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Punk / New Wave - Released October 30, 2015 | Beggars Banquet

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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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.
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Electronic/Dance - Released September 15, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

Long gone are the times when Gary Numan juggled with his Minimoog, Polymoog and other ARP Odyssey. Great guru of the synth pop at the end of the seventies and the start of the eighties, the expert in new wave keyboard orgies remains nonetheless a master of the all synth. As proof, this 21th studio recording of the Londoner, which is actually a concept album about the mix of Western and Eastern cultures in a post-apocalyptic world that has become a desert because of global warming. David Bowie’s influence (who has always followed him like a shadow) is of course there. But Numan remains a true director/sound producer able to set up a personal mood in only two measures. And this Savage is no exception to the rule. © CM/Qobuz
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Electronic/Dance - Released November 23, 2018 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

Alternative & Indie - Released January 19, 2018 | Beggars Banquet

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 25, 1997 | Beggars Banquet

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2015 | Beggars Banquet

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Pop/Rock - Released December 9, 2002 | Beggars Banquet

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Former Be-Bop Deluxe leader Bill Nelson was brought in to produce this album and provide some soaring lead guitar work, but the collaboration with Numan was beset by difficulties involving Numan's ego and approach to recording. While Nelson's production is evident on many tracks and his guitar is heard in several places, much of this is business as usual (a B-side, "Poetry and Power," features more Nelson and has gone on to a great deal of popularity, especially with the Gravity Kills cover on Random). The science fiction influences here are Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress and Harlan Ellison's "'Repent, Harlequin!' Cried the Tick-Tock Man." While there is some evidence of confusion as to his direction, the music and songwriting has more energy than anything on the predecessor, I, Assassin, with some genuinely engaging moments along the way. ~ Steven McDonald

Pop/Rock - Released June 22, 1998 | Beggars Banquet

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The most popular of all the Gary Numan albums is undeniably 1979's The Pleasure Principle. The reasons are simple -- there is not a single weak moment on the disc, it contains his sole U.S. (number one worldwide) hit, "Cars," and new drummer Cedric Sharpley adds a whole new dimension with his powerful percussion work. The Pleasure Principle is also one of the first Gary Numan albums to feature true ensemble playing, especially heard within the airtight, killer groove of "Metal" (one of Numan's all-time best tracks). Starting things off with the atmospheric instrumental "Airlane," the quality of the songs gets stronger and stronger as the album progresses -- "Films," "M.E.," "Observer," "Conversation," the aforementioned "Cars," and the U.K. Top Ten hit "Complex" all show Numan in top form. If you had to own just one Gary Numan album, The Pleasure Principle would be it. ~ Greg Prato

Pop/Rock - Released September 21, 2009 | Beggars Banquet

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The most popular of all the Gary Numan albums is undeniably 1979's The Pleasure Principle. The reasons are simple -- there is not a single weak moment on the disc, it contains his sole U.S. (number one worldwide) hit, "Cars," and new drummer Cedric Sharpley adds a whole new dimension with his powerful percussion work. The Pleasure Principle is also one of the first Gary Numan albums to feature true ensemble playing, especially heard within the airtight, killer groove of "Metal" (one of Numan's all-time best tracks). Starting things off with the atmospheric instrumental "Airlane," the quality of the songs gets stronger and stronger as the album progresses -- "Films," "M.E.," "Observer," "Conversation," the aforementioned "Cars," and the U.K. Top Ten hit "Complex" all show Numan in top form. If you had to own just one Gary Numan album, The Pleasure Principle would be it. ~ Greg Prato
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Electronic/Dance - Released November 9, 2018 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

