Thomas Dolby chronicled his singular life in the 2016 memoir The Speed of Sound. He detailed his career trajectory from "one hit wonder" new wave singer-songwriter (who, in fact, charted sixteen songs in the U.K. and three in the U.S.) to Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He's lately been spending his days as a university professor (decades after turning his back on the "family business" of academia), but this summer he's taking a break from the classroom to headline a short U.S. tour. To coincide with the concert engagements, BMG Rights Management has scheduled a new "greatest hits" set for this Friday, July 27.
Hyperactive, part of BMG's Masters Collection, features 28 tracks on two CDs spanning the period of 1981-1994 - a total of approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes of music. The retrospective set will function as a kind of guide for Dolby's concept for the tour. Each evening, concertgoers will be able to select songs from his catalogue. He will then, in turn, "deconstruct" those songs for the audience - highlighting their lyrics, synth sounds, and musical parts. The music will be output from his laptop and keyboards and projected on an upstage screen along with personal memorabilia. Dolby promises a different experience each night. Hyperactive includes cuts from his albums The Golden Age of Wireless (1982), The Flat Earth (1984), Aliens Ate My Buick (1988), and Astronauts and Heretics (1992) as well as singles and material from the soundtracks to Gothic (1987) and Gate to the Mind's Eye (1994).
Hyperactive is housed in a two-panel digipak, with basic credits printed under the trays. The compilation arrives in stores two days after the July 25 tour kick-off in Los Angeles; musical renaissance man Dolby continues on the road through August 8, where he will wrap up in Baltimore. (He teaches at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.) You can peruse the track listing and pre-order links below!
Thomas Dolby, Hyperactive (BMG Rights Management, 2018) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- Europa and The Pirate Twins
- Radio Silence
- Screen Kiss
- Valley Of The Mind's Eye
- I Scare Myself
- The Devil Is An Englishman
- Eastern Bloc
- The Ability To Swing
- Neon Sisters
- She Blinded Me With Science
- One Of Our Submarines
- The Flat Earth
- Beauty Of a Dream
- Budapest By Blimp
- I Love You Goodbye
- Pulp Culture
- Close But No Cigar
- Silk Pyjamas
- May The Cube Be With You
- My Brain Is Like A Sieve
Disc 1, Tracks 1, 4, 6 and 9 and Disc 2, Track 3 from The Flat Earth (Parlophone Odeon, 1984)
Disc 1, Tracks 2-3 and 8 and Disc 2, Track 13 from The Golden Age Of Wireless (Venice In Peril, 1982)
Disc 1, Track 5 from Gate To The Mind's Eye Soundtrack (Giant, 1994)
Disc 1, Track 7 from Music From The Film "Gothic" (Virgin, 1987)
Disc 1, Tracks 10, 12 and 14 and Disc 2, Tracks 4, 6, 9 and 11 from Astronauts & Heretics (Virgin, 1992)
Disc 1, Tracks 11 and 13 and Disc 2, Tracks 5, 8, 12 and 14 from Aliens Ate My Buick (EMI Manhattan, 1988)
Disc 2, Tracks 1-2 from Venice In Peril U.K. single, 1982
Disc 2, Tracks 7 and 10 from Armageddon U.K. single, 1981
Gil Roth says
I recorded a podcast conversation with Thomas Dolby about The Speed of Sound (among other things). It's at http://chimeraobscura.com/vm/episode-200-thomas-dolby if you'd like to give it a listen
Ben in Colorado says
Thomas Dolby’s “Golden Age of Wireless” is a masterpiece. In my top 5 all-time albums. The rest of his albums never stuck with me.
I bought it on cassette when it was first released and still turn to it when I feel the need to feel sentimental and want to be reminded of what good music is (was).
This compilation will probably end up on my shelf, because I want to continue to support him and his music.