Saturday, March 31, 2012

"The Killing Moon" by Echo and the Bunnyment - March 31st 80's Quest Song/Band of the Day

Echo & the Bunnymen are an English band formed in Liverpool in 1978. Lead singer, Ian McCulloch (who lived in the Norris Green section of Liverpool) started a band called The Crucial Three in his bedroom in 1977 with two friends, Julian Cope, and Pete Wylie. Wylie left the band, and McCulloch and Cope formed a real band called A Shallow Madness along with Dave Pickett (drums) and Paul Simpson (organ). Eventually Cope kicked McCulloch out of the band and changed the named to The Teardrop Explodes. McCulloch teamed up with Will Sergeant (guitars) and Les Pattinson (bass) and formed Echo & the Bunnymen. The band contends that there is no special meaning to the band name, it was simply an interesting suggestion offered up by one of their friends, and they liked it.
I guess some fences must have been mended, because Echo & the Bunnymen’s first gig in November 1978 was opening for The Teardrop Explodes at the legendary Eric’s Club in Liverpool (where all the people who were in bands, or wanted to be in bands hung out regularly).
In May 1979, Echo & the Bunnymen’s first single, "The Pictures on My Wall" was released on Zoo Records. The B-side was a song that was later to be recorded by The Teardrop Explodes 6 months later, "Read It in Books". McCulloch has denied that Cope was involved in co-writing the song. The success of this single led to Echo & the Bunnymen being signed by Sire Records.
Echo & the Bunnymen’s first major album release was 1980’s Crocodiles. For this album, they traded in their drum machine and added a live drummer from Trinidad, Peter de Freitas, to the lineup. The first single "Rescue" charted at #62 on the U.K. charts. Their next album, 1981’s Heaven Up Here was received well by the critics and sold well. The album hit the U.K. Top Ten, although the album’s single "A Promise" only charted at #49.
The band’s second album was 1981’s Heaven Up Here which reached #10 on the U.K. charts. It did not crack in the United States charting at only #184. It was a dark album, but the critics loved it, and it topped many British music polls that year.
In June 1982 the band finally got a single to hit the U.K. Top 20, "The Back of Love", and in 1983 "The Cutter" hit the Top 10. Both were from their 1983 album, Porcupine which included sitar playing from Ravi Shankar. This was the album that established them firmly in England.
Echo & the Bunnymen’s sound was considered atmospheric, moody, and neo-psychedelic. Their lyrics were well written and very poetic. They always did much better in the U.K. than they did in the United States (where they were known as more of an underground band). Singer McCulloch was dubbed "Mac the Mouth" as he could be arrogant and difficult at times.
"The Killing Moon" was a preview single released in advance of their next album. It did very well and charted at #9 in the U.K. Much later it was used in the films such as Grosse Point Blank (1997) and Donnie Darko (1991). There was a big marketing campaign for the album, 1984’s Ocean Rain and it is probably considered Echo & the Bunnymen’s best album. It was the first of their albums to crack the American Top 100. Other singles that did well in the U.K. include "Silver" (#30) and "Seven Seas" (#16). The band toured in 1985 in support of the album. They always had a difficult time following up the success of this album.
In 1985 they did have a hit single with "Bring On the Dancing Horses" from their compilation album, Songs to Learn and Sing. The single charted at #21 on the U.K. charts. The song was also used on the movie soundtrack for the John Hughes movie Pretty in Pink starring Molly Ringwald. They also released a compilation album called Songs to Sing and Learn.
As the band headed into the studio to record their next album the self-titled Echo and the Bunnymen tensions were rising, and de Freitas left the band. They got former ABC (see January 1st 80’s quest post) drummer, David Palmer and former Haircut 100 drummer Blair Cunningham to work with them on tracks for the album that were later scrapped and re-recorded when de Freitas returned to the band in 1986. The album did well in the U.K. charting at #4 and was their best selling album in America charting at #51 in 1987. It spawned the hit singles "Lips Like Sugar" and "Bedbugs and Ballyhoo". Next the band worked with The Doors keyboardist, Ray Manzarek to record a cover The Doors song "People are Strange" for the soundtrack to the 1987 film The Lost Boys.
In 1988 the band toured with New Order. That same year McCulloch quit the band to pursue a solo career. In mid-1989 de Freitas was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of 27 in Staffordshire, England when an elderly woman pulled out onto the main road in front of him. Pattinson and Sergeant soldiered on with a new lineup including singer Noel Burke from St. Vitus Dance and drummer Damon Reece. In 1990 They recorded an album called Reverberation but it did not catch on with fans, and the critics panned it. The album did not chart in the U.K. or the U.S. and the new lineup of Echo and the Bunnymen broke up. By this time McCulloch was well into a solo career and had released two solo albums Candleland (1989) and Mysterio (1992) which both charted well in the U.K. He was also publicly angry that his former band members had continued on in Echo and the Bunnymen without him, and therefore, did not speak to them for 4 years. In 1993 McCulloch teamed up with former guitarist of The Smiths (see 80’s Quest post), Johnny Marr. They wrote an album’s worth of songs. The public was very excited to see what they came up with, unfortunately the tapes from their sessions were allegedly stolen from a courier van but not before they had brought Sergeant in to work on some songs. This rekindled the relationship between McCulloch and Sergeant and led to them starting a new band called Electrafixion. Pattinson came back into the fold in 1997. Since the 3 were original members of Echo & the Bunnymen, they decided to scrap Electrafixion and go back to recording as Echo & the Bunnymen again. They released a new album in 1997 called Evergreen which charted in the U.K. Top 10. The band toured in support of the album. After the tour, Pattinson left the band for personal reasons. (Much later in 2009, he was asked by a life-long friend to play bass for a newly reunited iconic Liverpool 80’s band The Wild Swans. He continues to play with them and work as a session musician.)
McCulloch and Sergeant (along with other hired musicians) carried on. In 1999 they released What Are You Gong to Do With Your Life. They toured, recorded, and released more albums Flowers (2001) and Siberia (2005). In 2006 the band updated their previous 1985 compilation album (Songs to Learn and Sing) this time calling it More Songs to Learn and Sing. In May 2007 a live performance DVD with interviews called Dancing Horses was released.
In 2009 their album The Fountain was released. The first single was called "Think I Need it Too" and was released in September of that year. Echo & the Bunnymen continue to tour. In December 2010 they performed their first two albums, Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here in their entirety. In December 2011, McCulloch announced that he would released a solo album called Pro Patria Mori in March 2012 which could be ordered via Pledgemusic.

