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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting a foot in the door
I believe Gary Numan described this album of a way to get a record deal so that he could record the music that he really wanted to do. The music press quoted him at the time as saying that you could easily get a record deal if you had any material that was 'punky' enough.
With a longtime friend as bass player and his uncle as drummer, this album was the first album...
Published on 4 Oct 2001

versus
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good start but better to come
While this album contains arguably the most interesting lyrical ideas that Gary Numan has recorded, it lacks the atmosphere of his work from '79-'81 and '94-'00. The guitar work (all played by Numan) is extremely basic making the album sound repetetive quickly. I always found it strange how some of the tracks on this album managed to find their way onto future...
Published on 9 Nov 2002 by Mick E


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting a foot in the door, 4 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Tubeway Army (Audio CD)
I believe Gary Numan described this album of a way to get a record deal so that he could record the music that he really wanted to do. The music press quoted him at the time as saying that you could easily get a record deal if you had any material that was 'punky' enough.
With a longtime friend as bass player and his uncle as drummer, this album was the first album of his own songs. They owe much to the post-punk era that it was recorded in, but you can see where it is heading. If you know 'Replicas', then you will hear it in its development stage here. The songs are not punk nor are they electronic music, but the style grows on you very quickly. A stand out track is 'Listen to the Sirens', but as with most of the tracks, the guitar driven sound mixes eerily with the varying levels of eclectic keyboard sounds used.
If you like 'Replicas' then you will like this or if not, it will eventually grow on you.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REVOLUTIONARY NEW WAVE ALBUM !!!!!!, 18 April 2006
By 
JUAN MARTIN GABASTOU (Weston Hills, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tubeway Army (Audio CD)
With a heavy edge to it; be warned this is not a synth based album,it's GUITAR based with some nice minimalistic synth touches here and there,especially on intros and endings,and nihilistic,sci-fi lyrics with some personal allusions.Funnily entitled First Album,these are catchy,short songs with dry,almost minimal but superb drumming to them,courtesy of his uncle Jess Lydiard,gorgeous bass playing by friend Paul Gardiner (he'd remain my fav bass player for the next 15 years) and powerful dual guitar and lead vocals by Gary .Often regarded as a ®punk sounding album® by regular people,it's far from that to my punk ears.The remastered sound does'nt take the album to today's standards but is a far cry from that on my 1978 lp album.The lower end of the spectum is a tad ®hollow ® and the upper end is a little weak but nothing a good eq cannot succesfully deal with considering this was originally a low budget recording from 1978.The bonus tracks are comprised by a set of live songs taken from a horribly sounding archival bootleg called ®Live At The Roxy ®and are of marginal interest though I found them a nice treat for a single listen.This is seminal new wave and has to be taken at face value.If you're really hooked by this you may want to give ®The Plan ®(which is an early demos comp from the same author-no synth on them) a try.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Numan Hits The Ground Running, 2 Feb 2012
By 
Pink (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tubeway Army (Audio CD)
I clearly recall buying this album with my Christmas money in 1979, the day the shops re-opened after the holiday. I can also recall the excitement of taking it home and playing it for the first time on my tinny old stereo, my 13 year-old ears hanging on every note, every word, and realising that this was THE ONE.

I already had the first-class 'Replicas' and the awesome 'Pleasure Principle' and I guess I was expecting another moog-frenzy but no, this one was guitar driven with only the slightest burble here and there by way of synth-action.

But my favourite tracks from Replicas were the guitar driven ones (The Machman, You Are In My Vision, It Must Have Been Years) so from the moment the chorus of 'Listen To The Sirens' kicked in, that was it, I was hooked...forever.

The songs themselves are typical of Gary Numan's quirky, peerless songwriting which would continue to this day, but are underpinned by a rich chunky Les-Paul-through-a-Marshall guitar sound that he never quite had again. I've often heard him criticise his own guitar skills, but this album provides strong evidence that he was rather better then he thought.

This early material is often referred to as punky, but some of the songs on offer veer nearer to heavy metal (Are You Real? Steel And You, Friends), but all the while sounding SO Numan. And I didn't notice it at the time, but my 46-year old ears detect some Be Bop Deluxe influence in there too. Bizarre. Wonderful.

Anyway, in my opinion, the first Tubeway Army album is still the finest Numan recording and I recommend it to all without hesitation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I remember., 4 Sep 2009
By 
J. Smart "Joe Smart" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Tubeway Army (Audio CD)
I never much liked Gary Numan / tubeway army, mainly due to the handfull of his fans that copied his look & mimicked his every move on the dancefloor of the club I frequented back in the late 70's / early 80's. Back then I considered him, at best, a 2nd rate Bowie.
However twenty odd years later, with nothing new to buy I thought I'd give him a second chance. I read the reviews on Amazon and bought the first tubeway army album and Replicas.
I played Replicas first and although not bowled over by it I could at least appreciate it as a decent album and have to admit that enjoyed it.
I expected a lot less from the first album after reading that it was really little more than a Punky sounding home demo. First off I have to say that, to my ears, it couldn't be anyone other than Gary Numan / tubeway army, the sound isn't as different to Replicas as I had expected. After playing both albums a couple of times I actually prefer this album to Replicas, the songs are more varied and a lot more fun. He wasn't taking himself too seriously at this point which I always felt he did on later songs. OK I can't see it ever being used as a Hi-Fi demonstration disc but what it lacks in technicalities it makes up for in playability. After listening to this one I will try a few more of his solo albums, I perhaps wouldn't have purchased anymore after listening to Replicas so, for me, it certainly isn't just an oddity for completists it really is a good record in it's own right.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gary Numan's first album, 7 July 2011
This review is from: Tubeway Army (Audio CD)
This is a more punky and more guitar based Gary Numan than the guy who later had synth-based hits. It was criticised at the time for having pretentious lyrics and sounding too much like Bowie, but it all sounds great to me. My one quibble is that the first Tubeway Army single is not included as a bonus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First ever record, 1 May 2011
This review is from: Tubeway Army (Audio CD)
Awesome! The bonus live tracks are mostly new to me. Could never play the LP in the car- driving is so much more fun now!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surefire indie/new wave favourite for any generation, 16 May 2006
This review is from: Tubeway Army (Audio CD)
This album for me easily ranks alongside other seminal new wave debut's such as Magazine's "Real Life" and The Cure's "Three Imaginary Boys".

