Understanding Gary Numan: The Machine Quartet (1978-1981)
Author: Paul Sutton (Wolfson 2000)
Publisher: Buffalo Books
The popular analytical study of the pioneering English composer. The historian, Paul Sutton, takes the reader through a vastly entertaining potted history of rock music pioneers, tracing them all back to “a delta of Mississippi mud from where howled the first harmonica, and from where was heard the first blue plucking finger on string”, to show that popular music was strictly The Imitation Game until Gary Numan came along with his Machine Quartet, four albums that completely re-invigorated rock and roll. “Numan’s music added so many new strands of DNA to the gene pool of what hitherto had been dead Mississippi mud that the transformative effect was immediate and everlasting.” Artists major, from Frank Zappa, Prince and Robert Palmer, and bands then minor, including Tears for Fears and Depeche Mode, all stopped what they were doing and added lessons learned from Numan to their art. This updated edition adds a new introduction and expands on the history and analysis of The Pleasure Principle and Telekon. Sutton also breaks down imagery and lyrics from Numan’s Replicas album to show that it was a clear and true influence on the film, Blade Runner.