I think of Gary Numan as an icon of early 1980s new wave, so it was a really pleasant surprise to find out that not only does he have a new album and video out, but he’s been very active in the last 37 years since “Cars” hit the U.S. charts. Even better, those years look to have been really good to the man, creatively and otherwise. I admit that mentally I’ve had Numan kind of locked away, preserved in a lucite box where skinny ties and Moog synthesizers will always be cutting edge. Numan, apparently, wasn’t willing to stay in that box.
Stop Making Sense is one of my favorite albums and concert movies EVER. Listening to the album got me through more shitty data-entry gigs with my sanity intact than I can possibly count. “Life During Wartime” remains one of my go-to songs when I’m depressed. I’ve been known to sit at cafes in Berkeley, listening to that song over and over again. Along with URGH! A Music War, the concert film is one of the best artifacts of 1980s New Wave. The Talking Heads were New Wave at its peak, and Stop Making Sense is the Talking Heads at their peak, on their very last live tour.