Recorded at Gooseberry Studios, London. Mixed at Marcus Music AB, London. Inner sleeve printed with lyrics on one side and photograph with credits on the other side, rounded corners. Initial copies included a poster.
There is also a variant with label layout differences and square corners on the printed inner, Replicas.
Help anyone ? Mine is A1/B1 with E.G. Strawberry BUT my S number is not showing here. After the S on each side it is "23" so that's " S23" on both A and B sides. it has rounded corners and fits the bill on every other facet. It is just another variant ? One last thing, I bought it the first week it was released. So no poster inside, guess those copies all sold out. I did live in Leeds and we always got the worst copies if any extra promotional stuff.was supposed to be included. Always !!! Just another first press variant then ? Thanks anyone.
A true and classic electronic album which represents the start of Gary Numan becoming one of the biggest names in UK electronic music in the late 1970's. Many consider this the best album of all time, along side his first independent album, The Pleasure Principle. It is definitely one of the stronger albums and a classic in it's own right. It does not rate as the best album of Numans due to a weaker B side filled with three instrumentals which are not bad tracks, but by comparison to Down in the Park, Me I disconnect from you, Are Friends Electric and the Machman, the do feel like fillers. The instrumentals are interesting though, in the same way as the B sides to Bowies Low / Heroes.
I can't say so much about this release as Crijevo, except that it's Numan plagiarizing in reverse - that is - I get the feeling that he ripped off his own melodies on later releases as just Gary Numan, not The Tubeway Army. I noticed this as I was listening to Track 1, Me, I Disconnect From You, which sounded rather not so distantly similar to his own I Die: You Die. But none of that really matters when an artist rips off himself. My favorite track, and to me the standout on the album, is Are 'Friends' Electric?. The underlying synthesizer really makes the track come alive. Of course I never really could say that Mr. Numan is a standout vocalist, nor is he a great optimist - his lyrics are dark and rather pessimistic, but sometimes that's what makes a project work. Could you imagine any Gary Numan album with bouncy, poppy vocals? Eeeee! That would be terrible!
Numan was without doubt what you'd call the synth pin-up, with clever ideas but executed in a safe recipe mode. Although everyone cites 'Replicas' as "electronic", it's guitars, drums and bass that do the work, the synth serving a purpose of mere decoration throughout the album; 'The Machman', 'You Are In My Vision', 'Replicas', "It Must Have Been Years" and 'When the Machines Rock' add to the successive list of synth-rockers - except for the closing piece on the record, the instrumental 'I Nearly Married a Human', a fairly odd and somewhat eerie, distant tune pleasantly echoing the popular work of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
Of course, the Eno/Bowie/Ultravox! influence is another one hard to shake off - as futuristic as he wanted to be for the year 1979, Numan watched and learned, picking up the pieces and in the process he created his very own character (Malti Kidia's sleeve adds extra volume to the album's appeal), although in the years that followed Numan was slowly losing focus, becoming the exploiter rather than the explorer.
"Replicas" remains a charming record of the times, "hopelessly dated" as Trouserpress once put it, but in that statement there is also something of a charming factor, because "Replicas" was destined to sound exactly that. Rough on the edges, clumsy even, and just as frightening if you're into the album's Ballardian storyline.