This is a live CD, recorded at two special invitation-only Thomas Dolby concerts. The artist is also making available a limited number of autographed, hand-numbered copies.
The son of an eminent British Archaeologist, Thomas Dolby began his performing career beneath the streets of Paris, playing his synthesizer-based songs in the Metro subway.
In the late 70's he broke out of bedsitterland as a session player, and was a featured keyboardist on albums by artists ranging from Lene Lovich (for whom he wrote "New Toy") to the Thompson Twins, to Joan Armatrading ("Walk Under Ladders"), to Def Lepperd and Foreigner (recognize the synth intro to "Waiting for a Girl like You"?) He used the proceeds from these gigs to pay for his first album, the curiously prophetic "Golden Age of Wireless."
The advent of MTV brought Dolby increased exposure: His well-produced and intelligent videos stood out from the pack, and his songs "She Blinded Me With Science" and "Hyperactive" became huge hits. Several world tours further established him as one of the definitive artists of the 1980's. This led to guest spots playing with superstars like Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, and Joni Mitchell, and offers of film scoring work from the likes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
Numerous awards and five Grammy nominations later, Thomas had achieved worldwide recognition and commercial success as an artist. Yet by the early 90's his music had become increasingly personal and atmospheric. The lush soundscapes that underpinned his evocative vocals won him fans both of ambient music and of the singer-songwriter genre. This fanatical following has made Dolby a subject of endless discussion and debate on the Internet, and today's fans tend to favor this more intimate side of Thomas' music over the more widely-known commercialism of "Science."
The audio technology company Mr. Dolby founded in 1996 has kept him largely out of the musical limelight. Beatnik, Inc., created a key technology for sound on the Web, and is currently enjoying tremendous success in the mobile phone market.
It is therefore a very welcome surprise that he has turned an invitation-only private performance into a new CD.
"Forty" captures the unique and rare moment when Thomas returned to the musical stage after a lengthy sojourn in Silicon Valley.
He chose a set of his personal favorite songs, updated them to reflect modern times, and delivers them here in a touching and poignant manner in front of a small audience.
This album suggests that, as and when Thomas decides to get back into music and release some brand new and original studio material, we can look forward to a growing maturity in his voice and his arranging and performing style.