Under blue moon I saw you
So soon you'll take me
Up in your arms
Too late to beg you or cancel it
Though I know it must be the killing time
Unwillingly mine

Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

In starlit nights I saw you
So cruelly you kissed me
Your lips a magic world
Your sky all hung with jewels
The killing moon
Will come too soon

Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

Under blue moon I saw you
So soon you'll take me
Up in your arms
Too late to beg you or cancel it
Though I know it must be the killing time
Unwillingly mine

Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him
You give yourself to him

La la la la la...

Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

La la la la la...

Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

La la la la la...

Friday, March 30, 2012

"AEIOU Sometimes Y" by EBN-OZN - March 30th 80's Quest Song/Band of the Day

(Click on link above and scroll down to the second screen for video).

EBN-OZN (pronounced Eeb-en  Oh-zen) formed in New York, NY in 1981 when Ned Liben (EBN – the dark haired one on synthesizer) was introduced to Robert Rosen (OZN – the blond haired one on vocals) by record producer Jay Aaron Podolnick.  At the time OZN was dating an Australian fashion model who was friends with the Polodnick.  Surprisingly the EBN and OZN had grown up in New York only blocks apart, but had never met before.  When he was 14-years old EBN had founded a recording studio which he still owned called New York’s Sundragon Recording Studios.  OZN was an actor on Broadway appearing in the original casts of Shenandoah and Marlow.  The two shared a love of punk and hip-hop and began hitting the clubs together, being influenced by all they heard.

The London branch of Arista-Ariola and Elektra Records in New York signed the music duo in 1983 and released their only album, Feeling Cavalier.  The album featured a wide range of music styles and spawned two singles, “AEIOU, Sometimes Y” and “Bag Lady (I Wonder)”—the video for this single starred Tony Award winning actress Imogene Coca and became a hit in the dance clubs and in the US, Canada, and Europe.

In 1985 EBN OZN broke up.  EBN went to work as a musician, composer, arranger, and producer working with the band Scritti Politti, The Ramones, Ravi Shankar, and The Talking Heads at his Sundragon and Sound Over Soho recording studios.  Tragically, he died in Manhattan in February1998 from a sudden heart attack at the age of 44.  He was survived by his widow Sallie Moore Liben and a baby son, Max. 

OZN formed a house music act called Dada Nada and started his own record label, One Voice Records. OZN changed his name from Robert Rosen to Robert Ozn and began working as a script analyst, screenwriter, and producer.  He started out working for free at Ixtlan Films (owned by Oliver Stone and Janet Yang) so that he could learn the development and production processes of the movie business.  From there he went on to a paid position as first call reader for A-list material for Oliver Stone.  Then he went to work at Miramax Films and was the reader for the smash movie Pulp Fiction.  At Miramax he also became the contract development executive for much of their European films, as well as in the horror division of Dimension Films.  He worked as a script analyst for Creative Arts Agency on projects for movie directors, Sydney Pollack, Louis Malle, and James Cameron.

Ozn had worked with Colin Greene on a script called God’s Witness which was one of the favorite un-sold spec scripts in the industry.  In 2003 their script was finally made into a movie for Universal Pictures called I Witness starring Jeff Daniels, James Spader, and Portia de Rossi.  That same year Ozn left the business for a little while to raise a family, but returned to work again in 2008 to produce a UK documentary about war hero and British aristocrat, Micky Burn.  He also wrote a science-fiction film, Earth’s Final Hour for the Sy Fy Channel.  Ozn is now divorced and lives in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro.

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore....
I was walking up Broadway you know
and there's this incredible looking Swedish girl having a
Cappuccino across the street from Lincoln Center, I started
talking to her you know - She said her name was Lola,
Her English wasn't too good you know - but we wound up spending
about 5 hours together just hanging out you know.
So We go back to my place - we get high - we get really into each other man.
It was love about to happen...I'm serious.
And then all of a sudden she gets up and she says, she says "Hey, I really gotta leave"
A E I O U Sometimes Y
There are 178 parent languages on our planet with over 1000 dialects...
It's amazing we communicate at all.
Languages and dialects - with this one thing in common:
A E I O U Sometimes Y
Sometimes Y!!
But you know I was really flipped out you know and she asked me
if I'm angry or something I said of course I'm angry man this
isn't high school or anything you know so I'm feeling really
cavalier and I say me if you want to...
huh, me if you want to
So she rang me up and she says, "Hey! Do you wanna go out?"
Huh, Do I wanna go out
A E I O U Sometimes Y
A E I O U Sometimes Y
Operator! Operator! What's happening operator?!
Mommy? Mommy Mommy!! Where are you
Mommy? I can't see you
I can't see you Mommy!
All artists, potentially, are the victims of their desire to be unique
Just observe it
Don't fight it
Work it. Work it. Work it. Work it. Work it.
Yeah she took me home man she threw me all
around the room man
I mean this chick was really hot she was nice
to me you know
She let me keep on my cowboy boots and everything...she was
Allright... oh! oh! yeah! oh! oh! oh! oh! ohhhhhh!!!
I dare you to play this record
A E I O U Sometimes Y
A E I O U Sometimes Y
Anyway so she took me home and she
splattered my brains
Yeah there I am there I am what happened what happened
Where was I oh here I am
I told her I wouldn't sleep with her friends - she
Doesn't sleep with my friends Anything else you do
You know...Don't you tell me

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"For Your Eyes Only" by Sheena Easton - March 29th 80's Quest Song/Band of the Day

