Replicas was his first number 1 album. This Replicas Live DVD was filmed on the night of his 50th birthday at the Manchester Academy and so was THE show of the tour to have a ticket for. It was an amazing night. The DVD contains every song played that night including the three encore, non Replicas, songs: Cars, Everyday I Die and A Prayer For The Unborn. The 2008 Replicas tour was put together so that Gary Numan could celebrate two important anniversaries, 30 years as a professional musician and his 50th birthday, with the fans, the people that have made his long career possible and given him the life he's been able to enjoy. It was felt that the songs played on the tour should be taken from the 1979 Replicas album, and those associated with it, as that was the album that launched the Gary Numan career.
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.
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.
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.
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…
The Best of Gary Numan 1978–1983 is a double disc compilation album of Gary Numan's singles and selected album tracks released on the Beggars Banquet Records label. It was promoted by the remixed re-release of "Cars". The contents of the enclosed twelve page booklet are identical to the one included with the previously released Exhibition compilation album. It contains various pictures from the years in question and an extensive chronological essay by Francis Drake.
By the release of their second album, Replicas, Gary Numan was the undisputed focal point and leader of icy electro-punkers Tubeway Army. And the move proved to be massively successful back home in the U.K., where both the album and the single "Are 'Friends' Electric?" topped the charts. The band had made a conscious effort to streamline the sound heard on its 1978 self-titled debut – the distorted guitar riffs were played on Moog synthesizers instead, and Numan had perfected his faux-space-age persona.