Thursday, September 29, 2016

"Hyperactive" by Thomas Dolby

Song#:  1803
Date:  02/25/1984
Debut:   88
Peak:  62
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Synthpop, New Wave

Pop Bits:  Electronic music whiz Dolby grabbed a hit with his quirky tune "She Blinded Me with Science" (#5). Taken from his 1982 LP The Golden Age of Wireless, Dolby now had the daunting task of trying to follow-up that distinct single. His attempt at it resulted in this song from his next album The Flat Earth. Unfortunately, folks didn't latch on to this single like they did "Science" and it stopped short of the top half of the Pop chart. It didn't do much better at Dance (#37) or Rock (#39). Boosted by solid reviews, the album made it to #35, but then faded quickly. Dolby would never hit the Pop singles chart again, however his next LP Aliens Ate My Buick would make a brief appearance on the Album chart at #70. Although his time in the pop spotlight was short, Dolby has had success with other ventures such as soundtracks, online gaming, heading up two digital/technical media companies, and even being the musical director of all the TED conferences since 2001.

ReduxReview:  I've mentioned before in previous posts that trying to follow-up distinct, near-novelty hits is painfully difficult. However, I thought Dolby was going to do it with this song. It has a quirkiness that is in the same vein as "Science," yet it was different enough to not be considered just a rehash of "Science." Although the tempo reflects the title, it may have just been too intense of a pace for some folks, especially at Dance. I absolutely loved it and was hoping the song would score, but sadly it stalled before it could really catch on. The song is crazy, loaded with effects, exciting, very 80s, and is brilliantly produced. In other words, it was right up my ally.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) In addition to his own solo work, Dolby also assembled a side project with other musicians called Dolby's Cube. The studio-only "band" would release a few singles including two charting effort,s 1983's "Get Out of My Mix" (#80 UK) and 1985's "May the Cube Be with You" (#82 UK). Dolby also used the moniker when writing music for the notorious 1986 box office bomb Howard the Duck. The title song was written by Dolby and George Clinton and performed in conjunction with the movie's fictional band, Cherry Bomb. Dolby also made a cameo in the film as a rock club bartender.  2) Dolby originally wrote this for Michael Jackson. After meeting Jackson in 1982, Dolby set out to write a song for the artist. He came up with this tune and submitted to Jackson. Unfortunately, he never heard back from Jackson's camp so Dolby decided to record the song himself.


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