Sheena Easton (real name Sheena Shirley Orr) was born in 1959 in Bellshill, Scotland. She was the baby of the family of 6 children. Her father, Alex, was a steel mill laborer. In 1969 when Sheena was 10 years old her father died, and her mother Annie was left to support the family. Sheena was moved to become a singer after watching the movie The Way We Were. She was so overtaken with Barbra Streisand’s vocals in the opening credits, she decided that she too wanted to be a singer and move people in the same way. Her good grades earned her a scholarship to the Royal Scottish Academy of Drama and Art. She studied to be a speech and drama teacher there from 1975 – 1979. At night during her school years she worked in nightclubs and pubs and sang with a band called Something Else. She graduated in 1979, but rather than going on to teach, she decided to pursue a singing career.
In 1979 at the age of 19, she married Sandi Easton. It was a short-lived marriage (only 8 months long), but Sheena decided to keep his last name, Easton. The same year, one of her school tutors encouraged her to audition for the BBC-TV television show, The Big Time, which was a documentary that chronicled an unknown artist’s rise to success in the music business. Easton was selected as the subject of the documentary and gained a lot of national exposure from her participation in the show. It wasn’t long until EMI Records pursued her and offered her a contract. For most of 1980 she was followed around by cameras filming the entire process of making her first single for EMI, "Modern Girl".
In February 1980 "Modern Girl" was released in the U.K. prior to the airing of The Big Time. It only rose to #56 on the charts. Her image was that of an easy listening singer like Olivia Newton John or Helen Reddy, but with a new wave twist. The song hit the Top 10 in England. In November 1980 she performed on the Royal Variety Show for Queen Elizabeth.
After the show aired her second U.K. single, "9 to 5" was released. This time her song did much better. In America and Canada the single was renamed "Morning Train" so that it would not be confused with a Dolly Parton hit, the title track for the American comedy movie 9 to 5. It became her breakthrough single in America charting at #1 in Spring 1981. "Modern Girl" was then issued in America and rose to #18 on the charts. Her 1980 album was called Take My Time and was retitled Sheena Easton in 1981.
The same year, she was asked to sing the theme song for the next James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. The song, of the same name, charted at #4 in the U.S., and was also nominated for an Academy Award in 1981 for Best Music (Original Song). The same year she also won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist of 1981.
Her second album, You Could Have Been With Me was released in 1982. Singles included the title track and "When He Shines" (#30). She also had another 1982 album called Madness, Money and Music. 
In 1983 she released Best Kept Secret which contained a dancy pop song called "Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair), which was nominated for a 1983 Grammy for Best Female Pop/Rock Vocal Performance. The second single was a ballad called "Almost Over You". The same year (1983) she dueted with Kenny Rogers on a cover of Bob Seger’s "We’ve Got Tonight". It became a Top 10 hit in the U.S. and on the country music charts.
In 1983 she also dueted with Spanish singer Luis Miguel on a single called "Me Gustas Tal Como Eres" on her album Todo Me Recuerda a Ti. which contained seven Sheena Easton recordings re-recorded in Spanish along with 3 new songs. The album won Easton her second Grammy Award for Best Mexican/American Performance.
In 1984 Easton got married a second time to a talent agent named Rob Light. Again the marriage was short-lived, lasting only 18-months.
In 1984 Easton decided to lose her clean-cut, wholesome image and take on a more sexy persona. The result was the best selling album of her U.S. career, A Private Heaven. Her next hit single "Strut" reflected her new image. It rose to #7 on the charts. Her next song really raised temperature and got her more notice. It was a very suggestive song about the inside of her vagina, written for her by Prince, called "Sugar Walls" (#9). The video for the song was banned, not for its imagery, but for the highly suggestive lyrics.
Around this time the Parent’s Music Resource Center (PMRC) was formed by a bunch of Washington wives led by Tipper Gore, the wife of then-Senator Al Gore. In 1984 Tipper Gore was with her daughter and heard the lyrics to Prince’s song "Darling Nikki" and felt frightened by the lyrics about sex and masturbation. She got other frightened Washington mothers together and formed the committee in order to force the recording industry to label or censor music and images deemed to be violent, sexual, or relating to drug use, so that parents could have more control over what their children had access to. They felt that some music contributed to the decay of the family in America and issued a list of the "Filthy Fifteen" songs that they felt were the most objectionable. Formerly clean-cut Easton made it onto the list. Here it is:
The PMRC’s Filthy Fifteen (*from Wikipedia)

#ArtistSong titleLyrical content
1Prince"Darling Nikki"Sex
2Sheena Easton"Sugar Walls"Sex
3Judas Priest"Eat Me Alive"Sex
4Vanity"Strap on Robbie Baby"Sex
5Mötley Crüe"Bastard"Violence
6AC/DC"Let Me Put My Love into You"Sex
7Twisted Sister"We're Not Gonna Take It"Violence
8Madonna"Dress You Up"Sex
9W.A.S.P."Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)"Sex/Language
10Def Leppard"High 'n' Dry (Saturday Night)"Drug and alcohol use
11Mercyful Fate"Into the Coven"Occult
12Black Sabbath"Trashed"Drug and alcohol use
13Mary Jane Girls"In My House"Sex
15Cyndi Lauper"She Bop"Sex

Her next album, 1985’s Do You was produced by Nile Rodgers (formerly of Chic, and now a hot producer) and went Gold. Later that year Easton contributed a song, "It’s Christmas (All Over the Word)" to the holiday film, Santa Claus the Movie.
Prior to the release for her next album, 1987’s No Sound But a Heart a single was released. The song, Eternity was again written for her by Prince, but failed to chart, so the release of the album was pushed back from February to June. EMI Records was going through changes, which delayed release even further. In the meantime, songs from the album were recorded by other artists such as Crystal Gayle, Celine Dion, Patti LaBelle, and Pia Zadora. No Sound But a Heart eventually ended up being released in the United States in 1999 with four bonus songs.
In 1987 Easton also teamed up with Prince again, this time recording a song with him called "U Got the Look" (she also appeared in the video). It became a #2 hit for Prince, and both of them were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Duo or Group in 1987. Eventually the two would record together again in 1989 on a Prince song for the soundtrack for the movie Batman, called "The Arms of Orion". Prince and Easton began co-writing songs together including "Love ‘89" for Patti LaBelle, and "La,La, La, He, He, Hee" which Prince recorded himself. Although she denies it, tabloids linked Easton and Prince together romantically.
The same year, 1987, Easton made her acting debut in several episodes of the American action television show Miami Vice. She played a singer named Caitlin Davies who Don Johnson’s character, Sonny Crockett, was hired to protect until a court appearance she was scheduled to make to testify against corrupt music industry executives. Her character eventually married Sonny Crockett, but then got killed. In 1988 a soundtrack to Miami Vice was released and the song Easton’s character had sang just before being killed on the show, "Follow My Rainbow" was included on the record. It also appeared on Easton’s next album, 1988’s The Lover In Me which contained collaborations with Prince, Jellybean Benitez, Angela Winbush, LA and Babyface. The title song of the album also charted at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The next singles were "Days Like This" and "101".
In 1990 Easton went to her homeland of Scotland to sing at The Big Day festival in Glasgow. When she got on stage she said that it was "good to be back home", but said it with an American accent rather than a Scottish one, and as a result while she was singing her song the audience pelted her with bottles (some filled with urine). She cut her set short, left the stage shaken, and vowed never to perform in Scotland again.
Easton’s next album, 1991’s What Comes Naturally did not do as well as previous albums and only charted at #90 in the United States. The title song was her last Top 40 hit. The other two singles released from the album failed t chart.
In the 1990’s Easton appeared in the movie Indecent Proposal, on Broadway in The Man of La Mancha (1992) and Grease (1996), and on television shows Jack’s Place and The Highlander. She played several characters in an animated show called Gargoyles and did the voice for the character Annah-of-the-Shadows for the computer game Planescape: Torment.
She designed a line of ceramic angels and began working doing voice-overs for animated feature films such as 1996’s All Good Dogs Go to Heaven 2, and provided songs for the 1993 animated film Ferngully The Last Rainforest, as well as the film Shiloh (1997). She appeared in an episode of the sci-fi show Outer Limits (Season 2/Episode 19). At the end of the 90’s she was signed to MCA Japan and released numerous albums there including Freedom (1997) and a greatest hits collection. In 1999 she released a self-produced acoustic album on Universal/Victor Records called Home.
In 1992 Easton was granted United States citizenship. In 1994 she adopted a son, Jake, and in 1996 she adopted a daughter, Skylar and moved to Las Vegas. In 1997 she was filming an episode of sport’s channel ESPN’s Canon Photo Safari in Yellowstone National Park and met producer Tim Delarm, who was to become her third husband. They were married in Las Vegas in 1997, but the marriage only lasted 1 year. As she concentrated more on the duties of motherhood, she began performing less, focusing on performing casino gigs, and corporate shows. In 2000 she appeared with former 1970’s heartthrob, David Cassidy, in the Las Vegas musical production At the Copa for one year at the Rio Hotel.
In 2000 Easton released an album of disco cover songs called Fabulous. It was released only in Europe, Japan, Australia and Argentina. In 2001 Easton traveled to Australia to sing songs from the album at the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras celebration. In 2001 she completed a successful headlining run at the Las Vegas Hilton. In November 2002 she married her fourth husband, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon John Minoli. They got divorced in 2003. That same year Easton hosted a local talk show called Vegas Live with Clint Holmes, who was later replaced by Brian McKnight.
In 2005 she performed as the narrator in the Raleigh North Carolina theater production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She contributed two songs that she composed with Nobuo Uematsu for the video game Lost Odyssey in 2008. In 2008 and 2009 she recorded songs for the Disney Channel animated television program Phineas and Ferb. Today she is a single mom living in Henderson, Nevada. She denies claims that she made good investments in Florida property that have served her well financially


