This GIGsoup article was written by Niall Webster, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited By Jake Willis
Gary Numan and the Tubeway Army first released ‘Replicas’ in 1979, it was their second album, but was to be the one that propelled them into the public eye. Initially a guitar and drum heavy, punk band, this album took them in a new direction with their innovative use of the ground breaking technology that was synthesisers.
The first track on the album ‘Me! I Disconnect from You’ plunges you straight into what, at the time of its original release, was the virgin territory that is synth-pop. With lyrics that seem to describe technology that is commonplace today, but back in the late 1970s it was the stuff of science fiction. Listening to it, it is remarkable how we can now relate to this; more so today than when it first came out.
The second track on the album, ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’ is the track that established Gary Numan into the mainstream of the music industry. It achieved the dizzy accolade of reaching number 1 in both the singles and album charts and the track still sounds as fresh today as it did back in 1979.
The group do not leave the roots totally behind, as shown in ‘You Are in My Vision’, where the drums and guitar are more dominate, but the synthesiser can still be heard as more of a supporting instrument, therefore showing its versatility.
All the tracks are influenced greatly by Numan’s love of science fiction literature, particularly works by Phillip K. Dick, and the futuristic styling of the music gave birth to a new era in pop music. This album is now thirty six years old, but still holds its own, both musically and through the unique sound that only Gary Numan can create.
‘Replicas’ will be re-issued on 16th October 2015 via Beggars Banquet.