Gary Numan & Tubeway Army - Replicas Redux

2008 is a big year for Gary Numan, not only does he celebrate his 50th birthday but it also sees him celebrating his 30th year in music. To mark these two landmarks he is re-issuing his pioneering electronic album ‘Replicas’ as ‘Replicas Redux’.

The release of ‘Replicas Redux’ coincides with Numan’s UK tour which saw him playing at 15 venues across the country. ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric’ saw Numan lead Tubeway Army out of the underground and onto the mainstream music scene by scoring a number one hit with the song, which was recently sampled by the Sugababes. When ‘Replicas’ was originally released it helped electronic and synthesised music become commercially accepted and gave an indication of the direction music would take for the next decade. The tracks on here still sound good today, while at the time the tracks were seen as being futuristic, they have stood the test of time and do not sound outdated.

As well as re-releasing the original album, there is also an extra disc which houses the demos for the album. When you listen to this you get a clear indication of how edgy and raw Numan could be. It acts as the bridge between Numan’s solo work and his work with his Tubeway Army, generally that sort of release only appeals to die-hard fans but thanks to Numan’s music still being widely enjoyed this extra disc has universal appeal.

One of the great things about this release is that Numan has included the name Tubeway Army, because he actually played everything on the record bar bass and drums and wrote all the tracks, it was only when he was ready to hit the road that got a band together. There’s no doubt in my mind that Numan had a huge influence on electronic music, if his career had failed I don’t think it would have gone on to become such a popular genre. I’m well-aware that many people think the eighties was a bad time for music, but this album breaks that stereotype, and is definitely worth checking out, it’s one of music hidden gems. I wasn’t around to buy the original release but I’m glad I have this re-issued version.