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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


David Bowie – Aladdin Sane
Low's a great album and a lot of people consider that to be quite an influential album what with the [Brian] Eno effect and it is brilliant and I loved it at the time but if you think about what I was doing with electronic music it's very, very different. That was almost classical in a way; it was very grand and slow and a sombre, film-type thing. What I was trying to do with electronic music was different from that. I said this a lot at the time, around '79, I'm listening to Ultravox and that's the music where I'm focussing a lot of my attentions and what I want to be doing. I love Low but it doesn't actually help me; I'm trying to do something very, very different from that. It was a great album and it was out there when it came out.

For me, with Aladdin Sane, you've got 'Cracked Actor', 'Panic in Detroit', all those songs which are just amazing and Bowie was absolutely on it. I was a huge Bowie fan up until around Heroes – that had 'Beauty and the Beast' and I fucking love that. After that it was Lodger and that was the first Bowie album that had a significant number of songs that I didn't like. I never had that before with a Bowie album. Lodger came out and I thought, 'Mmm… hang on…' and after that was Scary Monsters… and I thought, 'Well, that's the end for me.' Since then, I think I've liked 'I'm Afraid of Americans' and a couple of other songs over the next 30-odd years. But I loved him and then sort of lost it a little bit.

I'd have been 15 when Aladdin Sane came out and I was right in there. I was actually late getting into Bowie because I was a huge T-Rex fan and I remember at the time when I was at school there seemed to be a bit of friction between David Bowie and Marc Bolan and because I was a T-Rex fan a lot of people would say, 'Oh, what a wanker!' It wasn't until Bowie stopped the Ziggy Stardust thing that I then bought everything and realised my mistake.