Gary Numan
Gary Numan

Gary Numan Biography (BBC)

Tubeway Army’s performance of Are "Friends" Electric? on Top of the Pops on 24 May 1979 ranks as one of the most pivotal moments in the history of the show, and in British music in general. There had been experimentations with electronics in pop music before, but nothing as perfected as Are "Friends" Electric?, which they also performed on the The Old Grey Whistle Test. It went to No.1 and stayed there for four weeks, paving the way for other British synth pop bands like Depeche Mode and The Human League, who would go on to have huge success in the 1980s.

The band's songwriter and frontman, Gary Numan, was a former punk who had changed to new wave electronic pop after playing with a Minimoog synthesiser he found in the studio where he went to record his first album, 1978’s Tubeway Army. The band’s second album, Replicas, from which Are "Friends" Electric? was taken, went to No.1 in the UK, as did his first album under his own name, 1979’s The Pleasure Principle, which spawned the single Cars, a UK No.1 that also cracked the US Top 10. A sell-out tour, The Touring Principle, followed, from which a concert video was released, thought to be the first full-length commercial music video release.

Numan topped the chart again in 1980 with The Pleasure Principle’s follow-up, Telekon, before widening his sound to include rock, jazz and funk across a further eight albums he released in the 1980s. In 1991, he co-composed the score for film The Unborn and reached a new, younger fanbase with 1994’s Sacrifice, an industrial album that began Numan’s critical and artistic reappraisal. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins have all covered Numan songs and he’s been also citied as a key influence by British dance acts such as Tricky and Basement Jaxx, who sampled Numan's "M.E." from The Pleasure Principle and This Wreckage from Telekon on their 2001 hit, Where’s Your Head At?

Numan’s later-period albums such as 2003’s Mutante, 2011’s Dead Son Rising and 2013’s Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) have also been critically praised, and widely discussed by Numan in interviews on 6 Music with Mary Anne Hobbs and Radcliffe and Maconie.

Gary Numan Biography (Wikipedia)

Gary Anthony James Webb (born 8 March 1958), better known as Gary Numan, is an English singer, musician, songwriter, composer, and record producer. He entered the music industry as the frontman of the new wave band Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, he released his debut solo album The Pleasure Principle in 1979, topping the UK Albums Chart. While his commercial popularity peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s with hits including "Are 'Friends' Electric?" and "Cars", he maintains a cult following. He has sold over 10 million records.

Numan is considered a pioneer of electronic music, with his signature sound consisting of heavy synthesiser hooks fed through guitar effects pedals. He is also known for his distinctive voice and androgynous "android" persona. In 2017, he received an Ivor Novello Award, the Inspiration Award, from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Gary Numan Performances & Interviews

Gary Numan Tracks

Sort by

Latest Gary Numan News

    6 cult heroes who inspired your favourite musicians
    The writers, artists and great minds that gave songwriters some of their best ideas
    Top of the Pops a decade on: 10 stunning moments from the legendary pop show
    Counting down the times pop music barged into the nation's living rooms and caused a stir
    The 8 most dedicated music fan tribes, from Deadheads to Directioners
    Meet the gangs of music lovers who turned their fandom into a lifestyle
    10 inspiring lessons from Mary Anne Hobbs's Key of Life interviews
    Haven't quite sorted out your new year resolutions? Here are some ideas, from Kelis to David Bowie
Back to artist