ARTIST: Tubeway Army (Gary Numan)
TITLE: Tubeway Army
YEAR RELEASED: 1978
CHART ACTION: #14 UK
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not in the US
LINEUP: Gary Numan, Paul Gardiner, Jess Lidyard
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Numan led-band transitions from post-punk into the Gary Numan persona and solo material (though the band really just kept working with him).
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: You can’t really hide the fact that it’s Gary Numan, even if it’s called Tubeway Army. While this album has more guitars and less synthesizer, most of the cuts have the icy vocals, and allusions to machines, androids, and futuristic literature.
It wasn’t a pleasant romp through the future, either. Numan’s songs at this juncture read more like a dystopia – drug addiction, sex, seediness, loneliness. You know, joy and fun. Some of the songs make this go down easy with some hooks but not as many as he would have in the future.
Working with a bassist who holds down the bottom, and a drummer (his uncle) that keeps things on course, Numan uses guitar and keyboards to create this world. It’s a good debut for his style and would lead to better things to come.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Numan started down this path when he noticed a mini-Moog in the studio one day. You can credit that for his work.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a live set from 1978 that was bootlegged (and sounds like it).
GRADE: B+: A good start to his interesting, unique sound. The hooks would come later.