15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, great remastering and DVD bonus make this 'must'
The first track I ever heard from Mr Dolby was "Windpower" on Top of The Pops, with all the foppish hair, big glasses and a lot running around (Thomas, not me!). I was hooked and rushed out to buy "The Golden Age Of Wireless" on cassette, which was the original UK track-listing without "Science", but with the moody "Fairchild" (the version soon to be reissued as a...
Published on 18 May 2009 by M. B. Wilson
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourite artists but...
The DVD has a pretty interesting collection of the videos from Mr. Dolby, many that I have never seen before, but frankly, being forced upon these often corny eightees images to one of my all time favourite music is really too much, I want to keep the "images" I made my self a long time ago and just listen to the music. If you are interested in Thomas Dolby as an artist,...
Published on 1 Aug 2009 by Goran Ekstrom
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, great remastering and DVD bonus make this 'must',
This review is from: The Singular Thomas Dolby (Audio CD)The first track I ever heard from Mr Dolby was "Windpower" on Top of The Pops, with all the foppish hair, big glasses and a lot running around (Thomas, not me!). I was hooked and rushed out to buy "The Golden Age Of Wireless" on cassette, which was the original UK track-listing without "Science", but with the moody "Fairchild" (the version soon to be reissued as a remastered collector's edition). It took a few listens but the variety of musical styles and clever lyrics/melodies weaved their way into my head very effectively. "Flat Earth" was also really good, although a move towards something more funky and, dare I say it, mainstream. After quite a gap "Buick" appeared, and apart from "Pulp Culture" (which I loved and still do) it was a wee bit too American for my taste, with all the flashy band members etc. However "Astronauts" seemed more of a singular affair, including some good singles the classic album tracks "Cruel" and "Neon Sisters" (which is very dark and a bit of a slow-burner).
So another singles collection appears on the shelves, but this time remastered with Mr Dolby 'in attendance'. Checkig out his website I think he is pretty happy with the mastering, but I am slightly surprised at his choice of cover artwork - quirky, to say the least!
Inside the box are two discs that immediately justify their existance though. The earlier material in particular is so bright and clear after mastering, yet the sound is consistent throughout all the material. This is almost a definitive singles collection (no "Get Out Of My Mix", thank goodness) complete with the classic too-good-to-be-a b-side "Submarines" and his collaboration with R Sakamoto "Field Work". Then we have nearly every track on the DVD, most of the videos having been cleaned up pretty well considering the age of the earliest ones, plus 2 extended version videos and the raunchier "Hot Sauce" (the one with the original scenes rather than the inserted picture of the Queen Mum). The bonuses don't add a great deal to the set, but it's nice to have them all there. Again, great sound quality and no synching problems (unlike the recent Ultravox "Best Of" DVD, which still slips a bit in places).
The concert "Sole Inhabitant" DVD/CD recently released generally is also a must-have for any fan, as Thomas goes back to his electronic roots, but on-stage, with some interesting dialogue and insights into his tracks. Roll on the remasters of "Wireless" and "Flat Earth", and some new material maybe!?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barmy Boffin Pop,
This review is from: The Singular Thomas Dolby (Audio CD)It's been a revelation listening back to music from the early eighties [ with recent excellent reissues from Ultravox, and O.M.D.],with the realisation at how fresh and inventive some of this pop music was.Thomas Dolby fits very neatly into this catagory, and this compilation does nothing but enhance his reputation as a quirky, clever, and witty artist who helped make the early eighties pop landscape a riot of colour.
From the witty and haunting "Windpower"[ now how many songs are both witty AND haunting?], to the barmy, She Blinded Me With Science and Hyperactive, Thomas Dolby arguably peaked too early with his brand of hook laden techno pop, but his willingness to experiment, and his ear for an off beat melody never deserted him fully as the latter tracks like Airhead testify, and his deserved reputation as a producer and musical fixer [witness Foreigner's Waiting For a Girl Like You as proof of Dolby's wide ranging talent], continues to this day.
