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i ♥ gary numan

September 2, 2013

When I first heard “Cars” growing up, I thought Gary Numan was just another cheesy, one-hit wonder whose one hit, while catchy, was overplayed. Most of the time, it went in one ear and out the other. Like so many others, I was absolutely clueless.

But then I bought The Pleasure Principle and listened to it several times. I was initially inspired by the character “Vince” from the show The Mighty Boosh, a big Gary Numan fan himself, to actually give one of his albums a try. I was admittedly unimpressed the first few goes, but the more I listened, the more I began to appreciate how ahead of its time it was, and how talented of a musician Numan is. Even today, The Pleasure Principle sounds relatively modern, with layers of moody electronic soundscapes, which makes it that much more impressive seeing as it was released almost 34 years ago, when I was all of one.

Next I bought Replicas and it quickly made its way onto my top five favourite albums of all times list; the albums dark, cold, brooding, lonely atmosphere not unlike the Philip K. Dick-inspired lyrics, futuristic while somehow nostalgic at the same time. Released the same year as The Pleasure Principle, Replicas completely blew me away, and it really struck me how much of a pioneer Numan was, particularly his influence on the electronic/industrial scene.

From there I started exploring his more recent, industrial releases like Pure and was equally impressed. The Plan, a collection of early post-punk demos from his Tubeway Army days, soon found its way onto my iPod, as did the newly released Dead Son Rising, a collection of reworked songs that didn’t make it onto his last three albums. Both became instant favourites.

Since buying my first Gary Numan album three years ago, he’s gone from merely being “the ‘Cars’ guy” in my world to one of my favourite artists of all time. I fucking ♥ Gary Numan, and I can’t wait until Splinter drops next month. And at 55, he can still put on a damn good show too.

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