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Metamatic Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Import

4.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, September 3, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered reissue of the former Ultravox frontman's debut solo album, released in early 1980. The ever-experimental Foxx embraced the cold sound of German Electronic music and added heart, soul and dabs of arty pretension, creating one of the most influential Electronic albums of it's time. It reached number 18 in the UK albums charts and was preceded by the hit single 'Underpass'. Also featured is the follow-up hit 'No-One Driving'. Metamatic is remastered by Foxx himself, with expanded artwork and sleevenotes by Record Collector's Daryl Easlea. The seven bonus tracks include two further hit singles 'Burning Car' and 'Miles Away' plus five non-LP b-sides: 'Film One', 'Glimmer', 'Mr No', 'This City' and '20th Century'. Edsel.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Plaza
  2. He's Liquid
  3. Underpass
  4. Metal Beat
  5. No-One Driving
  6. A New Kind Of Man
  7. Blurred Girl
  8. 030
  9. Tidal Wave
  10. Touch And Go
  11. Film One
  12. Glimmer
  13. Mr No
  14. This City
  15. 20th Century
  16. Burning Car
  17. Miles Away


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 3, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1980
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Edsel Records UK
  • ASIN: B00005N53A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #399,318 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's John Foxx Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of Gary Numan, A Flock of Seagulls, the Human League, and other early 80s electronic artists, definitely check out John Foxx's works as he no doubt inspired them all. Metamatic is his first solo album after his stint as founder and vocalist with Ultravox. This album was first released in January 1980, and definitely has that Numan Pleasure Principle sound. A staple of the musical "futuristic" movement, Metamatic is darker and more detached than even Numan's early works. Foxx described this album as "carcrash" music. It is definitely inspired by the cold life of the city with people being reduced to liquid form. When listening to this CD, one hears the soundtrack of the period when the 1970s turned to the 1980s. "A New Kind of Man" has the factory pulse of early Wall of Voodoo, the dark "Blurred Girl" foreshadows A Flock of Seagulls' "The Fall", "Miles Away" is like Numan's "My Conversation" in pop form, "Touch and Go" sounds so much like Ultravox's "Mr. X" it makes one wonder if the track is a leftover from the Foxx years. It is not Foxx taking from others, but Foxx creating a type of music with themes that inspired a generation of songwriters. Still, Foxx added his own imagination to the music. As Foxx states, "We were constantly making new music for the cities. But rather than looking to America, I wanted to make a kind of music which might have happened if America had never existed. A sort of minimalist European urban electronic folk music. I had a picture of a future jukebox in some lost European motorway service station. I just listened to it play what became 'Metamatic.'" What makes this CD definitely worth the price are the additions. Seven bonus tracks are included, as well as lyrics to the original album tracks, several photos of Foxx, and a three-page mini bio of Foxx and the impact of Metamatic. It is a very impressive package.
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Format: Audio CD
When he appeared on Top of the Pops as singer of the new wave band Ultravox, he had everything going for him: good looks, memorable voice, quiet-spoken manner, sophistication and a good song: "Hiroshima, mon amour". But then he appeared in a Hawaii shirt and no-one appreciated the electronic sounds. Half a year later carbon-copy Gary Numan had his one shot at TOPT and did everything right: A Cool outfit and the detached mannerisms of the 80ies - and the timing was right: Foxx had just been a few months too early. Then Ultravox broke up, Numan published "The Pleasure Principle" and Foxx a few weeks later "Metamatic" - again, a few weeks too late. And so he went down as mere numan-sidekick. What a shame. "Metamatic" is electronic new wave essence. Never had been an album more daring, innovative and listenable than this. Even now it does not sound dated a bit. Discover this hidden gem. It might be your last chance. The new EDSEL edition contains a lot of additional tracks.
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Format: Audio CD
Metamatic is John Foxx's Cold Wave masterpiece, massive washes of intertwined synthesizer chords sustained forever, robotic clicks and beeps matched with bled-out J.G. Ballard alienated post-hope lyrics. Metamatic is the soundtrack for nuclear winter, brutalist concrete urb-scapes, relationships with strangers, pointless routine, a society that's forgotten how to communicate. Foxx sounds like a robot, but his compressed mechanical voice, powerful and on key, is also desperate and pleading. The hallmark of this record is its consistency - Foxx never gets sentimental or romantic, and the songs are unrelentingly, ferociously, massively synth-detached. The atmosphere cast by this record is alienating and frightening but also surprisingly joyous - there are plenty of quirky little randomized microchip melodies that make you smile, and Foxx's concentrated vocal detachment is ultimately a hoot. Plenty of these songs are bopping dance groovy, too. This is at least the second remastering I've heard, and there's more revealed in this mix. It also includes a few new B-side singles in the package - my fave is the "instrumental" (no actual instruments were used in this recording!) Mr. No.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Yes! - It can be done *real music played on synths. If you like the Cars then you should have this one.
I had a vinyl copy for this for years and bought the CD when my record player finally died. So now I get to hear the bonus tracks
*with beats that change from track to track, melodies, and lyrics worth listening to.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the UK's most influential LP/CD from the early 80's. John Foxx has been sited by Gary Numan as a major inspiration. The music is stripped down to the bare bones (mono synth lines and basic drum machines), but the sound is still full and gives the feel John was looking for. All the tracks are classics. UNDERPASS, ON-ONE DRIVING and MILES AWAY were all hits in the UK. Images of urban concrete, cars and metal claustrophobic intensity (METAL BEAT / HE'S A LIQUID) provide the theme throughout. If you've never heard of John Foxx (former lead singer with Ultravox) I insist you MUST check out this release. It's fantastic even 20 years after it's first appearance.
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Format: Audio CD
Gary Numan ("Replicas" CD, "Cars" single, etc.) publicly cited John Foxx as a major influence. Privately, so did dozens of other 1980's techno, synth-pop, and art-rock acts.
"Metamatic" was the CD (actually, an LP back in 1980) that John Foxx HAD to release. Ultravox seemed to be on the verge of "making it" as a progressive art rock act, but opted to become a completely disposable pop act, with a new vocalist fronting them. So, John Foxx who (along with Brian Eno) developed the Ultravox sound and image, was on his own.
Foxx had wanted to create a 'truly European' and 'very British' form of new wave music, not do pop for the U.S. market. That's an odd admission, since Ultravox sold more recordings in cities like Boston, MA and New York than they did in any European or U.K. location. One suspects that Mr. Foxx was simply saying that he was not interested in becoming a "pop star", but rather in creating innovative music.
Take a look at the cover of the first Ultravox album, and it's clear that John Foxx probably had the looks to make it as a pop star .
Well, anyhow, fans of Ultravox (particularly the "Systems of Romance" and "Ultravox!" CD fans) will probably be the biggest fand of "Metamatic".
The CD was criticized for sounding flat and mechanical at the time of its release, and it has a robotic, cyborgic quality to it. But like "Replicas", by Gary Numan & Tubeway Army, "Metamatic" was a CD that was way ahead of its time.
Released in early 1980, about a year after Numan released "Replicas", "Metamatic" reached number 18 in the UK albums charts & was preceded by the hit single 'Underpass', included on the album. Also featured is the follow-up hit 'No-One Driving'.
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