Gary Numan

BBC in Concert: The Best of the Gary Numan Band Live

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A compilation of both sets of tracks recorded by Gary Numan for the John Peel radio show in England, along with a set of Pleasure Principle-era live cuts from a Wembley Arena benefit show recorded by the BBC. While the Peel show tracks are re-recordings produced in the BBC's studios, they are effective in showing Numan's stylistic shift, with the three earlier Tubeway Army-era cuts having an intense, stripped sound to them. The next four have a less intense tone, and are far less stripped down; "Conversation," in fact, is stretched to just over six-and-a-half minutes. Other than this, however, the recordings are just about faithful to the originals. The three live cuts present additional versions of "Me, I Disconnect From You" and "Down in the Park," with "Metal" sandwiched between. The recording quality itself is a couple of steps above bootleg quality, oddly enough, though this may simply have been a matter of BBC techs having to do a one-size-fits-all job with a multi-artist concert. No great surprises in terms of the performance; this was a stop on a tour that has been well-documented in live recordings. Overall, an interesting disc, but far from an essential release.

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