Long Goodbye (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Long Goodbye"
Single by Thompson Twins
from the album Close to the Bone
B-side"Dancing In Your Shoes"
Released18 May 1987
Format7" Single, 12" single, CD Single
GenrePop rock
LabelArista Records
Songwriter(s)Alannah Currie; Tom Bailey
Producer(s)Rupert Hine; Tom Bailey
Thompson Twins singles chronology
"Get That Love"
"Long Goodbye"
"In The Name Of Love '88"

"Long Goodbye" is a song by the British pop group Thompson Twins, released in 1987 as the second and final single from their sixth studio album Close to the Bone. It was written by Alannah Currie and Tom Bailey, and produced by Rupert Hine and Bailey. Continuing the duo's commercial decline, the single only peaked at #89 in the UK for a total of one week.[1]


In an issue of The Spokesman-Review from early July 1987, an article/interview with The Thompson Twins was published, based on the band's touring for Close to the Bone. The article speaks of the experience behind the song, writing "For Currie, one of the experiences was the emotional trauma of seeing her mother die, and losing her and Bailey's baby to a miscarriage - both on the same day."[2]

The Thompson Twins' break in 1986 followed after Leeway's left the band, before extending into several months while Currie dealt with her grief over the loss of her mother and baby. Eventually, "to have something positive to do," the pair bought an old house in Ireland, moved in with Bailey's collection of religious objects and Currie's collection of first editions by British poet Edith Sitwell and forgot about music altogether. When Currie felt like working again, the pair started on the next album as a duo.[3]

As a result of the lyrical message, the Chicago Tribune of 10 May 1987, stated "For most pop singers, hearing one of their songs played on the radio is cause for unbridled elation. But the Thompson Twins' Alannah Currie has decidedly mixed emotions when it comes to "Long Goodbye," the British band's next single. Chances are that the ballad - the scheduled follow-up to the Thompsons Twins' current Top 40 hit, the danceable "Get That Love" - will get its share of airplay; the Twins, who have sold more than 20 million records in the last five years, are a proven pop force. But Currie won't be listening to the song that probably means more to her than any other she's ever written. While there's a line in "Long Goodbye" about seeing both the future and the past die, you wouldn't know - unless Currie told you - that the song was triggered by the double emotional whammy she suffered last year: Her much-loved mother died on the same day the singer lost the baby she and fellow Thompson Twin Tom Bailey were eagerly expecting. Currie stated "I can't hear it without crying. I'll turn the radio off when it comes on. I skip that song on the album. It's weird to me that they're releasing it as a single, because for me it's a grieving song. I spent all of last summer crying. It was an awful time, and I put a lot of my feelings into that song. It was like a parting gift - I believe that people continue on spiritually after they die - and it was nice to write a tribute to my mother, who was so wonderful. But it was sad, and it was impossible to separate my feelings about my mother's death and the miscarriage. "Long Goodbye" is all of those things condensed into something quite subtle and quite painful. It's all okay now, I'm okay, and I'm looking forward to having children in the future. But... I still can't bear to listen to that song."[3]


The single was released on 7" and 12" vinyl, as well as on CD format. It was released in the UK and America, as well as in various places within Europe.[4]

The single's b-side was the Close to the Bone album track "Dancing In Your Shoes".[5]

Following the song's original release as a single and on the Close to the Bone album, it has appeared on three Thompson Twin compilations - the 1990 Stylus Records release Greatest Hits, 1996 Artist Records release Greatest Hits and the 2007 two disc compilation Love on Your Side – The Best of Thompson Twins, released by Music Club Records.[6]


The single had a promotional video to support it. The video largely featured various shots of the duo performing the song with a backing band in the background. The footage mixes between colour and black and white throughout.[7]

In a late December 1987 issue of the Billboard Magazine, "Long Goodbye" was listed in 'The Clip List'. The music video aired on The Record Guide network, where it was receiving current rotation on the network at the time.[8]

The song was a part of the set list for the Close to the Bone tour within America.[9] An unofficial bootleg version of the concert in Dallas, Texas (August 1987) has appeared online in recent years, which includes a live recording of the song.[10]


7" Single
  1. "Long Goodbye" - 3:32
  2. "Dancing In Your Shoes" - 4:28
12" Single
  1. "Long Goodbye" (Extended Mix) - 7:56
  2. "Long Goodbye" (7" Version) - 3:32
  3. "Dancing In Your Shoes" (7" Version) - 4:28
CD Single
  1. "Long Goodbye" (Extended Mix) - 7:56
  2. "Dancing In Your Shoes" (7" Version) - 4:28
  3. "Hold Me Now" (12" Version) - 9:54
CD Single (Promo)
  1. "Long Goodbye" (7" Version) - 3:47
  2. "Long Goodbye" (Extended Mix) - 4:56♦

♦Exclusive mix found only on the promo.

