Song of the Day, May 14: She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby

Today’s song is She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby. There was nothing like it. Although by mid-1983 synth-based songs were becoming more prevalent on the U.S. airwaves, this song’s blend of dance rhythms, dominant synth sounds, and quirky humor were unlike anything else. Added to the mix were the wondrous statements of Dr. Magnus Pyke (a sort of British precursor to Bill Nye the Science Guy) shouting “Science!” and intoning “Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto, you’re beautiful.” The song was released in the U.K. and then remixed for the U.S. I’m partial to the original version, finding the heavy bass and pointless drum machine solo in the remix a bit irritating. The song’s success also led to its inclusion on subsequent releases of Dolby’s first album, the brilliant Golden Age of Wireless

Science was a mainstay of the spring of 1983. While it was quirky in many ways, it was brilliantly constructed and just different enough to have a strong appeal. At its heart, it was also a song about how love (or at least desire) can be baffling — not too far afield from pop songs of any era.

It’s poetry in motion
And when she turned her eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
Mmm, but she blinded me with science

Although it got stuck at #5 for four weeks (behind powerhouses like Beat It, Let’s Dance, and Flashdance…What A Feeling) its longevity on the charts brought it in at #23 on the year-end Billboard wrap-up for 1983. (That was ahead of five of the #1s of that year.) Sadly, further chart success eluded Dolby. While not a true One Hit Wonder — he logged two more hits, Europa and the Pirate Twins (#67) and Hyperactive! (#62) — he never hit the Top 40 again. He had better success in the U.K., where he had a number of Top 40 hits. Strangely, Science was not one of them, peaking at #49.

Enjoy this wonderful song and video, which peaked on this date in 1983.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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