[Review] Thomas Dolby: Blinded By Science (1983)

An absolutely essential EP featuring five songs from the golden age of Dolby in gorgeously extended versions.

Kronomyth 1.5: Arriving at the future by sea and by air and by science

Remember when Thomas Dolby and mini elpees were the future? I do. And then, Dolby stopped making albums and record companies started making compact discs that could store 90 minutes of music. So much for brilliance and brevity.

The mini elpee (i.e., ep), Blinded By Science, was my introduction to the world of Thomas Dolby. I found it captivating, like Vienna a place where the ghosts of the past and the robots of the future existed in the same time and space. These extended versions were more atmospheric than what appeared on The Golden Age of Wireless. One of Our Submarines, Windpower, Airwaves and Flying North were fussed over and allowed to linger. Combined with what for me is probably the best remix of She Blinded Me with Science, this was the best of Thomas Dolby distilled down to just under 30 minutes.

Of course, I went back and bought The Golden Age of Wireless and, later, The Flat Earth, but neither left me feeling the way that Blinded By Science did. Here, everything was perfect, every sentiment was noble, every sound was carefully chosen. If I tell you this mini elpee is all the Thomas Dolby you need, it’s because I want that he should be frozen in time, like Dorian Gray, incorruptible through the ages.

Original mini LP version

A1. She Blinded Me with Science (Thomas Dolby/Jo Kerr) (5:09)
A2. One of Our Submarines (7:18)
B1. Windpower (5:51)
B2. Airwaves (5:20)
B3. Flying North (5:36)

All songs written by Thomas Dolby unless noted.

Original mini LP version (Japan)
A1. She Blinded Me with Science (Thomas Dolby/Jo Kerr)
A2. One of Our Submarines
A3. Windpower
B1. Flying North
B2. Airwaves
B3. She Blinded Me with Science (Thomas Dolby/Jo Kerr)

All songs written by Thomas Dolby unless noted.

The Players

Thomas Dolby (wave computer, drum programs, lead vocals), Kevin Armstrong (electric guitar, backing vocals) with David Birch (guitar on B3), Lesley Fairbairn (backing vocals on B3), Mark Heyward-Chaplin (bass guitar on B2), Justin Hildreth (drums on B2/B3), Simon House (violin on A1), Mutt Lange (backing vocals on A1), Simon Lloyd (brass & flute on B1), John Marsh (backing vocals on B1), Dr. Magnus Pyke (voice-over on A1), Matthew Seligman (bass synthesizer on A1/A2), Mirium Stockley (backing vocals on A1), Bruce Wooley (backing vocals on B2). Produced by Tim Friese-Greene & Thomas Dolby (A1/A2) and Thomas Morgan Dolby Robertson (B1/B2/B3).

The Pictures

Photography by Andrew Douglas.

The Plastic

Released on EP and cassette EP in January 1983 in the US (Harvest, MLP/4LP-15007) and Japan (EMI, EMS-50138). Reached #20 on the US charts.

Blinded By Science mini lp cover
EMI EMS-50138 mini album cover

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