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Exposure: the Best of Gary Numan 1977-2002 [Original recording remastered]

Gary Numan Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £27.95
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As a pioneer of EDM and industrial music Gary Numan’s influence has been recognized by a diverse array of the world’s greatest artists—from Prince to Lady Gaga, Jack White to Kanye West; Beck to Queens Of The Stone Age, and The Foo Fighters to Nine Inch Nails. Numan’s impact was crystallized in the U.S. some three decades ago with his now legendary performance of his ... Read more in Amazon's Gary Numan Store

Visit Amazon's Gary Numan Store
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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 May 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Jagged Halo
  • ASIN: B000067UD9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,491 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Films
2. I Die: You Die
3. Are 'Friends' Electric?
4. Pure
5. Dead Heaven
6. Down In The Park
7. Me! I Disconnect From You
8. Metal
9. She's Got Claws
10. Magic
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. My Jesus
2. Cars
3. Dominion Day
4. Complex
5. We Are So Fragile
6. RIP
7. M.E.
8. We Take Mystery
9. Dark
10. Remember I Was Vapour
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Product Description


Exposure is an introduction to the musical career of Gary Numan, and what a strange career he's had. After a few short years being hailed as the king of electro-pop, a paragon of post-punk alienation, he fell spectacularly from grace--and just kept falling. His attempted comeback as a head-banging long-hair was mercilessly mocked. Yet for the last two decades, the incredibly unfashionable Numan's influence has been spreading. Afrika Bambaataa and the original hip-hoppers employed his breakbeats and swirling, sci-fi keyboards as rap backdrops. Industrialists, goths and cyberpunks (including Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and Fear Factory), appreciating his music's misery and menace, regularly covered his work, while DJs and R&B artists often pilfered from it.

This two-CD compilation--including all his biggest hits, plus several rerecorded versions of old live favourites--follows immediately after Sugababes' "Freak Like Me", a UK No. 1 in 2002 that made full use of Numan's "Are 'Friends' Electric?". Most heartening, though, is the inclusion of five tracks from 2000's Pure, which, with a fuller, more powerful sound, revealed Numan to be back on top form. "Rip", in particular, where his pained whine is replaced by a threatening whisper and a raucous chant of a chorus, is excellent. His timing is perfect. With giant corporations holding sway and rock musicians revelling in self-indulgent paranoia, the stage is certainly set for the return of the Master of Misanthropy. --Dominic Wills

BBC Review

What a long strange trip it's been for the world's favourite android. For a brief span the world belonged to Gary Numan. Then, as the alienated electronic wastelands of Numanoid imagination fell from favour, Gary found himself floundering with little more than a pilot's license and a small but fiercely loyal fan base to support him. Nowadays the hard times are well and truly over and he has a much larger and still intensely loyal legion of metal/goth/industrial fans. What's more he can now count among them such credible luminaries as Beck, Marilyn Manson, Liam Howlett and Damon Albarn and his back catalogue (in sample form) is now helping other acts such as Basement Jaxx, Armand Van Helden and the Sugababes achieve their own chart goals. Let's face it, Electroclash and bootleg culture is about as hip as you can get in 2002. Who'd have thought it?

It is, however, important to note that this new found credibility is not necessarily the most important thing on Gary's mind. Many times he has stated his desire to move on, and it's the ability to continue creating music that speaks to a newer, younger audience that's paramount. At least half of this collection does exactly that. If ever there was a career of two halves this is it, though both have their merits.

Firstly this is a 'best of' not a hits collection and being assembled by a fan of Numan's it gives a more balanced view than the usual record company bandwagon-jumping. Tracks are not chronological but sequenced thoughtfully to allow a sense of Numan the complete artist and while new layers of technology and sophistication now layer his compositions there emerges an odd continuity. Admittedly lyrics have become more assured with experience; compare the bleak sci fi musings of "Are 'Friends' Electric?" or "Remember, I Was Vapour" with the darker and quasi-religious strain running through "My Jesus" and "Dominion Day". Yet the gradual reinvention of Numan as industrial father-figure to Trent Reznor and his ilk has done nothing to remove the essential Numanoid quality of his best work. Instead, he's merely removed the more derivative strains of his early work ("Complex" is pure Eno, while ""She's Got Claws", one of the few examples of Gary in decline, is akin to Japan meeting Bowie in a new romantic karaoke bar) and arrived at a musical landscape that is, most assuredly, 100 percent Numan.

