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1980 Sep Telekon 
Title: Telekon 
Artist: Gary Numan 
Tracklisting:  This Wreckage
The Aircrash Bureau
Remind Me To Smile
Sleep By Windows
Iím An Agent
I Dream Of Wires
Remember I Was Vapour
Please Push No More
The Joy Circuit
How old: This Album is old!
Release Date: September 1980
Format: LP 
Record Label: Beggars Banquet
Catalogue No: BEGA 19
Price Guide: £8.00
Country:  UK
Additional info: Deleted 
Highest Chart Position: 1
Full Artist List:

Gary Numan (Vocals, Minimoog, Polymoog, A.R.P. Pro-Soloist,JP4, Piano,
Prophet 5, CP30, Compurhythm, Synare,Guitar)
Paul Gardiner (Bass, Backing Vocal)
Cedric Sharpley (Drums, Backing Vocals, percussion)
John Webb (Handclaps)
James Freud (Handclaps)
Chris Payne (Viola, solo piano, Minimoog, Backing Vocals)
RRussell Bell (Claves, Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar on 'The Joy Circuit')
Denis Haines (Prophet 5, Piano, CP30, Minimoog, Polymoog,Backing Vocal, Whistle)
Simple Minds ET AL (Handclaps)

Recorded at Rock City and Matrix
Engineered by Nick Smith, Steve Smith, Graeme Myhre,
Jess Sutcliffe





1980 May We Are Glass 7"

4:40 We Are Glass 2:44 Trois Gymnopedies (1st Movement) 7" UK Beggars Banquet BEG 35

1980 Aug I Die: You Die 7"

3:40 I Die: You Die 4:16 Down In The Park (Piano Version) 7" UK Beggars Banquet BEG 46

1980 Sep Remember I Was Vapour 7"/12"

5:12 Remember I Was Vapour 4:50 Remember I Was Vapour (Live '79) 12" WG Intercord INT 126.600

1980 Dec This Wreckage 7"

5:10 This Wreckage 2:29 Photograph 7" UK Beggars Banquet BEG 50

1980 Sep Remember I Was Vapour 7"

 4:50 Remember I Was Vapour (Live '79) 4:48 On Broadway (Live '79) 

This free single was included with initial copies of the vinyl version of the Telekon LP. 7" UK Beggars Banquet SAM 126


Telekon was originally released in 1980 on the Beggars Banquet label. The digitally remastered version includes many extra tracks including the singles We Are Glass and I Die:You Die which were not on the original.

Telekon is a 1980 New Wave / electronic album by Gary Numan. It was the final installment of what Numan retrospectively termed his "machine" trilogy, following 1979's Replicas and The Pleasure Principle. His third (and to date, last) number 1 album, it debuted at the top of the UK charts in September 1980. In contrast to The Pleasure Principle, with its lack of guitars and its harsh robotic sound, Telekon featured heavy use of guitars and strings along with richer synthesizer textures, Numan broadening his previous synth palette with additional machines such as the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, ARP Pro Soloist and Roland Jupiter-4.

Lyrically, whilst continuing Numan's exploration of a dystopian future in pieces like the title track and "I Dream of Wires", Telekon also took stock of the artist's sudden celebrity and the apparently overwhelming adulation of his fans in songs like "Remind Me to Smile" ("Reconsider 'fame' / I need new reasons / This is detention / It's not fun at all ... Keep your revivals / Keep your conventions / Keep all your fantasies / That's all we are") and "Please Push No More". The album's musical style ranged from upbeat synth rock such as "I'm an Agent" and "The Joy Circuit" to mood pieces like "Sleep by Windows" and "Remember I Was Vapour".

Telekon was preceded by two hit singles, "We Are Glass" and "I Die: You Die", though neither of these was included on the album in its initial UK vinyl release (overseas releases such as the US and Australia added "I Die: You Die" in place of "Sleep by Windows"). Early UK pressings came with a limited edition live 45, "Remember I Was Vapour" b/w "On Broadway", and all of these tracks, along with B-sides and the outtake "A Game Called 'Echo'", were subsequently included on various CD reissues. Numan had premiered "Remember I Was Vapour" during the UK leg of 'The Touring Principle' in late 1979, preceding its appearance on Telekon by a year. He also premiered "We Are Glass", "I Die: You Die" and "Remind Me to Smile" during the April 1980 leg.

