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1979 Sep The Pleasure Principle
Title: The Pleasure Principle 
Artist: Gary Numan 
Tracklisting:  Airlane
How old: This Album is old!
Release Date: September 1979
Format: LP 
Record Label: Beggars Banquet
Catalogue No: BEGA 10
Price Guide: £8.00
Country:  UK
Additional info: Deleted Recorded at Spaceward, Blue vinyl, 5000 issued
Highest Chart Position: 1
Full Artist List:

Gary Numan (Vocals, Keyboards, Synthetic Percussion)
Paul Gardiner (Bass)
Christopher Payne (Keyboards, Viola)
Cedric Sharpley (Drums, Percussion)
Billy Currie (Fadeout Violin on "Tracks")
Garry Robson (Backing Vocal on "Conversation")

Produced by Gary Numan

Engineered and Mixed by Rikki Sylvan and Harvey Webb

Recorded at Marcus Music AB, London


BEGD 1 CA (With Replicas)



 CLICK HERE 1979 Aug Cars 7"/12"

3:53 Cars 2:30 Asylum 7" UK Beggars Banquet BEG 23 1979 Aug Cars 3:53 Cars 2:30 Asylum 12" WG Intercord INT 126.502

 CLICK HERE 1979 Nov Complex 7"/12"

1979 Nov Complex 3:09 Complex 5:48 Bombers (Live '79) 7" UK Beggars Banquet BEG 29 3:09 Complex 5:48 Bombers (Live '79) 3:05 Me, I Disconnect From You (Live '79) 12"  UK Beggars Banquet BEG 29T


The Pleasure Principle is a 1979 New Wave / electronic album by Gary Numan. Released the same year as Replicas (under the name Tubeway Army), The Pleasure Principle also went to number 1 in the UK and paved the way to chart success for a spate of synthpop acts such as Ultravox, The Human League, Depeche Mode and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

For the first and only time on an album, Numan completely abandoned guitars and this change, coupled with frequent use of synthetic percussion, produced the most purely electronic and robotic sound of his career. In addition to the Minimoog synthesizer employed on his previous album, Numan now made liberal use of the Polymoog keyboard, particularly its distinctive "Vox Humana" preset. Other striking production tricks included copious amounts of flanging, phasing and reverb, plus the unusual move of including solo viola and violin parts in the arrangements.

Notable tracks included "Airlane", the lead-off instrumental; "Metal", sung from the perspective of an android longing to be human and covered by Nine Inch Nails on Things Falling Apart and Afrika Bambaataa on Dark Matter Moving at the Speed of Light; "Films", acknowledged by Bambaataa as an important influence on the U.S. hip hop scene; "M.E.", told by the last machine on Earth and later used as backing for Basement Jaxx’s "Where’s Your Head At?"; "Complex", a UK number 6 single touted by its author as the first electronic ballad; and "Cars", a worldwide synthpop hit recently covered by Fear Factory and sampled for Armand Van Helden’s "Koochy". "Cars" reached number 9 in the U.S., helping make The Pleasure Principle Numan's strongest Stateside showing, but lack of a strong commercial follow-up meant he was tagged a one-hit wonder there.

The Pleasure Principle's title and cover art were inspired by the René Magritte painting Le Principe Du Plaisir. Numan toured throughout the world in support of the album with a huge stage set including banks of neon lights and twin pyramids which danced across the stage via radio control. The live show was captured on record as Living Ornaments ’79 and on video as The Touring Principle. The support act on the UK leg of the tour was Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

Of the bonus tracks currently available on CD, "Random" and "Oceans" were instrumental outtakes from The Pleasure Principle sessions, originally issued on vinyl with other previously-unreleased tracks in 1985; "Asylum" was the instrumental flip of the "Cars" vinyl single; the live versions of "Me! I Disconnect From You" and "Bombers" made up the B-side of "Complex", having been recorded on tour and lately made available in their original context on the expanded Living Ornaments '79 CD, along with "Remember I Was Vapour" and "On Broadway". The latter two tracks first saw the light of day as a promotional single shipped with early pressings of the album Telekon in 1980; Numan's unlikely version of the classic "On Broadway" was dominated by a characteristic synthesizer solo by then-former (and soon-to-be-again) Ultravox band member Billy Currie.


Having owned "the Pleasure Principal" on original pre-recorded cassette way back circa 1980, I decided one day during a nostalgia trip that I would seek out a CD version for old times sake. 

I had seen the "Digitally re-mastered" claim, but mostly ignored this as far too often this is used to sell old material and quite frankly I can detect no real quality improvement over the original recording. 

Well, the first thing I noticed upon inserting the CD into my player was the quality of mastering done with this album. I was blown away! I had remembered the poor somewhat muffled playback of my original cassette release and thought that this was as good as it got. This album sounds like it could've been recorded yesterday! Full marks go to the record label for the sterling work done on restoring this 25 year-old material to its best (Other record labels take note). 

The album itself is fantastic. I've also purchased "Replicas" and "Telekon", but I would have to say that this one is my firm favourite. If you remember Gary Numan for his "Cars" track, then this album is the definitive "Cars" era sound with the great analogue synth sound that he epitomised in this album. His earlier work with Tubeway Army with the album "Replicas" was more guitar semi-punk/newage effort with hints of what was to come. His 1984 "Telekon" project had developed into a more organic sound. 

Both "Replicas" and "Telekon" have had the same beautiful re-mastrering done to make them sound equally superb. 

Favourite tracks on "The pleasure Principal"(amongst others) include "Airlane", "Metal", ""Films","Tracks" and the excellent live "Bombers". 

If you like (or even liked) Gary Numan then this is a MUST have CD. It sounds fantastic! 

Reviewer: Amazon.co.uk (Customer Review) 

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