Thomas Dolby had a tremendous impact on pop music for a few years, and then it seemed he lived up to his last name, suppressing any noise. He’s back though, with a new album called “A Map Of The Floating City”, due for release later this year.
This is probably one of my
favorite pop albums of all time.
If you know your pop music history, you know that Thomas Dolby was – in spite of a rather short life on the mainstream charts – one of the most influential acts of the 1980′s. If you don’t know your pop music history, you’d at least know his songs She Blinded Me With Science or Hyperactive! Dolby’s cutting-edge use of technology and impeccable production helped shape a lot of the sounds in the several years following these bigger hits. I first heard him when his songs Europa And The Pirate Twins and Windpower reached the states, marketed with a weird concept that fairly effectively conveyed the impression that he was a mad scientist who had built a time machine and escaped the mid twentieth century to make music in the 80′s. To this day you can admire the meticulous production values of his albums The Flat Earth and Aliens Ate My Buick, the latter of which marked the end of his pop career for most of us; his next release, “Astronauts & Heretics” veered off in a direction that perplexed even the most die-hard fans, including myself. Although Dolby has apparently kept busy since then (he is, for instance, TED’s Music Director), I hadn’t heard anything about his work until his recent TED Talk (video below), which was the debut of the first song from his new release “A Map Of The Floating City”, due for release later this year.You can download the song from his site for free. The production is fairly simple, with strings, piano, and no gizmos, and it captures a bit of the vibe of his older moodier work. Hard to tell from one tune what he’s up to, but it’ll be interesting to see what lies in store on the rest of the recording.
She Blinded Me With Science
Thomas Dolby’s TED Talk