I’d sing that line to myself every once in awhile. I may have secretly hoped Tom, Joe, and Allanah would bust me out of my corporate media chain gang and allow me to bounce off into the sunset with them. I’ll also admit I may still be waiting.
Additional Screamer of the Week posts: