Friday, 11 April 2014

The Pleasure Principle–Gary Numan

Released in September 1979 this album is Gary Numan's third, the first two were released under the name 'Tubeway Army'
The album represented a musical departure from the first two because of the widespread use of synthesisers dropping the guitar sound from the previous albums completely.
When I first heard this album as a teenager it sounded incredibly fresh and futuristic and to a degree it still does today.
The Moog synthesiser is used in large sweeping layers, punctuated by the acoustic drums, rolling bass guitar and clipped vocal, the overall effect is one that is dark brooding and dramatic.
The track that most people will know from the album is the hit single 'Cars' which has a jaunty rhythm with bouncing bass but isn't typical of the rest of the album content. The tracks that stand out to me are 'Films' and 'Conversation' the former especially being a dark powerful sound; analogue synth hum is built up in layers providing the perfect backdrop for the drums and bass interplay which in turn is punctuated by Numan's trademark clipped lyric style.

From memory I think the album wasn't critically well received, it was in someway ahead of its time the British music press being particularly critical of the artist who for them represented a different direction from the 'new wave' post punk of the time.

It is however, a hugely influential album and one that has influenced many artists something that at the time wasn't fully recognised, possibly I think it nudged the door open for other bands that had been using synthesisers and helped put them in the mainstream.

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