The BBC Sessions
With all the constant repackaging and re-releasing of Gary Numan’s classic material in a seemingly exponential number of different combinations and shapes, I shudder at the thought of the tidal wave of matter that will be unleashed when the poor guy dies. Just a short cautionary note, that’s all. That being said, I think The BBC Sessions is a good starting point for the wide-eyed newcomer and an essential addition to any Numaphiles collection because it is THE definitive testament to the power and tightness of Numan and his touring band.
Make no mistake, Numan was no studio boffin, he could pull off his shit live at the drop of a hat. In grand style too. Red satin jumpsuits, black stormtrooper outfits, synthesizers for EVERY bandmember, Numan lived the gimmick to the hilt. I heard a rumor that he used a Moog as a pillow. There was blood pumping at the heart of this machine. Particularly impressive is the bass work of the died-too-young Paul Gardiner, a drug casualty that showed a criminal amount of potential. It’s all here. The thought of these songs being broadcast out to a nation of captive listeners is very satisfying, you’ve got to love the BBC. Personal pick: a transcendent version of powerhouse “Films” — Gary KNEW the importance of the drums. Oh yeah, it’s got “Cars” — come on, you know you can’t get enough versions of that song.