Album: The Golden Age of Wireless
. . .
Or really, MTV!!
Thomas Dolby had already released his debut album, The Golden Age of Wireless in May of 1982, when he suddenly had a clever video idea, which he then storyboarded and wrote a song for. Luckily, that song was the very clever “She Blinded Me With Science,” which meshed perfectly with the video idea.
And I was going to write that it was an instant sensation, but it actually took a bit of time to catch on here in the U.S. — but of course, the endless MTV airplay eventually wore us down as well.
Anchored by dark-sounding snyths and a twichy stop-start beat, “She Blinded Me With Science” was about, you know, being blinded by science. Or sex. Either way, blinded.
It’s poetry in motion
She turned her tender eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
But she blinded me with science
(She blinded me with science!)
Failed me in biology, hey, huh, huh
“She Blinded Me With Science” works because it’s ever-changing — everywhere you turn, there’s some weird new sound effect happening: extra drumbeats, synth bloops, bleats and blorps — and so it never really lets you get a handle on it, and you just end up waiting around for that guy to yell “SCIENCE!”
That guy was a British scientist and TV presenter named Magnus Pyke, and while according to his Wikipedia page, he wrote dozens of papers and was a broadcaster for decades, he will forever be remembered as the guy who (perfectly) yelled “Science!”
Honestly, I’d be fine with that. Just give me one indelible pop culture moment to resonate down through the ages. “She Blinded Me With Science” is another of those songs that became the basis of Twitter running jokes back in the days before that fucking asshole ruined the platform. Somebody would make a factual point and maybe punctuate it with “SCIENCE!” Or if they didn’t, somebody else would respond with “SCIENCE!” You get the point.
My other memory of “She Blinded Me With Science” is during the 1983 or 1984 Air Guitar competition at the CSUF Ampitheatre, a group of students (and I think Jay may have been one of them) decided to — instead of, you know, proper Air Guitar — recreate this video. Onstage. In front of an audience of 100s, maybe even 1000s. That might be the most early-mid 1980s thing ever.
Anyways, powered by that video, “She Blinded Me With Science” was a massive massive smash here in the U.S., making it to #5 on the Billboard charts, and helping to drive a re-released Golden Age of Wireless — which had a longer version of the song as was mandated by law — to #13. In the U.K., however, it was a total stiff, barely breaking into their top 50.
“She Blinded Me With Science” Official Music Video
The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.
Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)
Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page