Regular price: $24.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

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

Narrator

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    116
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    101
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Press Play and Enjoy!

Thomas has written a great book on his life and the music industry. I loved all the technical stuff about the computer industry and his journey throw the maze and shenanigans of the computer industry.
I am so glad Thomas narrated his own book, I feel as if I got to know him in a new way. I have loved his music since Blinded me by science and Screen Kiss, I scare myself and Evil twin brother are my favorite songs. can't wait to see what he does next.

Press play and enjoy

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Well written, well read, well done.

I would have no problem listening to this book again. Like his music? Lovely, interesting and most Enjoyable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

blindingly good<br />

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a wonderfully interesting book, with real insight

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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!