Pop/Rock - Released December 9, 2002 | Beggars Banquet

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After the spare and lengthy reflections and dislocated experiments of his excellent Dance album, Gary Numan made a return to a more focused approach with I, Assassin, which turned out to be his last truly great album for many years. Much of what would characterize his later music in the '80s did start to show up here, to be sure, but instead of the formless flailing all too apparent on Warriors, and especially on Berserker, Numan's work here with modern electronic funk combines his early rigor and to-the-point rhythms with a deft, creative hand in the arrangements. "White Boys and Heroes," the brilliant opening number, remains one of his best singles, featuring fretless bass work from Pino Palladino (long before both it and him had turned into rent-a-clichés), and set against droning, distorted vocals and doom-laden keyboards. The vaguely Asian (or at least the group Japan)-inspired textures of Dance linger on in songs like "A Dream of Siam" and the title track (the latter possessing a captivating hollow-drum-punch introduction), while one of Numan's most randomly entertaining songs pops up with "The 1930s Rust." It's a suave finger-snapping number that even features harmonica, but somehow Numan's ear for to-the-point rhythm and strange futurism still comes through. Perhaps the most underrated song remains the sharp hipshaker "War Songs" -- U2 may never want to admit it, but "Numb" takes more than a little from the distorted up-and-down introductory guitar clips. ~ Ned Raggett
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Electronic/Dance - Released July 6, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

Alternative & Indie - Released August 1, 2005 | Beggars Banquet

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Pop/Rock - Released December 10, 1997 | Beggars Banquet

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One of the downsides of the new romantic movement is that its groups tended to be more exciting in a video or in the studio than they were in the live arena. One of the rare exceptions to this rule was Gary Numan, a performer whose canny blend of synthesizer textures and conventional rock band instrumentation allowed his music to translate itself to a live format with ease. As a result, he was a popular concert attraction in his native England and listeners can get a good idea of his live skills with Living Ornaments '79. This album, the full set from a September 1979 performance at the Hammersmith Odeon, finds Numan taking a generous selection of tunes from all his albums up to that point and delivering them with a carefully controlled mixture of style and power. Many of the songs are much more energetic than their studio counterparts: the muscular rhythm guitar riffs that propel "Something's in the House" take on a new power in the live arena, and "Me I Disconnect From You" runs twice as fast as its studio incarnation. Other songs on Living Ornaments '79 benefit from new arrangements; the most notable transformation in this area is "Bombers," which is transformed from the fast, guitar-based punk-pop of its studio version into an atmospheric, ballad-paced track where spacy synthesizers replace the guitar riffs. Numan also turns in a surprisingly effective cover of "On Broadway" that culminates in an unexpected, electic violin solo. The remainder of the tracks continue in the same vein as these highlights, effectively mixing live energy with the icy electronic affectations that make Numan's studio classics so interesting. In short, Living Ornaments '79 is a solid live document of Gary Numan in his hitmaking prime and a worthwhile supplement to his studio work for fans. ~ Donald A. Guarisco
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Electronic/Dance - Released October 4, 2018 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1989 | I.R.S. Records

Pop/Rock - Released May 3, 1998 | Beggars Banquet

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Gary Numan's follow-up to the flawless The Pleasure Principle was 1980's Telekon. Although it was another mega-hit back home in England (his third consecutive number one album), Numan could not follow up his massive new wave hit "Cars" in the United States, where he was unjustly slapped with the one-hit-wonder tag. Telekon would also turn out to be the last true classic Numan album, as monetary problems and an unfocused attempt to try different musical forms (as well as a short-lived retirement) would steer him away from his original vision. Although Telekon was indeed a strong album, it could have been even stronger if it included the U.K. Top Ten singles "I Die: You Die" and "We Are Glass" (both were recorded during the Telekon sessions). Numan experimented with funk for the first time in his career ("Remind Me to Smile"), but there were still plenty of chilling synth excursions to keep the Numan faithful satisfied -- "This Wreckage," "The Aircrash Bureau," "I'm an Agent," and "I Dream of Wires" are all choice cuts. The 1998 Beggars Banquet re-release eventually did include both the U.K. singles, as well as several other rarities, including a bare "piano version" of "Down in the Park." [Note: In addition to bonus tracks, all of the Gary Numan/Beggars Banquet re-releases contain classic photographs and informative liner notes by Numan biographer Steve Malins.] ~ Greg Prato

Alternative & Indie - Released January 19, 2018 | Beggars Banquet

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1989 | I.R.S. Records

Numan has mentioned that he had a terrible time with his deal with IRS, and this live album reflects that. Poorly produced and unenthusiastic, definitely the worst of Numan's various live albums. ~ Steven McDonald
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1991 | Capitol Records

3 stars out of 5

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