The Pleasure Principle is the debut solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan. Released about six months after Replicas (1979), the second album with his band Tubeway Army, The Pleasure Principle reached number 1 in the United Kingdom.Wikipedia
Gary Numan was created in a lab in 1977, a collaboration between MIT scientist Garry Smirnoff and singer-songwriter Randy Newman (hence the name "Garry Nu-Man", or "Gary Numan" as it came to be known.) After 2 years of neural network processing, Gary wrote and recorded The Pleasure Principle, becoming the first AI-generated entity to create a full-length, original album. (A year previously, an AI algorithm developed by a team at Stanford created an album, but it turned out to be made up entirely of Captain and Tennille cover versions, a major setback and disappointment for the team.) The Pleasure Principle became a huge success, with Cars, an ode to Gary's fellow machines, shooting to number one overnight. Sadly, Gary's success was short-lived. Like so many that came before before, Gary succumbed to the indulgences of fame and wealth. While working on its follow-up album, Gary discovered Usenet, a recently launched distributed system of computers. This sent Gary down a rabbit-hole of increasingly niche porn, culminating in a visit to a robot tentacle porn newsgroup, where it contracted a serious virus from which its handlers were unable to recover. Gary was decommissioned and sold for parts in January of 1980. Soon after that, budding music producer and talent scout Lou Pearlman was asked to find a human stand-in for the fallen AI entity in order to capitalize on the opportunity. Lou signed up-and-comer Anthony James Webb, who adopted the Gary Numan stage name and persona and is still performing to this day. Follow-up releases have paled in comparison to the original computer-generated compositions, but at least we have this classic to always remember "Garry Nu-Man" by. 3 stars.
Android. British robotic music without electric guitar. Listened 3 times in a day. Like it.
Pretty solid album! I like the genre - it's good while working. The album also has famous songs (Cars, M.E.) I hadn't liked in Spotify so I'm glad I found this album! I also think it's the influence for a couple of electronic bands. There's nothing I disliked about the album really.
I've heard the majority of Numan's albums, and this is the one. Absolute 80s classic. (Edit: it wasn't the 1980s yet! He set the tone for a whole decade of pop.) Coiled-spring energy of British New Wave combined with the new electro sound from USA. I love the deliberately artificial/robotic aesthetic, which would go on to be a direct influence on Detroit techno. The rhythms are a cold, mechanised version of rock, while the melodies are otherworldly synth. "M.E." turns the synth into a deep guitar sound, and is a highlight I'd slightly overlooked in the past. My only complaint is there's some minor repetition of ideas - e.g. "Observer" basically sounds like "Cars". But I don't even mind hearing that idea twice, tbh. FIVE.
I love Gary Numan's dystopian Sci Fi music. As someone who occasionally feels like a robotic alien outsider, this album speaks to me.
Excellent synth album - maybe lacks a bit of soul, but I guess that's the point...
Dark, brooding, heavy synth rock driven by electronic riffs and a chugging rhythm section. Lyrically and musically evocative of machines, heavy industry and isolation. In 1979 Newman must have pioneered this sound. He also instantly mastered it. It still sounds fresh where many who followed in Newman's wake now sound dated. Distinctive, timeless, catchy, dark. Not a weak track on the album. I'd never heard this before, but it has to be a classic. Rating: 4.5/5 Playlist track: M.E. Date listened: 04/07/22
This is an extraordinary album. Difficult to overstate the influence that Numan had on music - taking electronica mainstream and paving the way for new wave, synthpop and - you might have to stretch your head around this - industrial rock and metal. One of the best, most delightful stories in music involves Numan. After a prolonged period of writers block, Numan felt himself at a loss. Nothing he tried was working, music had dried up and left him feeling a bit rubbish. And then he came across Nine Inch Nails. Listening to Reznor's work, Numan pressed some industry connections and asked if maybe he could talk to Trent at some point, thinking that he would be brushed off - after all, NIN were by this point on a massive upward trajectory on the back of The Downward Spiral. Trent Reznor heard of this and said "What, are you shitting me? I listened to Gary Numan literally every day.". Reznor wrote in support of Numan's US immigration application, and they've worked together on multiple occasions. So onto The Pleasure Principle. It is absolutely chuffing brilliant. Soaring synth, interesting and compelling bass lines, and as listen-to-able now as it would have been 43 years ago. Hooks aplenty, a legacy still cited today and genuinely new (at the time) directions in music make this a very, very worthy entry into the 1,001 albums.
