Replicas (album)

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Reissued cover that credits Numan and Tubeway Army.
Studio album by Tubeway Army
Released April 1979
Recorded Gooseberry Studios, London, December 1978 / January 1979
Genre New wave, electronic, post-punk
Length 42:02
Label Beggars Banquet (UK)
Atco Records (USA)
Producer Gary Numan
Tubeway Army chronology
Tubeway Army
The Pleasure Principle
Singles from Replicas
  1. "Down in the Park"
    Released: 16 March 1979
  2. "Are 'Friends' Electric?"
    Released: 4 May 1979
Music sample
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
BBC Music positive[2]
Robert Christgau A–[3]
Mojo 4/5 stars[4]
MusicOMH 4/5 stars[5]
Record Collector 5/5 stars[6]
Smash Hits 8/10[7]
Spin 9/10[8]
Uncut 4/5 stars[9]

Replicas is the second and final album by British band Tubeway Army,[10] released in 1979. It followed their self-titled debut from the previous year. After this, Tubeway Army frontman Gary Numan would continue to release records under his own name, though the musicians in Tubeway Army would continue to work with him for some time. Replicas was the first album of what Numan later termed the "machine" phase of his career[1], preceding The Pleasure Principle and Telekon, a collection linked by common themes of a dystopian science fiction future and transmutation of man/machine, coupled with an androgynous image and a synthetic rock sound.

Fuelled by a surprise No. 1 hit single, "Are 'Friends' Electric?", the album also reached No. 1 in the UK charts in July 1979 and was certified Gold by the BPI for sales in excess of 100,000 copies.[11]


A loose concept album, Replicas was based on a book Numan hoped to complete someday[2], set in a not-too-distant future metropolis where Machmen (androids with cloned human skin) and other machines keep the general public cowed on orders from the Grey Men (shadowy officials). While the album’s setting and lyrics were directly inspired by the science fiction of Philip K. Dick, particularly his seminal work Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the title was not. Although Numan's Machmen were similar to Replicants, the term used for androids in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (based on Dick’s book), Scott’s film came out three years after Tubeway Army’s album and Dick never used the word "Replicant" in his original 1968 novel.

Recording and music[edit]

Musically, Numan’s main influence was the commercially unsuccessful John Foxx-led incarnation of Ultravox. Tracks like "Speed of Life" and "Breaking Glass" from David Bowie’s Low were also cited, along with Kraftwerk’s The Man-Machine album, in particular the long and wistful track "Neon Lights".[12][13]

The recording was a development of the sound of the first Tubeway Army album. While tracks like "You Are in My Vision" and "It Must Have Been Years" recalled the earlier album’s guitar-oriented rock, the rest were built solidly around an analog synthesizer, the Minimoog. Along with "Are 'Friends' Electric?", this included "Me! I Disconnect from You", the atmospheric "Down in the Park" (released as a single prior to the album and acquiring cult status though not commercial success), the multi-layered title track and the closing instrumentals "When the Machines Rock" and "I Nearly Married a Human", the latter featuring Numan's first use of a primitive drum machine; it made an appearance the following year in Carl Sagan's TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.


Promoting the 2008 album tour

Replicas' synthesizer sound and occasionally nihilistic lyrics had a major impact on the industrial acts that came to prominence in the mid-1990s such as Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, both of whom covered Numan's songs on record. Both Manson and Foo Fighters released versions of "Down in the Park". "Are 'Friends' Electric?" was covered by a number of artists, and was most notably the basis for Sugababes' No. 1 hit "Freak Like Me" in 2002. Numan has continued to play tracks from Replicas on his live tours, with "Me! I Disconnect from You", "Are 'Friends' Electric?" and "Down in the Park" being mainstays, whilst "Praying to the Aliens" and "Replicas" have also lately become part of his live repertoire.


The 1999 and 2008 reissue editions included several bonus tracks, including three single B-sides: "We Are So Fragile" (from "Are 'Friends' Electric?"), and "Do You Need the Service?" and "I Nearly Married a Human (2)" (from "Down in the Park"). "The Crazies", "Only a Downstat" and "We Have a Technical" were outtakes from the Replicas sessions.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Gary Numan.

1979 Beggars Banquet LP and MC (BEGA/C 7) and 1995 Beggars Banquet CD reissue (MUSCD509)[edit]

The lightbulb on the front sleeve artwork was removed for the 1995 reissue to allow for a larger print of the album title.