Critical reception[edit]

In a July 1987 review of a Thompson Twins concert at Park West Stage by The Deseret News, the article spoke of the song and the performance of it live at the particular gig. "Long Goodbye" is a moving, almost eerie-sounding ballad on the album. But played live, it didn't pack much emotional power, despite Currie dedicating it to her mother and child, who both died last year. Instead, all the songs performed live sound predictably alike, with similar structure and rhythm, and Bailey commanding all the vocals."[11]

In an early July 1987 article based on Thompson Twins by The Deseret News, the author Ellen Fagg spoke of the song, writing "A moving song on the new album is "Long Goodbye," which Alannah Currie says is a grieving and remembering song, written for her mum."[12]

Jacob N. Lunders of Allmusic briefly spoke of the song in a review of the 1996 Thompson Twins compilation Greatest Hits, calling the song "reflective".[13]

In 1987, Smash Hits magazine writer Ian Cranna reviewed the single, and stated "Whoever is choosing the "Twins" singles is making an unholy bish of rescuing their career from the jaws of pop's great dumper. They have an "ace" lively track called "Bush Baby" which would make an excellent (and different) hit and pave the way for this slow, reflective song about the death of Alannah's mum which may struggle on its own. Nevertheless, it's still their best for ages - a gentle, wistful piano song that recalls Sister of Mercy with an appropriately anguished middle bit. And for once they show their true colours as sympathetic real people instead of something out of an advert - fingers crossed for a hit."[14]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1987) Peak
UK Singles Chart[15] 89

Official Versions[edit]

Version Length Comment
Album Version 4:22 Found on the album Close To The Bone.
7" Single Version 3:32 Found on the 7" vinyl single (Arista AS1-9609) and the CD single promo (Arista ASCD 9600). The CD version has a duration of 3:47 (longer fade).
Extended Mix 7:56 Found on the 12" vinyl single (Arista TWINS 1213), and the UK/European CD single (Arista TWINCD 13).
Extended Mix 4:57 A shorter extended version of the song found exclusively on the CD single promo (Arista ASCD 9600).
Remix 4:33 A slightly different and unique version found exclusively on the CD Greatest Hits (1996 Arista).
Album Edit 4:14 Similar to the album version of the song, but with a shorter fade. Found on Love On Your Side - The Best Of The Thompson Twins (2007 Demon), and Thompson Twins - The Greatest Hits (1990 Stylus/BMG).


  • Engineer - Stephen W. Tayler, Assisted by Andrew Scarth, Robin Goodfellow
  • Producer - Rupert Hine
  • Associate Producer - Tom Bailey
  • Artwork direction - Alannah Currie
  • Artwork design - Andie Airfix, Satori
  • Photography - Carrie Branovan


  1. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Long Goodbye by The Thompson Twins Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
  2. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=TVpWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=hu8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5632,959956&dq=thompson+twins+close+bone&hl=en
  3. ^ a b http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1987-05-10/entertainment/8702040956_1_long-goodbye-song-album
  4. ^ "Thompson Twins - Long Goodbye at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
  5. ^ "Thompson Twins - Long Goodbye (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  6. ^ "Long Goodbye - Thompson Twins : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
  7. ^ "Thompson Twins - Long Goodbye". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
  8. ^ Billboard - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. 1987-12-26. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
  9. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=VVpWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=hu8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6519,5217223&dq=thompson+twins+close+bone&hl=en
  10. ^ disorder (2009-04-23). "80s revision: Thompson Twins - Live In Dallas, Texas August 1987". 80srevision.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
  11. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=-jRTAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CoQDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6772,2738002&dq=thompson+twins+close+bone&hl=en
  12. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=9TRTAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CoQDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6893,1008016&dq=thompson+twins+long+goodbye&hl=en
  13. ^ Lunders, Jacob N. (1996-10-01). "Greatest Hits [Arista] - Thompson Twins : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
  14. ^ http://www.45cat.com/record/twins13
  15. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/artist/19863/the-thompson-twins/