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4.8 out of 5 stars69
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 2 February 2006
For me, no-one before or since has unleashed the force of analogue synthesizers quite so effectively as Numan. On "The Pleasure Principle" Numan deploys them very aggressively, but at the same time combines this force exquisitely with "real" drums, bass, piano and melancholic melodies to produce what is actually a very organic soundscape. The simplicity of the arrangements and Numan's unique vocals just serve to underline the almost military power of the music. Despite what you may think this is not electronic pop: if you like rock, and believe that synthesizers should go "grrr" instead of "beep", then you should like this.
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on 2 October 2009
Thirty years ago Gary Numan released his first album under his own name, previously having played with The Tubeway Army whos own second album with Numan, Replicas was also released in 1979. The Pleasure Principle went to number one in the U.K and many other countries and was the album that went on to influence a host of other synth acts, none of then however were as dark as Gary Numan.

With this two disc deluxe edition (not to be confused with the previous remastered reissue that is one disc with bonus tracks) you get the original ten song album remastered of course, you also get a second disc of 17 songs that include demo versions and out takes. Numan fans will be well familiar with these songs but to people who only have a passing interest and only know the song Cars, they will get a suprise at how much they have heard already whether it be the brilliant Metal which was covered by Nine Inch Nails (on their remix ep things falling apart)or how familiar the music to M.E sounds as it was used by Basement Jaxx on their big hit where's Yor Head At? This just goes to show the influence Numan has on a wide range of musicans.

Stand out tracks are Metal, Cars, M.E and Observer from the main album but truthfully there is no really weak tracks and the album has aged really well considering the technology that was around then and what's around now. On the bonus cd as well as the demos you get Random and Oceans which were out takes from the original album and here you get them all dusted down and remastered. the demos are all high quality so it will be interesting to hear how the finished songs sound originally. You get all the original artwork with the booklet as well as well written piece by writer Steve Malins.

The Pleasure Principle might be 30 years old but one thing for sure is that it will still be influencing people in another 30 years time!
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The electronic wizard, Mr Numan excels himself beyond the musical stratosphere on The Pleasure Principle, which is perhaps his best ever, and certainly the most important album he has produced.From the very first song Aeroplane, which is a superbly composed instrumental song featuring Numan's trademark deep, moody synths and Jess Lidyard's magical drumming is enough to ensure an inspiring musical journey from beginning to end.All seventeen songs on The Pleasure Principle are of the highest quality. Films has to rate among one of the best songs on the album, with its fantastic opening drum break, infectious killer bassline hook and of course the spacey synthesisers makes this number an absolute winner, which people of various musical persuasions would appreciate, particularly breakbeat junkies and those who love to sample obscure drum patterns.Undoubtedly the classic in terms of its popularity, has to be Cars-thanks to Carling Premier utilising the track for their ad campaign a couple of years ago and Armand Van Helden taking the song to his turntables and putting it through its paces, savagely scratching it up on his smash hit single Kookie, emphasising the universal appeal of Numan's music.Oh, and did I forget to mention that Cars was also a number one single for Gary Numan back in 1979? Not since the days of Kraut synth pioneers, Kraftwerk has there been a more influential and stunning electronic album from the late 1970s. Gary Numan has brillaintly combined a post punk sound with space age modernist new wave electronica, and the results are breathtaking and quite simply have to be heard.There's no denying the influence and foundations that Numan has layed for other musicians of a similar ilk through his futuristic recordings which were always ahead of their time and the way in which he experimented with instruments and musical genres-merging elements of rock/punk with electronic synthesisers.Some may argue Numan was in some respects a pastiche of Bowie, but hey who wasn't inspired by rock and roll's own glitter man and chameleon? It's plausible to say Gary Numan was, however he reinvented synthesiser pop in the latter half of the 1970s the way in which no one else had ever done and pioneered an image of his own.Listen to The Pleasure Principle and see for yourself what Gary Numan was-a true electronic musical visionary.
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on 3 October 2009
The Pleasure Principle 30 year expanded edition provides the listener with a stagering insight into the making of a truely outstanding and ground breaking album that sounds as good now as it did 30 years ago.
I can't help thinking while listening to the demo tracks that Gary Numans wildest dreams were about to be realised with the release of this album. The demo tracks have an interesting rawness to them and the sounds from those beautiful old Moogs literaly brings a tear to the eye.
The package as a whole is excellent, good sleeve notes and some interesting almost rustic photos taken in the studio eg keyboards sitting atop an old wooden tressle.
Back in 79 this album blew me away, my old vinyl copy that has seen better days is proof of this, but upon reflection 30 years on, one realises how damn clever Gary Numan was and still is.

