Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thomas Dolby: She Blinded Me With Science

This week’s TV Thursday tune is currently featured in the latest Swiffer commercial. While the song performed poorly in new wave artist Thomas Dolby’s homeland, it was a #5 hit in the US and has the status of a one hit wonder in late 1982. Dolby's real name is Thomas Morgan Robertson, although he has adopted the middle of Dolby - a name he was given in college due to his interest in music and recording.

The song features sequencers, synthesizers, and samplers – oh my. One of the sampled voices was that of Magnus Pyke. Familiar to British TV audiences, Pyke was a well known scientist that was able to put complex scientific constructs into layman’s terms. He was also very energetic and frequently waived his arms incessantly – much like he does in the accompanying video.

US 12-Inch Mix

Originally, Capitol Records had released Dolby’s second LP “The Golden Age of Wireless”; however, with the popularity of the single and the subsequent Mini LP (EP) – the album was repacked with “Science” and sales of the album soared.

The original cover of "The Golden Age of Wireless" without "Science"

The original version of the album on the Harvest label only sold 40,000 copies in the US; however, the repackaged version on Capitol went gold in less than a year. I have both copies, the Mini LP, as well as the 12” promotional single in my collection.

The "Blinded By Science" Mini LP

New cover of "The Golden Age of Wireless" with "Science"

Dolby wasn’t the only Harvest artist that Capitol did some maneuvering to attract US audiences – they remixed Duran Duran’s “Rio” album and also moved it to the Capitol brand.

Recent Live Version

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