Music / Gary Numan

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Gary Numan is one of the founding fathers of Synth Pop, best known, at least in the U.S., for his song "Cars".

He began his career under the band moniker Tubeway Army, their early Punk Rock singles recorded with the sole intent of becoming famous. He discovered a Moog synthesizer in the studio, and he was so impressed by the sound that he incorporated synths into his music with their first Self-Titled Album, slowly transitioning his style to that with which he did become famous. Their second album, Replicas, broke them into the mainstream in the U.K., aided by Gary's striking Robot or Spaceman Alter Ego; "Are Friends Electric" was one of the first Synth Pop singles on Top of the Pops, pissing off some other synth-based bands that were well established before him. He dropped the Tubeway Army for his third album, The Pleasure Principle, which gave his sole U.S. hit "Cars".

Following his fourth album, Telekon, Gary began incorporating Jazz and accessible pop sounds into his albums, and his chart success waned. He hit his personal nadir with 1992's Machine and Soul, after which he dropped the feeble attempts at chart success and transitioned to an Industrial Metal sound with Sacrifice, which persists to this day.

Numan also contributed the theme song to the 2014 video game The Evil Within, titled "Long Way Down."

You can find more info at The Other Wiki.

Studio Discography

As Tubeway Army

  • 1978 - Tubeway Army
  • 1979 - Replicas

As Gary Numan

  • 1979 - The Pleasure Principle
  • 1980 - Telekon
  • 1981 - Dance
  • 1982 - I, Assassin
  • 1983 - Warriors
  • 1984 - Berserker
  • 1985 - The Fury
  • 1986 - Strange Charm
  • 1988 - Metal Rhythm
  • 1991 - Outland
  • 1992 - Machine and Soul
  • 1994 - Sacrifice
  • 1997 - Exile
  • 2000 - Pure
  • 2006 - Jagged
  • 2011 - Dead Son Rising
  • 2013 - Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind)


"It's the only way to live in tropes":

  • The Cameo: In The Mighty Boosh
  • Car Song: Well, duh. It's his most famous song.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Got pegged as one early in his career for being perceived as standoffish and arrogant. He was later diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.
  • Darker and Edgier: His career went through peaks and valleys of darkness. His original albums (especially Replicas) were dark before he went for much Lighter and Softer pop to try and court the market. After that failed he went darker again in the 90's with Nine Inch Nails-inspired Industrial and has been that way ever since.
  • Dream Team:
    • He and Fear Factory did a cover of "Cars" together, appearing in their album Obsolete as a bonus track.
    • Any time he and Trent Reznor get together live blows the roof off the venue. That and the very obscure hints that they may collaborate on a future album together.
  • I, Noun: I, Assassin
  • I Am the Band: Tubeway Army was Numan's vehicle well before he started to appear under his own name instead.
  • "I Am" Song: "I'm An Agent", as well as "I Am Dust".
  • Industrial Metal: A noticeable influence in his later works.
  • New Wave: A pioneer of the genre.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Dance is likely his least danceable album.
  • Post-Punk: Tubeway Army through Replicas, which still prominently featured guitar but incorporated the synths and robotic rhythms that he would become known for when moving to full Synth Pop.
  • Punk Rock: His early singles. "Bombers" managed to stay in his oeuvre past the 70s while the rest faded into obscurity.
  • Religion Rant Song: "Prayer For The Unborn" off of Pure.
    So, I prayed
    But you weren't listening
    Making miracles?
  • Robot or Spaceman Alter Ego
  • Shout-Out:
  • Synth Pop
  • Take That, Critics!: "I Die, You Die" off of Telekon. The lyrics were aimed at what Numan saw as an increasingly vitriolic music press.
    They crawl out
    Of their holes for me
    And I die, you die
    Hear them laugh
    Watch them turn on me
    And I die, you die
    See my scars
    They call me such things
    Tear me, tear me ,tear me
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