Beyond The Hit.

November 8, 2011 at 2:31 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve always been vaguely aware that Gary Numan–yes, the fellow who had a gigantic worldwide hit with the song “Cars”–had a valued and worthwhile career beyond that single song.  As an example, in the late Nicholas Schaffner’s book The British Invasion–First Wave To The New Wave which came out in 1982, the author devotes almost as much space to Numan’s career as he does to The Clash to tell you how highly Numan’s catalog was valued at his peak.  Still, at some point in the late 1980’s I decided synth-based music wasn’t going to be my thing, and I fairly well turned my back on Numan’s career.

At some point here, I think I’ll have to do a post talking about Turntable.fm.  For now, I’ll just say that the site is an excellent resource for retconning music outside a personal comfort zone, a great place to hear music in a different context and discover pieces of music history you might have otherwise missed.  As the result of having heard two Gary Numan/Tubeway Army songs that weren’t “Cars” over the last few days in assorted TT rooms, I spent a lot of time over the last day or so listening to a lot of that classic output of his, and I’ve been rather gobsmacked by how worthwhile and downright excellent it really is….like that’s news to a lot of you, right, he asked sarcastically…

At any rate let’s not bemoan my lateness to the party, and instead applaud the fact that I showed up at all.  Here’s a terrific clip of Numan doing “Down In The Park” from the wonderful new wave/punk documentary Urgh A Music War.  (As a side note I would observe that if Sheldon from the TV show “The Big Bang Theory” was a pop singer, he’d be Gary Numan.)

1 Comment

  1. Stu said,

    I can’t remember ever witnessing a more vehement, nearly violent, reaction to anything I’ve put on my stereo than I did when playing Gary Numan’s obscure first album in my dorm room at the US Air Force Academy back in the early ’80s. A couple of people burst into my room and demanded that I turn “that shit” off, now! Geez. Admittedly, it wasn’t as good as his next couple of albums, but talk about a visceral response…

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