I, Assassin

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I, Assassin
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1982
StudioRock City Studios, Shepperton
GenreNew wave, experimental music, funk, synth-pop, industrial rock
75:10 (CD)
LabelBeggars Banquet
ProducerGary Numan
Gary Numan chronology
I, Assassin
Singles from I, Assassin
  1. "Music for Chameleons"
    Released: February 1982
  2. "We Take Mystery (To Bed)"
    Released: June 1982
  3. "White Boys and Heroes"
    Released: August 1982
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[1]
Smash Hits4/10[2]

I, Assassin is the fourth solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan. Released in 1982, it reached no. 8 on the UK charts.

Three songs; "Music for Chameleons", "We Take Mystery (To Bed)" and "White Boys and Heroes" were released as singles from the album and all reached the UK Top 20 ("We Take Mystery" reached no. 9, and was Numan's last top 10 single to date).


Numan's previous album, Dance, was an experimental effort that explored and incorporated different musical elements such as jazz. I, Assassin operates in a similar vein. Although the fretless bass and some of the jazz elements of Dance are still in place, Numan went further with I, Assassin, exploring funk music and blending it together with heavier percussion and his own familiar electronic sound. Numan recalled that an important factor during the album's recording was the contribution made by fretless bassist Pino Palladino:

At the time I, Assassin was released, Numan believed it was the best album he had made. Although it was unsurprisingly slated by the majority of the British music press (which had had a strong dislike for Numan and his music ever since his meteoric rise to fame), the album did garner some praise. Numan was given credit for changing his sound by shifting from synth-heavy music to a more bass-led, electro-dance approach[citation needed]. Numan argued that he wanted to shift away from a lot of electronic artists during this period because he felt they were stuck in an interchangeable and simplistic rut that they could never break[citation needed]. Numan wanted to be ahead of the pack and was interested in experimenting with other genres. For the album's cover sleeve, Numan retained the "Fedora" hat from Dance, with the trenchcoat and alley background representing I, Assassin's 1930s gangster motif. The album cover of I, Assassin was influenced by that of Frank Sinatra's 1954 album Songs for Young Lovers.

Before the release of I, Assassin, Numan left Britain to live as a tax exile in the United States. He supported the new album with an 18-date concert tour in America in October-November 1982 (his first series of live shows since his "farewell" shows at Wembley Stadium in 1981). No official live albums or videos have been released from Numan's 1982 tour. Numan recorded a second video for "We Take Mystery (To Bed)" during his stay in Los Angeles, before heading to live in Jersey where he began writing the material for his next album, Warriors (1983).


I, Assassin was originally released on vinyl album and cassette in 1982. It was eventually released on CD in 1993, as a double CD packaged with Numan's 1980 album Telekon (Beggars Banquet had reissued all eight of Numan's studio albums that were released on the label, including the two Tubeway Army albums, as double CD sets). I, Assassin was released on CD by itself in 2002. Both CD releases contain seven bonus tracks.

Track listing[edit]

All songs are written by Gary Numan.

  1. "White Boys and Heroes" – 6:23
  2. "War Songs" – 5:05
  3. "A Dream of Siam" – 6:13
  4. "Music for Chameleons" – 6:06
  5. "This Is My House" – 4:52
  6. "I, Assassin" – 5:26
  7. "The 1930s Rust" – 3:55
  8. "We Take Mystery (To Bed)" – 6:10

CD bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "War Games" – 3:55
  2. "Glitter and Ash" – 4:42
  3. "The Image Is" – 5:55
  4. "This House Is Cold" – 5:27
  5. "Noise Noise" – 3:49
  6. "We Take Mystery (Early version)" – 5:58
  7. "Bridge? What Bridge?" – 4:22


  • The track "Bridge? What Bridge?" was a B-side track for the 12" single of "Music For Chameleons", and is an improvisational piece and includes Mick Khan and Michelle Adams (Mickie Holiday) as backing vocalists,she also was the dancer in the Music for chameleons and White Boys and heroes. Therasa Bazzar backing vocals, and Van Day handclaps, to the song "Noise Noise" which was also the B-side of "Music For Chameleons".



  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. I, Assassin at AllMusic. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Tennant, Neil (2 September 1982). "Album Reviews (Gary Numan - "I, Assassin")". Smash Hits. Vol. 4 no. 18. EMAP Metro. p. 25.
  3. ^ Praying to the Aliens: An Autobiography by Gary Numan with Steve Malins. (1997, André Deutsch Limited), p.161