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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
In 1981 'Dance' saw Gary Numan take the sharpest musical turn of his career. I've got to admit, when I first heard it I despised it. At the time I thought Numan's introduction of saxophone and fretless bass to his music was sacrelige, it was too low-key for all the upbeat connotations of the title, I was simply wanting another full-on Moog-fest. Looking at it now, it is a...
Published on 16 Nov 2002 by Mick E

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars ROGER IS HERE!!!
BOUGHT IT (I HAD IT ON VINYL) JUST BECAUSE THE ROGER TAYLOR COLLABORATION. EXTRA TRACKS ARE FINE AND WORTH BUT THE WHOLE ALBUM IS A BIT BORING AND GARY'S VOCALS SOMETIMES AWFUL
Published 8 months ago by STAVROS K


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, 16 Nov 2002
By 
This review is from: Dance (Audio CD)
In 1981 'Dance' saw Gary Numan take the sharpest musical turn of his career. I've got to admit, when I first heard it I despised it. At the time I thought Numan's introduction of saxophone and fretless bass to his music was sacrelige, it was too low-key for all the upbeat connotations of the title, I was simply wanting another full-on Moog-fest. Looking at it now, it is a sombre, haunting masterpiece and is probably the only time Gary Numan seems to have made music with a bit of spontaneity.

'Dance' is arguably Numan's best work lyrically; gone are the ponderings about machines and all things futuristic replaced by stories of broken down relationships, the New Romantic movement and people meeting in cafes but still expressed with Numan's trademark bitterness. Mick Karn's excellent bass playing gives the songs a fluid, almost dreamy quality as Numan reputedly gave him free rein to improvise to his heart's content. Any problems that the album had lay not in it's musical quality but in it's commercial appeal - or lack of it. Numan's decision to experiment with new instruments on a more minimalist, downbeat album probably cost him a few fans, especially after recently quitting touring. As mentioned before, 'Dance' is very low-key, the first 5 songs are all slow to mid-paced, moody affairs and the pace of the album is only raised when we get to 'You Are, You Are' (which I still think was the only obvious single - Numan instead went with the sombre 'She's Got Claws). 'Slowcar To China', 'Crash', 'Moral', 'A Subway Called You', 'Exhibition' and 'Cry, The Clock Said' are, in my opinion, undisputed Numan classics and still among the best songs he's ever written.

