Thomas Dolby

From Academic Kids

Thomas Dolby was born Thomas Morgan Robertson on October 14, 1958, and is a British musician. His father was a professor of history. The "Dolby" nickname comes from the name Dolby Laboratories, and was given to him by friends impressed with his studio tinkering. Dolby Laboratories was reportedly very displeased with Robertson using the company name as his own stage name and sued him, trying to stop him from using the name Dolby entirely. Eventually, they succeeding in restricting him from using the word Dolby in any other context other than with the name Thomas.

He is associated with synth pop, a pop music form incorporating electronic instruments. His most recognized song is "She Blinded Me With Science" with sound samples from Magnus Pyke although he describes this track as his least favourite. Most of Dolby's work covers a wide range of musical styles and moods distinct from the high-energy pop sound of his few, better known commercial successes.

In 1993, Dolby established himself as a successful business entrepreneur after founding Beatnik Inc. (formally Headspace), a technology company specializing in mobile phone digital audio formats, such as polyphonic ring tones for mobile phones. [1] (

While still remaining on the company board, Dolby stepped down from his position as CEO of Beatnik to pursue other technologically innovative interests, such as founding Retro Ringtones LLC in 2002, which produces the RetroFolio(TM) ring tone asset management software suite for companies involved in the mobile phone ring tone business. At the second annual Mobile Music Awards, Miami, Florida in 2004 RetroFolio won best of Show and Best New Technology awards.

Dolby's musical talents have also been put to use recently creating hundreds of digital polyphonic ring tones now found on mobile phones everywhere (including the polyphonic version of the imfamous Nokia signature theme,) which can be sampled or purchased at He is often a major speaker at technology conferences such as Comdex, Websphere and Nokia.

Dolby performed at the Live Aid concert in London as part of David Bowie's band.

He has also worked as a producer and a soundtrack composer for both movies and video games.

In July 1998, Thomas received a Lifetime Achievement in Internet Music award from Yahoo! Internet Life.



  • The Golden Age of Wireless (1982)
  • The Flat Earth (1984)
  • Howard The Duck Soundtrack (tracks) (1986)
  • Music From The Film 'Gothic' (1987)
  • Aliens Ate My Buick (1988)
  • "The Mirror Song" (from Toys soundtrack) (1992)
  • Astronauts and Heretics (1992)
  • Retrospectacle (best-of) (1994)
  • The Gate To The Mind's Eye (video soundtrack and album) (1994)
  • 12x12 (remix compilation) (1999)
  • Forty: Live (2001)
  • One Of Our Submarines (collection of remixes of original 1981 song) (2003)

Collaborations and connections

The following artists have worked with Thomas Dolby:


Mobb Deep's song Got it Twisted contains the rhythm from "She Blinded me with Science" at a slower speed.

External Links



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