In a bid to shift extra units, EMI have thoughtfully added a dvd of Thomas Dolby's Videos to this set, and very welcome it is too.With the memorable appearance of Dr Magnus Pike in She Blinded Me With Science, and the charmingly cheesy special effects on Hyperactive, this dvd is a lot of fun[ although top of the Pops appearances would have been welcome, but you cant have everything!].
With the release of The Singular Thomas Dolby, a fine career in eighties pop has been neatly collected together in a very worthwhile package.Recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars at last - a perfect singles compilation for Thomas,
This review is from: The Singular Thomas Dolby (Audio CD)At the third attempt, EMI get Thomas Dolby's singles history right in a superb double disc retrospective that blows Retrospectacle and Hyperactive! away. All the single (7" vinyl or CD) versions are now available on CD for the first time, but improved sonically so that we can at last hear these how Thomas (and on 2 tracks Tim Friese-Green) heard them in the recording studio. Old songs like Urges, Europa and Windpower breathe in this remastering, and the single remixes of My Brain Is Like A Sieve and Hot Sauce have never sounded better either. The bonus is the DVD disc of all the single videos available for viewing (Brain didn't get a video treatment, Windpower video has been saved for the Wireless re-issue). Hopefully the reissue program cover Aliens and Astronauts to ensure we hear Thomas as he would have wanted us to. The best reissue of 2009 so far.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just in time!,
This review is from: The Singular Thomas Dolby (Audio CD)If you've already a Dolby fan than you'll probably already have all the songs on the CD (with the exception of "Fieldwork", perhaps). There's a reasonable overlap with the previous "Greatest Hits" CD ("Retrospectacle"), but plenty of stuff that are unique to each one, so if you only have that earlier album then it's worth getting this one. Between them you'll have most of the best stuff.
Where this collection shines, and why I bought it, is the DVD. I've been wondering how to save my old (1989) VHS copy of "The Golden Age Of Video", and had considered doing video capture. And then this DVD came out. Every video from that earlier VHS is present on this new DVD, plus more. Considering the age of some of these videos the quality is pretty good. There's no attempt at remixing; the sound is 2.0 stereo. To me, that's good.
Well worth the wait.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Brilliant! Don't Buy THIS album...,
This review is from: The Singular Thomas Dolby (Audio CD)Where to begin? He's not made many albums. He's not made any bad albums. He's been going since the late 70's - writing songs for artists like Lene Lovich before finding fame himself with 'She Blinded me with Science' and 'Hyperactive' in the 80's .
These two are his weakest tracks!!!
This 'greatest' collection spans a career punctuated by long gaps which is a shame because, as much as the word 'genius' is bandied around, it really is true in the case of Mr Dolby. Thomas please make a new record.
All of the songs on this album are very good indeed, even if the videos on the bonus DVD look a bit dated now. Thomas used to play the 'mad' scientist quite a lot you know.
'Urges' and 'Leipzig' are relatively rare but all of the other tracks are available on his other albums, which is where you should really start. Because any of the tracks from them would not be out of place in this wonderful collection and really do deserve to be heard.
Even if, like me, you think 'Blinded' and 'Hyperactive' have been played to death, you really should buy all of Mr D's albums, if you know what's good for you.
If you don't, you deserve to get your bunsen burned.
5.0 out of 5 stars I bough this as a birthday present...,
This review is from: The Singular Thomas Dolby (Audio CD)... to further convert a friend to the Dolby side. You can't get a better introduction than this CD. Compiled by the man himself and also remastered by him too. Such a good selection of off kilter songs. Dolby was never one to adhere to a particular musical style for too long, but this collection sounds strangely cohesive. The striking thing about a compilation like this is how good the melodies are. Mr Dolby has an ear for a tune and can write some equally compelling lyrics. Anyway the result of this purchase is my mate asked if she could go and see him live later this month. So we are!
