Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 cassingles

June 30th, 2016

In these days of digital downloads and the disappearance of the physical format, it no doubt seems quite quaint to think back on the multitude of ways record companies used to dream up ways to exploit multiple formats in order to get eager fans to buy the same thing again and again. These two cassette singles are examples of that very thing, record company venal zeal in full effect. Nevertheless, they are presented here for what they are, their own charm, or otherwise to enjoy (or not).  Read the rest of this entry »

Colin Newman ‘Feigned Hearing’ 7″ single (Crammed Discs, CRAM13457)

February 29th, 2016

Side A: Feigned Hearing [Edit] 3.30
Side B: I Can Hear Your… [Remix] 3.07

This delightful little single took two tracks from Colin Newman’s ‘Commercial Suicide’ album in some feint hope of contradicting the album’s title perhaps. The A side is certainly a cheery, light, keyboard constructed piece, beat-less through a complete absence of any percussion – you can’t help but feel its chances of success as a 45 were always likely to be limited given that lack of backbeat. But who knows what the reasoning was. It’s well documented in the mighty fine Wire tome, ‘Everybody Loves a History’, that the mid-’80s period saw Colin Newman opting out of the music industry rat-race by way of an extended trip to India. On returning, re-investigating some keyboard-based demos made prior to the trip, pairing up with new partners in both John/Sean Bonnar (musically) and Malka Spigel (musically and by way of marriage), the subsequent album, ‘Commercial Suicide’, was a strong, original work and cheerfully raised two fingers to any notions of commercial success by throwing away any attempts at tracing from the Wire template the previous albums ‘Not To’ and ‘A-Z’ had both clearly drawn upon. The resulting album was still clearly the work of Newman but shot through with a subtler, minimal method and instrumentally a fair remove from the more recognisably Wire-like guitar/bass/drums of ‘Not To’ in particular.  Read the rest of this entry »

Gary Numan ‘Berserker’ – Numa variations

February 6th, 2016

‘Berserker’ was the first album released on Gary Numan’s own label after he decided to up sticks and move on from his previous long established Beggars Banquet/WEA home. Numan mentioned in his ‘Praying to the Aliens’ autobiography how he felt that he had outstayed his welcome there, with the attitude that his success had plateaued at an acceptably comfortable level of sales, as evinced by the lack of promotional support, particularly for 1983’s ‘Warriors’ album. Intended as a fresh start, this new home, ‘Numa’ records, would see three Numan album releases in its original incarnation from 1984-1987, before Numan inked a new deal with IRS records for 1988’s ‘Metal Rhythm’ – though Numa would be reactivated again in the 1990s for further new album releases (and reissues).  Read the rest of this entry »