20th Anniversary Edition
(BBL 19 CD)
© 1998 Beggars Banquet

Released in September 1980, Telekon was Gary Numan's third successive number one album in the UK. Following the stark, symmetrical style of The Pleasure Principle, the new album was densely atmospheric and opulent-sounding, incorporating a wide range of synthesizers, as well as viola, violin and Satie-like piano. Alongside the well established Mini-Moog and Poly-Moog, classically-trained keyboardist Denis Haines, recalls how the old ARP Pro-Soloist was explored on Telekon. "Gary found one particular sound on it which was very moody, more an emotional sound as opposed to electronic. It was very weepy, a sugary sweet sound and he decided he wanted to put a bit more emotion into the music so he used it in quite a few different ways on the album."

Numan also experimented with acoustic percussion sounds, drum machines and reintroduced the guitar, stretching himself and his band (still Cedric Sharpley, Paul Gardiner and Chris Payne, but now fattened by Rrussell Bell on guitar and violin, who joined in time for the 1979 British tour, and Billy Currie's replacement Denis Haines) with some of the most imaginative arrangements of his career. Sounds' John Gill, an articulate but vociferous critic conceded, "Telekon sees Numan fleshing out his sound, perhaps a little belatedly. Back in the mix unusual things are beginning to happen, new levels of interest, new layers of sound, both formal and free." As the American magazine Rolling Stone put it - "this is beautiful music."

The results were melancholy but strangely soothing, a very mature record for a 22-year-old, who was already obsessed with age and the transience of fame. "Telekon is extremely dark and introspective in places," he explains, "and the whole album has a very doomy, almost oppressive feel to it. This was my first new album after the success, so, rather than fantasising about life as a pop star, I now wrote about it from a position of real knowledge. The reality that I found myself in was a thousand times worse than I had ever imagined. I felt battered. Scarred inside and out, I was struggling to keep it all together. The album is a clear example of a young man whose dream had turned swiftly into a nightmare, trying to make sense of it all."

- excerpted from the liner notes by Steve Malins

Bonus Tracks - "We Are Glass" and "I Die: You Die" were issued as singles but not included on the original vinyl album in the UK. The North American version did include "I Die: You Die" but omitted "Sleep By Windows". To muddy the waters a bit further, the version of "I Die: You Die" presented here is actually the alternate version (with different vocals and mix) used in the promo video. "A Game Called Echo" was recorded at Rock City as part of the early album sessions and first released in 1985 on a retrospective 12". "Down In The Park (Piano Version)" was the B side of "I Die: You Die." "Photograph" (B side of "This Wreckage" single) and "Trois Gymnopedies" (B side of "We Are Glass") were leftover tracks from the Freerange demo sessions for The Pleasure Principle album and recorded between 9-12 April 1979.

Listen To All RealAudio Clips Consecutively

Track Listings
# Song Title RealAudio
1 This Wreckage 05:24 28K G2
2 The Aircrash Bureau 03:00 28K G2
3 Telekon 03:00 28K G2
4 Remind Me To Smile 03:00 28K G2
5 Sleep By Windows 03:00 28K G2
6 We Are Glass 04:46 28K G2
7 I'm An Agent 03:00 28K G2
8 I Dream Of Wires 03:17 28K G2
9 Remember I Was Vapour 03:00 28K G2
10 Please Push No More 03:00 28K G2
11 The Joy Circuit 03:00 28K G2
12 I Die: You Die (Alternate Version) 03:00 28K G2
13 A Game Called Echo 03:00 28K G2
14 Photograph 02:25 28K G2
15 Down In The Park (Piano Version) 03:00 28K G2
16 Trois Gymnopedies (First Movement) 02:41 28K G2

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