5.0 out of 5 stars the googolplexitus mr dolby....,
This review is from: The Singular Thomas Dolby (Audio CD)Thomas Dolby has always been an oddity, in the musical sense that is. This release lays out the evoloution of the multifaceted Dolby, and similar to other "sight and sound" packages gives the punter a value for money product that satisfies fans and the curious in one sweep...
Dolby's early imcarnation as a mad scientisit, perfectly represented on the cover of 1st album The Golden age Of wireless, even in its title it supports this with a comic book graphic of Dolby in mid experiment.. This early material is firmly in the strata of electronic pop that had stared to proliferate in the early 80's. The traks off wireless contained on this compilation show this synth pop take, but with a clever ironic story telling twist. Which follows into the cinematic Flat Earth that showcases Dolbys jazzfluence, and Joni Mitchel inspiron. My least favourite are the funk experiments of Buick, however Dolby has to be admired for his genre pursuit... His last Virgin album, astronauts and heratics was an overlooked masterstroke, no synthpop, just great songwriting and performance, that uses textures to convey an evocative atmosphere... I love the "love gone wrong song" close but no cigar the lyrics some of his cleverest and best, with a great guitar performance from eddy van halen.. I like this compilation, i like a lot, and I really hope that you do to...
5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas Dolby still entertains.,
This review is from: The Singular Thomas Dolby (Audio CD)This CD & DVD combo is great value. It is about time that Thomas Dolby video material was transfered to a more modern media. The DVD has a couple of videos that I did not have on my old VHS video tape. I don't think that there was any kind of video enhancement done transfering to DVD so don't expect high quality. The CD is a different matter as far as quality is concerned. Thomas Dolby and others have managed to enhance the audio making it sound brighter, clearer and better than ever.
The only thing that I think Thomas Dolby has overlooked is the chance to transfer the videos to blu-ray, but I suppose that would have meant a considerable increase in costs.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not flawless, but as good as you're likely to get,
This review is from: The Singular Thomas Dolby (Audio CD)The Singular Thomas Dolby isn't perfect, but given the age of the materials and today's remastering for loudness, this is likely to be the best you'll ever get to see/hear the music and videos.
On the video side, the videos aren't linked together like the previous VHS/Laserdisc compilation - no silly orange blobby bits that move in and out of frame, cutting off endings and squashing the opening to the next track. Some videos, like "Radio Silence" and "Airwaves" still suffer from some on-screen film scratches, so it is a pity a group like the Who restoration team couldn't have had a shot at deblobbing and cleaning up the video. On the bright side, this is the sharpest and clearest I've ever seen these videos, and the audio is up to snuff as well on a stereo PCM soundtrack (no, ahem, Dolby Digital here). Oh yes, and if it isn't clear, the DVD is in PAL format.
On the CD, I was very impressed with how much the older tracks cleaned up and opened up on the top and bottom ends, especially the material taken from "The Flat Earth". TMDR is on record as saying he doesn't like the compression so many CDs have now, and the audio on this disc reflects his preferences - it isn't compressed to death. It will be nice to have the full TD catalog remastered to these same standards. The only point I felt a bit let down by the sound was "Field Work" - that just didn't seem to have as much top and bottom end as the rest of the disc.
If you're a fan, you probably already have this on the way (if not in your hot little hands) - if you're not, go ahead and grab this and take a trip down memory lane that's a lot clearer and better sounding. And try not to get too worked up waiting for the remasters and the new TMDR album that's in the works ("A Map of the Floating City").
5.0 out of 5 stars Blinding!,
This review is from: The Singular Thomas Dolby (Audio CD)Whether you're discovering Mr Dolby for the first time (thanks to the recent shout out from JJ Abrams in Wired perhaps) or you're a longtime fan, this really is an essential release. The remastering is very evident, and very well done, and it's great to have all the videos in one place - including, as the sleeve notes point out, rare and unfamiliar ones that never even made it to YouTube...
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