After Replicas, The Pleasure Principle (both 1979) and Telekon (1980), Dance - the last thing you're likely to do to this album - represented something of a sidestep, artistically and financially. In his 1997 autobiography, Praying to the Aliens, Numan notes that he'd made something like £4.5m by this point. 'Although experimental and atmospheric, commercially speaking, Dance was the wrong album to release at a time when I badly needed to pick momentum,' he says.
The book, written with Steve Malins, recalls in a naive tone Numan's fascination with flying, and other fan-boy activities, alongside long-remembered run-ins and petty feuds. Maybe there's something in the musician's claims of having mild Asperger's. There's quite a lot about the songs' lyrical content but very little on the music itself, though there are some great, double-take lines.
'I think I saw a UFO once on my way home from one of those Dance sessions,' Numan says. And, later: 'The subject matter of the [album's] new songs was full of reflections on the previous two years, but one or two in particular were inspired by a relationship which turned very bitter. In 1980 I had gone out with a particular girl for a few months. She gave me three different names while I was with her, so to this day I'm still not sure what her real name was...'