Thursday, December 24, 2015

"Europa and the Pirate Twins" by Thomas Dolby

Song#:  1500
Date:  06/18/1983
Debut:  81
Peak:  67
Weeks:  5
Genre:  New Wave, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Dolby scored a left-field hit with his video-centric song "She Blinded Me with Science" (#5). For his follow-up single, the label reached back to this song that was initially released in the UK in 1981. It was Dolby's first major label release and it reached #45 on the UK singles chart. After the success of "Science," the label brought this song back around for a US release. It stayed in the bottom third of the chart for a few weeks while getting to #37 at Rock. Andy Partridge from the band XTC lends a hand on the harmonica.

ReduxReview:  As much as I liked the wacky "Science," I fell in love with this song. I've played this tune and the album track "Flying North" far more than "Science." I love the story, which brings to mind the WWII era, and the jittery arrangement is terrific. I was really bummed when this song didn't catch on at radio. I thought for sure it would be a hit. Unfortunately it kind of tanked. It was gonna be hard for Dolby to follow-up the novelty-esque of "Science" and I think this song most likely had the best shot. Sadly, folks were not interested. I was though - and still am. I'm probably overrating this, but I don't care as I find it awesome.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  The UK version of Dolby's The Golden Age of Wireless LP contained the instrumental song "The Wreck of the Fairchild." Dolby loosely based the song around the famous 1972 plane crash that took place in the Andes mountains. The plane was carrying members, family and friends of the Uruguayan rugby team when it crashed. A total of 16 people survived out of the original 45 passengers. The survivors were stuck on the mountain for 72 days. They were rescued after two survivors finally made their way through the mountains and found help. The survivors famously resorted to cannibalism in order to survive. Their story was told in the 1993 film Alive starring Ethan Hawke. A retired Argentinian pilot supplied the voice for the radio transmissions on the song. After the success of Dolby's "Science," the US version of the album saw "Fairchild" cut from the lineup in favor of two other tracks, "Leipzig" and "Urges."


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