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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars

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on 25 March 2015
I liked very much the fact that when Ultravox not only had lost their exclamation mark, but even lost their main man, then that guy did move on to equally great things. This disc is his first - and possibly best - outing when alone, and it is clear that he still resides in that bleak environment that created Ultravox's greatest moments. Why did he not hook up with Gary Numan around this time - it would have been fabulous!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 October 2007
There's a lot to like about this expanded version of John Foxx's seminal album 'Metamatic'. Not only does this collection collate a lot of material from b sides/flexidiscs and double singles, it also includes 5 tracks not previously available. Of these five tracks, an early version of his later single 'Like A Miracle' will be of special interest to fans. The early version of the song sounds very much of the 'Underpass period' and is a total departure from the version latterly released as a single. Another previously unreleased song that's excellent is 'To Be With You'. It's not very often that the word 'love' gets a mention on a John Foxx record but it does here! While the song is by no means poppy, the structure and chorus of the song suggest that Foxx was at one time thinking about going down a more commercial route before deciding otherwise. This double cd also allows us a fascinating glimpse into the creative mind of Foxx as some of the previously unreleased tracks were re-assembled from 'fragments originally recorded on cassette'. As such, they are a little more rough around the edges and without John's usual double tracked vocal delivery which makes for interesting listening. If I have one criticism, it is that the cd booklet lacks much in the way of information. True, we do get all the lyrics and a few contemporary pics of John but for an expanded edition not to include say an interview or perhaps some info on the original recording sessions etc is a bit disappointing. Apart from this however established fans will be well chuffed with this. Worth a purchase.
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on 26 October 2007
Forget Midge Ure and Gary Numan as talented as they were ... Mr Leigh (sorry Foxx) deserves all the plaudits for introducing the U.K.to electronic music, under the influence of Kraftwerk with this groundbreaking piece of work."Plaza","He's A Liquid","Underpass","No One Driving" and my personal favourite "030" form a completely astounding collection that deserves much greater credit."Miles Away" should have been included. Bought this on vinyl in 1982 aged 15-Pure genius.Buy this,open your mind, be prepared for barren,dystopian landscapes (similar to those portrayed in "A Clockwork Orange") and enjoy.
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on 15 June 2014
When John Foxx left Ultravox, basically breaking up the band, he went off on a solo career which never quite delivered on the promise of his Ultravox days. While this isn't a bad album I find it patchy with some excellent tracks and some of what I would describe as filler. It is very synth driven and quite strident at times. Besides the original album there are 7 bonus tracks but the only stand out track is "Burning Car" which I bought as a single. Recommended with reservations.
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on 10 August 2001
very welcome re-release of Foxx's wonderful first. The album still sounds as distant and strange as it did on its release, although the remastering gives the brittle, metallic sound an extra edge that only adds to the freshness.
Even those who bought the original Virgin CD release of this back in 1993 (which is now out of print) should give this a look. The sound quality is hugely improved by the remastering, with the hiss that was so evident on the Virgin CD eliminated.
As with the earlier CD, there are bonus tracks, but it's a different set this time around. "Film One"'s still here, but "Glimmer", "Mr No" and "This City" have been added, the first two of which haven't appeared on CD before ("This City" was on the _Assembly_ compilation). "20th Century" is here again, this time accompanied by its A-side "Burning Car" (which also had previously only appeared on _Assembly_). Finally, there's "Miles Away". The B-side of "Miles Away", "A Long Time" has moved to the _The Garden_ CD, as has "Swimmer 2" (which never really belonged with this material anyway). "Young Love", the previously unreleased track that appeared on the earlier CD has gone completely, thus giving fans a reason to hold onto the first CD release (unless the early rarities comp (_Metamatica_, I think it was to be called?) ever makes an appearance).
The presentation has improved dramatically too - the booklet doesn't have that faded, photocopied look that the original CD had, there's still lyrics, there are plenty of contemporary photos, and there's a bit of bio (that cribs rather heavily from the liner notes of _Assembly_ and _Modern Art_).
