The first single from Thomas Dolby's 1982 solo debut, The Golden Age of Wireless, "Europa and the Pirate Twins" is a hyperactive synth pop classic, the sort of song that's so desperate to engage the listener's attention that every nook and cranny is stuffed with some sort of ear-grabbing hook: a nagging high-register synth that echoes the vocal melody of the chorus, a clattering electronic drum line that erupts periodically, instruments leaping out unexpectedly and at odd angles, even a bluesy little harmonica solo (courtesy of XTC's Andy Partridge) buried deep in the mix. And all that's just in the intro. The tersely telegraphic lyrics (which Dolby claims are based on a real-life incident) start off with an evocative memory of an adolescent playmate, who later becomes a famous supermodel who snubs him at an airport. Packing a remarkable amount of detail into two short verses and a bridge, the song resolves with a soaring, bittersweet chorus. The remix collection 12x12 features an extended version of the song that adds a negligible 40 seconds.