Gary Numan/Exhibition 1978-1983 2 LP Gatefold Japanese Pressing [Vinyl]


Exhibition 1978 - 1983 (2 Lp Gatefold)

Exhibition (1987) is a double disc compilation album of Gary Numan‘s hits and selected other tracks released on the Beggars Banquet Records label. The songs cover from his early punk years of 1978 with Tubeway Army to the songs from the Warriors album of 1983.

It was released by Beggars Banquet Records in September 1987 as an LP, cassette and, with an expanded track listing, CD.

Side A:

Me! I Disconnect From You [Live]—-A wonderful rendition of Numan’s obsession with alienation, this live version is a bit faster and there fore coming across as even more manic than the original. Numan delivers his lines with his remarkable charming English accent which only causes me to swoon even more whenever I hear him. this is remarkable…the crowd loves this man and the rendition still remains better than any recorded version around.

That’s Too Bad—-Taken from the very early incarnations of Numan’s band The Tubeway Army, this has that post punk style all over it. The music is fast and hyper driven…the vocals are a huge sing a long that inspired the British kids to slam dance and lose control of themselves…this is a piece of history!!! Still sounding remarkable in 2010.

My Love Is A Liquid—-Still delivering a bit of the early punk leanings, numan seems almost removed from the song. The vocal seems to be run through a synth…giving it an even more removed sound.The music is hyper but more relaxed than the previous song. The content is interesting…this is fabulous…did I ever mention that I love this man Incredible!!!

Music For Chameleons—-Finding a comfortable place with synth sounds replacing the once comfortable manic guitar sound, Numan seemed to grow even more comfortable and inspired with this new sound. Delivering his trademark vocal, Numan sounds so emotive that this still gives me goose bumps. With over 70 Numan releases in my possession, every listen is still fresh and exiting for me. This is brilliant!!!

We Are Glass—-Although this was a huge song for numan, this has never really been in my top 10 lists of songs. I like this…I love the removed vocal and the synth driven sound, but something about this never registered for me…it is all in taste. I like this…but I don’t love it.

Bombers—-Much more aggressive and guitar driven, this also has a pretty remarkable drum track. This has a great post-punk flavor that was really popular in Britain at this time. The song in a nice coming of age track…as Numan struggled to incorporate guitars and synths together to create a new sound…one of the fore-fathers of Industrial style music, numan is now..in my opinion…an Industrial God. This is a nice example of the transition.

Sister Surprise—-Delving a bit into the stage where Numan became annoying for me, this is full of horns and female backdrop singers. I really have ignored this part of Numan’s career…this was so against everything that he was…I still do not understand it and I’m not sure Numan does either. To me this is a track that is listenable only for the double tracked wailing that goes on in the background…otherwise….well…you can’t love everything.

Side B:

Are ‘Friends’ Electric?—-One of the true triumphs of this genius career, this was not the first song that appealed to me and caused me to become obsessive…but once I heard this song, it was all over. This is built around me…full of alienation, distrust and the lack of belief in mankind, this began an obsession which has served me well. This is brilliant, innovative and still 30 years later fresh and invigorating.

I Dream Of Wires—-Taken from Telekon, perhaps my favorite Numan release ever, this finds Gary exploring the idea and concepts of living with machines rather than humans…the interaction that may occur and the obsessions that develop as if everything were human…to me this is fascinating. numan sounds so removed and devoid of feelings, but there is that little tug of emotion that always shows up in his songs…allowing you to know that this guy hurts and feels just like you do. Magnificent!!!

Complex—-Perhaps one of the moodiest and darkest songs Numan ever recorded during this time period, this was only a glimpse of the alienation and removal that was to come. this song is icy cold, but filled with the warmest emotions you could ever hope to experience in your lifetime. Such is the genius of the man…I could never, ever ask for more. this is real raw and very, very Numan!

Noise Noise—-Heavily steeped in the emerging technology of synthesizers, this finds numan sounding more comfortable than he had in quite some time. This is downbeat, dark and full of the classic Numan lines that don’t sink in until, sometimes, years later. The man is a study…it sometimes takes years to conclude the meaning of a song…it is so worth the journey. This is fantastic!

Warriors—-Full of a rhythmic synth that goes against the grain of most of Gary;s compositions, this takes a bit to really become a part of you. Over the years, this has really grown on me…but it is not a favorite track of mine. I love the removed and icy vocal, but the double tracked vocal takes away from the emotion a bit for me…still, you can not deny the melody line that runs through the song.

