Gary Numan has been given a hard time by the press over the years and the impact of his work is often overlooked. He has however, been an incredibly rife influence over music in the decades that followed his most acclaimed 1978 album, 'Replicas'.

'Replicas' was re-released this year in a 30th anniversary edition to co-inside with Numan's UK tour and is a reminder of the lasting impact he has had since he emerged during the punk era in the late 70s. Stepping away from shambolic guitar punk, which was everywhere at the time, he introduced keyboards and synth to his electronic pop songs.

'Are Friends Electric?', a single from it, climbed into the UK charts after Numan with his band the Tubeway Army found themselves appearing on 'Top of The Pops' in 1979. After only just breaking into the Top 75 when it was first released, the single made it to number one after the 'Top of the Pops' appearance and with support from John Peel. The single stayed at number one for four weeks where it was joined by the 'Replicas' album.

Numan inspired a new musical direction in the 80's. Bands such as the Human League , Soft Cell and Depeche Node emerged putting electronic music officially on the map. Numan lost favour with the press in the following years and was only acknowledged as a serious influence of the time when several of his songs were covered by bands in the 90's and 00s'. Most recently the SugaBabes sampled 'Are Friends Electric?' in their number one hit 'Freak Like Me'.

Other songs that stand out on the album are its other single, 'Down In The Park', and also 'Me! I Disconnect from You' and 'I nearly Married A Human 2'. The most surprising thing about the entire album however, is how well it stands up in 2008 and how consistent the entire album is.

Fans of Numan will be pleased to find a bonus disc with the re-release containing early versions of the songs not previously released and the sleeve also has comments from Numan looking back over his career. This will definitely please those who were listening to the album the first time around and is a great introduction for anyone just discovering the man behind synth in the 80's.












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