Beggars Banquet

Gary Numan - I, Assassin (Green Vinyl)


Originally released in 1982, I, Assassin is Gary Numan's sixth studio album and fourth under his own name. Combining fretless bass with heavy rock drumming, Numan further refined his dark, sparse, funky-electro style, mixing it with impenetrable, slurred vocals. Numan recorded and wrote most of the music between January and March 1982, following his infamous round-the-world trip in a light aircraft and a near-death crash onto a British road while co-piloting a spiraling Cessna. Three of the album's songs made it into the UK top 20.

According to Numan, who was still only 24-years-old at the time, "the round- the-world flight, the plane crash, these were big things that helped me shape a new opinion of myself. Those experiences gave me a self-confidence, a genuine strength that I hadn't had before." Twenty years later, the singer enthused, "I still think it's one of the best albums I've made." I, Assassin'sheavily percussive approach led to several tracks becoming unexpected intruders on American dancefloors, notably the 12" single of "Music For Chameleons" and a specially re-mixed U.S. version of "White Boys And Heroes."

Electro pioneer Afrika Bambaataa enthused about Numan's style in this era: "Kraftwerk and Gary Numan were special to me because they made funk music. It's all related – Sly Stone, James Brown, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Kraftwerk and Gary Numan. In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s Gary had the rhythms that DJs wanted to get hold of and people waited for his records on the dance floor."

I, Assassin stands out as a record fiercely propelled by powerful rhythms in songs laced with an earthy cynicism.