Gary Numan

I was going to write something on Gary Numan but a YouTube video is worth a thousand words. I’m beginning to think that Numan was the best pop artist this country ever produced.


I’ve sometimes thought how even more amazing Kraftwerk would have been if they’d had Numan’s attitude; he was like a disdainful alien who stared at us as if to say, “you’re not ready, but this is what the future’s going to sound like”.

Until I saw a couple of these videos I’d never realised how similar in sound Numan was to early ’80s Prince. Certainly Prince and Numan used some of the same equipment, but there are other similarities in composition which are pretty striking – the piano intro to the first video could be straight out of Purple Rain…

‘Down In The Park’, 1981

‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’, 1979

‘Me! I Disconnect From You’, 1979

‘We Are So Fragile’, 1979

‘Films’, 1981

‘Metal’, 1981

‘Cars’, 1979

‘We Are Glass’, 1980

‘I Die: You Die’, 1980

‘We Take Mystery (To Bed)’, 1982

The last track’s one that I’d never heard before as I haven’t bought any albums beyond 1981’s ‘Telekon’, but this track from 1982’s ‘I, Assassin’ was apparently big in the early Chicago house scene… which conjures up a nice image.

Posted by Manny Z

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