There's no doubt that the feel of Japan's 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids' is all over this album but there is honestly not a bad track in sight - but be warned, 'Dance' is nowhere near as easy to listen to as something like 'Replicas', but is probably Gary Numan's most 'musical' album of his career.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a word...Sheer utter magic, 29 Jan 2006
By 
William Downie "jagged_halo" (Greenock, Sco) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dance (Audio CD)
"Dance", the title states and you envisage yourself emerged in another electro-pioneering Moog heavy outing of new wave synth...You saw wrong. Gary Numan's 1981 outing, (not aptly title) "Dance" is far away from his previous trips through a vast wasteland were us lonely, poor humans only have machines to keep us comforted (namely, Tubeway Army's 1979 outing; "Replicas" and Numan's fantastic 1979 effort "The Pleasure Principle"). "Dance" opens up a whole new tool chest in Numan's ideas, thoughts and more prominently, his lyrics. "Dance" delivers us an utterly dreamy mix of jazzy fretless bass and sax reverb, thanks to Japan's Mick Karn and a jaggy, hard egged approach to rock drumming, all in debt to Queen's Roger Taylor. "Dance" will have you dancing as much as a night out with the IT crowd in a gentleman's club but rather it will leave you breathless from classics such as "Slowcar to China", "She's Got Claws" and "Stories". In a word...Superb
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative, timeless album, 13 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Dance (Audio CD)
This for me is one of the best albums I've ever bought of any artist. There isn't a duff track on here. I bought the original vinyl back in 1981 and have waited for a re-release as good as this for a while. Fantastic remastered sound and packaging plus a previously undiscovered vignette of a track 'Dance' which somehow captures the mood & lyric content of the entire album in just 2' 30''! Which brings us to the theme of this album. Contrary to what you might think this is not a dance album (well not an upbeat one anyway). It's an album of lost love and deceit ; there's genuine pain here in every track. Don't play this if you're depressed! Mostly downbeat tracks with brilliant percussion and drum machine use and wonderful guest appearances by Mick Karn, Roger Taylor, Nash the Slash(!) plus some of Numan's old band going back even to Jess Lidyard on the wonderful 'Moral' , a remake of his brilliant 'Metal'. Fave track is the minimalist/ambient 10 minute 'Cry the Clock Said'. I can't stress how great this album is: even the bonus B-sides are truly phenomenal ( like 'Exhibition'). Try this album. It transcends any music fashions that were contemporary in 1981 and is truly timeless.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great work, 22 July 2004
By 
S. Pearce "simes69" (Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dance (Audio CD)
This is not a typical Numan work, so everyone should try this CD. In my view, Dance is one of the most original albums of the early 80's and one of Numan's finest.
This album was deeply unpopular at the time because for two reasons - one, it was such a departure from Numan's previous long-player, Telekon; two, it's by Gary Numan, who was cannon fodder for the media in those days and was treated as if he had the words "kick me" on his back.
The fact that his style changed so radically in the 12 months since Telekon indicates what a talented and mature writer he was in his prime, bearing in mind he was only 23 when he worked on Dance.
Together with Japan, Numan used the fretlass bass and "sax in reverb" to excellent effect. These combine to alternatly entrance the listener with a dreamy quality (Slowcar to China, Cry the Clock Said) before crashing them down to earth with upbeat numbers like She's Got Claws and You Are You Are. Great guest performances by Japan's Mick Karn on bass and sax, and Queen's Roger Taylor on drums.
I bought this album when it was released in 1981 and still treasure the vinyl - it's timeless classic that bears endless plays I totally recommend it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Continuing Musical Journey, 2 Feb 2007
By 
S. Morris (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dance (Audio CD)
Gary Numan - Dance Review

I have recently rediscovered Gary Numan and have been buying his albums over a period of months to better appreciate this artist.

I've been listening to his albums in chronological order and have reached "Dance" which was originally released back in 1981.

Firstly, this album is NOT a dance album as its title might suggest. "Dance" is a somewhat sombre affair with only a few more upbeat tracks. Do not let this simple fact put you off, as "Dance" shows a depth to Numan often lacking in many other musicians.

Numan has to be admired for changing not only his sound from the likes of "Pleasure

Principal", but also the theme (i.e. less abstract and more emotional). There aren't many artists who have had the courage to explore their craft like Numan. Since the album "Replicas", Numan has continued developing and adapting his style which is a refreshing change. Numan over his career has taken the listene on a musical journey.

Rarely does Numan produce a bad album, just very different ones. Some people will not like this constant evolution and will instead prefer to stick to more familiar Numan territory.

As is often the case an album can emotionally mirror the mood of the artist and I wonder if "Dance" reflects an emotional scar left behind from a failed romance as much of this album seems to lament a failed relationship perhaps.

"Dance" isn't all pensive listening. There are some real gems here. My personal favourite has to be the utterly charming and melodic "Stories" (Trust me, you'll be humming this one wistfully after a while). I also really like the edgy "Moral" which if I'm not mistaken appears to be a mirror of his earlier "Pleasure Principal" track "Metal" in respect to the rhythm of his vocals - listen to the flow of the lyrics and I'm sure you'll hear the "Metal" melody.

Other upbeat tracks include "She's Got Claws" and "Crash" which also get the fingers

tapping.

