Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I can only receive (Gary Numan) #296

Gary Numan Cars/ Asylum (Atlantic, BEG 23, 1979)

I have never been much of a fan of the the new romantics electro-pop, electronica, synth-pop or even synths in general outside of a progressive band (therefore Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson and Kraftwerk are exempt from criticism).

The explosion of stuff in the early eighties (like The Human League, Ultravox, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, and OMD) can probably be largely blamed on Gary Numan. He was definitely a pioneer of this kind of music.  

I was in the middle of my University years when Cars came out and deeply into my fascination with all things American. Numan didn't appeal, with his android image and interest in dystopian sci-fi. Nor did his music, except for this single - which is AWESOME. 

It couldn't be avoided in 1979.

I can't put my finger on it but there is a wonderful vibe happening on Cars. He clearly had problems socially and so being locked in his car was a great move for him. Dunno. Whatever, the music has a hook that buries itself under your skin, so that, some thirty plus years later, it still sounds fresh.

Great name too (better than Gary Webb).

Hidden gem: The B side was left off the parent album (The Pleasure Principle) but has been subsequently added as a bonus track. I maybe played it once when I bought the single, maybe.

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