100 Greatest Songs of the 1980’s #81 Thomas Dolby – Airwaves

Released : 1981

Briefly, it seemed that the meek might inherit the earth. Engineered by futuristic lab natives like Kraftwerk and Landscape, the new world of synthesisers in pop which coincided with the beginning of the decade felt like it was being controlled by scientists and mathematicians, technocrats who knew what was best for us.

Thomas Dolby it seemed could be the prince of this new, cerebral order; the son of a professor of ancient Greek archaeology, he built his own legendarium by claiming he’d been born in Cairo and the cover of his 1981 album The Golden Age of Wireless featured him as if performing surgery on his own equipment.

Perhaps because of this ..Wireless remains one of the decade’s largely undiscovered tracts, despite Dolby’s later brief flirtation with the charts courtesy of the arch-boffin himself, Magnus Pyke. Airwaves is it’s most elegant moment, a song which ignores the frantic traditions of it’s peers and makes romance from the invisible world of frequencies and signals around us. If this was a new age, it was a sweet, brief one.

 

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