Mark Atkinson
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on 29 November 2002
If you look back on Gary Numan's big 3 albums as being 'Replicas', 'The Pleasure Principle' and 'Telekon' then this is undoubtedly my personal favourite of those albums. 'TPP' has a bigger, yet sparser sound than 'Replicas' and Numan does not crawl up his own rear-end with self-sympathising as he did on 'Telekon'. It is the album which created the sound which most people associate with Gary Numan, as he did away with guitars and immersed himself and his new, bigger band in the (then) latest technology, resulting in an album of full-on synthesizer songs. He really did capture the essence of what successful electronic music should be; commercial but not quite pure pop as the robotic bass synths and the mighty Vox Humana preset prevented this.

As most will know, this is the album that spawned 'Cars', his most enduring single, but most of the tracks here are of equal quality and better in some cases. The follow-up single is also included here, the soaring, emotional 'Complex' which was a brave move for Numan at the time and is my favourite track on 'TPP'. 'Tracks', 'Engineers', 'Observer' and 'Metal' could all have been singles while the phenomenal 'Films' and 'M.E.' are amongst the Numan legends. He does get a little self-indulgent on the lengthy 'Conversation' but it is still a good track nonetheless.

Highlights among the extras include Numan's 1979 live versions of the old Drifters tune 'On Broadway' and his own 'Bombers'. For me, the glory days of Gary Numan started with 'The Pleasure Principle'.
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on 4 December 2009
Well here it is, and if like me you adore the sound of analogue synths and heaving bass beats then look no further. This album is absolutely peerless, a soaring masterpiece that will force you to listen to it again and again. If it wasn't for Kraftwerk, this album would sound like the beginning of electronic music, the point in time after which countless bands have attempted - but ultimately failed - to emulate artists like Gary Numan. I'm a huge Depeche Mode fan and I can see instantly where they derived inspiration from. It's music like this, utter perfection. Highlights are too numerous to mention but the opening track sends shivers down the spine and you know you are in for something special. It only gets better from there and the fact that this album ever ends is a major disappointment.

So do yourself a favour, buy this, put the cans on and immerse yourself in the genius of one of the most important albums of all time. Yes it really is that good.
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on 5 November 2006
My favourite Gary Numan album. Replica's and Telekon are also great, but apart from bass and drums, it is purely synth's. The primary instrument on this album - Moog Polymoog - get's it's best show case here. The sound is just incredible. Metal, Films, Observer and Engineer's are my favourite non-single tracks. Cars is a top hit single. But my number one favourite was Complex. I just love the whirling sound of the ARP Odyssey in this song. It added a haunting quality to it. Quite addictive and a bench mark synth album.
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on 27 July 2002
Numan's debut solo album set the tone for much of the synth
music that was to follow. Undoubtedly the first pop star
of the synth, Numan took what Ultravox, The Human League
and Kraftwerk had been doing and added something totally
different. He had the image and the songs and was scoring
number one hits when he was just 21.
The opening instrumental, Airlane, gives you some idea of
what's to come with its full-ahead drumming (from Ced
Sharpley), insistant bass-playing (from Numan's long-time
friend and cohort, the late Paul Gardiner) and soaring
synthwork from Chris Payne (who, incidentally, co-wrote
Visage's classic Fade To Grey with Ultravox's Billy Currie
during soundchecks for Numan's Touring Principle tour).
The number one single Cars is just the start of some great
songs. Metal and M.E are anthems of isolation and pick
up the themes Numan had started on his previous album
Replicas. My favourite is Tracks, Numan almost whispering
the intro before the synths and drums hit like a ton of lead.
After flying high on the layers of synths, the track breaks
down to a few final notes. Brilliant.
Also included on this release is On Broadway which is worth
the cost of the CD alone. After Numan concludes the vocals, the synths soar and counterpoint with Currie (a special guest on
The Touring Principle) expecially really giving his ARP Odyssey
a damned good seeing-to. Incredible and one of the fienst tracks
Numan ever committed to vinyl (it was originally released as
a bonus single with the following album Telekon).
A great album which still sounds the business now.
Al Ferrier
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on 9 July 2013
For me, this is the apex of electronic music. At a time when there was no computers, let's not forget how Chris Payne moulded the sound to Numan's fantastic songwriting ? Along with Telekon this is a must have; indeed, this is the apex recording! The extras are fantastic, and the old pictures fascinating.
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on 13 September 2011
The original music from the original album that spawned a million permutations is still great to listen to. This was my first record ever, and it's still a favourite, not for the nostalgia factor that will only take you so far, but because there is some genuinely startling and innovative music here. I love it for the moments that makes synths sound almost classical, very pure and harmonic. There's also some bonus live tracks that weren't on the original album. From 79 - and still relevant.
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