“She Blinded Me with Science” by Thomas Dolby
Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science” is a love song of sorts, though can be more specifically classified as a song of infatuation. As implied by the title, the narrative/lyrics rely heavily on a science-inspired motif. But as can also be deduced via the phrase “she blinded me with science”, what it all basically boils down to is the vocalist being smitten by the addressee, one “Miss Sakamoto”.
As such situations tend to go, i.e. a man falling in love with a lady while “dancing close to her”, it’s like you can read all the books you want but still will not find a concise explanation as to what is actually transpired.
Or put differently, being strongly attracted to someone, especially as in a man being smitten by a lady, is a raw phenomenon of human nature – or physical science, if you will. And that seems to be the general point that Thomas is trying to get across.
Maybe if he wanted to be more poetic, the singer could point out specific things he likes about Miss Sakamoto, such as maybe her hair or her breath or, as generally implied, the way her body moves on the dance floor.
Indeed all lyrics considered, we can safely say that his main attraction to the addressee is primarily, if not entirely physical. So with that in mind, we can conclude by also saying that the “science” being referred to throughout is more of an allusion to female sex appeal than anything else.
So in an artistic way, what Thomas is conclusively putting forth is that once a woman catches a guy’s eye in that sort of way, other less-than-ideal aspects of partnering with her, such as she messing up your lab for instance, just basically get ignored.
Dolby is a musician from the UK. As far as studio albums go, his discography is almost exclusively confined to the 1980s era. And during that time he scored a couple of notable hits which includes, besides the song we’re covering today, the likes of 1984’s Hyperactive.
So by the looks of things, Dolby may not be a particularly well-known musician in his homeland and even less so stateside, where he is considered a one-hit wonder. In fact in a way he has experienced more success in North America than across the pond, even if “She Blinded Me with Science” is his only noteworthy hit as far as the Western Hemisphere goes.
Chart Performance of “She Blinded Me With Science”
This track not only reached number one on Canada Top Singles, but it also fared quite impressively on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 5. But by contrast, it was unable to even make it onto the top half of the UK Singles Chart.
Song’s Date of Release
Dolby released “She Blinded Me with Science” in October of 1982. It was officially issued in the UK by a label called Venice in Peril Records, and in the US that responsibility was handled by the more recognizable Capitol Records.
Writing and Music Video
As the story goes this song does have a very unique origin, as in Dolby writing it for the specific purpose of subsequently creating a music video based on the tune. Note that when this song came out in 1982, that was around the time that music videos in and of themselves first started blowing up.
And the way Dolby perceived this art form was as, in his own words, “a silent movie with a soundtrack”. And he conceptualized this piece while researching “mad scientists” and such characters as portrayed by the late Magnus Pyke (1908-1992), whose voice is actually sampled into this track.
Also during that time, Dolby was ‘madly in love with a gorgeous Oriental assistant’. And we guess it is safe to presume the said assistant is the Miss Sakamoto mentioned in the lyrics.
More Facts about “She Blinded Me with Science”
Dolby also produced this track. He accomplished that task in conjunction with Tim Friese-Greene.
This song has thus far been sampled by a couple of artists. One of the most notable samples is by the infamous Mobb Deep on their 2004 outing Got It Twisted (Remix).
According to Dolby, the Queensbridge rappers actually acquired legal permission before doing so. However, the same cannot be said for Kevin Federline, the professional musician who is best known for having been married to Britney Spears at the time. And even though he seemingly sampled “She Blinded Me with Science”, via Got It Twisted (Remix), in more of a personal, albeit public manner, Dolby still got wind of such and did not respond kindly.
Also interesting to note is that William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame, actually covered this song, backed by Bootsy Collins, in 2011.
This song has also been associated with the highly-successful Big Bang Theory television series.
On which Album is “She Blinded Me with Science”?
It actually appears on two of Dolby’s studio albums. During the song’s first release in 1982, it was later associated with Dolby’s “Blinded by Science” EP. The song was released again in 1983 as one of the singles from Dolby’s debut album (“The Golden Age of Wireless”).
Interesting to Note
Dolby’s career may not have proven sustainable as far as being a pop star goes, but he has used his musical talents to make dough in more behind-the-scenes’ and less-publicized varieties. And he is actually a respected professional in that regard. For instance he was hired to teach a course entitled “Sound on Film” at distinguished John Hopkins University in the mid-aughts.