For your eyes only, can see me through the night.
For your eyes only, I never need to hide.
You can see so much in me, so much in me that's new.
I never felt until I looked at you.

For your eyes only, only for you.
You'll see what no one else can see, and now I'm breaking free.
For your eyes only, only for you.
The love I know you need in me, the fantasy you've freed in me.
Only for you, only for you.

For your eyes only, the nights are never cold.
You really know me, that's all I need to know.
Maybe I'm an open book because I know you're mine,
But you won't need to read between the lines.

For your eyes only, only for you.
You see what no one else can see, and now I'm breaking free.
For your eyes only, only for you.
The passions that collide in me, the wild abandoned side of me.
Only for you, for your eyes only.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Jokerman" by Bob Dylan - March 28th 80's Quest Song/Band of the Day

This is a time-appropriate (1980's) rocked-up version of "Jokerman" that Dylan performed on The David Letterman Show.

Since Bob Dylan’s career has been so expansive and influential, this passage will just cover the period of his career during the 1980’s.

By the time the 1980’s rolled around, Bob Dylan had just come off a time in his life (the late 1970’s) when he had become a born-again Christian.  During his born-again phase he had released two albums of Christian music Slow Train Coming (1979 – which featured guitar work by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits).  Funny quote from Clinton Heylin’s book, “Bob Dylan:  Behind the Shades Revisited”….during the recording of this album Dylan was trying to evangelize to veteran record producer, Jerry Wexler, who was working on the album with him.  Wexler replied, “Bob, you’re dealing with a sixty-two-year old Jewish atheist.  Let’s just make an album.”  The album spawned the single “Gotta Serve Somebody” and won Dylan a Grammy Award for “Best Male Vocalist”.  When on tour from the fall of 1979 through the Spring of 1980 Dylan refused to play any of his older secular songs and only played the Christian stuff.
Dylan’s second Christian album was Saved was released in 1980.  Critics panned the album. Fans and fellow musicians were not fond of Dylan’s born-again furor.   In fact, John Lennon recorded a song shortly before his murder in December 1980 that was a response to Dylan’s song “Gotta Serve Somebody” – it was called “Serve Yourself”.  The album hit #3 on the UK charts and #24 on the U.S. charts.

During the recording of his next album (Shot of Love) Dylan took a break in the Fall of 1980 to tour for a series of “musical retrospective” concerts and once again began playing songs from his 1960’s repertoire.  He returned to writing and recording for the album in Winter.

1981’s Shot of Love was the last in what is considered to be Dylan’s religious trilogy.  While the album contained religious songs, it also contained the first secular songs Dylan had recorded in more than two years.  There was more rock n’ roll and less gospel on this album.  The standout songs from this album include "Every Grain Of Sand," "Caribbean Wind," and "The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar".  The latter two songs deal with Dylan’s struggle to maintain the demands of a higher calling, while also dealing with troubled sexual relationships.

1983’s Infidels was released by Columbia Records in October 1983.  The album was seen as Dylan’s return to secular music and focused more on personal themes of love and loss, although songs like “Jokerman” still contained some biblical references.  “Sweetheart Like You” was another hit spawned from this album.  Not only did critics go wild for this album, it was also a commercial success.  It charted at #9 in the U.K. and #20 in the U.S.  Apparently, somewhere along the way Dylan must have had a change of heart about religion.  In 1997 after recovering from a heart condition he was quoted in Newsweek saying, "Here's the thing with me and the religious thing. This is the flat-out truth: I find the religiosity and philosophy in the music. I don't find it anywhere else...I don't adhere to rabbis, preachers, evangelists, all of that. I've learned more from the songs than I've learned from any of this kind of entity."   Dylan had wanted to produce the Infidels album himself, but felt overwhelmed by all of the new recording technology that had come out, so he tried to bring on younger producers who he felt had more experience with this.  He approached David Bowie, Frank Zappa, and Elvis Costello, before finally settling on Mark Knopfler.   Mick Jones from the Rolling Stones played guitar on the album, and famous reggae performers and producers Sly and Robbie were the rhythm section.  During the recording for Infidels many great songs were recorded that did not make it on to the album including “Blind Willie McTell” (a tribute to the blues musician), “Foot of Pride” and “Lord Protect my Child”.  These 3 songs were later released on an album called The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased 1961 – 1991). 

