One of Thomas Dolbyâ€™s earliest singles (even before THAT song, I believe) was the incredible â€œAirwaves,â€ a song I think was tough for him to equal â€“ itâ€™s mellow and epic all at once, with mysterious lyrics and a fantastic bridge with great lines:
Control has enabled
the abandoned wires again, but
the copper cables
all rust in the acid rain
that flood the subways with
elements of our corrosion
cable them to me.
Of course, when â€œAirwavesâ€ was released as a single, the bridge was completely excised. Sigh.
â€œAirwavesâ€ didnâ€™t exactly burn up the charts â€“ it was never even released as a single in the States. That ramps up the scarcity factor of todayâ€™s b-side, â€œThe Wreck of the Fairchild,â€ a mostly instrumental funk/reggae/new wave stew with a pretty cool finish that segues directly back to its a-side. â€œFairchildâ€ sounds like a song in progress, something just waiting for a melody line to be written over it, but ultimately scrapped to an obscure b-side, never to appear on any other compilation or collection. Too bad â€“ it would have been interesting to see it fleshed out, since it fits the vibe of Dolbyâ€™s first (and completely essential) album, “Golden Age of Wireless”, which is in dire need of a deluxe re-mastering (complete with original mixes of â€œRadio Silenceâ€ and b-sides â€“ câ€™mon, EMI). It was featured on the initial UK pressing of the LP, but quickly deleted and replaced by â€œOne of Our Submarinesâ€ and a little-known song called â€œShe Blinded Me With Scienceâ€.
â€The Wreck of the Fairchildâ€ was the b-side to â€œAirwaves,â€ released in 1982, and on the first UK pressing of â€œThe Golden Age of Wirelessâ€.