Fantastic album cover. Both in its own right but also in contrast to the flamboyant styles (especially hair) that I've come to associate with this kind of music. The more I look at it the more I love it. Buttoned down, everything grey, the only color a decidedly non-organic red pyramid. His posture and expression. The eye makeup. The non-sequitur name of the album. Perfection! I enjoyed the whole album, especially Complex, M.E., Cars (of course), Random; I found Asylum a bit distressing. All of the songs on the album feel very coherent, a pure distillation of a very specific idea about a cold increasingly non-human future. The music feels like it is driven by the beat of some alien factory floor populated by aliens shooting lasers around randomly. I'm here for it.
Nope. Unrelentingly repetitive sine-saw-synth with atonal vocals shouting disconnected lyrics. This didn't need to exist. Hard no.
все верно, отец. причем ещё того, гиковского нью-вейва, близкого скорее к панку, чем к приемлемой поп-музыке. ну че сказать, меня тащит такое. вот прямо эти убер неживые жирные синты, вот этот вибрирующий космический звук. понимаю, что фанаты блюз-рока вероятно не найдут в этом себя, но мы ребята прогрессивные и тут, в России, уже достигли британских 80-х в своём сознании. Поэтому годнота, заходит такое. Для меня 9/10, хуй знает. Инструментал Asylum вообще звучит как будто современный трэп бит, под него 808 бас подложить и будет бэнгер (бля, не то шобы это круто, но просто интересная штука)
This M.E. riff must have been sampled a thousand times. Clearly a groundbreaking record in its day. It feels a little like a museum piece now. It's intentionally non-organic but there are some melodies and chord progressions here that reach toward the human listening. The title of the album makes it interesting to think about how pleasurable the sounds on the album actually are. There's an antagonism there that's intriguing.
This album is expansive and groundbreaking. Numan’s reliance on the synth does not take away from the humanity of this album and elevates synthesized music to a form on par with traditional rock instrumentation
12/16 Heard some Bowie "Low" in there. One of the better Synth-Pop albums I've heard. Cruising through a future where mostly everything is chrome. Standout Tracks: Airlane, Films, M.E., Conversation, Cars
not bad, good mixing but repetitive at some point. I mean that song conversation is quite good for the fisrt couple of minutes but then it goes on the same for five additional ones. That cars song is a classic though (f*uck cars btw)
Let's be real: the reason this was on the list is because it pioneered the ensuing electronic music movement. This isn't very good except for "Cars," which is the most known song. Bad singing and annoying repetition across every song. 2/10
Let’s make music that sounds like it’s… From the FUTURE! I wonder what Gary Numan thinks of the future of music being nothing like what he seemed to envision in the late 70s and early 80s. Thank goodness new wave didn’t make more of a long-term impact. I didn’t like this. At all. My least favorite lead singer voice of the 1001 so far.
i really like him and his style, I don't think i didn't like any songs, get my 5 stars!
A landmark synth album with all those old-school bloopy tracks I crave, and also the one song that played on every Car commercial ever in the 2000s but it's not poor Gary's fault! :)
At first I thought, this is way ahead of its time, but DEVO’s seminal album came out the year before, so no. This was another album where I thought to myself, this is why I listen to 1001, to discover things I’ve never heard like this. But then I realized I’d definitely heard at least three of the hits on here, Films, Mr. E and In Cars, but because of the generic nature of his name, I didn’t put 2 and 2 together and I’ve written them off as one hit wonders. The songs on this are generally short and sweet. I like the sound created by the synth, guitar fix and analog drums. Good stuff, saved to library, 5.
Gary Numan kicks ass
Do you like Gary Numan? Perfect album and it's influence screams out in so many acts that have followed
I loved this album. Was only vaguely familiar with Cars, but the sense of alienation and feeling different from others that pervades the album is exactly the world I know. Both Numan and myself are on the autistic spectrum, so I totally recognize the language (musical and lyrical) that he's working from.
This album is weird in the best way and doesn’t sound like anything else coming out in 1979. The synths in this song are relatively simple but amazing to listen to because they provide space for everything else to fit in. Each song feels like every element is placed perfectly into a jigsaw puzzle. Standout songs are Cars and Metal.
This album was part of a specific place and a specific time in my life from which it cannot be disentangled. If it hadn't been with us then, would I love it so much now? I don't know. In any case, I do love all the spacey synths and Numan's nasally singing and the times when his voice breaks and the times when the bass drives everything forward, on and on. I can't tell if giving every song a one-word title is pretentious or its opposite. (Today, I say "opposite!" but I'm guessing if someone else did it, I'd change my mind.) I'm glad he was there then and I'm glad he's here now. Also: Cars.
