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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Dolby, Thomas - 1982 The Golden Age Of Wireless
Dolby, Thomas - 1982 The Golden Age Of Wireless

ARTIST: Dolby, Thomas
ALBUM: The Golden Age Of Wireless
LABEL: Venice in Peril Records
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2009, EMI Records, 50999 2 67915 2 4 (with bonus tracks and bonus DVD)


LINEUP: Thomas Dolby - lead & backing vocals, monk voice, drum programs, wave computer, synthesizer, piano, kalimba

Additional Musicians: Kevin Armstrong - guitar, backing vocals * Dave Birch - guitar, monk voice * Mark Heyward-Chaplin - bass * Matthew Seligman - moog bass * Simon House, Tim Kerr - violin * Bosco - percussion * Justin Hildreth - drums * Daniel Miller - synthesizer * Simon Lloyd - brass, flute * Andy Partridge - Harmonica, percussion * Bruce Woolley - backing vocals, monk voice * Dr. Magnus Pyke - voiceover * John Marsh - shipping forcast * Lene Lovich, Mutt Lange, James Allen, Les Chappel, Judy Evans, Lesley Fairbairn, Miriam Stockley, Akiko Yano - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 She Blinded Me With Science * 02 Radio Silence * 03 Airwaves * 04 Flying North * 05 Weightless * 06 Europa And The Pirate Twins * 07 Windpower * 08 Commercial Breakup * 09 One Of Our Submarines * 10 Cloudburst At Shingle Street


British born Thomas Dolby should need no introduction on these pages. As a member of Bruce Woolley And The Camera Club, the band released one LP 'English Garden' in 1979 which featured the original version of 'Video Killed The Radio Star' written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Woolley, and was the blueprint for The Buggles. After The Camera Club's split, Dolby appeared on Foreigner's '4' album playing synth on both 'Urgent' and 'Waiting For A Girl Like You', while working on his own material and his first solo album 'The Golden Age Of Wireless'.

The Songs
The record was an instant smash buoyed by the geeky, but brilliant single 'She Blinded Me With Science'. I have to admit when the song came out, I was not a fan. It was overplayed, over the top and not exactly where my musical brain was at in 1982 but all that changed after a vinyl buying binge a couple years later. What attracted me most (and still does) was Dolby's knack for writing catchy earworm hooks while stretching and shaping it into something bold and innovative and there's no shortage of top notch progressive pop found on this album. 'Radio Silence' pulsating with electronic beats sounds as fresh as it did back in the day. 'Airwaves' is possibly my favourite cut reminding me of 'Architecture And Morality' period Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark although an early version of the song appeared on the 1981 Art pop cassette 'From Brussels With Love' released on the mysterious Les Disques Du Crepuscule label and it's difficult to pick the better between the two. The soaring 'Flying North' again runs a similar line to prime time OMD while 'Europa And The Pirate Twins' in my opinion is one of the most overlooked singles of the early 80's. The odd one out produced by Tim Friese-Green better known for his remarkable work with the transcendent Talk Talk; the song's quick pace and infectious melodies are a wonder.

In Summary
Dolby's star faded somewhat after the MTV fueled 'She Blinded Me With Science' explosion but he continued to put out excellent and sorry to say, ignored albums including the more sophisticated follow-up 'The Flat Earth, the brash but fun 'Aliens Ate My Buick' and my personal favourite 1992's 'Astronauts & Heretics'. Shamefully I have yet to hear his most recent disc 'A Map Of The Floating City' but plan on correcting that miss-step in the coming months. Pick up some Dolby and get blinded by great music.

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#1 | englandashes on November 09 2014 11:59:50
Again a case of ignorance on my part, only remember him due to the magnus pike appearance in the video, plus foreigner of course, so on the basis of eric recommendation, ordered a cheap second hand copy today, looking forward to it
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