Seven great but overlooked albums from the 1980s 

It’s time to revisit the 1980s and dig out some albums that you may have missed or forgotten. These seven from that decade are well worth hearing.
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Two Thomas Dolby albums

Having gone for a double mention on the Lloyd Cole And The Commotions albums I’m doing it again here. Thomas Dolby’s first two albums both deserve a mention. Watching Dolby back in the 1980s was a bit like seeing your science teacher or a laboratory technician let loose in a recording studio. And he certainly played that up with his image and his debut and big hit single "She Blinded Me with Science". 

The song was issued on an EP ahead of Dolby’s first album The Golden Age of Wireless. That 1982 album was repackaged and reissued a couple of times with more tracks that had become hits being added. “…Science” is one of those that wasn’t on the first album release version but was added later. 

Dolby had other great tracks on this album from the start. Have a listen to one of the original tracks “Europa And The Pirate Twins”.  It’s not often a bit of synth-pop has a bluesy harmonica in its intro. That extra came from Andy Partridge of XTC. The song is crammed with all sorts of hooks, pops, rattles, and a quirky chorus. 

Dolby followed up with his second album The Flat Earth in 1984. That featured another strong single in “Hyperactive”, by now he was adding funky rhythms and bass lines to his synth-pop, with some hot brass in there too. “I Scare Myself” was another top tune from this album, still funky and brassy, but with a Latin tinge to it. 

Both albums have plenty of variety in style and all those add in sounds. They had album chart success with The Flat Earth reaching the top twenty in the US and UK and The Golden Age of Wireless also top twenty in the US with the repackaged version. But in terms of sales, they only total 160k for the pair worldwide. 

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