Gary Numan ‘White Boys and Heroes’ USA 12″ Promo Single (Atco, PR468, 1982)

Issued in 1982 by Gary Numan’s then US label, Atco, this 12″ promo single features a unique remix of ‘White Boys and Heroes’ which has still never been released on CD to date, despite the numerous re-issue campaigns that Beggars Banquet have had for Numan’s back catalogue.

'White Boys and Heroes' USA Promo 12 inch single
^ ‘White Boys and Heroes’ USA Promo 12 inch single

The remix of ‘White Boys and Heroes’ is by Chris Nelson and clocks in at 8 minutes and 20 seconds. ‘We Take Mystery’ on side two of the promo 12″ (which is referred to as a ‘Promotional 12″ EP’ despite only having two songs) is the 7 minutes 42 seconds version as per the standard 12″. It comes in a plain white card sleeve with a large sticker on the front cover only.

Side One label close-up
^ Side One label close-up

‘White Boys and Heroes’ is interesting because it is not just an edit – it has additional overdubs (mostly keyboards and fretless bass), different vocals in places and a lot less saxophone than the regular mixes (it sneaks in only towards the end).

Side Two label close-up
^ Side Two label close-up

To my ears, it is a great mix and it is a real pity that despite the umpteen CD issues for its parent album, ‘I, Assassin’, it has never surfaced on any of them. Perhaps the master tape has been lost? Record company politics (this was on Atco only, not Beggars Banquet) – who knows? It would be great to see it re-issued in digital format some day. What’s great about it is that it has extra keyboards at the start (which give it a more ‘Music For Chameleons’ similarity), some fairly extended fretless bass interludes and very little saxophone (which I’ve never been keen on for this track).

If you want to hear the track, check out the Audio Principle page of the North American Gary Numan Fan Club (NAGNFC) pages maintained by Jim Napier.

4 Replies to “Gary Numan ‘White Boys and Heroes’ USA 12″ Promo Single (Atco, PR468, 1982)”

  1. It’s typical that material engendered for an artist by a different label in a different territory falls out of “canon” when said artist’s domestic label is reissuing material. If the US label commissions a new remix, they seem to retain copyright to it. Or it may be a case of the master tape being 4000 miles away that’s the crux of the matter.

    This is such a common scenario. A similar fate befell the US 12″ mixes of Ultravox’s “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes/One Small Day.” EMI Chrysalis has put out everything but these two mixes. The US “Dancing” is 7:47 and features a Steve Thompson remix with “One Small Day (club mix)” clocking in at 7:48 with another Thompson remix on the B-side. For what it’s worth, I prefer it to the too long 10:00 UK 12″ remix.

  2. Not sure of the reason why it has never resurfaced on any re-issues, but one things for sure it is a pretty different mix of the song and definitely deserves to have a wider audience. Given the amount of times that Beggars Banquet have re-issued Numan’s back catalogue on CD I guess it may yet resurface if they have the rights to it…

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