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I, Assassin is the fourth solo studio album by Gary Numan, released on 10 September 1982 by Beggars Banquet. It peaked at No. 8 on the UK Album Chart. Three singles were released from the album: "Music for Chameleons", "We Take Mystery (To Bed)" and "White Boys and Heroes", all of which reached the UK Top 20 ("We Take Mystery" peaked at No. 9, and is Numan's last Top 10 single to date)
Numan's previous studio album, Dance (1981), was an experimental effort that explored and incorporated different musical elements such as jazz. I, Assassin operates in a similar vein. Although the fretless bass and some of the jazz elements of Dance are still in place, Numan went further with I, Assassin, exploring funk music and blending it together with heavier percussion and his own familiar electronic sound. Numan recalled that an important factor during the album's recording was the contribution made by fretless bassist Pino Palladino:
He was brilliant. I had never heard playing like it...He came up with stunning bass lines, song after song. I leaned on him heavily during the making of the album. I pushed his playing to the forefront of the tracks and, inadvertently, created a new style. It was one of the first times that the fretless bass had been used as the lead melody instrument, allowing the album to be atmospheric, dreamy and
Most of the album was written and recorded between January and March 1982 following Numan's round-the-world trip in a small aircraft. The 24 year old Numan stated that the round-the-world flight and the experience of a near-death plane crash helped him shape a new opinion of himself and gave him a strong self-confidence that he hadn't had before. Later in his career Numan said of I, Assassin: "I still think it's one of the best albums I've
For the album's cover sleeve, Numan retained the fedora hat from Dance, with the trench coat and alley background representing I, Assassin's 1930s gangster motif. The album cover of I, Assassin was influenced by that of Frank Sinatra's 1954 studio album Songs for Young Lovers.