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Album Review

In the U.S., Gary Numan is remembered as a one-hit-wonder, while back home in his native England, he continued to crank out hit after hit and became a superstar in the process. His icy space-age persona and sound may be forever associated with early-80's British new wave (Flock of Seagulls, early Duran Duran, etc.), but he was the originator, and today seems pretty darned original. Numan was a scholar of the David Bowie Ziggy Stardust-era, and used Bowie's space alien approach as a starting point. While retaining his futuristic lyrics, Gary stripped Ziggy's sound free of the distorted guitar riffing and posturing, and replaced it with clinical synthesizers and a standoffish stage persona. His music also gives off a paranoid vibe at times, as evidenced on the hits "I Die: You Die" and "Are 'Friends' Electric?" But Numan's songs can also sedate you ("Down in the Park"), while other times sneak up on you (the unexpected punk rocker "Bombers"). And of course there's his sole U.S. hit, "Cars," which sounds like a not so distant ancestor to fellow futuristic weirdos Devo.

Customer Reviews


Yes, Gary Numan Electro Numanoid who appealed to the Girls aswell as the Boys with his fan base, Classic 80's pop from a fine artist. Good Tracks essential buys are: Down in the park, We are Glass, I Die you Die, reference to the press of the day! and Are Friends ect...Down Load some classics. Other classic album Telekon.

Lasting Genius

3o years after he burst onto the scene to a mixed reception the genius of Numan has outlasted his detractors. I you are looking to sample Numan this is an excellent place to start.

Biggest hits, but not best

Numan never made the best choices with singles, and this proves it. Premier hits are his highest-charting singles from beggars banquet, and it's rather hit and miss, though more of the former than the latter.
The new mix of "Cars" is very energetic, and injects some new life into a great single.
"I die:You die" sounds fine, if a little muted, whilst AFE and DITP sound as good as they ever have.
We Are Glass remains a stomping anthem too.
And now we hit the uncertainty.
Bombers just wasn't good until living ornaments, we take mystery's edit just feels lacking, "she's got claws" saxophone marked the beginning of the end of Numan's initial brush with fame, and better single material was available on 'Dance' (crash, stories, you are, you are). "Complex" was a beautiful machine ballad, and MFC is a fantastic track.
For a debut, "that's too bad" was ok, but compared to later material, it's pretty basic.
"This Wreckage" was a crap single choice, and even Gary himself admitted it (why not I'm an agent, remind me to smile,I dream of wires or joy circuit?). Again, the single choices proved frustrating.
At least with the two 83 singles of warriors (great lyrics and guitar, no sax, everything the album got wrong) and sister surprise (yeah, there's a sax, but it actually fits for the only time in his career) there's a little consistency and they actually work really well. Also "white boys and heroes" proved that Gary could mix in jazz elements without making the result nauseous to listen to.
Dramatis (Numan's 79-81 band) get their own hit here with Gary's vocals (was it worth the name change?) and frankly, I'm fairly indifferent to it.
Far more interesting is the pounding curiosity of "Stormtrooper in drag", something that should have been on the 'Dance' lp over crap like "boys like me". It's got a great rhythm, an unnerving lyric, and it's the right length, not overstaying it's welcome either.
Finally the original cars is included to show how improved the "Premier Mix" is, but still outclasses half the other songs.
Honestly, this makes an ok introduction to gary numan if you only heard "cars" and were curious to know more. For the fans though, it's a little pointless bar the edit of warriors that cuts off 2 minutes of flailing. Because we already knew that gary never was a singles artist, and most of the album tracks from this period are superior to some of this lot.


Born: 08 March 1958 in Hammersmith, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the founding fathers of synth pop, Gary Numan's influence extends far beyond his lone American hit, "Cars," which still stands as one of the defining new wave singles. That seminal track helped usher in the synth pop era on both sides of the Atlantic, especially his native U.K., where he was a genuine pop star and consistent hitmaker during the early '80s. Even after new wave had petered out, Numan's impact continued to make itself felt; his dark, paranoid vision, theatrically icy alien persona,...
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