Gary Numan – 78/79 Box Set

A relative newcomer to the reissue scene, British-based Vinyl 180 is concentrating on a small stable of artists from the 80s and 90s that are thankfully anything but traditional audiophile fare. We’re talking albums by Gary Numan, The Cult, and Dead Can Dance, to name a few.

Limited to 500 copies, this four-LP Numan box set includes his first three albums, Tubeway Army, Replicas, and The Pleasure Principle, along with The Plan, the latter a 1984 release that features demo material from Tubeway Army, recorded in 1978. While the box set is tough to find in the U.S., Vinyl 180 is planning to release these albums individually in the near future.

In comparing these pressings to the U.S. originals, the new releases are clear winners. While a decibel or two louder than that on the earlier versions, the dynamic range does not seem to be compromised, though there is a slight “smile” to the EQ curve that emphasizes the deep bass and the very highest treble. Loaded with synthesizers and drum machines, the U.S. originals are fairly murky, with Numan’s vocals buried behind a wall of keyboards and cool, obscure electronic sounds.

With the additional information on tap, Numan’s genius is more evident. All but those with the most forward/revealing systems should welcome the additional resolution.  -Jeff Dorgay

Vinyl 180, 180g LP Box Set