“Dance” by Gary Numan - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1981Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s

TJR says

Well, you can't stay #1 forever, but “Dance” (#3) did at least maintain his succesful run in the higher echelons of the UK album charts, despite taking an introspective turn after all of the crazy hype in recent years. The 23-year-old had famously played his 'farewell' concerts at London Wembley Arena in April (yeah right, heard it!), had broken up with his girlfriend who was threatening to sell their story to the tabloids and his best friend Paul Gardiner was suffering a heroin addiction which would kill him a few years on. Unsurprisingly, the screwed up relationship is the recurring theme throughout. A hint towards a new direction came in August, 1981, with “She’s Got Claws” (a tale of gold-digger betrayal), a #6 hit single, which introduced Japan's Mick Karn as bassist and saxophonist, and re-introduced Gary Numan as a dapper suited-and-booted gentleman of the 1940s, complete with trilby hat the lot, with only the make-up to remind us that we're in the new romantic era of the early 1980s. The album arrived just a month later and confirmed the new look via the striking front-cover shot. On album opener, “Slowcar To China”, so distinctive is Karn's highly stylized playing that you could be forgiven for thinking that you were listening to the official follow-up to “Gentlemen Take Polaroids” and not “Telekon”. It's probably for the best that David Sylvian himself declined the offer to take part. As far as Numan's lyrics go, the kinky android may be dead, but the dark sexuality has hitched a ride on the time-machine, back to where we are now: “She'll take a slowcar to China, She'll pay the rent for the use of you tonight”. Love you longtime $$$. The slow and moody tone prevails on side one through “Night Talk” (the stresses of partnering a drug-addict), “A Subway Called 'You'” and the ten-minute long “Cry, The Clock Said”, a bluer-than-blue song of heartbreak featuring suitably mournful walk-on-the-weird-side violin from Nash The Slash and a half-sung, half-spoken vocal from the broken Gary, most definitely outing himself as a humanoid. Change is good, and this is a nice re-invention, I was never a big fan of dancing anyway.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [09:05] 8.7.png Gary Numan - Slowcar To China (Gary Webb) Electronica
A2 [04:26] 5.8.png Gary Numan - Night Talk (Gary Webb, Paul Gardiner) New Wave
A3 [04:38] 5.0.png Gary Numan - A Subway Called ’You’ (Gary Webb) New Wave
A4 [09:56] 7.0.png Gary Numan - Cry, The Clock Said (Gary Webb) Electronica
B1 [04:58] 6.3.png Gary Numan - She’s Got Claws (Gary Webb) New Wave
B2 [03:39] 6.1.png Gary Numan - Crash (Gary Webb) New Wave
B3 [04:16] 6.4.png Gary Numan - Boys Like Me (Gary Webb) Electronica
B4 [03:11] 5.3.png Gary Numan - Stories (Gary Webb) Electronica
B5 [04:38] 6.1.png Gary Numan - My Brother’s Time (Gary Webb) New Wave
B6 [04:03] 5.5.png Gary Numan - You Are, You Are (Gary Webb) New Wave
B7 [04:33] 6.0.png Gary Numan - Moral (Gary Webb) New Wave

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved