I love Gary Numan, as an artist and as a human.
He’s an honest, down to earth, straight talking family man who has stuck by his music beliefs for over 40 years and not turned into a touring classics jukebox. The ultimate of respect is due for those few facts alone. He also speaks very openly about the fact that he has Asperger’s, and how he personally sees it as a gift. All these things make him a cool person in my eyes, before I even begin to chat about his music.
As an 8 year old who up until then had been brought up on a diet of the vocal greats such as Abba, Kenny Rogers and Charley Pride, i remember watching Kid Jensen introduce Numan on Top Of The Pops and being transfixed by his persona and hypnotised by this eerie synth music that I didn’t understand, but for some reason absolutely loved. I was too young to appreciate the term ‘surreal’, but I now appreciate that’s what I felt inside back then. There was a futuristic kind of cool about the whole band, they were from a different beautiful dimension that I wanted to be a part of. Who else would have put the drummer in front of the band back then?
‘The Pleasure Principle’ was Numan’s first solo album and still remains an absolute winner. For me, I now appreciate this masterpiece as being one of the pivotal moments of electronic synth music, on a par of importance with other great albums from the likes of Kraftwerk & Visage, then Human League, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode etc.
Where do you start on the songs, ‘Metal’, ‘Films’ ‘M.E’ (which famously went on to be a massive sampled hit for Basement Jaxx) ‘Tracks’ and not forgetting the pretty substantial ‘Cars’ Full of complete winners throughout.
This music has 100% stood the test of time and when you listen through this album in its entirety for the first time in a while, it just brings his level of genius home again. There’s a level of very subtle flanging and reverb on the Minimoog and Polymoog keyboards throughout this album which just adds a whole new dimension to the spaciness of the music for its time.
Do you know how something that moves you as a kid has a habit of sticking with you throughout your life, well that’s how I feel about this guy’s music. His last album ‘Savage (Songs From A Broken World)’ was one of my most played albums of 2018 and took Numan to an entirely new place for me. Once again, he upped the ante.
For those who don’t know, his new album ‘Intruder’ lands this Fri..21st and my tasty, limited edition double red vinyl copy should be zooming its way across the Irish sea very shortly. I am living for it!! I shall be lighting a candle, pouring a glass of Rioja and listening in its entirety.
I will never stop appreciating this man’s songwriting, synth chord progressions and unique voice, he is still an absolutely ground-breaking recording artist at 63, there’s not many left who can hold a title like that.