In 1985 Dylan released Empire Burlesque on Columbia Records which received mixed reviews.  Dylan produced much of the album himself.  On this album rather than record with a set band, he recorded with a series of different musicians including Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, Al Green’s band, Sly and Robbie (once again), the band Lone Justice, Benmont Tench, Mike Campbell, and Howie Epstein from Tom Petty’s band, Roy Bittan and Steve Van Zandt from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, and the drummer from David Letterman’s house band, Anton Fig.  The recording of the album was very casual, including Dylan’s production.  Ronnie Wood was surprised by Dylan’s lax authority as a producer and was quoted as saying, "[The engineers would] say, 'Hey Bob, we don't need this,' and he'd say, 'Oh, okay.' And they'd make a mix to their ears, and he'd just stand outside and let them do it. And I'd be saying, 'Hey! You can't let these guys...Look!! They've left off the background vocals!' or 'What about the drums?!' But there would be something going on in the back of his head which didn't allow him to interfere. And yet if he'd have gone into the control room with the dominance that he had while we were cutting the stuff, it could have been mind-bending."  Six months of work yielded only 3 workable songs.  Over the Winter, he returned to Los Angeles for more recording and finally completed the rest of the songs for the album.   In the Summer of 1984 he went on tour in support of the album.  Critics and fans were not warm to this album and some dubbed it “Disco Dylan”.
The album received less attention than the numerous charity projects that Dylan participated in that same year.  In January 1985 he performed on the "We Are the World" single, an American project organized to raise funds for starving Ethiopians.  Next he participated in Artists United Against Apartheid’s recording of “Sun City”, a song that protested apartheid (a system of racial segregation enforced through legislation by the National Party governments of South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority non-white inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained.)  The song was recorded during the summer and released in October.  In July, Dylan performed at Live Aid in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA), a massive benefit concert to raise funds for starving Ethiopians.  Dylan’s set with Ron Wood and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones was beset with technical problems.  At the conclusion of the set, Dylan asked the billions of television viewers and those in the stands to remember the American farmer and those in their own country struggling from economic events beyond their control.  Dylan’s remarks sparked singer Willie Nelson to organize Farm Aid, a benefit concert for struggling American farmers.  Dylan also performed at the benefit Farm Aid concert on September 22, 1985.  On this performance he was joined by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

 In November, Columbia Records released Biograph, a five-LP boxed set retrospective that became the second boxed set to sell half a million copies in the U.S. (the first was Elvis Presley’s Elvis Aaron Presley box set).   While few regard 1985 as one of Dylan's landmark years, it was one of his busiest as far as projects goes, and influential in his resurgence as a live performer. 

In April 1986 Dylan provided vocals to the opening verse of rap artist Kurtis Blow’s (see February 1st 80’s Quest post) songs “Street Rock” from the album Kingdom Blow.  It was Dylan’s first foray into the world of rap music.

Knocked Out Loaded was released by Columbia Records in July 1986.  The album contains 3 cover songs, 3 collaborations, and 3 solo compositions.  The album received mostly negative reviews.  Some critics called it depressing, others called it ridiculous.

In 1986 and 1987 Dylan toured extensively with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  He also toured with the Grateful Dead in 1987 which resulted in a live album called Dylan and The Dead. In 1987 Dylan also appeared in the movie Hearts of Fire as Billy Parker, a washed-up rock star who had become a chicken farmer.  He contributed two songs to the soundtrack, “Night After Night” and “I Had a Dream About You, Baby”.
In January 1988 Dylan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In May 1988 Columbia Records released Dylan’s next album, Down in the Groove, it was the second album in a row to receive virtually negative reviews, and poor sales, putting Dylan’s career in a slump.  The album contained collaborations with the Grateful Dead and even Full Force (a Brooklyn hip-hop group who also performed with Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam). In 2007, Rolling Stone magazine dubbed Down in the Groove as Bob Dylan's worst album.  Still in Summer 1988 Dylan toured in support of the album with large ensembles of high-profile artists such as Mick Taylor, The Grateful Dead, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  The tour actually turned out to be well-received and garnered a lot of praise.

After the release of Down in the Groove Dylan began recording and performing with George Harrison (formerly of The Beatles), Jeff Lynne (formerly of E.L.O.), Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty in a band called The Travelling Wilburys.  In Fall 1988 their multiplatinum album Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 was released and reached #3 on the U.S. album charts.

Dylan’s last album during the 1980’s was Oh Mercy released on Columbia Records in September 1989.  Dylan had gone through a period of not being very motivated to write songs (especially while recovering from a hand injury which prevented him from playing the guitar), but with the songs on this album he was inspired and rejuvenated.    New songs came flowing out of him.  Daniel Lanois best-known for producing Peter Gabriel's album So and U2's album The Joshua Tree came on as producer for Dylan’s album.  Recording sessions began in a turn of the century apartment house that had a bordello-ish overtone.  Lanois was quoted as saying they turned the control room into a swamp complete with moss growing all over the place and stuffed alligators all around.  The atmosphere definitely provided a vibes for the straight ahead rock n’ roll the album delivered; still Dylan found the recording difficult.  After the last two Dylan albums had been so poorly received, most critics praised this album and considered it a comeback, while some found Lanois production work too overdone with its shimmering processed guitars.  The album did not hit the Top 20 in the U.S., but was a consistent seller. In 1989 Rolling Stone magazine ranked Oh Mercy was #44 on their list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980’s.  


Standing on the water, casting your bread
While the eyes of the idol with the iron head are glowing
Distant ships sailing into the mist
You were born with a snake in both of your fists while a hurricane was blowing
Freedom just around the corner for you
But with truth so far off, what good will it do.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

So swiftly the sun sets in the sky
You rise up and say goodbye to no one
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
Both of their futures, so full of dread, you don't show one
Shedding off one more layer of skin
Keeping one step ahead of the persecutor within.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

You're a man of the mountain, you can walk on the clouds
Manipulator of crowds, you're a dream twister
You're going to Sodom and Gomorrah
But what do you care ? Ain't nobody there would want marry your sister
Friend to the martyr, a friend to the woman of shame
You look into the fiery furnace, see the rich man without any name.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

Well, the Book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy
The law of the jungle and the sea are your only teachers
In the smoke of the twilight on a milk-white steed
Michelangeo indeed could've carved out your features
Resting in the fields, far from the turbulent space
Half asleep near the stars with a small dog licking your face.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

Well, the rifleman's stalking the sick and the lame
Preacherman seeks the same, who'll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks
Molotow cocktails and rocks behind every curtain
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin
Only a matter of time 'til the night comes stepping in.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

It's a shadowy world, skies are slippery gray
A woman just gave birth to a prince today and dressed him in scarlet
He'll put the priest in his pocket, put the blade to the heat
Take the motherless children off the street
And place them at the feet of a harlot
Oh, Jokerman, you know what he wants
Oh, Jokerman, you don't show any response.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Is There Something I Should Know" by Duran Duran - March 27th 80's Quest Song/Band of the Day


Please please tell me now
Please please tell me now
Please please tell me now
Please please tell me now

I made a break I run out yesterday
Tried to find my mountain hideaway
Maybe next year maybe no go.
I know you're watching me every minute of the day yeah
I've seen the signs and the looks and the pictures they give your game
away yeah.
There's a dream that strings the road with broken glass for us to hold
And I cut so far before I had to say

Please please tell me now is there something I should know?
Is there something I should say that would make you come my way?
Do you feel the same 'cause you don't let it show?