Thought I would hate this but it won me over. Fun and unique, didn't overstay its welcome. "Cars" is the only thing here that I've heard before. Hell, I didn't even know that Gary Numan was a musician before today. I always associated his name with acting (I am aware of Gary Oldman, not mixing the two up). Also the red prism on the album art looks mad tasty for some reason.
Damn Gary, chill on the Vox Humana setting on your Polymoog. Nah, this guy fucks. I love the spacey future-sounding synths, along with the cool demeanor in the way he talks, his short lines, and the openness of how he ends them. The lyrics and industrial-sounding instrumentation give off a Metropolis 1927 vibe full of chrome, robots, and a major existential crisis. It's super coherent, at the slight expense of being repetitive. But since I like the sound, that just means I enjoy the whole album. I also like the 7.5-minute "Conversation", which gave itself plenty of time to grow and change, and is placed near the end AND before the massive hit "Cars", allowing people to digest it better in anticipation. But really, all the tracks are so atmospheric and controlled, never overbearing, to the point where most audiences can handle the whole 41 minutes without being pushed off, making this a gateway into more synthpop or even industrial music.
Скучный, архаичный, репетативнй звук. Одиозные ленивые вокальные партии. Интересно, что все треки звучат плюс-минус одинаково заурядно (разве что у вступительного трека начало будто предвещает нечто интересно). Но почему-то мировым хитом стала Cars. Да таким, что Ньюман "был помечен как артист одного хита". Вторым по значимости стала Complex, но там хотя бы инструментал поинтереснее. На Metal было сделано множество каверов, даже от Nine Inch Nails, хотя трек тоже унылый весьма. В общем, пускай Гэри Ньюман стал "крёстным отцом электронной музыки", но ныне пускай сидит в монастыре, в 2к21 такое слушать неоправданно тоскливо.
Gary what is your prime directive? Why have you manufactured this album of sounds? Do you want us to feel technology induced alienation from the human "soul"? Is this a question you're programmed to understand? Gary do you have capabilities to receive gratitude? If so, thank you for Nine Inch Nails and Marylin Manson. Gary can you decipher sarcasm? C-
OK this is not half bad but I'm really not a fan of the genre. It feels like it goes on forever, I was getting bored, wondered how much was left and I was only on song #6.
It’s congruent, I’ll give it that. The vocals are lacking and what was novel the first couple songs becomes monotonous and annoying.
Numan, same old mistakes (ok c'était novateur mais répétitif et chiant)
I asked for one thing, Mrs./Mr. 1001 Album Generator! A 5 star album for Father’s Day. If what I asked for were a gourmet shaved prime ribeye steak and cheese sub, what I got was a pre-made ham and cheese vending machine version that expired 3 months ago. Observer was a bit enjoyable as was Cars, which I recognized. I can understand that the musical sound broke ground for the time. Nonetheless, I pressed my luck with my Father’s Day request and was delivered a whammy instead.
Except for one song from this album I was unfamiliar. Despite that every song made me think of another song I have heard but couldn't name. That tells me that perhaps a lot of people have sampled from this album? Anyway, I liked it.
It's Gary Numan, top man
11/10. Classic. Can’t wait to see him live later this year!
Wow! Que excelente disco. Parece una película del futuro. De los mejores que he escuchado
Sounds pretty samey but I really like that sound so it works out. At the time this was ground breaking use of those techniques. It’s still great even all those years later.
This is how music lovers in the 80s believed the future would sound like. This is how the best of 80s sounds like for us today!
literally so good thank u for the music gary, numan (complimentary)
Awww yes! This really illuminated my pentahedron, if you know what I mean! Properly brought a cheery pink glow to my pyramid! I don't think there's any Vangelis on this list, so Gary Numan is the main source of synthesizer soundtracks of the future, from the past on here. Fave track - "M.E." maybe - source of that badass sample the Basement Jaxx used for "Where's Your Head At?". "Cars" is obviously an absolute tune. "Metal" was a stand out. The bonus track "Bombers" was excellent too...
Classic electronic album. If you have not listened to the album for a while, then the songs all sound a bit the same perhaps. But another reason for that is just that they are all of high quality and very consistent: the two singles Cars and Complex do not stand out at all.
A new wave masterpiece!
Hell yea gary
This must have inspired lots of my favourite artists
This record reminds me of the life I used to have. During the late 70s - early 80s, I worked as a pole dancer in a bar in Soho. Every morning I would cover myself in glitter and wait for my shift to begin. I was like a prowling lion, ready for action, ready for hot, glittery, pole dancing action. The amount of money I made was obscene and the things I'd do to my adoring public would bring a tear to the eye of even the most alpha male in the prison yard. Gary Glitter stole my act and went on to have more success than me as a prolific paedophile. The life I could have had.
