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The Golden Age Of Wireless [CD]

Thomas Dolby Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 9.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 April 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000007O19
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,052 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. She Blinded Me With Science
2. Radio Silence
3. Airwaves
4. Flying North
5. Weightless
6. Europa And The Pirate Twins
7. Windpower
8. Commercial Breakup
9. One Of Our Submarines
10. Cloudburst At Shingle Street

Product Description


Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dolby's Lost Gem 11 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Bored Retro-ists searching for new points of 80's inspiration should give this a whirl, the relic of Dolby's great lost career. In the 90's he went all California and disintegrated into flippant, irritating anglo-pop, but for years this album was as interesting and as durable as anything before or since, and still sounds good.
What Dolby pulled off was to make the routine tools of the day - long discarded Simmons drums, analogue synths, white noise handclaps - somehow gel together into timeless and dramatic creations. Like Bjork today he met the future before it had happened and commanded it rather than followed it - even the poppier tracks (Science, Europa) have this sort of surreal substance, with an atmosphere and poignancy that contemporaries never matched.
Even the sleeve art had a pleasing sense of dotty detail and thoroughness, with Dolby coming across like a well-travelled Victorian anthropologist beamed onto a C20 "floor of a Pan Am lounge". At the time, it was a bizarre concept to blend modern with retro, when eneryone else was only just unpacking their brand new Roland synths.
Airwaves hinted at a gifted balladeer, but to me the best tracks are the 4 extraordinary and unique pieces Windpower, Weightless, Flying North and Shingle Street. These desolate, strange pieces seem tied to a kind of historical melancholy and loneliness, with weird English reference points, unbelievable sounds and textures (espec. for 1982), avant garde clusters and tonalities - and incidentally for any Dolby fan who still hasn't visited Shingle Street itself then some interesting surprises await you.
Dolby's name is so naff these days that I never hear him get a mention; but it's clear that many producers must have this record tucked away somewhere.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pre-Dolby Digital 13 Jan 2004
Format:Audio CD
I first bought this album when I was a boy on vinyl and then the atmospheric nature of this fine piece of work struck a chord immediately. TD went straight for the eccentric angle and pulled it off with some style and room to spare. Now re-issued with one track missing (Wreck Of The Fairchild) and two new ones added (One Of Our Submarines and She Blinded Me With Science) and the playlist jumbled up a bit very little has distracted this from the promising debut. Airwaves is a towering ballad that used to fade into Radio Silence on the original - and somehow the pops and crackles of the vinyl used to contribute to the listening experience rather than distract - Weightless is an all-time classic and in direct contrast to the tight pop of Commercial Breakup. Europa and the Pirate Twins - so long a favourite of mine now sounds dated but this is a small price to pay for the mans genius. Finally Clouburst at Shingle Street is just plain mad, finishing in a raucous operetta meets heavy drumming and just leaves you reaching for the repeat button.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A defining moment in early 80's synth pop 24 Oct 2003
Format:Audio CD
I originally bought this album when it was first released and I still regularly play it. This CD is the repackaged version that was originally released to accomodate the massive US hit 'She Blinded Me With Science" and its excellent b-side "One of Our Submarines" and my only gripe is that "Wreck of the Fairchild" has been taken off. This album highlights how good a song writer Dolby was in his younger days and the track 'Airwaves' for me is the pinnacle in his whole career and has stood the test of time. Other tracks such as 'Europa', 'Weightless' and 'Windpower' show Dolby's innovative use of the Fairlight and drum computers. Listen out also for appearances on the album by artists such as Andy Partridge from XTC, Matthew Seligman, Kevin Armstrong and Akiko Yano.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Synth Pop Classic 10 Mar 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is fine example of how synthesisers and songs can work together, given a dash of imagination that is Thomas Dolby's own. The key song is Airwaves, which is has a gorgeous melody and strange noises, if this track doesn't hook then Thomas isn't probably for you. Other stand out tracks are Flying North (Thomas's fear of flying), Commercial Breakup, One Of Our Submarines. Ironically, the biggest UK hit from this Europa and the Pirate Twins has not aged as well other songs, the found sounds seeming a bit forced upon a decent song. Cloudburst At Shingle Street is another classic and closes a superb CD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Golden age came later.. 3 Mar 2008
By andy
Format:Audio CD
This album contains some fine songs, and there is a real diversity of sound here, which for an early electronic style music effort, is astonishing.
The best track on the album is Commercial Break Up, which sounds so alive with feeling, its incredible that its electronic based, especially for that era.
There are other standout tracks, as follows;
Airwaves; which blends subtlety and feeling to create a master ballad;
Cloudburst at Shingle Street, which evokes a feeling of quiet power from its just plain weirdness;
and of course, the great Wind Power, one of Dolby's best tracks ever.
The other tracks here are pure quality also, and the songwriting structure shines through.
A few things, however, mar this release for me.
One is, this release has two 'extra' tracks; She Blnded me with Science, a huge hit, and One Of Our Submarines, which were both not on the original release.
The reason for including these, especially Science is obvious, it was a massive hit.
BUT, what this means is, that the track The Wreck Of the Fairchild, a brilliant part intstrumental, is missing from this CD, and also the track order has been messed around with.
On the original album the songs follwed a much more pleasant order, and there was a logicality to their placement, which meant that some tracks ran into each other slightly. For example, The Wreck Of the Fairchild segues into Airwaves, and then Airwaves leads nicely into Radio Silence, which then leads into Cloudburst...
It makes SENSE when you hear the original track order and tiny bits which have been omitted from the CD.
The CD runnning order spoils it a tad.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Radio gold!
His best album, how can it not be?

Wonderful analogue synths, dark 'Cold War' sensibility, lyrics that take you so far beyond 'boy meets girl'! Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Price
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of it's time, groundbreaking
Considering this was written and recorded during the new-romantic synth boom it has dated far better than a lot of other synth laden material. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Luke Eastwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic album
Extra tracks are a nice add-on but the main album itself with the digital remaster is great . Been meaning to add to my collection for ages and at this price, it was a no-brainer.
Published 8 months ago by Mr. N. Montgomery
5.0 out of 5 stars Georgeous, just like Autumn.
When you get past science, there is a magnificent jewel of beauty here.
Debut's like this and of this musical and technical skill, are very unique and rare. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Leon and Susan
4.0 out of 5 stars Thomas Dolby Golden Age Of Wireless

I bought this to replace my scratched and heavily abused vinyl copy. The only problem is that the songs are out of sequence compared to the original vinyl and... Read more
Published on 14 Jun 2009 by MR Paul Dobbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Electronic pioneer
Amid the welter of early 1980s synth pop, Thomas Dolby's debut album stands as one of the few genuinely high-quality examples. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2008 by D. J. H. Thorn
5.0 out of 5 stars what a debut...
I have what you may call a quite varied taste in music and having been a youth of the 80's a large amount of my collection comes from this era. Read more
Published on 24 Nov 2007 by bish
I first brought this album on vinyl on its release. This was before it was re-released with "she Blinded me with science" and "one of our submarines is... Read more
Published on 5 Nov 2000
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