The only single taken from the album was the somewhat menacing opening number "This Wreckage"; though it failed to chart higher than number 20 and the composer admitted that regardless of its merits as a song it was a "bloody stupid single".[1] Surprisingly - and to his later regret - Numan declined to issue the anthemic "Remind Me to Smile" as a single (though it was released as a promo single in the US only).

From late 1980 to early 1981 Numan toured the UK, Europe and America in support of Telekon with guest Nash the Slash and a lavish stage set; Numan's stage costume - a black leather boiler-suit with interlocking red belts - would be an enduring image. An early performance of the so-called 'Teletour' was captured on the album Living Ornaments '80 and in a rendition of "Down in the Park" for the movie Urgh! A Music War (both 1981). The 2005 CD re-issue of Living Ornaments '80 included the original 10-track album and a recently re-discovered soundboard recording of the entire concert. The Teletour concluded in April 1981 with three sold-out nights at Wembley Arena where Numan brought down the curtain on this phase of his career in extravagant style, as recorded in the accompanying video Micromusic (soundtrack later released as Living Ornaments '81). Although these were billed as Numan's farewell concerts, he would play a series of US club dates the following year and returned to large-scale touring in 1983.

Like all of Numan's commercially popular early records, Telekon received a largely hostile reception from contemporary music critics; nevertheless it proved to be an influential work. Trent Reznor claimed to have listened to it every day during the making of Pretty Hate Machine and Stephin Merritt from The Magnetic Fields also became a Numan fan through the album.[2] Merritt recorded "I Die: You Die" as his contribution to the Random tribute album in 1997, which also included covers of "I'm an Agent", "Remember I Was Vapour" and "We Are Glass". However the earliest cover of a song from this album was in the very year of its release when Robert Palmer collaborated with Numan on a version of "I Dream of Wires" for the Clues LP.

In July 2006, Numan announced on his official website that he will hold a Telekon mini-tour in December 2006 - four concerts in the UK in which he will "only play songs from the Telekon album and its associated singles and B-Sides."


It was 1980, Gary Numan was possibly the biggest star on the planet. He had 2 number 1 singles under his belt (Are 'Friends' Electric? and Cars) and the 2 previous albums (Replicas and The Pleasure Principle) had also hit the top spot too. He had a lot to live up to and in my opinion (at the time), had a pretty hard job on his hands following those 2 albums...but...He did it....and with ease.

The Replicas album was apparently a rush job and dabbled in electronics and guitars and The Pleasure Principle, it's follow up, was full on electronica. Telekon went one step further and introduced Violins and Violas along piano and the synths and guitars and the production on the album was crisp and very,very good. For some reason, the 2 singles 'We are glass' and 'I Die You Die' (both top 10 hits in the UK) were not included on the british release of Telekon. In the USA, Atco records who put the album out, decided that 'I Die You Die' should be included and they added it to Telekon by taking off 'Sleep by Windows'. They went all out in the USA to promote the new Gary Numan release by releasing various promo singles and for the collector,there are many to collect. 'Remind me to smile' was released as a mono/stereo double A-side and also ended up on another double A-sided release with 'I Dream of Wires'. 'I Die You Die' was released in various guises too so the american market was spoilt for choice.

The Dutch label 'Stemra' also became well known on the Numan scene as they went all out to promote both the Telekon album and the I Die You Die single by releasing both on various very collectable coloured vinyls. These are much sought after in the collectable world of Numan and no'one knows for sure just how many different colours there are to collect. I had 8 different coloured Telekons myself and about 10 different coloured I Die You Die's (fanatical huh!!?).

The british label 'Beggars Banquet' promoted Telekon in the UK by releasing some versions with a poster of Gary and some with a free limited edition 7" single which featured 2 tracks from the 79 tour. The single featured a drifters track (On Broadway) and 'Remember I was Vapour'...some,if you were lucky, featured both. There were also copies of Telekon that were released as see-through red vinyl. It did'nt look red until it was held up to the light. The free single also did this.

