The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The Pleasure Principle was an important point of departure for Gary Numan, and a significant breakthrough moment in the context of his long and storied career. Released about six months after Replicas, it was an instant commercial success, quickly reaching the dizzy heights of number one in the UK Charts. On this record, his third solo effort (and first under his own name), Numan abandoned guitars completely, instead embracing a more synthetic style of production. The album heralded the purely electronic, distinctly robotic sound that this modern icon has become most famous for today. Numan employed a variety of Moog synthesizers to realise The Pleasure Principle, achieving his trademark sound largely by use of the distinctive ‘Vox Humana’ setting. Throw in a healthy dose of production trickery; including flanging, phasing, layers of reverb, and some solo violin, and you are the rest of the way there! Numan was influenced by the greatest pioneers of electronica - Kraftwerk’s epochal Autobahn ghosts the track ‘Cars’ (the very same synths were used!) – and, subsequently, he influenced a generation of new artists. Numan blazed a trail for Nine Inch Nails’s industrial rock, Afrika Bambaataa’s hip-hop explosion, and even early-2000s club bangers like Basement Jaxx’s immortal ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ A pleasure indeed.