Big Trash

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Big Trash
Studio album by Thompson Twins
Released 26 September 1989
Genre Alternative rock, post-punk
Length 41:09
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Tom Bailey, Alannah Currie, Steve Lillywhite and Keith Fernley
Thompson Twins chronology
The Best of Thompson Twins: Greatest Mixes
Big Trash

Big Trash is the seventh studio album by the British pop group the Thompson Twins. Released in 1989, it was the first release by the band on the Red Eye/Warner Brothers record label. It yielded two singles, "Sugar Daddy" and "Bombers in the Sky," but was a commercial failure. Blondie singer Deborah Harry contributed backing vocals to "Sugar Daddy" and spoken-word vocals to "Queen of the U.S.A.", recorded by Bailey over a transatlantic telephone connection.[1]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Sugar Daddy" - 3:31
  2. "Queen of the U.S.A." - 3:44
  3. "Bombers in the Sky" - 3:56
  4. "This Girl's On Fire" - 3:11
  5. "T.V. On" - 3:27
  6. "Big Trash" - 3:09
  7. "Salvador Dali's Car" - 4:21
  8. "Rock This Boat" - 3:07
  9. "Dirty Summer's Day" - 4:28
  10. "Love Jungle" - 4:10
  11. "Wild" - 3:58


  • Tom Bailey
  • Alannah Currie


  • Felicia Collins - rhythm guitar on "Sugar Daddy
  • Keith Fernley - rhythm guitar on "Sugar Daddy" and "Bombers in the Sky"; harmonica on "Love Jungle"
  • Deborah Harry - phone call voice on "Queen of the U.S.A."
  • Reginald Hastings - slide guitar on "Bombers in the Sky"
  • David Palmer - drums on "This Girl's On Fire" and "Wild"
  • Bob Marshall - auctioneering voice on "Big Trash"

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide (1992 Edition)3.5/5 stars[3]
Robert ChristgauB+[4]
The Age (Australia)favorable[5]
Telegram & Gazette (USA)2/5 stars[6]
New Straits Times (Malaysia)2/5 stars[7]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic retrospectively wrote, "Big Trash was a successful attempt to add a stronger rhythmic sensibility to The Thompson Twins' sound, but the album failed to produce any hit bigger than the number 28 "Sugar Daddy," although there were several other strong numbers on the record."[8]

Robert Christgau gave the album a B+, stating: "No one cares, but this is their best by miles. The singing is as characterless as ever, but at last their brains show, and when their well-named homage to Blondie and the B-52's adduces Salvador Dali, it leaves no doubt that they admire him as a charlatan, not an artist - or at least that they regard the two callings as closely related. So maybe the B-52's should hire Bailey/Currie when they need something catchy and meaningless, as they do. Deborah Harry did just that last year and wound up with a side-opener."[4]

In late October 1989, Australian daily newspaper The Age for Melbourne reviewed the album, writing, "The tracks are short, Alannah Currie's gone easy on the percussion for a change and Tom Bailey, thank God, has decided to start playing around with his vocal a bit more. While the Twins were always underrated, for they can be quite adventurous in their own poppy way. This work brings up some superb creations: "Queen of the USA" - derivative but rousing, "Salvador Dalí's Car" - a piece of pure pop, and "Sugar Daddy" - a pleasant single, though not as amusing as the observant title track."[5]

In November 1989, Telegram & Gazette reviewed the album with the headline "The Thompson Twins Get Just a Bit Too Serious", with the review stating, "'Big Trash' is certainly that. The new album by the Thompson Twins, Alannah Currie and Tom Bailey, is an attempt to change their squeaky-clean but catchy pop image by tackling current and controversial issues. The band oversteps its pop star boundaries just long enough to create a record that is as controversial as a donut."[6]

In late October 1989, Malaysia newspaper New Straits Times reviewed the album, giving the music two stars and the sound three stars. The review stated, "Reduced to a duo from a trio and signed to a new label, the Thompson Twins dig into their bag of old tricks and serve up the kind of slick, upbeat music with a busy percussive attack that characterised much of their previous efforts. This 11-cut set features the usual dispassionate vocals and banal lines but as least the rhythms have some kick."[7]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200[9] 143 6


External links[edit]