One-hit Wonder: Thomas Dolby (1982)

She Blinded Me with Science
Single: Thomas Dolby
Album: The Golden Age of Wireless
Released: 1982
Genre: Synth-pop, new wave
Songwriters: Thomas Dolby, Jo Kerr
Producer: Thomas Dolby

"She Blinded Me with Science" by Thomas Dolby, released in 1982, peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. His only hit in the US, the tune ranked number 13 on VH1's "100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s" and 76 on their list of "Greatest Songs of the '80s." In 2002, the network named it number 20 on its list of the "100 Greatest One-hit Wonders." The song barely made the Top 60 in Dolby's native United Kingdom, peaking at number 56 on the UK Singles Chart.
"It's probably the most 
frivolous song I've ever written."
Thomas Dolby to Songfacts
In a reversal of the usual order, Dolby wrote "She Blinded Me with Science" to fit a planned video and then directed the clip. He envisioned a silent movie, like the old Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton films, about a scientist who falls in love with his lab assistant. Said Dolby: 

"This was just when music videos were starting to come to the fore, and I was very keen to try out my talent as a music video director. I saw music videos as a silent movie with a soundtrack, so I managed to persuade my record company to let me take a shot at writing and directing one. "

Magnus Pyke
Magnus Pyke

As it were, I came up with a script just like visiting a home for deranged scientists and this sort of mad professor type played by Magnus Pyke and all these loonies around the place. And a gorgeous Oriental assistant whom I was madly in love with. So that was how the song 'She Blinded Me With Science' came about. I was writing it to accompany a video.

Magnus Pyke was a famous TV show host for a children's educational show in England. His trademark was yelling "Science!" throughout the show. Besides those interjections in Dolby's video, Pyke delivers other lines in a mad scientist manner, such as "Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto, you're beautiful!

Most of the music was made with a Moog synthesizer. Dolby says, "When I started writing songs, synthesizers were still quite a rarified luxury. They were quite hard to get hands-on and quite hard to operate. And when you did, there was still quite a lot of resistance in the mainstream to music made electronically.

At 19 years old, Dolby sent a tape with some of his songs to a London music publisher. The super-producer heard the demo and called Dolby to work on Foreigner's 4 album. He played the synth intro to "Waiting For A Girl Like You." Dolby also worked on Def Leppard's Pyromania album.


Popular posts from this blog

The Goldcoast Singers: Plastic Jesus (1962)

Rebel Rebel: David Bowie (1974)