Machine and Soul

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Machine + Soul
Studio album by Gary Numan
Released September 1992
Recorded Outland Studio, Late 1991 - Mid 1992
Genre Funk, pop rock, new wave, industrial rock, dark wave
Length 47:09
Label Numa
Gary Numan chronology
Outland
(1991)
Machine + Soul
(1992)
Sacrifice
(1994)
Alternative cover
1998 reissue cover
Singles from Machine + Soul
  1. "Emotion"
    Released: September 1991
  2. "The Skin Game"
    Released: 21 March 1992
  3. "Machine + Soul"
    Released: 1 August 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars[1]

Machine + Soul is the fourteenth studio album by musician Gary Numan, released in 1992. It was a low point, released primarily to help pay off debt, and was the last of his efforts to make his music more radio-friendly. His subsequent work went in the much darker and more industrial direction that would revive his career.

Numan's two previous studio albums, 1988's Metal Rhythm and 1991's Outland, had been released through IRS Records. However, Numan's relationship with that label had become strained, leading to his quitting IRS and reactivating his own label, Numa Records, on which he had released his work from 1984 until 1986. He continued to release albums on that label, before closing it down permanently after Sacrifice.

Overview[edit]

Musically, Machine + Soul continued the synth-rock/funk style of Metal Rhythm and Outland; in fact, the two Prince covers, "U Got the Look" and "1999" (the latter of which was relegated to B-side status), were recorded during the Outland sessions and at one point were set for inclusion on that album. Like Outland, Machine + Soul features movie vocal samples (for example, a line from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory can be heard at the beginning of the album). However, Numan strove for a much more commercial sound with Machine + Soul, influenced by the work of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as well as by Prince. In many of the album's songs, Numan's voice is almost lost under overproduction, excessive instrumentation, bouncy rhythms, and overpowering female backing vocals. However, the overt opportunism of the music is arguably offset by Numan's typically dystopian, poisonous and emotionally-desolate lyrics. A decade after Machine + Soul's release, Numan had little difficulty describing his feelings for the album:

Numan stated that reflecting on the album and its reception almost convinced him to retire from the music industry altogether.


Numan later said that in 1993, "Nothing was right...That music, those clothes, that haircut. Imagine falling off a ship in the ocean, knowing if you stop swimming you're finished. That's what I was doing then. I was trying not to die."[4]

Machine + Soul reached #42 on the UK album charts. Three singles were released from the album: "Emotion", which did not chart; "The Skin Game", which reached #68; and the title track, which reached #72.

Over a year after the album's release, Numan embarked on the 14-date "Dream Corrosion Tour" of October–November 1993, from which the live album Dream Corrosion was released. Recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo, London on 6 November 1993, and released in August 1994, Dream Corrosion reached only #86 on the UK Album charts, however, it has been cited as the template with which Numan relaunched his career, preparing him for his return-to-form album Sacrifice in 1994. With Sacrifice, Numan dispensed with the dance rhythms and female backing vocals, in favour of a back-to-basics approach, more introspective lyrics, and a darker musical sound.

Three songs from Machine + Soul (the title track, "Emotion" and "U Got the Look") were included on the 1996 remix album, Techno Army featuring Gary Numan.

Machine + Soul was reissued in 1998 in the US and 1999 in the UK. The album's original sleeve was discarded for both releases. Both editions featured entirely new covers, utilizing photographs from Numan's Metal Rhythm era.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Gary Numan except where noted.

All timings are approximate and will vary slightly with different equipment.

1992 Numa CD release (NUMACD 1009)[edit]

  1. "Machine + Soul" – 5:57
  2. "Generator" (Numan, Kipper) – 6:08
  3. "The Skin Game" – 6:23
  4. "Poison" – 5:02
  5. "I Wonder" – 4:28
  6. "Emotion" – 5:31
  7. "Cry" – 4:45
  8. "U Got the Look" (Prince) – 3:57
  9. "Love Isolation" – 4:38

1993 Numa 'Extended' CD release (NUMACDX 1009)[edit]

  1. "Machine + Soul" - 7:33 (titled 'Mix 3' on the "Machine + Soul" CD single)
  2. "Generator" (Numan, Kipper) - 9:51
  3. "The Skin Game" - 7:41 (titled 'Lycra Mix' on "The Skin Game" 12" single)
  4. "Poison" - 6:39
  5. "I Wonder" - 6:33
  6. "Emotion" - 8:00
  7. "Cry" - 7:31
  8. "U Got The Look" (Prince) - 3:57
  9. "Love Isolation" - 6:30
  10. "Dark Mountain" - 3:09
  11. "The Hauntings" - 4:06
  12. "In a Glasshouse" - 4:12
  13. "Hanoi" - 2:03

1999 Cleopatra U.S. CD reissue (CLP 0541-2)[edit]

  1. "Machine + Soul" – 5:57
  2. "Generator" (Numan, Kipper) – 6:08
  3. "The Skin Game" – 6:23
  4. "Poison" – 5:02
  5. "I Wonder" – 4:28
  6. "Emotion" – 5:31
  7. "Cry" – 4:45
  8. "U Got the Look" (Prince) – 3:57
  9. "Love Isolation" – 4:38
  10. "Hanoi" - 2:03
  11. "In A Glasshouse" - 4:12
  12. "Wonder Eye" - 4:04
  13. "Cry Baby" - 4:21
  14. "The Hauntings" - 4:06
  15. "1999" (Prince) - 4:56
  16. "Dark Mountain" - 3:09

1999 Eagle Records UK CD reissue (EAMCD075)[edit]

  1. "Machine + Soul" – 5:57
  2. "Generator" (Numan, Kipper) – 6:08
  3. "The Skin Game" – 6:23
  4. "Poison" – 5:02
  5. "I Wonder" – 4:28
  6. "Emotion" – 5:31
  7. "Cry" – 4:45
  8. "U Got the Look" (Prince) – 3:57
  9. "Love Isolation" – 4:38
  10. "Hanoi" - 2:03
  11. "Dark Mountain" - 3:09
  12. "The Hauntings" - 4:06
  13. "1999" (Prince) - 4:56
  14. "Cry Baby" - 4:21
  15. "Wonder Eye" - 4:04

Notes[edit]

  • "Wonder Eye" and "Cry Baby" are demo versions of "I Wonder" and "Cry" respectively.
  • Some pressings of both the Numa CD releases (those that state on the inner rim 'Made In The UK By PDO') suffered from CD rot.

Personnel[edit]

  • Gary Numan: Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
  • Kipper: Guitars, Keyboards on Tracks 1,2,4,5,6,9
  • Mike Smith: Keyboards on Tracks 1,3,6,7,8
  • Keith Beauvais: Guitars on Tracks 3,7,8
  • Ade Orange: Keyboards on Track 3
  • Susie Webb: Backing Vocals on Tracks 1,2,4,5,6,9
  • Zoe Nicholas: Backing Vocals on Tracks 1,2,4,5,6,9
  • Jackie Rawe: Backing Vocals on Tracks 3,7
  • Cathy Odgen: Backing Vocals on Track 8

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Praying to the Aliens: An Autobiography by Gary Numan with Steve Malins. (1997, André Deutsch Limited), pp.232-233
  3. ^ http://npollard.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/interview-gary-numan/
  4. ^ interview in Uncut #130 (March 2008), p.21