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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 1 October 2007
Couldn't believe how wonderful this CD / DVD package was when it arrived - after over 12 years silence from Thomas (while he concentrated on his business interests in the USA), he has returned to music with incredibly strong performances.

The CD features a 2006 show in Chicago and the songs are stunningly arranged, with a bright, clean mix and the trademark sweeping melodies that are one of TMDR's many strengths. Good choice of material covering most of his recording years (from 1981 - 1994) and in particular the way he builds and layers 'The Flat Earth' is nothing short of breathtaking.

Other highlights are the epic 'I Live In A Suitcase'; funky 'Airhead' and it's also good to hear old favourites like 'Europa', 'Windpower' and 'Hyperactive!' in a fresh setting.

Top marks to Invisible Hands Music for such excellent packaging, and for the sheer value of making the CD & DVD available together.

The DVD is a different show from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and although the sound mix is a little ragged compared to the CD (especially the vocals) it's a great show, and Thomas is on top form talking to the audience between the songs. The extras are interesting too, in particular the 'in the studio' interview with Thomas which is 30 minutes long.

He comes across as quietly intellectual, passionate about both his work and family, and (best of all) genuinely excited about the reaction from fans that his return has generated. Here's to the brand new (5th) album in 2008 - and to anyone that has previously bought one of his records...get this straight away...it's stunning.
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on 22 December 2007
This review covers the UK Edition.

The Master returns! TD has re-created some of the best songs from his back catalogue with many new sounds - lovely broken synths chords instead of the backing singers in The Flat Earth, for instance - and breathed new life therein as a result.

The DVD extras are well worth watching - especially the interview.

However, it you were to watch the extras in sequence (as presented on the main menu screen) then the documentaries are out of sequence - this is given away by the endings and also if you let them run then they continue into a previous documentary. I presume on the US release they were listed in a different order on the menu - or edited together as such and not changed for the UK disc. Either way it's a minor irritant and didn't spoil my enjoyment of the disc.

The Voyage Around His Rig documentary is interesting, but maybe runs a bit too long - especially for non geeks/techies/etc. The building up of a track bit by bit, again, is interesting and worthy of being on the disc.

Finally, the live DVD concert works very well, as TD gives explanations/info between the songs - this can be left out if required, but to me gives a better and more rounded concert experience.
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on 11 October 2007
I agree with what Steve Thorpe said! The CD is faultless; some of the tracks like "She Blinded Me With Science" and "Airhead" are just like the originals but, on "One Of Our Submarines" and "Europa" the reworking has significantly enhanced what, in my opinion, are a couple of the greatest tracks I've ever heard.

The extras on the DVD are very interesting. In the interview Thomas Dolby explains what led him to abandoning his musical career and why he has decided to return to it. It's a fascinating story of how the facelessness of the music industry led to a level of despondency which was overcome through the internet.

The performance at Berklee does have its shortcomings, especially when you compare it directly with the CD performance, but it is fascinating to watch what is involved in performing these songs.
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on 1 February 2017
Live album chronicling Thomas Dolby's return to music after a fifteen year hiatus (during which he invented the technology that enabled mobile phones to play music and ringtones). Welcome back you little genius.
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on 22 February 2017
Thomas Dolby had risen to and fallen from fame before I was out of the womb, so my first introduction was a YouTube video taken from this collection: An impossibly cool Dolby walking straight out of a William Gibson novel and delivering the haunting, atmospheric ballad "Leipzig."

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Dolby's tracks sound as likely to be from the 2080's as from the 1980's. Part of this could be put down to his deployment of the latest tech, but beneath the gadgetry and eccentricity is a bedrock of timeless pop songwriting.

This album serves as a live album and a "best of" that provided me the perfect jumping on point to explore an amazing artist with a fascinating history and exciting future.

The DVD that comes with it gives us a 2nd concert and a wealth of bonus material. The concert on the DVD also includes his "between songs" asides and give great insight into the history of some of the songs as well as his setup. The real gold on the DVD, though, is in the interviews.

I can't recommend this album enough, especially to new fans and the curious!
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on 30 January 2009
I bought this for my husband who has been a fan since the release of 'The Golden Age Of Wireless'
A very interesting and informative account of Thomas Dolby at his best presented by Dolby himself! The concert footage is excellent and he performs some of his best known songs. I found the 'tour around the rig' and his explanation of how he achieves his sounds fascinating. Also included is an interview with David Hoffman in which Thomas Dolby gives an account of how he first became interested in music up until the present day
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on 16 December 2013
Some great live performances captured from Dolby's Sole Inhabitant tour in 2006. Standout tracks include his versions of "She Blinded Me With Science" and "Leipzig"; familiar and fresh at the same time. This is a must for Dolby fans, and the performance DVD is the icing on the cake.
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VINE VOICEon 31 October 2007
Thomas Dolby, eh? You may remember him from such songs as the one with Magnus Pyke or the one from the "Treehouse of Horror XIV" episode of The Simpsons. (oh, they were both 'She Blinded Me With Science' - sorry). My favourite Dolby facts are the ones where he plays keyboards on the gazillion selling Def Leppard album 'Pyromania' and on "4" by Foreigner including the intro to 'Waiting For A Girl Like You'. I don't care whether they're true or not, because this is the internet, dammit!

Anyway, since the heady days of the "Howard The Duck" soundtrack, Dolby has been busy becoming a gazillionaire through the invention of the polyphonic ringtone. Which also makes him a complete and utter barsteward who has ruined the lives of many.

But after many (many) years away from live music, Dolby decided to return to live performance and announced that he would be releasing a live concert CD and DVD, with the former a recording of two gigs at Martyrs in Chicago, while the latter was filmed at the Berklee Performance Center.

And whereas many of his eighties contemporaries are happy to stolidly recreate their old hits, Dolby takes eleven tracks from his four studio releases and rearranges and reinvents his material with the likes of 'I Live In A Suitcase' coming across as vital and relevant.

Over on the DVD we are treated to a true one man performance as the trenchcoat clad Dolby surrounds himself with an array of fancing looking geekology, which said geeks will be delighted to know is thoroughly explored in the DVD extras with a tour of his racks of electronic gear. It's actually quite interesting especially when he explains how he controls the performance. back on stage the visual elements are taken care of with projections and video montages including a fascinating artists eye view through use of a camera mounted on Dolby's head! He's also a chatty fella talking the audience through his life and songs.

It's a release that is both imaginative and enjoyable, putting the sword to the notion that electronic music is cold and impersonal. As someone only familiar with the hits, I was pleasantly surprised at the depth and quality of the music with 'Lepizig Is Calling', 'Windpower' and 'Hyperactive'on constant repeat. And yes, he does play 'She Blinded Me With Science' !
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on 8 January 2016
great album, wish this artists released more stuff....even better that i got a lower priced second hand copy
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on 4 April 2015
Great concert!
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