Despite his adoption by Kerrang! readers, Gary's music still retains a canny eye for a brooding synth riff ("Pure") and the voice has lost its young plaintive edge to become a much more emotive tool. Witness the improved reworkings of "My Shadow In Vain" and "Everyday I Die". With a new album due next year, this new, improved model of Numan seems intent on building even further on his second coming and paying no lip service whatsoever to paltry nostalgia. It may not be everyone's cup of motor oil, but such dogged individuality deserves to prosper long into the 21st century. --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another mediocre choice - shame 26 Aug 2003
Format:Audio CD
There must be as many Gary Numan compilation albums as original albums by now, and while this is probably the best so far, it still lacks a great deal. It certainly over-borrows from the last two albums and space is wasted with 'new versions', 12in versions and remix tracks: they're great, but stray from what a 'best of' album is supposed to be about. Obviously everyone has their own preferences, but why include the so-so 'Remember I Was Vapour' from Telekon instead of outstanding tracks such as 'This Wreckage', 'I'm an agent' or 'I Dream of Wires' from the same album? Where are all the classic tracks from those lost albums of the 1980s? OK, forget the god-awful Outland and Machine & Soul, but why nothing from Strange Charm, The Fury, Warriors, Berserker or Metal Rhythm? Also, the typos and factual errors in the booklet are, to a Numan fan, unforgivable. Sorry, guys, try again.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you liked the covers and samples - buy it 29 July 2002
Format:Audio CD
The problem with Gary Numan "best ofs" is that they are usually reviewed by die hard fans, when arguably the purpose of such a compilation is to introduce an artist to new fans or give a handy synopsis for the more casual fan. Inevitably, the die hard is never happy and wants more tracks included.
I've bought every Gary Numan studio album and seen him live too many times to count, so it's easy to see which camp I'm in.
However, I believe that this is an accurate summary of an extensive career. It isn't really aimed at the die hard fan but rather at jumping on the back of all the recent publicity that has put this oft maligned artist back into the public eye.
Exposure does collect material that stands the test of time and wisely omits some of Numan's patchy material. Arguably, he didn't release a decent album between 1983 and 1994, and wisely there's no evidence of this material here. The emphasis on the last album, Pure, makes sense - it was released to critical acclaim and spawned his only top 30 original single (Rip) for over a decade. If Exposure was intended to provide a compilation for a new audience, then you can't really fault the tracklist.
Classic tracks from the 70's are here, which have the closest relation to his new material which is far heavier and industrial. The early songs give and indication as to why he has been such an influence on artists today. The later material shows that he can bang it out just as well as NIN, Filter or Manson to name a few.
It's a good album. If you don't know his music, it gives you a quick insight into his better stuff; if you're a die hard fan, it doesn't offer much new, but makes a good collection to have on in the car etc.
If you've got the dough to spare though, buy "Replicas", "Pure", "The Pleasure Principle" and "Telekon".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why didn't anybody ever tell me? 15 Dec 2009
Format:Audio CD
I am the person whom this compilation is for.

I've always been a huge fan of early synth music - especially The Human League and Soft Cell. My favourite Bowie music spans "Station to Station" to "Scary Monsters". My all-time favourite artists are those willfull, bloody-minded sods who follow their own path regardless - Mark Hollis, David Sylvian, Neil Young, Lyndsey Buckingham, Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, etc etc.

So why no Gary Numan until this late date? Why, Gin, why?

I always had Gary Numan down as a xeroxed also-ran (Does he have a b-side with that title? If he doesn't, he should have). I always sort of thought that he'd picked up a synth after hearing 'Being Boiled' and decided that it would help his Bowie impersonations on to Top of the Pops. Gary was the naff side of the synth - a pre-Howard Jones & Thompson Twins character.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have yet another example of your host talking codswallop. I say codswallop in case Amazon don't allow swearing.

It took BBC's "Synth Brittania" documentary, where everyone involved - Martin Gore, Martin Ware, Vince Clarke, etc - all sang Gary's praises and slagged off those who'd slagged Gary off in the first place. Gary Numan was an innovator not an impersonater. Martin Ware certainly never mentioned any 'Being Boiled' rip-off accusations. Where the hell did I get that from? I realised that "Are Friends Electric" was a work of genius. I'm still not convinced about 'Cars', but I was convinced enough to buy this - and for a hell of a lot cheaper than it's on sale for here.

And what do we find? 'Exposure' contains some glorious, glorious music. "Down in the park", "M.E.", "Metal", etc.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Numan 28 May 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Exposure is a bang up to date synopsis of Numan at his absolute finest. All the Numanesq nuances are there, with the ever popular essential classics: Cars, Are Friends Electric and Music for Chameleons. These are joined by some lesser known atmospheric masterpieces with almost disturbing qualities. If you are new to Numan or returning, this magnum opus will not disappoint. A 'must-have' for anyone who fondly remembers this pioneer of electronic music's unique style, or for yet to be fully acquainted with the electric music maestro. There is only one Gary Numan and Exposure is the best album yet to capture his inspired brilliance.
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