People stare and cross the road from me
And jungle drums they all clear the way for me.
Can you read my mind can you see in the snow?
And fiery demons all dance when you walk through that door
Don't say you're easy on me; you're about as easy as a nuclear war.
There's a dream that strings the road with broken glass for us to hold
and I got so far before I had to say

Please please tell me now is there something I should know?
Is there something I should say that would make you come my way?
Do you feel the same 'cause you don't let it show?

Please please tell me now is there (please please tell me now)something I should know
Is there (please please tell me now) something I should say
That'll (please please tell me now) make you come my way
Please please tell me now can you see (please please tell me now) what makes me blow
Can you (please please tell me now) see how much I'd die
Everytime (please please tell me now) it passes by
Please please tell me now what it (please please tell me now) takes to make it show
Is there (please please tell me now) something I should know
Is there (please please tell me now) something I should know

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Life in a Northern Town" by Dream Academy - March 26th 80's Quest Song/Band of the day

The Dream Academy formed in London, England. The band consisted of Nick Laird-Clowes (vocals, guitars), Kate St. John (oboe, and multi-instrumentalist), and Gilbert Gabriel (keyboards).
In the late 1970s Laird-Clowes and Gabriel were in a band together called The Act. They wanted to mix instruments and use sounds not usually heard in pop music like strings, synthesizers and woodwinds, so they started their own band originally called The Politics of Pop. Laird-Clowes attended a party where he met St. John (who was in a band called The Ravishing Beauties), and she decided to join the band. The three of them then changed the band name to The Dream Academy. The three members were very fond of the music from the late 1960’s because it was very experimental and daring. The demos they created were rejected by every record company they sent them to for nearly 2 years before Warner Brothers finally decided to sign them in 1985.
Their self-titled debut album, The Dream Academy was co-produced by David Gilmore of Pink Floyd (who knew Laird-Clowes). The first single was a tribute song to English singer Nick Drake called "Life in a Northern Town" – the song took off like a rocket and charted at #15 on the U.K. charts and even higher at #7 on the U.S. charts. Warner Brothers originally did not want to release this song as a single because they thought it needed more drums in it, but Laird-Clowes and Gabriel were adamant that this was the song that should be released.
The band was able to go on a worldwide tour based on the success of "Life in a Northern Town". They performed all over American television as the musical guests on Saturday Night Live, on MTV, and on American Bandstand with Dick Clark. In Britain they appeared on Top of the Pops. 
As it turned out, "Life in a Northern Town" was to be the only successful single Dream Academy had. Their next two albums 1987’s Remembrance Days and 1990’s A Different Kind of Weather did not sell well at all. The band did tour in 1991, but afterwards Gabriel and St. John decided to leave the band and work on solo projects. Eventually St. John joined Van Morrison’s touring band and became a sought after session musician performing with Julian Cope and Blur among others. Gabriel formed a band initially called Color of Love, but later hanged the name to Futura. Laird-Clowes took time off to travel in Southeast Asia and Africa. He struggled with drug abuse and went to stay at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas to get clean. Upon his return he began working with David Gilmore on lyrics for some songs on Pink Floyds 1994 album The Division Bell (including "Poles Apart" and "Take it Back"). Laird-Clowes also recorded a solo album called Mona Lisa Overdrive under the name Trashmonk, and open
All three members of The Dream Academy continue to record music. They recently reunited on a cover of The Smith’s song "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" which is to appear on Gabriel’s band, The Believers, album Angels and Fools.
These days Laird-Clowes works producing scores for movie soundtracks including The Invisible Circus and Fierce People (starring Diane Lane and Donald Sutherland), and he was a musical consultant on the film The Dreamers (on the DVD for this movie he can be seen in one of the extra featurettes talking about the music from this film). He also scored a documentary for Greenpeace called A Time Comes. He is working on a second Trashmonk album.
In 1997 "Life in a Northern Town" was sampled by Dario G for the chorus of his dance remix called "Sunchyme" which was successful in Europe. Laird-Clowes brought a successful lawsuit and won 80 percent of "Sunchyme’s" royalties.


A Salvation Army Band played
And Children drunk lemonade
And the morning lasted all day,
All day
And through an open window came
Like Sinatra in a younger day,
Pushing the town away

Ah hey ma ma ma
Life in a northern town.

They sat on the stoney ground
And he took out a cigarette out
And everyone else came down
To listen.
He said "In winter 1963
It felt like the world would freeze
With John F. Kennedy
And The Beatles."
Ah- hey ma ma ma
Life in a northern town.
Ah hey ma ma ma
All the work shut down.

The evening had turned to rain
Watch the water roll down the drain,
As we followed him down
To the station
And though he never would wave goodbye,
You could see it written in his eyes
As the train pulled out of sight

Ah hey ma ma ma
Life in a northern town.
Ah hey ma ma ma
Life in a northern town.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Anything Anything" by Dramarama - March 25th 80's Quest Song/Band of the Day

This song was really popular in 1988 in San Diego when I attended college there on exchange. It was played all over the radio stations there, although I’ve never heard it played at all on New England stations. It is a great song!
Dramarama was co-founded by singer John Easdale and bassist Chris Carter in the basement of Carter’s Wayne, New Jersey record store, Looney Tunez Records. The members consisted of Easdale (vocals), Carter and Mark Englert (guitars – and later Peter Wood joined), and Ron Machuga (drums – soon replaced by Ken Moutinout, and later Jesse Farbman). Later Ted Ellenis joined the band on keyboards.
In 1984 they released a self-funded EP called Comedy which turned out to be a big success in France. As a result French record label, New Rose released the band’s first album 1985’s Cinema Verite. Influential Los Angeles DJ, Rodney Bingenheimer, began playing the track "Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)" on his show on KROQ-FM, originally thinking that the band was French. The song became a local hit in Los Angeles and the band received a large advance from Chameleon records and decided to leave New Jersey and move permanently to Los Angeles. "Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)" was included in the American horror movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.
To thank Rodney Bingenheimer for all he had done to advance their career; Dramarama included a track called "Private World" on a 1987 compilation album called The Best of Rodney on the ROQ. It was later re-released by Rhino Records in 1992.
In 1987 the band released their second album Box Office Bomb which was well-reviewed by critics, but did not sell well.
When the band went into the studio to record their next album, 1989’s Stuck in Wonderamaland and came out with enough material for 3 albums. They used some of the extra tracks for a European album release called Looking Through…under the band name The Bent-Backed Tulips. The name was taken from a lyric in The Beatles song "Glass Onion".
 During the making of their next album, Dramarama’s record label, Chameleon Records went bankrupt. The band was scrambling to find money to complete their album, and as luck would have it, they were finally signed by a major record label, Elektra Records. Elektra released Dramarama’s next album, 1991’s Vinyl and the band began receiving national airplay in the U.S. with the album’s singles "Haven’t Got a Clue" and "What Are We Gonna Do?". Drummer Jesse Farbman left Dramarama to pursue mind/body purity and spiritual awareness and was replaced on the tour by Clem Burke of Blondie (see January 30th 80’s Quest post)
A limited edition 17-song CD was released to members of the Dramarama fanclub entitled, The Days of Wayne and Roses (The Trash Tapes) consisting of the bands earliest recordings, some live performances, and songs that were not used on other albums.
The band released another album on Elektra Records in 1993 called Hi-Fi Sci-Fi. It was a hit with critics and fans. Burke stayed on as drummer and played on this new album. Other guest appearances were made by Dwight Twilley of the Dwight Twilley Band and Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls.
Dramarama had been on the verge of a major breakthrough at various times in their career, but it never came. Hi-Fi Sci-Fi only sold well with their devoted cult following but did not sell well nationally. The band broke up in 1994 and performed a farewell show in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 1994.
Lead singer Easdale started The John Easdale Band and began performing shows again in 1996. In 1998 he released a solo album called Bright Side.
In 2004 Dramarama was featured on the popular American television program on VH1, Bands Reunited. The premise of the show is to find out where the members of much loved bands were and what they were doing and to prompt them to reunite and do a one-time reunion show. The reception following this program was so positive that Dramarama reformed and used some material from Easdale’s solo album Bright Side for a new Dramarama release, Everybody Dies which was released in October 2005. In 2008 the band appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The show’s DJ, Ted Stryker arranged the appearance as Ellen’s 50th birthday present.
Dramarama’s co-founder and bassist, Chris Carter currently works as a radio DJ in Los Angeles and hosts America’s longest running Beatles show, "Breakfast With the Beatles" where he plays all-Beatles songs. Carter also wrote and produced the documentary about Rodney Bingenheimer called The Mayor of the Sunset Strip which nominated for a 1983 best documentary award by the Independent Spirit Film Awards. He also formed QM Management, which manages Los Angeles pop band, The Wondermints who toured as the backing band for former Beach Boy Brian Wilson. Dramarama continues reunite to perform many shows each year.


Okay, what is it tonight?
Please just tell me what the hell is wrong!
Do you wanna eat?
Do you wanna sleep?
Do you wanna drown?

Just settle down, settle down, settle down!

I'll give you candy, give you diamonds, give you pills
give you anything you want--
hundred-dollar bills
I'll even let you watch the shows you wanna see
just marry me marry me marry me!

I'm so sick of you tonight
You never stay awake when I get home
Is something wrong with me?
Is something wrong with you?
I really wish I knew wish I knew wish I knew!

I'll give you candy, give you diamonds, give you pills
I'll give you anything you want--
hundred-dollar bills
I'll even let you watch the shows you wanna see
Because you marry me marry me marry me!
Marry me marry me marry me!

I was young, I learned a game
And love and happiness were the same
Now I'm older and I don't play--
I found out the hardest way.

I got wasted she got mad
Called me names and she called her dad
He got crazy and I did too
Wondered what I did to you.

I gave you candy, gave you diamonds, gave you pills
Gave you anything you want--
Hundred-dollar bills!
I even let you hear the songs I want to sing
I'll give you anything anything anything
I'll give you anything anything anything
I'll give you anything anything anything

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby - March 24th 80's Quest Song/Band of the Day

This was one of the better songs from the 1980's and the video was great!  Who doesn't love a nuthouse full of wacky professors?!  The phrase "Good Heavens Miss Akimodo, You're Beauuuuutiful" was a standout lyric.

