From the Vault...


Gary Numan
"The Best Of Gary Numan 1978-1983"

© Beggars Banquet Records< Year of Release: 1993

track listing
Disc One:
  • Cars (Original Single)
  • We Are Glass
  • Are Friends Electric
  • My Love Is A Liquid
  • Music For Chameleons
  • Complex
  • Me I Disconnect From You
  • Love Needs No Disguise
  • Bombers
  • The Joy Circuit
  • We Are So Fragile
  • Films
  • Warriors
  • That's Too Bad
  • Everyday I Die
  • On Broadway
  • Please Push No More
    Disc Two:
  • Cars ('93 Sprint)
  • We Take Mystery To Bed
  • I Die You Die
  • Down In The Park
  • She's Got Claws
  • Stormtrooper In Drag
  • My Shadow In Vain
  • This Wreckage
  • Sister Surprise
  • M.E.
  • You Are In My Vision
  • Metal
  • I'm An Agent
  • White Boys And Heroes
  • The Life Machine
  • My Centurion
  • Remember I Was Vapour

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Gary Numan related sites:
    Gary Numan Website
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    Gary Numan
    "The Best Of Gary Numan 1978-1983"

    Gary Numan is most famous for his late 1970s hit, "Cars." We've all heard it, the haunting keyboard solos, some may even remember his video... He kinda looked like an alien, with his haunting white face and expressions. (His eyes -- his eyes sure did stand out, kinda creepy...) Punk/New Wave music was just starting in full swing in 1978, and a lot of New Wave songs were getting heavy radio airplay. Numan's "Cars" was overpowering the airwaves. And some often wondered, "What ever became of that Cars guy?" (Not to be confused with the New Wave BAND of the same name -- The Cars -- no relation. However, both Numan's and the band The Cars' style of music have various musical similarities; the difference are the vocals-- both Numan the Cars' Ric Ocasek had distinctive recognizable voices.)

    Learning more about Numan's music, we obviously refer to Wikipedia, or even his main website. Wikipedia tells the complete story (like any other) from his childhood, to his fame, and beyond.

    One of the first musicians to use electronic synthesizers successfully in rock music, his signature sound consisted of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals.

    Commercially unsuccessful for many years of his career, Numan is nevertheless considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music. His use of themes from science fiction, and his combination of aggressive punk energy with electronics, have since been widely imitated.

    True. This is easily heard on many tracks from his Best Of 1978-1983 2-disc compilation. It is heavily influenced by the New Wave movement, as this genre of music was at its peak throughout the late 1970s / early 1980s. Synthesizers was the main instrument in this genre, and of course, they are easily heard throughout Numan's music.

    Gary Numan began his music career in a band named Tubeway Army. They released two albums, 1978's self-titled album, and 1979's Replicas. He was planning his song "Cars" when he left on his own. Songs from both of the Tubeway Army albums are on The Best Of 1978-1983. During this time frame of 1979-1983, Numan released five albums: The Pleasure Principle (1979), Telekon (1980), Dance (1981), I, Assassin (1982), and Warriors (1983). 2 unreleased Tubeway Army songs, one song with the group Dramatis, and a 1993 remix of "Cars" are also included. The 34 songs on this set are not in chronological order. Yet, we will list a chronological order of songs for this review. (Note: The cd liner notes lists 99% of the songs as either "Single A" or "Single B Sides," and not tracks from the albums. We did some research.)

    First, from the Tubeway Army album: "My Shadow In Vain", "The Life Machine", "Everyday I Die", "My Love Is A Liquid," "That's Too Bad." The second Tubeway Army album -- Replicas: "Me! I Disconnect From You," "Are Friends Electric," "Down In The Park," "You Are In My Vision." Two songs that were unreleased: "Bombers" (1978), "We Are So Fragile" (1979).

    Gary Numan solo albums: The Pleasure Principle: "Metal," "Complex," "Films," "M.E.," "Cars (Original Single)," "On Broadway" (Yes, the "On Broadway" which The Drifters and George Benson recorded. It was listed as a bonus live track on the Replicas CD re-issue.)

    Telekon: "This Wreckage," "We Are Glass," "I'm An Agent," "Remember I Was Vapour," "Please Push No More," "The Joy Circuit," "I Die You Die"

    Dance: "She's Got Claws," "Stormtrooper In Drag"

    I, Assasin: "White Boys And Heroes," "Music For Chameleons," "We Take Mystery To Bed"

    Warriors: "Warriors," "Sister Surprise," "My Centurion"

    "Love Needs No Disguise" was a 1981 single by the group Dramatis, which Gary Numan guest appeared. "Cars ('93 Sprint)" is 1993 remix.

    A fine collection and a good introduction to Gary Numan's music, and New Wave music. Some standouts are (of course) the original version of "Cars" and the 1993 remix. (The original version is far better.) I kinda remember "Down In The Park" as I was listening to it. The "On Broadway" version is quite impressive, as well as its keyboard arrangements. But what is really impressive, is the piano instrumental "Please Push No More." It is way different than any New Wave recording. In fact, it sounds like a Classical piece, and could easily have been performed by Rick Wakeman. But towards the end of the second disc, the music started sounding the same (or just even a little weirder, maybe because it started all sounding the same.)

    Compared to the fellow New Wave artists, such as Devo, David Bowie, Gary Numan's Best Of 1978-1983 showcases New Wave music at it's peak. It's a very good retrospective, and New Wave fans will enjoy this assortment in Gary Numan's career. Since 1984, he's recorded 11 albums, and is currently working on a new release.

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