Sunday, October 24, 2004

Thomas Dolby

Ten years or so ago, I bought his greatest hits on a whim. It sat on a shelf for a while. One night, I put it on and just let it play while I was reading. About midway through Budapest By Blimp, it had my full attention. Have you ever liked a song and wished it would not end? I was in love with this song, and it happened to last a wonderfully atmospheric eight minutes and 39 seconds. The connection was made.

A decade later I have all of his studio albums and most of the rarities. The rarest stuff never made it off vinyl, so tracking them down has not been fun, but well worth it all the same. Every album offers something a little different, and a nice portrait of where he was at the time. This is the very rare instance of someone moving forward with each release, but injecting each with adventure and personality. All the more regretful that he only has four true studio releases, and has put out no original music for ten. His departure from music took place the year I discovered him, strangely enough.

A few years ago, he released a live album recorded on his fortieth birthday. It is a quiet performance of a few of his favorite releases recorded in front of a group of friends with minimal accompaniment. From his voice you can tell he hasn't done this for a while, but I love the disc, and that just adds to its charm. That was 2002, so maybe he'll put something out soon. Probably not, but in the meantime, I'll continue my search through his back catalog, and hope that all of those will hit CD in my lifetime...

[Listening to: Valley of the Mind's Eye- Thomas Dolby - The Gate to the Mind's Eye]

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