The lyrics to this song are sarcastic, sniping at a delusional woman who cheats but thinks she’ll always come out ahead because she allegedly has “love on her side.” The narrator, meanwhile, has discovered that he can live without her quite well. Tom Bailey, who wrote the song with his bandmates Alannah Currie and Joe Leeway, he explained: “It’s actually a complicated and quite dark song. It’s about discovering that your girlfriend or boyfriend wants to experiment with a relationship in a much deeper or broader sense than you were prepared to do. And so it drags you into this kind of helpless feeling of being lost, helplessly in love, but taking some kind of confidence from the fact that love will help you through those difficult situations. So it’s a naïve and complicated song.”
In his book Thompson Twin: An ’80s Memoir, Michael White said “Love On Your Side” was their first big hit, and was almost literally a hit for him. When the new boy walked into the studio, Alannah Currie was completing a percussion part for the song; White commented, “I still don’t understand how I could have been so dumb. The red light was on over the door to the recording room, and it wasn’t a small red light, in fact it was huge. She completely lost her cool and only just managed to stop herself from throwing her drumsticks at me. I was mortified, but my apologies met deaf ears and it took days for her to bring herself to talk to me again.”
White didn’t stay with the band long, not because of this incident, but because of the way the group developed. The Thompson Twins were originally a 7-piece, but for most of their career there were three of them, including Tom Bailey, who married Currie, though they later divorced. >>
The original lyric was written by Alannah Currie and very much from a female perspective. It was based on her personal experience, but because she wasn’t the lead singer, they changed it to make the song more universal and from a man’s perspective.
This was the first Top 10 hit for the group in their native UK, where their keyboard and percussion-driven sound found an audience before they hit it big in America. In the US, their breakthrough came with “Hold Me Now,” which charted there in 1984.