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Strange Charm

Gary Numan Audio CD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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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

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 July 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cleopatra
  • ASIN: B00000IMRO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,500 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. My Breathing
2. Unknown And Hostile
3. The Sleeproom
4. New Thing From London Town
5. I Can't Stop
6. Strange Charm
7. The Need
8. This Is Love
9. New Thing From London Town [12" Version]
10. Time To Die (New Thing From London Town B-Side)
11. I Can't Stop [10" Version]
12. Faces [I Can't Stop B-side]
13. Survival [This Is Love B-side]

Product Description

Album Description

U.S. version of Gary's 1986 release. With different artwork and including 5 bonus tracks including the original 12" version of 'New Thing From London Town' - to date an exclusive to this CD.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous atmospheric production piece 13 Aug 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As a fan of 80s music and 80s production, I was in heaven when I discovered this. It might be a 'marmite' thing...but I love marmite!

Only a recent discoverer of Numan despite being aware of Cars (etc.) for many years. I was amazed to find albums like this. It's sad that Gary doesn't like this period, perhaps because it wasn't so successful for him. However, it didn't stop him creating a masterpiece of 80s production work.

I think the songs are very good on this album, far more 'catchy' than, say, Berserker, which appeared to be the start of this kind of production. Not that Beserker isn't good, this is far better. Metal Rhythm, to my ear, possibly has better 'pop' songs, and also fabulous production, but this one has the most atmosphere.

Numan obviously knows/knew how to pick the right engineers, programmers etc. I can't imagine it sounding better if Trevor Horn produced it.

If you like moody albums that are laden with reverb and big, effective use of dynamics (very rare these days), you'll love it. Think of a CD equivalent of Blade Runner.

I should note that I've only heard this remaster so don't know if previous releases were as good. The remastered itself should be given lots of credit, dynamics and sound quality have clearly been the priority, so don't expect it smashed to today's levels, the volume control is your friend :o)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its not that bad! 3 Jun 2008
Format:Audio CD
Strange Charm has come in for alot of stick down the years (as well as on Amazon judging by some of the comments here). I cant pretend its a classic in the mould of his early albums (Replicas, The Pleasure Principle, Telekon) nor can I say its up there with his later industrial period (Exile, Pure, Jagged). It is, however, one of the better albums of his middle period and deserves a second chance.

First off, its very "of its time". Numan had jealously watched the rise of the Pet Shop Boys and the all conquering Frankie Goes To Hollywood at a time when he couldnt get his own records played on the radio. This (new) anger propels not only the lyrics but the sound as well. Its a mix of early 80's synth pop, high energy disco, Trevor Horn inspired slabs of percussive synth and Numan's own brand of sci fi dystopian gravitas. A heady mix that just about hangs together due to the quality of the songwriting throughout.

The title track in particular is a guargantuan disco stomp that sounds so of its time it could be an artefact in an 80's museum. But its also got a chorus to die for and a great verse hook that spins the song into another dimension in a way dullards like Dead Or Alive couldnt even dream about. The Bill Sharpe collaboration attempts to do a West End Girls and pretty much suceeds. The Blade Runner sampling opener (My Breathing)is a winner as well.

So, all in all, I think this album has been abit unfairly treated. Added to the fact that this remastered edition contains a slew of extra tracks I would recommend a purchase. It has alot more going for it than its predecessor (The Fury) and the albums that followed (Metal Rhythm and Outland - more one dimensional than Strange Charm).

Give it a chance...you just may be pleasantly surprised.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably more strange than charm. 27 April 2006
Format:Audio CD
This album came at an awkward time indeed for Mr Numan. Radio support was gone. Slating press revues made a turn for the even worse: non existent. It seemed the whole media world was on a mission to erase him. No wonder Numan was well and truely out of fashion with everyone who either blindly followed what they read in the music weeklys, or who's ears couldn't reach past the (then at least) narrow tastebuds of daytime radio. Dark days and a real test of faith for the Numanoids.

On Strange Charm, Numan tackles a few of these issues head on and when he does, boy does it work. My Breathing has irresistible airy eastern atmospheric effects over a situation in which he describes he will "pick up the pieces" after the "assassination by the radio". "I can't stop for all your stories" he states on the soaring chorus of I can't stop. Fighting stuff and the power is transfered straight to the listener. He really bears his heart over the industrial minimalism of The Sleeproom, "this isn't evil,this is a sound", "this is uncertain,this is unsound...". Really haunting. As is the bonus ballad, Time to die, where he takes a glimpse at a possibly bleak future and references what it would be like with no more concerts or recordings: "no Exhibition, no screaming War Song, no Conversation, no more opinions here". But unfortunatly these are among the few of the albums highlights.

Elsewhere the struggle is all too evidently eating away at the creative juices. The all out attack of Unknown and Hostile is oversmothered by sax and girl vocals. I can't stop is overstretched into it's 5 min version and oversells its girl vocal at the price of the original single issues impact.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DISCOEY !!!!!!! 18 Mar 2006
Format:Audio CD
After his collaborations with keyboardist Bill Sharpe of Shakatak,Numan temporarily dropped his funk influences to record this very disco-influenced lp.There's some excellent if electronic industrial percussion job intertwined with the downright disco dance floor beats,lots of sax,
female backing vocals and the most welcome return of slick guitars to his work.Like most re-releases,the excellent choice of bonus tracks make the purchase worth the while.Superb ballads, intrumentals and 2 slow but crunching industrial songs,not unlike those he's making nowadays close the cd like a triumphant war cry.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Numan Moves Towards His Nadir
By Gary Numan's high standards, `Strange Charm' is a pretty rum affair and when I listen back through his catalogue this is one of the albums I look forward to the least. Read more
Published on 10 Feb 2012 by Pink
1.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS NOT THE Strange Charm Album it suggests
Firstly the poor rating is not for the content. I am a great Gary Numan fan and was hoping here to purchase a copy of the 1986 Strange Charm album that i have on vinyl. Read more
Published on 21 Nov 2011 by weeehaggis
5.0 out of 5 stars Christ
My Breathing is at the same time shamefull and saving. This was the first "trashy" Numan-Record with the last hit on it. And it fits well with the record. Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2010 by Jo day
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular
Before you ask, i'm not a numanoid. So i'm not just saying this because i "can't say a bad word against Gary"

Speaking to you as a fan of 80s music, this album is truly... Read more
Published on 9 Oct 2009 by Mr. W. C. Balloch
1.0 out of 5 stars Strange Album
The orginal vinyl had just eight tracks- a major insult at the time. Ideas completely gone and the same old tired synth chords and overstretched vocals- this quite simply is one... Read more
Published on 15 April 2008 by ndb_master
4.0 out of 5 stars Numan's most underrated album.
Strange Charm is an album that seems to have been dismissed by critics (and a lot of Numan fans), probably as it came out at a low point in his career when a lot of his music was a... Read more
Published on 4 Jan 2008 by M. Evans
2.0 out of 5 stars schizophrenic charm
Gary Numan's dance trend reaches scattered heights in the disco-tronic 80's. Confusion and perhaps blatant redundancy cloud whatever direction Numan is trying to approach in the... Read more
Published on 23 Mar 2007 by olofpalme63
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet 80s synth pop, but gritty and emotional
This is a collection of a lot of tracks that are otherwise very hard to find. The track "This is Love" typifies the album, and is my favorite track. Read more
Published on 5 April 2001
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