Everyday I Die [Live]—-Another very favorite track of mine…built around the same familiar feelings of alienation and loneliness. Why else would a guy like me sit for hours at a time in his little apartment obsessing on people’s music. Gary and I are kindred spirits…I love this…the music is stark and without feeling…the vocal is achingly painful and real. This is my theme song…remarkable.

Side C:

Cars—-I could go a lifetime without ever hearing this song again, but this is the one that started it all for Numan….damned be those that still consider this genius to be a one hit wonder….it just is not true!!!

We Take Mystery To Bed—-This falls back into the time period where Numan was exploring the introduction of horns and otherwise less than synth driven beats into his music. This song manages to come off pretty well, but it is only because of the incredible emotive vocal that it does. numan had his experimental phase and it only took about three really low sales releases to get it out of his system….this remains one of the triumphs.

I’m An Agent—-also from the Telekon release, this is when I first really discovered Numan…therefore it always holds a very special place in my heart. this is cold, haunting, emotionless and so full of emotion you may cry. This speaks of alienation and the idea that we could rely on machines for survival…surprise…it is 2010. This is fabulous, remarkable and tremendous.

My Centurion—-Again, a bit on the border with this one…a bit too hyperactive for my tastes regarding Numan…but the vocal saves the song. The voice always seems to rise above the background noise for me..I just really hated the whole time period when Numan started using female back-up singers…for me this was unnecessary…no one can carry off a song alone like this man can. next to Bowie, Numan is the closet thing to God I can imagine!

Metal—-Truly one of the great high lights of Numan’s career, although the wonderment and majesty of the song was not realized until YEARS later when many people cited this as a transforming song for them…namely Trent Reznor…who delivered a really great cover of this track. This is full of the cold as steel emotion that has always resonated with me…..when Numan finally delivers that higher tone vocal of his, it sounds even colder and more distant than when he is in his comfortable range. This is remarkable…the whole concept was in preparation for what he is doing now,….the sound of Metal….I want to be…..You!

You Are In My Vision—-Travelling back into a time where the guitar was the star of the show, Numan delivers a nice punk inspired vocal that still sounds fresh and exciting today. This is remarkable…you can catch every word and even then, numan was preoccupied with things that were beyond his control and full of wanting. This is remarkable!

Side D:

I Die; You Die—-Full of misplaced romantic ideas that many of us have experienced in our lifetimes, Numan delivers a cold and calculated vocal that is almost inspired to provoke guilt. This is so warm…but icy cold at the same time. That is what makes this man so remarkable…the music is so removed, but when the voice enters, the emotions smack you in the face and stay with you for a lifetime. Not to mention the remarkable melody and strumming guitar line that runs through this song. Incredible!

She’s Got Claws—-I can’t tell you why exactly, but I LOVE THIS SONG!!!! It has always been something that I have looked for on every repeated compilations that I have bought. I know, the song is full of the dreaded horns that I disdain…but when Numan delivers his vocal….it is goose bump time…this stirs me, makes me happy, makes me sad….Because Music Matters!!!! When Gary utters the line about dreams in cold storage…..wow…all over for me!!!

This Wreckage—-When I first heard this song, my ego inspired self was sure that Numan wrote this song especially for me. This describes me more perfectly than I could do myself. This is cold, calculated and removed…but remains warm and full of lyrical imagery that has stayed with me since 1984 or so. Remarkable how music works that way.

My Shadow In Vain—-Delving back into the post-punk days of the band, Numan sounds remarkable on this track. the music is driving and aggressive,,,the lyrics are still full of alienation and indifference…the man has his themes…thank you very much. This is mastrerful…the aggressive nature of the song really inspires and appeals to me…I love this. When Numan declares that he only dreams in black and white, you know the foundation is firm. Fantastic.

Down In The Park—-A huge hit for Numan overseas, this song neer really clicked with me. this is full of science fiction themes that just seem to escape me. I love the emotional quality of the song…this original version really shows the feelings of alienation and lonliness…the themes though just put me off a bit. Still, this is a Numan triumph and still plays very well today.

The Iceman Comes—-Airy and emotional, I try to look past all of the unessary horn and allow myself to soak in the true alienation of the song. The track leaves me feeling remarkable empty and lonley…Numan has a vocal that is bolstered again my annoying backdrop singers…unnecessary….but the true feelings are clear…my emotions are frozen again…I can’t  feel…nor do I want to…but I need to…help me to.

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

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