There is a definate punk edge, but like those records things are moving on in terms of texture, atmosphere and emotion.

Sure, Numan admits that he merely welded the bleep bleep of the synths to the chunk chunk of the guitars, in a typical understatement. But there is much much more to it than that. Consider the man driving forward out of the 70's, with one eye firmly fixed on the future and one on the best of the times. Music for chameleons indeed.

Tubeway Army were like a culmination of all the greatest aspects of the decade that spawned them: Bowie, Kraftwerk, Bolan, Lou Reed, Ultravox!, Cluster, Iggy, Glam, Sci-fi, Punk, Comics, TV, Class and Trash. All packed into immediate futuristic and quirky songs wrapped in the cultish blue vinyl release of the day. How else could it be? For 1978, this to me, sounds like perfection. Now?

Well, with the likes of The Killers, The Bravery, Bloc Party etc setting the standards with a not disimilar agenda, a sizable chunk of pops alternative future no less.

So, if thats not enough to get you exitedly clicking "Add to basket", lets take a look at what you'll be missing:

There's Numans choppy guitar riffing,( think Wire, think Bolan, think Blur, think groove!). His burbling analogue moogs (think early Kraftwerk, think Devo, think Dr Who!). His rythmic acoustic guitar (think early Bowie, think isolation!). And of course his familiar love 'em or hate 'em but never ignore 'em, detatched/frail nasal vocals. Not to mention his natural suss for a rousing rock record.

The rest of Tubeway Army comprised of just, Paul Gardiner: Bass (think solid, think a bit of JJ, a bit of Hooky, think of someone who hears the song!)and Gary's Uncle Gerald "Jess" Lidyard on drums (think direct, think economy, think as always, groove!).

As for the lyrics? Well, where else can you meet your own clone, fall in love with a machine, have your dreams monitored, lose your identity, go insane, beg for the machine to be switched off, become the only one with an identity, trust your future to a test tube, be the only one who is sane, observe or become engaged in seedy sex or drug binges, switch the identity of your partner, watch your life flash past you and die everyday, all on one album?

Have you clicked the "Add to basket" yet?

No?

Then consider also, that this album was recorded in a budget studio in a matter a just a few days and I, for one have played it to death to this day. And it has lost none of its magic at all. And everyone I play it to, loves it (unless they've got cloth ears or something!) Surely that is proof that it is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.

As a bonus too, there's a historical document of Britains punk days added to the end : a guitar based Tubeway Army gig from early '78. Put on your phones, crank up the volume, slurp your pint of best and be there!

Still not convinced?

Then if you're even remotely inspired by any of the artists/things I mentioned above click "Add to basket" now or forever miss out at your peril.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved the vinyl, mourned original cds absenties, in love again., 18 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Tubeway Army (Audio CD)
and it all starts with the opening track intro and lyric, "flow my tears,.....the new police song,.....the slogan of peace is,.....'you must live.' and for me, the journey on a constant roll begins. I love the imaginings and feelings I get from this album. the complete and utter uniqueness of gary numan no matter how many friends of bowie or ultimately what bowie tries to take credit for, or what your going to find written within the cds booklet by steve malins, or all the other remastered complete albums of numans cd booklets written by steve malins. we are all just the same really if that's all your looking for. gary numan and david bowie are two very different people. its strongly reflected in how different there songs sound and feel. its gary numans unique young interpretation of interests voiced here. you can even hear it in this cds 'living ornaments 78.'(i had a bootleg copy of this at the roxy performance aged 13. thank you michael marsh). this is better quality and only of interest to numan fans. having liked gary numan from the age of twelve and having a keen ear, this remastered version on my improved sound system is a real treat. I have never heard it quite like this before. this is not a synth based album. theres drumming, guitaring and bassing and they say punking. what i hear is numaning. music is all about what you want to feel. this like most of numans work feels different. unique. make no mistake, whether you like it or no, this is an album made from real talent in the raw. the original tubeway army cd......redundant...very, very redundant. its a lot like having the original vinyl all over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top jolly !, 28 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Tubeway Army (Audio CD)
takes me back to my school days. -----years ago.make s you feel young and different!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars tubeway army remastered and revisited, 4 Jun 2010
By 
P. H. Jones "surfyphil" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tubeway Army (Audio CD)
I remember hearing tracks from this album as an eighteen year old. I was really heavily into Bowie back then , so most of my money was spent on getting every single thing available by him. But Numan and tubeway army were starting to make a real mark with their guitar/synth sound! tracks from the early albums by t army turned up on an album I bought (and still own on vinyl)a few years later. Living ornaments contained live performances including beefed up versions of the likes of.........My shadow in vain,... somethings in the house and everyday I die!! I recently bagged myself a usb turntable, so have been listening to old stuff from the late seventies. This has wet my appetite for revisiting the old tubeway army and gary numan works, so I purchased the first four classic albums with you guys. All on cd obviously!! I havent stopped playing them for weeks!! So to any of you that are thinking about gettig a copy of 'Tubeway army'........ Bag it, and turn the dial to 11... enjoy a ground breaking moment in british rock history.
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