SD 38-143 Dance
Produced by Gary Numan
Released on September 4, 1981
UK CHART POSITION #3 . . . US CHART POSITION #167
Find it at GEMM
SD 38-143 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 6.0: DENSE. When Dance came out, I didn’t. This was the sleepy, self-impressed cousin to Telekon, stiff and noirish and remote. These days, I can appreciate it as a sophisticated step forward that sought to elevate the musical discussion Numan was having with his audience. There’s an outstanding assessment of this album on Wikipedia that cites some of the influences: Eno’s Another Green World (clave makers, rejoice), David Bowie (from Station To Station through Scary Monsters) and high-minded artists like Ultravox and Japan. To underscore that last point, Numan invited Japan’s Mick Karn and Rob Dean to Dance, which gives the artist a distinctly Japan-ese sound on “Slowcar To China” and “Boys Like Me.” The only influence the Wiki author misses is latter-day Roxy Music, although you could argue that’s implicit where Japan and Ultravox are present. Dance is divided into two distinct halves: the first side is remarkably subdued, almost enervated; the second side is livelier and more likely to please those looking for Telekon Mk. II. Lyrically, Dance deals with doomed relationships, especially those involving prostitution and addiction. The album seems like a calculated attempt to stop the momentum of “Cars” on every level, beginning with the nine-minute opening track. By album’s close, Numan repudiates the past by calling the New Romantics “boring.” Some have levelled the same charge against Dance and its followup, and that was my perception as a youth. Today, I appreciate this record more than the rudimentary and comparatively clumsy Pleasure Principle, even as I prefer Telekon to all of them. And, yes, that's Queen’s Roger Taylor who plays drums, which seems to be this week’s theme (see Elton’s Ice on Fire for more on that).

TRACK LISTING

  1. SLOWCAR TO CHINA    9:02
  2. NIGHT TALK    (Music by Paul Gardiner/Gary Numan, Lyrics by Gary Numan)    4:24
  3. A SUBWAY CALLED 'YOU'    4:36
  4. CRY THE CLOCK SAID    9:55
  5. SHE'S GOT CLAWS    4:53
  6. CRASH    3:34
  7. BOYS LIKE ME    4:13
  8. STORIES    3:08
  9. MY BROTHER'S TIME    4:34
  10. YOU ARE YOU ARE    3:59
  11. MORAL    4:31

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  12. STORMTROOPER IN DRAG
  13. FACE TO FACE
  14. DANCE
  15. EXHIBITION
  16. I SING RAIN

    Tracks 1-11: Music and lyrics by Gary Numan unless noted

CREDITS

GARY NUMAN -- voals, polymoog, Prophet 5, Roland JP 4, CP30, claptrap, percussion, CR78, Odyssey, bass, LM.1 drum computer, piano, guitar, claves, handclaps
MICK KARN -- bass, saxophones
Rob Dean -- guitars (7)
Connie Filapello -- voice (7)
Paul Gardiner -- guitar and Odyssey (2)
Jess Lidyard -- drums (11)
Sean Lynch -- LM.1 operation (2)
Roger Mason -- Prophet 5 and CP30 (8)
Nash The Slash -- violins
Chris Payne -- violas
Mick Prague -- bass (8)
Cedric Sharpley -- drums (3,5)
Tim Steggles -- percussion (1)
Roger Taylor -- drums, tom toms
John Webb -- JP 4 operator, handclaps, LM.1 drum computer
Nick Smith -- engineer
Geoff Howes -- photographs
Richard Sharah -- make up
Kenny -- clothes

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK September 4, 1981 Beggars Banquet LP BEGA-28 gatefold cover, poster
US September 1981 Atco LP SD 38-143 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
CAN 1981 Beggars Banquet LP XBEG-28 gatefold cover
JPN 1981 Warners LP P-13008A gatefold cover
UK August 1999 Beggars Banquet CDX BBL-28CD w. bonus tracks

 

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