Classics: Sharpe & Numan – Change Your Mind (Polydor)
“Change your mind (nothing ever stays the same…)” Or how to be pretty much… indamix?!?
On one side, Bill Sharpe, the leader of British Jazz Funk band Shakatak. Themselves synonymous with gems such as ‘Easier Than Said Done’, ‘Night Birds’, ‘Down On The Street’ and ‘Day By Day’. And on the other, New Vave singer Gary Numan. Himself counting almost 80 albums to his credit so far. Thus sitting on a bunch of classics such as ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric’, ‘Cars’, ‘We Are Glass’ and ‘The Wreckage’.
A meeting between the twosome would lead them to record ‘Change Your Mind’ in 1984, then release it as Sharpe & Numan by the beginning of 1985. An intoxicating fusion of Synth Pop effects along with Jazz/Funk vibes. Thus illustrating the open-mindeness and thirst of its protagonists for exploring new horizons. A jam which Sharpe eventually included on his solo debut-album – ‘Famous People’ – that same year. And, in the meantime, the opening cut to the Sharpe & Numan‘s ‘Automatic’ album which saw the light four years after…
A quick look at the forces in presence and their union almost appeared like a miracle. As they had, at least at first sight, so few in common. Just like so to say putting a square peg in round hole. Although I wouldn’t tell you who from the one to the other happened to be the square peg and so forth. Therefore limiting myself to their respective identities. In other words, Bill Sharpe, the leader of British Jazz/Funk combo Shakatak, and New Wave singer Gary Numan.
Everything went pretty much fine with their debut-single – ‘Change Your Mind’ – which saw the light back in January 1985. Eventually peakin’ at #17 position in the UK charts two months later. Comin’ up the year after, ‘New Thing From London Town’ failed to generate a comparable following, despite some undeniable appeal. Probably too far from both Sharpe and Numan‘s respective fan bases’ expectations. Besides, not much more happened to welcome their successive follow-ups. In other words, ‘Voices’, ‘No More Lies’ and ‘I’m On Automatic’. Not to mention ‘Turn Off The World’ which only appeared as a promo release as a matter of fact. Therefore, no wonder as to how and why the album – ‘Automatic’ – hardly spent more than a week in the charts. This on the heels of its release back in 1989.
As a matter of fact and with no offence intended, the album, all in all, didn’t have the strength of any of Numan‘s best cuts. No more than the groove of any of Sharpe‘s classics. From then on, no wonder why this would be their one and only album together at the end…