Thomas Dolby | The Sole Inhabitant DVD

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Thomas Dolby

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Electronic: Pop Crossover Electronic: Electronica Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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The Sole Inhabitant DVD

by Thomas Dolby

Warm, soaring electronica, with bold textures and thoughtful lyrics, from an authentic original who influenced a whole generation of musicians.
Genre: Electronic: Pop Crossover
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Leipzig Is Calling
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2. One of Our Submarines
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3. I Live In A Suitcase
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4. Flying North
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5. The Flat Earth
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6. Budapest By Blimp
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7. Windpower
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8. Europa And The Pirate Twins
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9. Hyperactive
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10. She Blinded Me With Science
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11. Airhead
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Album Notes
Just when you think the 21st century might finally have caught up with Thomas Dolby, he takes another giant musical and technological leap. The artist who pioneered the marriage of technology and art, who first gave synthesizers soul, puts a camera in his brain and takes us on a visual trip inside his head, his heart, and his music; showing us at one and the same time where it came from and where it's going.

This live concert DVD was filmed in September 2006 at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. The sold out audience that night saw one of the best performances from Dolby's 'Sole Inhabitant' tour, which has thrilled crowds across the USA throughout the year.

The 'Sole Inhabitant' tour dates received high praise from critics. The Chicago Tribune wrote, “The audience seemed mesmerized by Dolby’s compositional and musical dexterity…Far from coming off as strictly a nostalgia act, the evening unfolded as a celebration of his past accomplishments and a harbinger for his future as a revitalized performer.” The Orange County Register added, “Most people’s knowledge of Dolby begins and ends with ‘She Blinded Me With Science,’ a sly slice of synth-funk from a superior album (The Golden Age of Wireless) whose variety and depth went far beyond its artificial surface. Indeed, for those who sought him out — certainly for scores of electronica acts who routinely cite him as an influence — Dolby was one-of-a-kind, a do-it-yourself electro wizard whose work conjured warmth and soul from machines whose output in other hands was pure digital chill.” The Washington Post summed it up: “When he whooshed into ‘Europa and the Pirate Twins,’ Dolby sounded startlingly relevant, no easy trick for a talented artist whose entire career is usually unfairly surmised in a single, shouted phrase.”

[NOTE: while stocks last, you can buy an individually numbered and autographed version of this DVD at ]

[ATTENTION NON-US CUSTOMERS: This DVD is formatted for 'all regions'. However it is NTSC standard, not PAL. Most DVD players and PCs can play both standards. Check your user manual to be sure!]


to write a review

Jeff Joplin

A logical continuation of Dolby's musical evolution...
TMDR's Sole Inhabitant project is a brilliant reinvention of the never-ending evolution of Dolby's music & influence. Dynamic & powerful performances abound in both the CD & DVD, which closely examines his MO on both composing & performing. An illuminating & (often informally) entertaining offering from a TRUE original! For ALL fans of music, not just TMDR's!


DVD Thomas Dolby The Sole Inhabitant Live
As a big fan of Thomas Dolby over the years I am very happy with this material. A great one-man setting performance of some of his best songs. I liked also the introductions and interview on this dvd. A high quality product!


Dolby Is Back and Better Than Ever
We watch this DVD over and over again. It gets watched more than any other concert DVD in our collection. It is fascinating because Dolby shows us what he is doing. My daughter wants piano lessons now. A few technical glitches on the DVD but otherwise excellent.

Rev. Syung Myung Me/Steve.FM

Who knew Solar Satellites could rock so hard?
Dolby was the only performer on stage during his set (aside from a couple techs to take care of the video aspect) -- which isn't too terribly unusual, except that nothing was canned. Most folks would just play with a laptop now, doing the basic backing tracks while they play the lead instrument and sing, and back in the day, it was the same thing, only with a reel-to-reel. (There's an amusing story of one early They Might Be Giants show where a reel unspooled and their manager had to go into the audience and collect the meters of tape while the Johns sort of screwed around dumbfounded.)

This might be good enough for most people.... but NOT Thomas Dolby. For every song, he built them live! He first laid down the drum tracks and looped it, then did his bass riffs, looped that, any other riffs that needed to be looped (keep in mind, this is all in time to where they'd come in on the song as well), and then when that was done, he'd play the lead and sing.

