My second choice for the album challenge is Gary Numan’s “Telekon”. No, this does not contain “Cars”, which is pretty much the only Numan song that Americans know despite the fact that he has a raft of hits and most recently hit No. 2 on the U.K. album charts. That was “Pleasure Principle”. “Tekelon” is the follow-up album, the first one of Numan’s that I bought, 40 years ago, which hooked me for a lifetime.
Although it’s the third album in his “machine” phase (after “Relicas” and “The Pleasure Principle”) and on the surface seems cold and wallowing in alienation, it’s got a very emotional, intimate feel to it. The songs are less hooky than the previous album, more complex and textured, with guitars (banned before) and more nuanced synths. The standouts are “This Wreckage”, “The Aircrash Bureau”, ‘Remind Me to Smile”, the glorious “I Dream of Wires” and “The Joy Circuit”, along with non-album single “We Are Glass” and a fabulous cover of Satie’s “Trois Gymnopedies (First Movement)”.
I played this endlessly on my Walkman, using it as the soundtrack for sci-fi movies conjured in my heads inspired by his futuristic lyrics.
Anyhow, if you want to check out the rest of Numan’s discography, definitely get “Replicas” and “The Pleasure Principle” but also check out his recent “Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind)” which has a harder, more goth feel than he started out with but displays his singular, unique talent.