  1. "Me! I Disconnect from You" – 3:23
  2. "Are 'Friends' Electric?" – 5:25
  3. "The Machman" – 3:08
  4. "Praying to the Aliens" – 4:00
  5. "Down in the Park" – 4:24
  6. "You Are in My Vision" – 3:15
  7. "Replicas" – 5:01
  8. "It Must Have Been Years" – 4:02
  9. "When the Machines Rock" – 3:15
  10. "I Nearly Married a Human" – 6:31

1999 Beggars Banquet CD reissue (BBL 7 CD)[edit]

  1. "Do You Need the Service?" - 3:40
  2. "The Crazies" - 2:54
  3. "Only a Downstat" - 3:36
  4. "We Have a Technical" - 8:04
  5. "We Are So Fragile" - 2:56
  6. "I Nearly Married a Human 2" - 6:38

2008 Beggars Banquet "Redux" CD reissue (BBQCD 2057)[edit]

To coincide with Numan's 15-date Replicas Classic Album Tour in 2008, Beggars Banquet issued an expanded 2CD and limited 3CD version of Replicas, titled Replicas Redux.

Disc One

  1. "We Are So Fragile" - 2:55
  2. "Do You Need the Service?" - 3:39
  3. "I Nearly Married a Human 2" - 6:38

Disc Two This disc contained a complete earlier version of the Replicas album, recorded in late 1978 and January 1979.

  1. "Me! I Disconnect From You" - 3:24
  2. "Are 'Friends' Electric?" - 5:25
  3. "The Machman" - 3:08
  4. "Praying to the Aliens" - 4:08
  5. "Down in the Park" - 4:24
  6. "Do You Need the Service?" - 3:42
  7. "Only a Downstat" - 3:35
  8. "We Have a Technical" - 8:00
  9. "You Are in My Vision" - 3:22
  10. "Replicas" - 5:02
  11. "It Must Have Been Years" - 4:04
  12. "When the Machines Rock" - 3:15
  13. "The Crazies" - 2:54
  14. "I Nearly Married a Human 3" - 6:24
  • The early version of "When the Machines Rock" featured vocals by Numan, unlike the instrumental standard album version.

Disc Three - Replicas - Mixes + Versions (GNCD 2008)
This disc of bonus tracks was only available for a limited time when Replicas Redux was purchased via Numan's official website.

  1. "Are 'Friends' Electric? (Renegade Soundwave Mix)" - 5:15
  2. "Replicas (Early Version 2)" - 5:05
  3. "Down in the Park (Early Version 2)" - 4:23
  4. "Are 'Friends' Electric? (Early Version 2)" - 5:28
  5. "Replicas" (Early Version 3) - 5:00
  6. "Are 'Friends' Electric? (Renegade Soundwave Instrumental)" - 5:14

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Year Peak
UK Albums Chart[14] 1979 1



  1. ^ Gary Numan (1981). Living Ornaments '79/'80: LP liner notes
  2. ^ Tim Lott (1979). "Confessions of an honest poseur". Record Mirror (9 June 1979): p. 26. 


  • Paul Goodwin (2004). Electric Pioneer: An Armchair Guide to Gary Numan


  1. ^ Greg Prato (1979-02-19). "Replicas - Gary Numan,Tubeway Army | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-03. 
  2. ^ "Music - Review of Gary Numan/Tubeway Army - Replicas Redux". BBC. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-07-03. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (3 December 1979). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Mojo Issue 172, March 2008, p.122
  5. ^ Shepherd, Sam (2008-02-25). "Gary Numan – Replicas Redux | Album Reviews". musicOMH. Retrieved 2014-07-03. 
  6. ^ "Replicas Redux: Expanded 2008 Tour Edition - Record Collector Magazine". 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2014-07-03. 
  7. ^ Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (June 14–27 1979): 25. 
  8. ^ Spin Simon Price, September 1998, pp. 188-189
  9. ^ Uncut March 2008, p.96
  10. ^ "Tubeway Army - Replicas at Discogs". Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  11. ^ "Certified Awards Search". Archived from the original on 2013-01-15. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Number 1 Albums – 1970s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
Preceded by
Discovery by Electric Light Orchestra
UK Albums Chart number one album
21–26 July 1979
Succeeded by
The Best Disco Album in the World
by Various artists