25 September 2013

25th September - Gary Numan's The Pleasure Principle

Artist – Album: Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle
Released:  25th September 1979
Sounds Like: [Vince holds up a cassette tape] This is the best of the sixties. [holds up another cassette] And this is the best of the seventies. [lifts a huge stack of cassettes] And this is Gary Numan.

Gary Numan enjoyed himself in the early Noughties, as groups as diverse as Sugababes and Basement Jaxx had hits sampling his tunes (the stonking smash ‘Where’s Your Head At’ was a masterful rip of ‘M.E.’), he guest appeared on Fear Factory’s cover of ‘Cars’ and glam-indie comedian Noel Fielding frequently extolled his virtues on The Mighty Boosh. It was the most popular he’d been for twenty years, when – first as the leader of the Tubeway Army and then as a solo artist – he had scored three consecutive UK no. 1 albums. The Pleasure Principle was the best of the lot, and it’s hardly surprising that it re-entered the public’s consciousness in the 21st century: his technology obsession and glacial cool was made for this future where the geeks have inherited the world.

The album is consistently brilliant, from the instrumental opener ‘Airlane’ to the stilted, clinical new wave of ‘Observer’. The two charting singles are probably the pinnacles of his achievement, and both also display his aptitude for constructing varying moods from his simple formula of rocky synths with guitar-like effects: whereas ‘Complex’ is a chilled out piece similar to that of Boards of Canada, ‘Cars’ is an adrenaline fuelled behemoth that betrays the influence he had on the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson.

There was a fascinating burst of skewed creativity in the post-punk era, and many of the artists from then – from the Talking Heads to XTC, the B-52’s to the Fall – have had a lasting influence on the music that has followed. Gary Numan deserves his place in this pantheon. …And he’s also got a pilot’s license! Imagine that!

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Airlane – 3:18
2.       Metal – 3:32
3.       Complex – 3:12
4.       Films – 4:09
5.       M.E. – 5:37
6.       Tracks – 2:51
7.       Observer – 2:53
8.       Conversation – 7:36
9.       Cars – 3:58
10.   Engineers – 4:01

Listen to ‘M.E.:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wea8ZQ0II4g

Also released on 25th September:
1988: They Might Be Giants - Lincoln
Also released on 25th September:
2001: Ryan Adams - Gold

No comments:

Post a Comment