Friday, January 27, 2017

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter D, Part 16)

Surprised I was able tally six pieces of plastic from Thomas Dolby, three LPs, two 12" singles and one 7" single. Wouldn't be totally honest if I said I hadn't played any of them for 30 years because about five years back my little ones were taken by "She Blinded Me With Science" after our local Public Broadcasting Corporation station used the song to advertise the show "Sid the Science Kid." I was spinning the extended remix for them for a while before they grew out of the song and Sid's program. Otherwise, yep, I don't think the rest of the lot has been played since the '80s. When I think of Dolby now, the first thing that comes to mind is as the producer of many of Prefab Sprout's best moments, but here is a very minor hit I played to death when I was 12 years old. Listening to it now, I honestly can't tell if it's awfully good or just plain awful. Nostalgia is clouding my senses. I'm sure you'll let me know. Where is George when you need him?

"Europa and the Pirate Twins"

10 comments:

George said...

Here I am Brian. With a Thomas Dolby album in the collection, and one of the many records I bought ina sort of musical doldrums period, when I look back and think "hell's teeth I bought some pretty poor records in the early 80s". To try and be fair to Mr Dolby, I wonder of he was just trying to be a bit too clever with his musical effects/production values, and ended up making records that just jumped about tune-wise, but unlike the best prog. records, not in a good way.

Brian said...

Atta boy. I knew you would put things in perspective. Hope all is well... including your new well!

friend of rachel worth said...

Just readung his autobiog at the moment , very entertaining. His atmospheric stuff is the place to go: Airwaves, submarines and cloudburst from the 1st lp. Tge gorgeous flat earth and screen kiss from the 2nd right up to 17 hills on his latest. When he tries to go pop and gets the funk is where he vers a bit close to novelty.

Brian said...

FORW, last purchase was '88. Completely lost track of him after his work on Jordan: The Comeback. I bet his book is pretty good though. Seems like an interesting character.

Echorich said...

Have to agree with FORW here. Dolby's own music was best served when he plumbed the depths of atmospheric pop. Submarines is an 80s classic for me. His 2011 album A Map Of The Floating City is a bit of an achievement. Paul Sebastian's remix of Oceana from the Return To Oceana Remix EP is among my favorite 12" remixes of the past decade as well.

Brian said...

Echorich, Some fine points by you and FORW. The extended version of One of Our Submarines was one of the first songs I ever heard by Dolby. Must have been good because I kept buying for a while there. I don't know the more recent stuff you mention, but I will take the time to seek it out. You never steer me in the wrong direction.

JTFL said...

Yo, people, let's not forget that Thomas Dolby wrote NEW TOY for Lene Lovich. Gotta have a little love for that gem.

Chris said...

Hyperactive and She Blinded Me With Science are the Thomas Dolby tracks I'm familiar. Just gave One Of Our Submarines and Pirate Twins a listen and enjoyed both. Your post makes me curious to explore his early albums.

Howard (@indiepopSML) said...

Dissidents would be one other Dolby track I'd put on the list of great songs that dispel the one-hit wonder misnomer.

Brian said...

JTFL, Dolby should be remembered for that too!

Chris, I will vouch for the first two albums. After that, you may want to ask Echorich or FORW. They know more about this artist that I ever could.

Howard, Dissidents is a keeper for sure. There is plenty to love from the early days, and it sounds like I may be selling him short. Aliens Ate My Buick is the only album I have after the Flat Earth, and I didn't enjoy it nearly as much. I have a story about that one I may share at some point.