The Telekon image was what is now called 'The Space Cadet'. It featured Gary in black as always, this time it was a black leather jumpsuit purchased from 'Reflections', a shop in Kensington, London. It was finished off with some red belts. This image was apparently thought up when Gary was on touring Germany in 1980 and had seen an advert. For the studio pictures Gary had jet black hair but on the tour he added a red patch to his hair (later seen in the I Die You Die video). The red Telekon lines are now very famous and well known amongst the Numan world and Telekon is a favourite amongst fans. The Telekon album also went to Number 1 in the UK and was Numan's 3rd successive top spot release. The choice of single release from Telekon has to be classed a huge mistake on both Numan's and Beggars Banquet part. 'We are Glass' and 'I Die You Die' were both upbeat,perfect electronic pop songs that did well (Numbers 5 and 6 respectively) and had great videos to go with them BUT the 3rd release from Telekon (and album opener) 'This Wreckage' was the total opposite. It was a downbeat drone that seemed to go on for ever and it did'nt go down too well just scraping the top 20 in the UK. There were no fancy coloured vinyls or 12" to help this on it's way and you have to say that this time the americans got it right. They had promoted 'Remind me to smile' like madmen in the USA, so why did'nt Beggars Banquet and Numan take the hint? In my opinion, 'Remind me to Smile' would have kept the ball rolling and would have been a top 5 hit, possibly another (Gary's 3rd) number 1 single in the UK. Still, it's easy to look back is'nt it.

"And what if God's dead..we must've done something wrong"...what a way to start an album..'This Wreckage' with it's plod along bass and synths was not a good single choice, I don't think it's a great track altogeather really BUT it was a great way to start the album. It's followed by (in my opinion) the best track that Numan has EVER written, 'The Aircrash Bureau'. This track goes all out on production and features some beautiful strings and synths and was written (as Gary states in the Telekon re-issue cd booklet) about a pilot who was killed during the D-Day invasion.He comes back to warn people before they fly if their planes are going to have an accident. It is an awesome track and went down really well live too. It is a Numan masterpiece.'Telekon', the albums title track is a grower of a track, to me it's a 'filler' and does'nt stand up to the other tracks but luckily on Telekon there are so many great tracks that it's easy to forgive Numan. 'Remind me to Smile' a more upbeat poppy track follows and gets the album in full swing again. Another snipe at the journalists and Gary explaining to the world that fame is not all it's cracked up to be. The first half of the album is finished with a very mellow, chilled out track that you can really lose yourself to. 'Sleep by Windows' is best listened to on headphones with your eyes closed. No need for drugs here, it will send you somewhere else.It's a lovely song with great synths and production.

The second half of the album gets back on track with the rockier upbeat sounding 'I'm an Agent'. This was originally called 'I'm a driver' for some reason but got changed at a later date.'I dream of wires' (another track that was promo'd by the americans) is a wierd track. Gary took his Philip K Dick (Bladerunner) influences and wrote about what he described as the thoughts of the last electrician on earth. He was known as 'The Sparkle'. 'Remember I was vapour' follows this and is a call out to the fans."Remember I am human, Remember I am just like you" sings Numan. He's telling everyone that he has feelings too,he's not an alien despite the image and the songs.He's a performer. The Germans released 'Remember I was Vapour' on a double A-sided 12" single.It featured both the studio and live versions.

'Please push No more' is Telekons penultimate track and what a track it is. Gary had already had enough of fame.The snipes from the journalists and the death threats to himself and his family had got to him...that much was clear.It was in his lyrics for all to hear and see.Numan said that he liked the money but not the greif that went with it. 'Replicas' and 'The Pleasure Principle' were sci-fi related and showed a very fresh Gary Numan writing about his thoughts on the future. Although Telekon stays on the same lines, Gary has a dig whenever he can (and well deservedly too). He had a time of learning what the business was all about and also toured very very heavily promoting his new sound to the world but it was not all roses.'Please push no more' is written about what it would be like to finish altogeather when he's played his lat gig etc etc. It was the highlight of the farewell gigs at Wembley 7 months later and personally,whenever I hear it I get a shiver down my spine. I was lucky enough to be standing there listening to it live as a 13 year old and witnessed many fans crying as Numan sang the words. You know that he meant every word he sang and it also shows on the studio version. You can feel it in his voice and I remember thinking whilst listening to it for the first time that it was a beautiful song with a strong message.

'The Joy Circuit', Telekons last track brings the tempo up again and starts of with a violin strumming.It builds and builds into track full of violins,soaring synths and rock guitars and is a great way to finish the album. Telekon is a great album. To me, it was Gary showing off. He made full use of the technology that was on offer and the budget that he had (provided by the sales of his previous releases). Some people say that it is Numans best moment and it is easy to agree yet I think it is letdown by a couple of album fillers that are plainly obvious to see.Saying that though, the strong tracks make this album a classic.


by zomzom





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