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.
Upgrading an earlier two-fer CD that curiously omitted great swathes of both albums, the coupling of 1979's breakthrough Replicas and the 1978 demos that comprised The Plan is both chronologically and musically askance – one entire LP, Tubeway Army's eponymous debut, divided these two projects in time, and while it, too, barely hinted at the utter re-evaluation that Gary Numan would soon be making, the jolt would have been a lot less pronounced had some kind of internal logic been adhered to. No complaints, of course, about the bang for your buck. No less than 38 tracks are spread across the two discs, as the original 12-track The Plan and ten-song Replicas are joined by a wealth of bonus tracks, each offering up a full snapshot of Numan's activities at those particular points in time. The Plan adds three more of the demos that were recorded with the original LP's worth, then adds on the six songs recorded during sessions for the band's first two singles, on either side of the main attraction; Replicas is appended by half a dozen session outtakes, two of which were period B-sides.
The 21st studio long-player from the British electronic music legend, Savage (Songs from a Broken World) is the follow-up to 2013's acclaimed Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind), which saw Numan delivering his highest-charting album since 1983's Warriors. A willfully dark, narrative-driven concept album concerning the melding of Eastern and Western cultures in a post-apocalyptic world that's been decimated by the effects of climate change, Savage is awash in ambient horrorscapes, blast-furnace percussion, and electro-goth synth leads that suggest Depeche Mode by way of Nine Inch Nails. Numan made the shift from new wave robot bard to industrial soothsayer in the 2000s or so ago – his adenoidal voice is as captivating as ever – so longtime fans aren't expecting the next Tubeway Army or Pleasure Principle…
Gary Numan is known for robotic, stylized singing. His primitive electronics and pre-"new romantic" sound did nothing for me. A myriad, zealous voices will tell you that Numan was sings "good songs." Now, in this 2-CD collection of Numan interpretations you can hear those good songs without Numan's idiosyncratic delivery. The known and the unknown join to make proto-dance music out of mechanical master's material. Matt Sharp (Weezer) and Damon Albarn (Blur) cover "We Have a Technical." Also on the compilation are Gravity Kills, EMF, The Magnetic Fields, Jesus Jones, the out-of-place hip hop group Underdog (but, there's only one of them), Sukia, The Orb, Pop Will Eat Itself. One of my favorite cuts is "Metal" by Towering Inferno. Brian Eno described their Kaddish album as "frightening" and they are here joined by Eddie Reader. I also am very fond of the two versions of "Are 'Friends' Electric?" Techno rockers Republicaare joined by Numan himself for one version and Belgian discovery An Pierle offers another.
Savage (Songs from a Broken World) is the upcoming twenty-first studio album by English musician Gary Numan. The album was first announced to be a part of a fan-backed Pledge Music Campaign on 12 November 2015. As of May 2017, the campaign has reached 245% of its intended 100% goal. Gary initially intended Savage to have a 2016 release, but was delayed to the second half of 2017. As of 20 May 2017, mastering of the album has been completed as announced on Numan's official Twitter account.
The Radio One Recordings is a compilation album of British musician Gary Numan tracks played live and recorded live for BBC Radio 1. The album brings together the tracks from the July 1989 EP of Tubeway Army's 10 January 1979 and Numan's 29 May 1979 sessions for disc jockey John Peel's show and three tracks broadcast by BBC Radio 1 from the Year of the Child concert held at Wembley Arena on 30 November 1979.