Hyperactive – Thomas Dolby | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#62), Mainstream Rock (#39) and Hot Dance/Disco – Club Play (#37); 1984

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Teen Thomas Robertson loved tinkering with electronics and building his own synthesizers. Such geek activities earned him the nickname “Dolby” – after the premier audio tape noise reduction system – from his friends. By 1979 he could be found playing with Bruce Wooley’s Camera Club. After the Camera Club gig, he hired on with Lene Lovich’s band; providing her with a mid-charting UK single, Tiny Toy, in 1981. From there it was on to solo singles as well as session work for Foreigner, Robyn Hitchcock, and Joan Armatrading. Somehow Dolby even found time to write and produce Magic’s Wand for rap trio Whodini. 1982 saw the release of The Golden Age Of Wireless and its massive 1983 Stateside smash single, She Blinded Me With Science. After Europa And The Pirate Twins (Dolby’s debut 1981 UK chart single) came and went on the US Hot 100, Hyperactive – featuring guest vocalist Adele Bertei from the Contortions – appeared: Dolby’s last chart single.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Colin Thurston

Lyrics Written by:

  • Simon Le Bon
  • John Taylor
  • Roger Taylor
  • Andy Taylor
  • Nick Rhodes