Forty: Live

Thomas Dolby

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Forty: Live Review

by Greg Prato

A darling of early MTV (it seemed like you couldn't escape the channel's nonstop airing of his humorous "She Blinded Me with Science" clip circa 1982), Thomas Dolby subsequently carved a niche for himself, despite never replicating his initial commercial success. Originally issued as a limited-edition, home-packaged, signed and numbered release (of which only 1,000 were pressed), Dolby's 2003 effort, Forty, was later issued as a more readily available import. Recorded live over a pair of performances in California, this seven-track set shows that Dolby still has a knack for quirky performances -- even 20 years after he first burst onto the new wave scene. Although the aforementioned "She Blinded Me with Science" is nowhere to be found here, several other of Dolby's all-time favorites are, including the moderate MTV hit "Hyperactive," the Danny Elfman-esque "The Ability to Swing," and "One of Our Submarines." While hardcore fanatics will welcome just about any release that has the Thomas Dolby name stamped on it, it's obvious that admirers would have much preferred receiving an all-new studio album (of which Dolby hasn't issued since 1994) than a live set.

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