Friday Monday music mix: Gary Numan



The very first record I ever bought was actually a tape (!), and my dad had to take me to the record store, since I was only 11 and somewhat clueless about how that all worked (my dad didn’t know, either, which didn’t help). At the record store, they told me they couldn’t find what I was looking for (an album by Tubeway Army that had “Are Friends Electric?” on it), but they noted that Gary Numan was pretty much the same thing. So they ordered (!) Gary Numan’s “The Pleasure Principle” for me, and about two weeks later (did I mention I grew up in the middle of nowhere?) the tape arrived. When I heard “Metal” I thought it was about the coolest thing I had ever heard (which, of course, doesn’t mean all that much when you’re only 11). I should note that Gary Numan’s amount of personal awkwardness evident from that promo video pretty much matched mine at age 11.

Needless to say, in my home town nobody had ever heard of Gary Numan before or knew what to make of the music. My best friend, however, was fairly critical, since Gary Numan used actual instruments instead of just synthesizers (he used to count the number of beats in Kraftwerk songs, so I could always tell myself that I was still fairly normal).

These days, Gary Numan (along with Kraftwerk) is one of those really cool people, with cover versions produced by people like Trent Reznor…

… or Afrika Bambaata. For me, the original still is the best.