FUCK yeah. didn’t know shit about this outside of Cars, which I found annoying when my dad would play it one million times in the car. One of like sixty-eighty songs that he’d play over and over. But this album Jesus Christ dude. 1979 it had to be way ahead of its time. Zero electric guitar and it fucking ROCKS. I love 80s synth pop. This is the exact 80s synth pop that I like. One hour and nouns minutes of super layered and delicately produced utter bops. I love his aesthetic too. That androgynous robot shit. Screams David Bowie but less of a rockstar and more of a clone. This dude had to have been some kind of musical savant. This was really impressive and I almost have no words. I’m gonna listen again.
The only two songs off this I have heard before was "Cars" and "Engineers." I have always loved both songs, so it was a real pleasure to listen to this whole album. I'm a sucker for a Moog synth, and this Moogtastic!
I have no complaints here. This album delivered...it was everything that I expected that it would be.
Precursor to hyper pop!
Still sounds like the future.
Oye, este es un clásico inmediato
Loved this album from start to finish. How have I never heard this before? Not a duff track to be heard. I think this will quickly become a favourite!
This didn't capture me at first but the back half, and the last four tracks in particular, grabbed me more. I'll likely give it another listen sometime.
Gary Numan breaks off from the Tubeway Army and predicts the future. The Pleasure Principle is a masterwork of synthpop, setting a precedent for the coming decade, robotic and alien but somehow not overwhelmingly cold…it’s pure genius.
I can’t think of an album that had a bigger influence on 80s new wave than this one. Metal, M.E., and Cars are all classics that still go hard, the latter propping up the weaker back half after the overly long Conversation and weak ending of Engineers. Despite the album as a whole maybe over staying it’s welcome, there’s some days I just replay songs like Metal over and over again because it won’t leave my head.
This came as somewhat of a surprise. I only knew Cars but the other songs ive heard in one way or the other, mostly through samples. That makes it a very influential album, not just because of its early use of digital instruments. Loved it a lot.
album is good M.E. is awesome kind of ends up getting repetitve though. i swear a bunch of this album is just in the same key or something. album cover is kickass though and the 80s synthpop soud is nice amde even better by the fact that this was made in 1979 . the buzzy synth sound...<3
I liked it especially Asylum
the king of synth
I was pleasantly surprised by this. Never listened to this album before and only really knew Gazza's hits but I enjoyed this one.
Great album, ME is a masterpiece I think and Cars has always been good to me
good stuff, always knew I needed to check him out, glad I finally did
Alright liked the songs but was fed up by the end as it all sounded very repetitive.
Solidly strong throughout. I love the consistent tone of the synth. Great songs. And Cars is such a masterpiece. 4.5
Iconic! Its funny how far synths have come and these now remind me of 00s Casio keyboards BUT some great tunes in here. Enjoyed
Great album. Played at cocktail night.
Yes! Good fun
- its robots singing what can be more perfect, the synths and drums and BASS
Synth Synth Synth
Now THIS is an album.
At last! Something I like.
Synth work was groundbreaking.
Love the synth and beats, would listen again 8/10
Better than I had anticipated. I'm not a huge fan of "Cars", and a lot of the tracks sound a lot like it, but it grew on me. "Metal" is a banger!
Some bangers on there and interesting to note the number of samples that other artists have used
Never heard of him, but amazing album for 79. Grandfather of the 80s sounds.
This is the album with Cars on it. Everything else is also really good though.
really great and innovative
4/5. Heard this one quite a few times. Gets better each time.
Favoriete nummer: - Me, I Disconnect from You - Bombers
Like Berlin era Bowie, The Cars, early Cure, and a little proto-NIN mixed together. Pretty cool!
Very cool. Love this early electronic/synth stuff
220619 16:41 3.5
Pop con sintetizadores. No está mal.
I think it's pretty solid honestly. This is the second Numan album I've gotten and I've liked the both of them. Some very interesting sounds on this, and while there is a lot of synth, I think there is a lot done with it. Especially on the more atmospheric tracks like Aslyum. It's cool.
Fun and quirky album. Cars is of course the best and a classic.
I was on the second track when I was like - “this sounds like the guy who sang that Cars song” - the I found out I was right a few track later! This isn’t normally my favorite genre, but I really like this one. It’s aged really well, which I think is saying something. Good on you, Gary.
Solid, classic electronica, and who makes the single the ninth cut on the album?
Muy bien. 9/10
good sound. I liked it quite a bit.