We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Speed of Sound Audiobook

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

Regular Price:$24.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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.

More from the same

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (130 )
5 star
 (104)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.7 (122 )
5 star
 (92)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.8 (123 )
5 star
 (103)
4 star
 (17)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    JohnOndo 10-18-16
    JohnOndo 10-18-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Joseph Guillotin San Antone, TX 11-06-17
    Joseph Guillotin San Antone, TX 11-06-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "One day Thomas will tour again..."

    Until then, you have this. You get the feeling TD's brain is wired differently than most. His attention span limited, as his interests are varied and limitless. The MJ anecdote alone makes this a great listen, a pretty good orator as well...wouldn't mind him reading some others work. Well worth the listen/purchase.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Another satisfied customer Saint Louis, MO USA 06-24-17
    Another satisfied customer Saint Louis, MO USA 06-24-17 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating journey - great performance"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely - easy but interesting listen if you're into pop culture, early days of tech, and music


    What did you like best about this story?

    As a one time fan who would lose touch and then re-engage from time to time, the attraction for me was mostly to learn more about his time in the music business - the start, the path, etc. I expected to be less interested in his transformation into a tech entrepreneur, but honestly that was the most interesting part. A really great read/listen. A great performance by the author himself seals the deal for me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Nofsinger 03-11-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bravo"

    Nothing is better than listening to Thomas Dolby tell you about his days on this sphere. Great read & listen! When I heard Thomas narrated his own book, I couldn't pass on getting the audio version too. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 01-24-17
    Steve 01-24-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So much more than a pop star"

    I remember driving in my car with high school friends in the early 80s telling them about my latest musical hero. "You guys have to listen to this album. This guy is perhaps the best composer of our time! Listen to what he does with simple sounds like the click of a typewriter! He is so much more than the geeky guy who sang She Blinded Me With Science." How little did I realize how true that was. Listening to Dolby's memoir, told by himself, was like getting to know my childhood hero all over again and once again discovering that there is so much more depth there than I imagined. What a great story of a life well lived. I can't wait to see what Thomas will do next. Truly inspirational.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EmDee 01-19-17
    EmDee 01-19-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "blindingly good
    "

    Fascinating story and Dolby does a great job reading. A fascinating journey through the technology of the 80s,90s and 2000s.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Thom 01-05-17
    Brian Thom 01-05-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a wonderfully interesting book, with real insight"

    Thomas Dolby has shared with us real insight into culture and technology in this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zachary 12-16-16
    Zachary 12-16-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh, THAT Dolby"

    I had mistakenly purchased this book thinking it was the autobiography of Ray Dolby, the engineer behind Dolby Audio. Turns out Thomas Dolby changed his name after earning the nickname Dolby for tinkering with speakers when he was younger (learned that in the book!). Not one bit disappointed with the purchase. Dolby narrates himself and learning about his career from musician to tech visionary gave a lot of insight into the music industry in the 80s and early stages of Silicon Valley through the 90s. Great read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol M. Reske MD USA 11-30-16
    Carol M. Reske MD USA 11-30-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Remarkable Renaissance Man"

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

    0 of 1 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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.