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on 10 July 2001
I already have this record on vinyl and have spent ages looking for a CD edition, since Metamatic is simply one of the best albums I have ever bought. Standout tracks such as 'He's A Liquid', 'Underpass', 'A New Kind Of Man' and 'Plaza' all blend the beautiful, alien and minimal electronics of early analogue synths against the often harsh and repetitive drum patterns and beats that drive the songs forward. The lyrics are often abstract and delivered with Foxx's distinctive voice, effortlessly weaving themselves into the sparse but inventive electronics. This album has been quite influential on modern day electronic musicians as a result.
One of the most frustrating aspects of being a fan of John Foxx is that his solo albums are so hard to come by; Metamatic was the first John Foxx album I bought, and as such I had no idea what it would sound like. I was not disappointed. Highly recommended for fans of uniquely striking and innovative electronic music.
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on 1 May 2005
After Ultravox's split Foxx found himself creating a very anti Ultravox sound. The lyrics are most definitely Foxx (Eastern European citys, neon lights, people as liquid). Foxx creates a very minimalist album. Almost all the tracks are entirely computer generated save for some real bass on 'Plaza' and real drums on the fabulous 'Miles Away'.
As the man himself said about this album; he spent much of his time alone, trying to imagine how music would sound if the American music market had never existed. And it seems the sound that Foxx found was sparce and machinic.
Bare synths and often just percusive sounds make much of the bulk, or lack of. Foxx is very happy to let a song survive with a mere hint of a melody only occasionally overpowering the listener with a shear mass of synth and vocal on songs like 'Burning Car' and 'He's a Liquid'. Highlights of the album include the almost videogamic 'Touch and Go' and the striped down simplicity of bonus track 'Glimmer'.
This is really entry point John Foxx for any new listener. His later works 'The Garden', 'Golden Section' etc. built a much more anthemic soundscape.
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on 22 October 2007
Firstly the plus side to this 3rd (!) UK CD version of John Foxx's seminal electronic masterpiece 'Metamatic'.
We do get all the B-sides to the associated singles. Also, the out-take 'Young Man' from the first Virgin CD release is added - why this was left off Edsel's previous release is a mystery. And we do get 4 (yes 4) unreleased tracks and the Smash Hits flexi-single 'My Face'. Housed in a jewel-case (thank you Edsel - no more digi-pak's please!), the booklet is nicely sepia coloured and contains all the lyrics and some very stylish period photos of John. We've had the interview / review on the last re-issue so no great loss that one is missing here.
Now to the minus points.
Firstly, despite what the sticker on the case says (and other reviewers), there are only 4 unreleased tracks. The alternative version of 'He's A Liquid' has already appeared on the excellent 'Modern Art' compilation. And secondly, why isn't the remixed single version of 'No-One Driving' included? Or the 'Miles Away / A Long Time' single? Maybe there's a good explanation for this but CD space isn't one of them.
So, to sum up, if you haven't yet got one of the previous versions of this album on CD yet (and if so, why not?) this is a well-designed package of a defining moment in electronic music history. With just a little more care this could have been the definitive version. As it is I'm left feeling that we fans are being just a little bit ripped-off.
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on 17 May 2017
This albumn is first Class full of cold dystopia analogue synthes great songs such as underpass this is as good as gary numan pleasure principle should of gone to number one in the charts still sounds futuristic one of my all time favourite albumns
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on 2 August 2001
I remember the first time I heard Underpass on the radio and it sent shivers down my spine! John Foxx's use of raw synths pushed beyond the boundaries being set by the then trend setting Gary Numan who I believe was himself inspired by the early Ultravox! with John at the helm. Coming on the back of punk rock this was the new sound of the early 1980s and although now somewhat dated, this album is a sharp reminder to all those who use synths today that Foxx and Numan pioneered their popular use. Metamatic still sends shivers down my spine and the addition of the tracks that featured on the 'B' sides of the early singles is a bonus. I have waited oh so long to hear 'Glimmer' on CD! For anyone who has not heard Metamatic but has enjoyed listening to Gary Numan or Ultravox, then this album is a must.
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