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The Speed of Sound Audiobook

The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology

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Publisher's Summary

The remarkable story of rising to the top of the music charts, a second act as a tech pioneer, and the sustaining power of creativity and art.

Thomas Dolby's hit songs "She Blinded Me with Science" and "Hyperactive!" catapulted him to international fame in the early '80s. A pioneer of New Wave and Electronica, Thomas combined a love for invention with a passion for music, and the result was a new sound that defined an era of revolutionary music. But as record company politics overshadow the joy of performing, Thomas finds a surprising second act.

Starting out in a rat-infested London bedsit, a teenage Thomas Dolby stacks boxes by day at the grocery and tinkers with a homemade synthesizer at night while catching the Police at a local dive bar, swinging by the pub to see the unknown Elvis Costello, and starting the weekend with a Clash show at a small nightclub. London on the eve of the 1980s is a hotbed for music and culture, and a new sound is beginning to take shape, merging technology with the musical energy of punk rock. Thomas plays keyboards in other bands' shows and, with a bit of luck, finds his own style, quickly establishing himself on the scene and recording breakout hits that take radio, MTV, and dance clubs by storm. The world is now his oyster, and sold out arenas, world tours, even a friendship with Michael Jackson become the fabric of his life.

But as the record industry flounders and disillusionment sets in, Thomas turns his attention to Hollywood. Scoring films and computer games eventually leads him to Silicon Valley and a software start-up that turns up the volume on the digital music revolution. His company barely survives the dot-com bubble, but finally even the mavericks at Apple, Microsoft, Netscape, and Nokia see the light. By 2005 two thirds of the world's mobile phones embed his Beatnik software. Life at the zenith of a tech empire proves to be just as full of big personalities, battling egos, and roller-coaster success as his days spent at the top of the charts.

The Speed of Sound is the story of an extraordinary man living an extraordinary life, a single-handed quest to make peace between art and the digital world.

©2016 Thomas Dolby (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

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4.8 (48 )
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  •  
    JohnOndo 10-18-16
    JohnOndo 10-18-16 Member Since 2016
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    "A tribute to an artist finding home."

    As an artist and entrepreneur or and a bit of a geek I found this book to be riveting from beginning to end great highs and lows. Whether you are a child of the 80s, entrepreneur of the 90s or just someone who wants to find them selves you need to experience this book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol M. Reske MD USA 11-30-16
    Carol M. Reske MD USA 11-30-16

    bead crazy

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    "Remarkable Renaissance Man"

    What a remarkable tale if a remarkable man. Take a listen to this for yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Marina Del Rey, CA, United States 11-20-16
    Rob Marina Del Rey, CA, United States 11-20-16 Member Since 2014
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    "I met Thomas in 1998 on business"

    it was interesting to learn how is path unfolded, while my path slowly took me up the hill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, United States 11-13-16
    Richard GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, United States 11-13-16 Member Since 2010

    RHooper

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    "Great story!"

    I would easily recommend this audiobook to anyone who likes a great story especially if you like music!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phill Lawson-Shanks 11-05-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Such a significant contribution to the technology landscape"

    An honest and humble relaying of his place in the history and ubiquity of tech.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Smith ALPHARETTA, GA, US 10-31-16
    Tim Smith ALPHARETTA, GA, US 10-31-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Wonderful insights!"

    I loved hearing Thomas' story in his own words, and getting a real picture of the times and struggles to being so unique an artist in those times. To move from a pop artist to a tech innovator might seem obvious for the historical Dolby, but the organic, non traditional way in which he approached those different worlds gave both a real human feel, exciting and mind opening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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