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Baker's Dozen

Music For A Chameleon: Gary Numan's 13 Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , December 6th, 2012 07:46

Quietus hero Gary Numan tells Julian Marszalek about his 13 favourite albums and how they "kicked my arse"... plus the time Freddie Mercury sent a limo to buy him a Big Mac


Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine
If I had to choose between Pretty Hate Machine, The Downward Spiral and The Fragile then I'd go for Pretty Hate Machine but they're all amazing albums, to be honest. I first met Trent Reznor when he was making The Fragile and that album has quite a cool memory for me. When I look at the track listing on Pretty Hate Machine and every track is pretty groundbreaking. And it's the best album I think I've ever heard.

I first heard way after it first came out. I was quite late getting into Nine Inch Nails and it was through my wife, really. I first starting seeing my wife and one day in our house early on in our relationship she was playing some stuff upstairs and I went up there and said, 'What's this?' and she said, 'It's Nine Inch Nails.' And I realised that I'd heard bits of it before so I was more familiar with it than I actually thought I was but I didn't know it well. 'Head Like A Hole' is what she was playing and to this day I think it's one of the best choruses ever written.

It was kind of an eye-opener, really. You suddenly realise that you get this credit for starting this whole electronic thing – or being around at the beginning, at least – and then you realise that someone has taken that spark of an idea and turned it into something far more ferocious and far more adventurous than when you did it. And it makes you feel like a bit of a shit and you need to get off your high horse and start working again. For me, it was a real shake-up because someone had taken this so much further than I'd ever had. It was fantastic for me because it was a real door opener. It gave me a kick up the arse and made me get back on it, really.