As if that weren't enough, he had a special headset on -- headphones for monitors, a microphone and vocoder included, and, best of all, a small video camera attached to the side of his head, so we could see what he saw. He used this to great effect -- showing us how he built a couple of songs from the ground up. (If you're curious, they were "The Flat Earth", which he didn't sing, sadly, and "Hyperactive!" which he did sing, and I didn't realize was so complex with the various layers of bass and drums going on.)

Perhaps the best thing about Thomas Dolby is his incredbily infectious enthusiasm about, well, everything. He genuinely is interested in everything and wants to share it with the world -- not to make him feel like the Holder Of All Knowledge (though he basically IS -- dude owned the company and helped develop the software that allows polyphonic ringtones, man), but because -- and this is the part that I just dig -- this stuff is NEAT. His army of really cool synth toys (his word!) are COOL. They're really interesting, but more over, they're just NEAT. The solar satellites that send information back to Earth about the gases being emitted from the sun? That's NEAT -- and it's EVEN COOLER that it sends it back in a 3-D image! How cool is that?! We're finding out about stuff that's 93 million miles away, and not only that, but it comes in a cool, green 3-D cartoon! That's so neat that Thomas Dolby took that data and converted them into sounds on his synthesizer... which he used in that night's version of "Windpower". How cool is that?

The other great thing is that Dolby seemed genuinely taken aback by the overwhelming positive response by the crowd, who knew all the songs and wanted as much as he could give us. The encore was great -- he said he didn't actually have any other songs worked out, but he'd play around... and out of the "Hyperactive!" sample-set, he built "Airhead", and I'm pretty sure he wasn't kidding when he said he was just fooling around and didn't have anything like that planned.

It's always great to see a show where the performer's doing it because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to. Thomas Dolby didn't HAVE to go out on tour -- he doesn't need the money, he doesn't have a new record out, nothing. He just WANTED to because he enjoys performing. And that really comes across -- he was having fun, playing his music in new arrangements, sharing information with the crowd, and just coming off as a genuinely personably, brilliant, fun, nice guy. He strikes me as just the kind of person it'd be great to know -- just sit and talk with him. He's got that infectious curiosity and brilliance that just makes him a joy to listen to and it's easy to come away knowing exactly what he's talking about, no matter how big it is, be it audio software, new synthesizers, or orbiting balls of machinery in close proximity to the sun. (I suppose I could invoke Richard Feynman here, since he seemed to have a similar skill set when it came to being excited about science and knowledge and sharing it with everyone just for the sake of "Hey, lookit this cool thing! Isn't it cool?!")

If you're not in Seattle, and if Thomas Dolby is coming to your town -- you MUST go.

If you're in Seattle and you missed this, the next time he comes around -- you have no excuse. In fact, I would recommend perhaps looking at the tourdates and seeing if there's another show you can make it to. Even if you have to fly somewhere.

It's worth it.

In the meantime, get this DVD and watch it over and over.

david oreilly

old classic td played in a mellower style love it
this cd comes up with a live slightly less edgy take on oringal tracks if first cd of his would make you wanttolook into his back catalouge highly recamend this cd makes me wish for an album of new material to see in which direction he will go in next


Thomas Dolby DVD
I brought Thomas Dolby DVD, and it blow my mind and i love it.. since i kept missed several of his show and now i have this and i wil always cherish this DVD. Thank you for the wonderful DVD..

Steve Mitchell

Just as good as live!
I saw TD last year live and this DVD is great. Love the visuals and the music, sound levels perfect. All in all very well produced, far beyond regular concert movies.

Per Myklebust

I bought the DVD because I have all his albums and I just couldn't wait to watch him doing his stuff live. I think Thomas writes great songs with beautiful melodies and interesting chords. Classic songwriting. Being a bit of a tech-head myself, I also found his guided tour very interesting.

James Miller (Arioch on TMDR forum)

Welcome back, Thomas!
This is the DVD of the recent tour that Thomas did earlier in 2006. I was fortunate enough to see him for that tour and this live performance (from Boston?) captures the essense of the artist that is Thomas Dolby. Great music, enlightening details about the songs performed and an in depth interview make this one a 'MUST HAVE'. Thank you, Thomas. If you keep performing, we'll keep showing up.

John Savale

Very Good stuff
I'd like to thank Thomas Dolby for a personal concert he gave us.Very good intimate stuff.Nice to have him back.Dolby still has it!
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