Metal Rhythm

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Metal Rhythm
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1988
RecordedLate 1987–Mid 1988
GenreElectronic, pop rock, funk, synth-pop, industrial rock
LabelI.R.S., Illegal
ProducerGary Numan
Gary Numan chronology
Strange Charm
Metal Rhythm
Alternative Cover
US Release cover.
US Release cover.
Singles from New Anger
  1. "New Anger"
    Released: 1 October 1988
  2. "America"
    Released: 3 December 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]

Metal Rhythm is the ninth solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan, originally released in September 1988 by I.R.S. Records.


Gary Numan's previous three studio albums had been released on his own record label, Numa Records. However, the disappointing sales of those albums led to Numan closing down the label and signing to I.R.S. Records. Most of the album had, in fact, been recorded before Numan signed with the record label. I.R.S. therefore had little opportunity to make changes to the recorded material, but the label was still able to exert influence on the album's release. Numan wanted to call the album Cold Metal Rhythm after its song of the same name, but I.R.S. believed that the shortened title sounded less negative and more commercial.

Musically, Metal Rhythm represented a move by Numan into a more commercial sound, although it preserved continuity with Numan's previous albums. Metal Rhythm made liberal use of female backing vocals, which Numan had incorporated into his four previous albums; also, the futuristic funk that characterised Numan's previous albums remained on Metal Rhythm, but the programmed beats, hustling vocals and rock power chords gave the album an edgier, more psyched-up vibe. The album's sense of aggression is present lyrically as well as musically; on the liner notes for the album's 1999 re-release, Steve Malins writes that "like Trent Reznor's NIN debut, the persona projected on Metal Rhythm is restless, emotionally unstable, scathing about human frailties and flaws, self loathing about his own." In the songs "This is Emotion", "New Anger" and "Devious", Numan lashes out at the emotional desolation and manipulative personalities he had encountered throughout his career, and "Respect" is rumoured to be about Numan's falling out with Hohokam, a band signed to Numa Records and Numan's support act during the 1984 Berserker tour.[2] Numan himself remarked:

Metal Rhythm was released in September 1988 and although its edgy, industrial-funk sound met with favour from fans and some positive reviews in the UK music press, it sold poorly. The album charted at No. 48, while its singles, "New Anger" and "America", charted at No. 46 and No. 49 respectively.[4] Numan later recalled:

For its American release, and against Numan's wishes, the record label changed the album's title to New Anger, changed the artwork colour shade from black to blue, remixed several of its tracks and even replaced two tracks ("Hunger" and "Young Heart") with tracks originally recorded for Numan's 1984 album Berserker.

Numan would only release two more albums with I.R.S. – The Skin Mechanic (1989), a live album from the Metal Rhythm tour, and the studio album Outland (1991) – before quitting the label and reactivating Numa Records.

Numan supported Metal Rhythm with an 18-date UK live tour (September–October 1988) from which the live album The Skin Mechanic was released in 1989. Culled from two shows at the Dominion Theatre, London in September 1988, The Skin Mechanic charted at UK No. 55, and was followed by a 1990 video release of the tour.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Gary Numan.

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

1988 Illegal Records UK CD release (ILPCD035)[edit]

  1. "This Is Emotion" – 4:05
  2. "Hunger" – 4:30
  3. "New Anger" – 3:22
  4. "Devious" – 4:19
  5. "America" – 3:32
  6. "Voix" – 5:00
  7. "Respect" – 4:10
  8. "Young Heart" – 5:04
  9. "Cold Metal Rhythm" – 4:28
  10. "Don't Call My Name" – 3:42

1999 EMI UK CD reissue (7243 5 22133 2 0)[edit]

  1. "This Is Emotion" – 4:05
  2. "Hunger" – 4:30
  3. "New Anger" – 3:22
  4. "Devious" – 4:19
  5. "America" – 3:32
  6. "Voix" – 5:00
  7. "Respect" – 4:10
  8. "Young Heart" – 5:04
  9. "Cold Metal Rhythm" – 4:28
  10. "Don't Call My Name" – 3:42
  11. "I Don't Believe" – 3:22
  12. "Children" – 3:10
  13. "My Dying Machine (William Orbit Mix)" – 6:33
  14. "Devious (Andy Piercy Mix)" – 3:37
  15. "America (Remix)" – 2:50

1989 IRS U.S. CD release as New Anger (IRSD-82005)[edit]

  1. "Devious" (Andy Piercy Mix) – 3:37
  2. "America" – 3:32
  3. "Cold Metal Rhythm" – 4:28
  4. "This Is Emotion" – 4:05
  5. "Don't Call My Name" – 3:42
  6. "Voix" – 5:00
  7. "Respect" – 4:10
  8. "New Anger" – 3:22 (Listed as 'remixed by Andy Piercy' but is identical to the UK version.)
  9. "My Dying Machine" (William Orbit Mix) – 6:33
  10. "A Child with the Ghost" – 4:04
  • "A Child with the Ghost" was originally released on Gary Numan's 1984 Berserker album, as was the original version of "My Dying Machine"
  • "America (Remix)" was released as a single on both vinyl and CD. The CD version contains three bonus live tracks – "Respect" and "New Anger" being recorded on the Metal Rhythm tour at the Dominion Theatre, London on 28 September 1988 and "Call Out the Dogs" recorded on the Exhibition tour at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on 25 September 1987.


Adapted from the Metal Rhythm liner notes.[6]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ HOHOKAM Harlequin Tears
  3. ^ Praying to the Aliens: An Autobiography by Gary Numan with Steve Malins. (1997, André Deutsch Limited), p.220
  4. ^ Roberts, David (ed.) (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). HIT Entertainment. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Praying to the Aliens: An Autobiography by Gary Numan with Steve Malins. (1997, André Deutsch Limited), p.220
  6. ^ Metal Rhythm (CD booklet). Gary Numan. I.R.S. Records. 1988.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]