"Dance" can initially be a tough listen, but with patience can be a rewarding experience after several listenings - think of it like a fine wine that improves with age.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DANCE NUMAN STYLE, 7 Nov 2003
By 
Jon Doughty "mjrbloodnock" (Leicester UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dance (Audio CD)
Diehard fans will have this cd,the rest of the world however,don't know what a gem this really is.Sounding nothing like his previous work,Numan created some of his most fascinating material.The melodic 'Slowcar to China',set's the tone of this cd,somber yet hauntingly beautiful.Mick Karn's bass/saxaphone are excellent,even Nash the Slash's violin fits the Jazzy feel.NOT HIS BEST,BUT FAR FROM HIS WORST.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first 3 albums, but after all these years i become to like it again., 15 May 2014
By 
R. A. Van Meer (Leek, NL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dance (Audio CD)
She's got claws and Stories are the highlights for me but i also like the opening track and Night Talk very much.
The extra track 'Stormtrooper in drag' and espescially 'Exhibition'' is an all time favorit. For the true fan this is a must have album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 80's Magic, 10 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Dance (Audio CD)
Lost mine recently (Think the missus threw them in the bin...haha..) But Great to have it back again.. Not as good as the other GN albums, but still a cracker
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence!, 27 Sep 2012
This review is from: Dance (Audio CD)
This album really deviated musically from previous Numa-work when it was released. Numan had made a musical Numa-turn and entered into the scene of New romantics, a scene that he in fact despised. The album sound had now lent much of its basic tones from Japan but made them a lot more dynamic, powerful, deeper, mysterious and a lot darker. From this viewpoint the album explains itself logically since this is not an homage to romance. Instead it takes us to further investigate a reverse complicated situation of manly sexual slavery and womens power.
Odd thing?
Yes, but this is Numan of course.
Digging deeper into the lyrics and music we find them brilliantly tuning into his inner cosmos and to his own relational frustrations in an objective setting. Like a drama in a theater. And the frustrated drama is beautifully choreographed all the way, in lyrics and in music and in disposition. It is the flip-side of New romantics.
So,seat yourself comfortably, dim the lights and tune up the volume and the play can begin right in front of you.
I am waiting for this album to make the real scene one day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is The One That Should Have Been Called 'Strange Charm', 6 Feb 2012
By 
Pink (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dance (Audio CD)
Once or twice a year I listen through Gary Numan's entire back-catalogue and this is one of the albums that I always look forward to the most, which is odd because when it first came out I thought it was ghastly.

Both the songwriting and sound of 'Dance' was very different from what had gone before, and whilst Numan's music had evolved steadily over the previous four albums, this was a massive jump sideways out of the mainstream. And given that he had so recently 'retired' from touring, I assumed he no longer wanted to sell any records either. Gone was Paul Gardiner's fat melodic bass, to be replaced by the spidery, twitching fretless basslines of Mick Karn (RIP). Gone were the soaring Vox Humana synth lines, to be replaced by softed muted piano-like tones. Gone were Ced Sharpley's drums, to be replaced by...well, nothing. And gone were the great, hooky songs. And there was saxophone on it. Yuck.

But once I had accepted that the rest of the band was not going to come crashing in at any minute, I began to appreciate the album for what it is, which is a brave experiement in a wholly new and uncommercial direction from an established mainstream artist.

To be fair, the album does a have a few lively moments, with songs such as 'Crash', 'You Are, You Are', 'Moral' and the single 'She's Got Claws' featuring a full band, but the majority of the material here is quiet and sparse, with fragile melody lines and inspired percussion. There's the strange and beautiful 'Slowcar To China', the sleazy 'Night Talk', the pretty 'Stories', the haunting 'My Brother's Time' and the very peculiar pair of 'Boys Like Me' and 'A Subway Called You'. To be honest, these days only the excessively long and dull 'Cry The Clock Said' really tests my patience. And that's only relative.

Some of this material does sound rather Japan-like, but if you involve a musician with such a unique style as Mick Karn's, how could it not? Depends on you viewpoint obviously, but for me personally, this is no bad thing.

This re-issue gives you the original album, with the excellent title track (that was inexplicably excluded from it) re-instated, plus the interesting Paul Gardiner single 'Stormtrooper In Drag' that Gary co-wrote and sang on. Also included are B-sides 'Exhibition' (a spooky little oddity and personal fave) and 'I Sing Rain', which features the ridiculous improvised singing that Numan was briefly prone to (see also 'Bridge? What Bridge') and is pretty horrid.

So if you like Japan, you might like 'Dance'. If you like Gary Numan, you might not. But if you do buy a copy, stick with it...it will reward you in time.
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