REPLICAS-AI in the 1980s from Gary Numan
This week’s selection from the Underground Vinyl collection is Replicas, the second and final album from Tubeway Army. Released in April 1979 on Beggars Banquet Records it marked the turning point where after Gary Numan released records under his own name with the rest of the Tubeway Army continuing to be part of the team.
The album reached No 1 in the UK charts, in no small part due to the success of the Are Friends Electric, the single from the album that topped the charts at no 1.
The full track list for the album
- “Me! I Disconnect from You”
- “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?“
- “The Machman”
- “Praying to the Aliens”
- “Down in the Park“
- “You Are in My Vision”
- “It Must Have Been Years”
- “When the Machines Rock”
- “I Nearly Married a Human”
The Album itself marked the beginning of the “Machine” era of Numans’ career. Androgynous in appearance and outlook the era was marked by an underlying theme of a cold dystopian existence where the difference between man and machine was blurred. The Machmen in the Album live in a futuristic metropolis and are androids that are humanised with cloned skin. The Machmen and other and AI machines are under the control of the Grey Men who subjugate the general population. Numan’s 1979 vision of the Dystopian future might have been entertaining but 40 years on its starting to look less fictional.