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), known professionally as Gary Numan, is an English singer, songwriter, composer, and record producer. Born in West London, he first entered the music industry as frontman of the new wave band Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, Numan released his debut solo LP The Pleasure Principle in 1979, topping the UK Albums Chart. He achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the No. 1 singles "Are 'Friends' Electric?" and "Cars", but maintains a cult following.
Numan is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music, and his signature sound consists 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.
- Gary Numanhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p061vsnm.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p061vsnm.jpg2018-03-21T15:17:00.000ZGary Numan in conversation with Grant Stotthttps://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p061vrwl
- "Ultravox did it first and better": Gary Numan answers the Manic Q & Ahttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05m8xsg.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05m8xsg.jpg2017-11-07T10:08:00.000ZElectronic music legend Gary Numan answers Marc Riley's Manic Q & A.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05m8wf9
"Ultravox did it first and better": Gary Numan answers the Manic Q & A
- Gary Numan Interviewhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05gfwzl.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05gfwzl.jpg2017-09-18T09:57:00.000ZGary Numan chats about his forthcoming tour and album.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05gfl2k
Gary Numan Interview
- “Insecurity is what drives me, the desire to be better” – Gary Numan reveals the motivation behind his 22nd albumhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05bf6sm.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05bf6sm.jpg2017-08-03T11:15:00.000ZGary’s releasing a new album inspired by his work-in-progress dystopian novel. He discusses the ideas and themes of the album and reveals his impetus for crowd-funding it.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05bf314
“Insecurity is what drives me, the desire to be better” – Gary Numan reveals the motivation behind his 22nd album
- Gary Numan: "For me it's a massive dream to write novels!"https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05bbhkc.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05bbhkc.jpg2017-08-02T10:18:00.000ZGary explains why he hasn't finished his dystopian novel...https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05bbflv
Gary Numan: "For me it's a massive dream to write novels!"
- Gary Numan: "My career nosedived... I wrote some rubbish songs!"https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05b9617.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05b9617.jpg2017-08-01T18:12:00.000ZGary Numan talks honestly about the highs and lows of his career.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05b95j7
Gary Numan: "My career nosedived... I wrote some rubbish songs!"
- Gary Numan joins Mark and Stuarthttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02v5qzq.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02v5qzq.jpg2015-06-20T15:03:00.000ZGary Numan joins Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie on 6 Music.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02v5r19
Gary Numan joins Mark and Stuart
- Gary Numan on Depeche Modehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p0244mq4.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p0244mq4.jpg2014-08-03T08:12:00.000ZElectronic pioneer Gary Numan tell Mary Anne Hobbs how Depeche Mode changed his life.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p0244mr1
Gary Numan on Depeche Mode
- Gary Numan: Key of Life interview with Mary Anne (Extended Cut)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p023pxqv.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p023pxqv.jpg2014-07-27T08:00:00.000ZFull, intimate interview between Gary Numan and Mary Anne Hobbs.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p023pxrd
Gary Numan: Key of Life interview with Mary Anne (Extended Cut)
- Gary Numan chats with Michael Sheenhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01p23wr.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01p23wr.jpg2013-12-29T16:04:00.000ZGary Numan chats with Michael Sheen.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01p23wt
Gary Numan chats with Michael Sheen
- Gary Numan chats to Radcliffe and Maconiehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01lkxpn.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01lkxpn.jpg2013-11-14T17:30:00.000ZGary Numan chats to Radcliffe and Maconie about his twentieth album Splinter.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01lkxrv
Gary Numan chats to Radcliffe and Maconie
- Gary Numan speaks to Marc Rileyhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01h346s.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01h346s.jpg2013-10-19T20:00:00.000ZGary Numan joins Marc Riley in the studio to speak about his new album Splinter.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01h34lk
Gary Numan speaks to Marc Riley
- Gary Numan in conversation with Radcliffe and Maconiehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p019m31h.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p019m31h.jpg2013-05-27T14:17:00.000ZGary Numan speaks to Mark and Stuart about his brand new album, Splinter.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p019m328
Gary Numan in conversation with Radcliffe and Maconie
Gary Numan Tracks