Dance to the Tune…or Not: Gary Numan reissued

20th March 2018

Title: Dance

Label: Beggars Arkive

His fifth album, released in 1981 on Beggars Banquet, Dance began a transition from the Tubeway Numan. The Numan who had a soft spot for automobiles. Numan, you see, listened to his record label and the suits surrounding him. Fatal. They convinced him, at the time, to move away from his alien-esque persona to a sort of Bryan Ferry from Mars image. Plus the hat, of course. Essential. The bottom line was an influx of funk and soul into many of his LPs from here on in. Gary Numan, reportedly, hated it but felt trapped. It took a long time for him to find his mojo again.

He’ll hate me for saying it but I loved this album. Loved it! Still do. Slated by the artist and by critics of the time (and he hadn’t even gone blond yet), I find the rhythmic attack accompanying She’s Got Claws an irresistible one and shows that Numan could do serious damage with a groove, if someone presented it to him in a velvet bag. That bass solo at the end of …Claws is the funkiest sound I’ve heard this side of George Clinton. Stories, meanwhile has a smooth, melodic flow, an electronica ballad of high quality.

This excellent album has now been reissued by Beggars Arkive on purple vinyl. The original 50 minute album was cut onto a single LP with a resulting compression and compromise to the sound. This new cut spans two discs and three sides. The resultant sound has been well mastered. It offers a spacious and airy midrange with a tight, weighty bass. The fourth side contains singles, B-sides and an out-take: Stormtrooper In Drag, Face to Face, Dance, Exhibition and I Sing Rain. Also, the full length version of Moral has been used to close out the original album.

Oh, before I go, did you know that the album also features Japan’s Mick Karn and Queen’s Roger Taylor?

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