Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Records/CDs revisted - The Pleasure Principle by Gary Numan

What's weird about listening to The Pleasure Principle now is how many other songs by other artists that it reminds me of  - the reason being that it has been sampled so much for records that have gone on to become famous in their own right - "Where's your Head At?" by Basement Jaxx for example. The sad thing for me is that the samples have now become so synonymous with the songs that they have been used in that you almost expect that song to start playing rather than the Numan track. I say a shame because The Pleasure Principle is for me one of Numan's finest moments and it is still a great listen 25 years after it's release.

For me this album also brings a great sense of nostalgia. I bought this on vinyl as a teenager (I was 13 or 14) and I listened to it a lot. You could say that it was the precursor to my love of Bowie. Not much of a leap of imagination there - it is obvious when you view those early Gary Numan videos that Bowie had a massive influence on him - especially on his look and stage style. But the sound that Numan creates whether or not it is Bowie/Kraaftwerk influenced is clearly all his own. It is almost too easy to forget that those sounds that we have all become so familiar with had never really been heard before when Numan emerged in 1978. They were new and exciting, and unlike anything else in the charts at the time - a natural progression perhaps from Roxy Music, Brian Eno etc.   And as is the way with most innovative artists the music press gave hime short shrift - he was labelled as boring and robotic. It is only now that Numan is beginning to get any acknowledgement for his contribution to changing the face of music.

My personal favourites on the album are Complex, Metal and Cars and I love the cover art too. If I have one beef - it is that they always add extra tracks to the CD versions of albums that have previously been released on vinyl. I suppose it is added value - but i like to hear the album exactly as it was - unadulterated - nothing added, nothing taken away.

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