Thomas Dolby (real name Thomas Morgan Robertson) was born October 14 1958 in London, England). He was the son of a prominent British archeologist and professor of classical Greek art and archeology at the University of London and Oxford University. Schoolmates gave him the nickname "Dolby" (based on the British Dolby laboratories that invented a noise-reduction system for audiotapes) when he was 13 years old because he was always messing around with keyboards, and tapes, and had a deep interest in electronics . In his youth Dolby lived in France, Italy and Greece. He completed his A-levels in England at Abingdon School.
Dolby taught himself how to play guitar, piano and then set about teaching himself computer programming. He spent time playing music in Paris subways and also played piano in London cocktail clubs. Dolby began building his own PA systems and synthesizers which he used in his work as a soundman for various British bands. In 1979 he cofounded his own band with Bruce Woolley called the Camera Club. In 1980 he joined Lene Lovich’s band, and wrote her 1981 hit, "New Toy". He played on Joan Armatrading’s album Walk Under Ladders, The Thompson Twins album Set, Def Leppard’s Pyromania, and Malcolm McLaren’s Duck Rock. He wrote "Magic Wand" for Whodini and it became one of the first million-selling 12-inch Rap singles. He played keyboards and synthesizers for the band Foreigner on their smash album Foreigner 4 and played keyboards on their big hits "Urgent" and "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and toured with them. His pay from this work with Foreigner bankrolled studio time so he could record his own debut album.
Dolby’s debut solo album, The Golden Age of Wireless, was released in 1982. It yielded a minor hit, "Europa and the Pirate Twins" which charted at #67 in the U.S. and also included the songs "Airwaves" and "Radio Silence".
He released an EP in 1983 entitled, Blinded By Science, which contained his first big hit song, "She Blinded Me With Science". The song rose to #5 on the American charts. Dolby produced the video for the song, which includes a guest appearance by British eccentric Magnus Pike, whose vocals also appear on the song. Once the song became a hit, the song was added to future pressings of his The Golden Age of Wireless album, although originally the track did not appear on initial pressings. Dolby directed a tour documentary called Live Wireless 
In 1983 Dolby participated in a studio project with numerous artists called Dolby’s Cube. This was a forum for Dolby to release more dance oriented tracks and the line-up of participating musicians was revolving but some included Lene Lovich, George Clinton, and Francois Kevorkian. Some dance songs released as a result of this project were "Get Out of My Mix" and "May The Cube Be With You".
Dolby did more production work. He produced the following albums; George Clinton’s Some of My Best Jokes are Friends (1984); Joni Mitchell’s Dog Eat Dog (1986); three of British band Prefab Sprout’s albums (Steve McQueen, From Langley Park to Memphis, and Jordan The Comeback); two songs on Ofra Haza’s album Wind (1989). He also wrote movie scores for "Fever Pitch" (1985); "Gothic" (1986); "Howard the Duck" (1986), and the animated movie FernGully: The Last Rainforest. He also wrote musics for video games. In 1990 he appeared in the movie Rockula as the villian, Stanley and wrote two songs for the soundtrack: "Stanley’s Death Park" and "Budapest by Blimp".
In 1984 Dolby’s second album, The Flat Earth was released on Capitol records. It rose to #14 on the U.K. charts and #35 on the Billboard charts in the U.S. The album included guest appearances by Robyn Hitchcock, Bruce Woolley, among others. The hit song for this album was originally written for Michael Jackson, but Dolby ended up recording "Hyperactive" instead. He also directed the video for the song. "Hyperactive’s" highest U.S. chart position was #64. The album also included a cover of "I Scare Myself" by Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks.
In 1986 Dolby Labs sued him for copyright infringement, but eventually let him use the name as long as he included his name Thomas along with Dolby.
Dolby married actress Kathleen Beller who played Kirby Colby on the American televison show Dynasty they lived in Los Angeles. In 1988 he released a new album called Aliens Ate My Buick. The album featured many funky dance tracks. George Clinton wrote the song "Hot Sauce" for the album. Unfortunately, the album did not produce any hit singles and only charted at #70. On July 18, 1988 he opened for Depeche Mode (see 80’s Quest Post) at their big concert at the Rose Bowl in California. In 1990 he appeared in a charity concert performance of Pink Floyd’s The Wall in Berlin. Roger Waters of Pink Floyd arranged the concert. Dolby played keyboards on the songs "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) which was sung by Cyndi Lauper (see 80’s Quest Post) and also played the role of the teacher in the trial sequence.
His next album, 1992’s Astronauts & Heretics also failed to produce a hit single, even though it had a plethora of music stars making guest appearances on the album including Ofra Haza, Eddie Van Halen on "Eastern Bloc" and "Close But No Cigar" (which was the highest charting song off this album at #22), and Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir from The Grateful Dead on "Beauty of a Dream". The bassist on this album, Terry Jackson, participated on 4 songs before he died with 7 other musicians in a 1991 plane accident. The musicians had been travelling with country singer Reba McEntire’s as her backing band for her "For My Broken Heart" tour. The album also included Louisiana musicians and had a zydeco-influences.
In 1993 Dolby went into business and started a high-tech firm called Headspace. Headspace created a downloadable file format called Rich Music Format with the RMF file extension. RMF music files could be played in a browser using a free Beatnik Player plug-in. RMF later allowed music artists to place an encrypted watermark in their music files that prevented them from unauthorized duplication. The company also introduced an interactive virtual-reality music program called The Virtual String Quartet. Dolby used the technology when he released an accompanying video compilation of computer graphics and animation to go along with his 1994 album, Gate to the Mind’s Eye. Dolby later stepped down from his position as CEO of Beatnik, Inc. (although remaining on the Board) to found Retro Ringtongs LLC in 2002. That company produced ringtone asset management software for mobile ringtone businesses. Dolby has produced hundred of ringtones found on cell phone everywhere (including Nokia phones).
Starting in 2001 Dolby served as Musical Director of the annual TED Conference which is attended by the world’s foremost thinkers and inventors. There are many speakers, and as musical director he, along with the TED house band, provides the live musical intros to the sessions.
In January 2006 Dolby made his first solo musical appearance in 15 years at The Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco, California. He then played a string of small dates across America on his "Sole Inhabitant Tour". A recording of two dates at Martyrs in Chicago were recorded for a live CD. A performance at Berklee Performance Center in Boston, MA was made into a DVD which also includes a 30 minute interview and lecture by Dolby at Berklee College of Music. The CD and DVD were available through CD Baby and iTunes.
On July 2006 Dolby played a show at the Scala Club in London, England as a warm-up for his next gig – opening for Depeche Mode at a show they were doing in Hyde Park (London). The show at Scala sold out immediately quickly. The popular reception was a factor in Dolby moving his family from Los Angeles back to England. Where he continued his "Sole Inhabitant Tour" with several dates in the U.K. and released a box set of the Sole Inhabitant CD and DVD. During the "Sole Inhabitant Tour" Dolby performed a new song called "Your Karma Hit My Dogma" which was about Kevin Federline (Britney Spears’ ex-husband) unauthorized use of a sample from Mobb Deep’s song "Got It Twisted", and Mobb Deeps’s unauthorized use of a sample from Dolby’s "She Blinded Me With Science". The title of the song was taken from a bumper sticker which Dolby saw on a car in San Francisco.
In May 2009 a CD/DVD set called The Singular Thomas Dolby was released. The CD is a compilation containing remasters of previous singles, and the DVD contains all of the previously filmed videos.
In November 2010 Dolby released a three part album called A Map of the Floating City. As he worked on the album, EP’s of the first two sections were initially made available to Dolby’s online fan community (The Flat Earth). The EP’s were called Amerikana (released June 16, 2010), Oceana (released November 29, 2010), the third section of the full-length album was called Urbanoia, but was not released as a download to the online fans. The songs on this section were used as part of the Map of the Floating City online game. The game was available to be played from June – August 2011. Players could earn free song downloads from Dolby’s album. The winner won a private performance by Thomas Dolby.
Dolby’s hit "She Blinded Me With Science" was used as the theme song to the pilot of the American comedy television program The Big Bang Theory. Although later episodes no longer included it as the theme song.
Today Dolby speaks at numerous technology conferences, In March 2012 he will be speaking the DESIGN West confererence in San Jose, CA for UBM Electronics.



It's poetry in motion
She turned her tender eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
Mmm - but she blinded me with science
"She blinded me with science!"
And failed me in biology

When I'm dancing close to her
"Blinding me with science - science!"
I can smell the chemicals

Mmm - but it's poetry in motion
and when she turned her eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
She blinded me with science
"She blinded me with science!"
And failed me in geometry

When she's dancing next to me
"Blinding me with science - science!"
I can hear machinery
'Blinding me with science - science!"

It's poetry in motion
and now she's making love to me
The spheres are in commotion
The elements in harmony
She blinded me with science
"She blinded me with science!"
And hit me with technology

'Good heavens Miss Sakamoto - you're beautiful!"

I don't believe it!
There she goes again!
She's tidied up and I can't find anything!
all my tubes and wires
And careful notes
And antiquated notions
but - it's poetry in motion
And when she turned her eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
Mmm - she blinded me with science
"She blinded me with science!"
She blinded me with ...