This was Gary Numan's first album to feature the heavy synth-driven machine music that is his trademark. The debut album, simply called Tubeway Army, was more a punk-rock affair. Replicas, released in 1979, is a classic album of its' time and has perhaps been overlooked by many who see Mr Numan as nothing other than an ersatz David Bowie. Sure enough, Numan was influenced by Bowie but let's face it, how many acts that appeared in the 80s weren't? Numan was obviously inspired by David Bowie's mid-70s work with Eno on the Berlin-era albums like Low and Hereos. It's clear that he was also influenced by other early pioneers of electronica such as Kraftwerk and pre-Midge Ure Ultravox. But that doesn't mean to say Gary Numan didn't make original music - he did and this album is the proof. Forget the later funk-rock experiments, messing about with aeroplanes and speaking up in support of Maggie Thatcher, Gary Numan never again matched the sheer brilliance of this album - a futuristic nightmare vision of a world controlled by replica humans, all set to sparsely arranged, haunting synth-based music. Sure, everybody knows Are Friends Electric?, but the real gems of this album are the lesser known tracks such as Replicas, Me I Disconnect From You and the utterly awesome Down In The Park. In my view, this album was never bettered and if there's one Gary Numan album you absolutley must own this is it.