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EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT SO WHY CAN’T WE? IN TIME – THE BEST OF R. HOW DID WE GET SO DARK? Who’s going to see Dua Lipa on tour this week? Gary Numan, is an English singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. Born in Hammersmith, London, he first entered the music industry as the lead singer of the new wave band Tubeway Army.
After releasing two albums with the band, Numan released his debut solo album The Pleasure Principle in 1979. Numan, whose signature sound consists of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals, is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music. Born in Hammersmith, England, Gary Anthony James Webb was the son of a British Airways bus driver based at Heathrow Airport. Webb was educated at Town Farm Junior School in Stanwell, Surrey and Ashford County Grammar School, then Slough Grammar School, Berkshire and Brooklands Technical College, Surrey. He joined the Air Training Corps as a teenager.
He then briefly did various jobs including fork lift truck driver, air conditioning ventilator fitter, and clerk in an accounts department. Numan rose to prominence at the end of the 1970s as front man, writer, and producer for Tubeway Army. Beggars Banquet Records in 1978 and quickly released two singles, “That’s Too Bad” and “Bombers”, neither of which charted. A self-titled, new wave-oriented debut album later that same year sold out its limited run and introduced Numan’s fascination with dystopian science fiction and synthesizers. Numan’s most enduring and oft-covered songs. A few months later Numan found success in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic with “Cars”, which peaked at No. 1 in the UK in 1979, No.
9 in the US in 1980. Cars” and the 1979 album The Pleasure Principle were both released under Numan’s own stage name. Around this time, Numan also developed his style. Top of the Pops, he had “spots everywhere, so they slapped about half an inch of white makeup on me before I’d even walked in the door. And my eyes were like pissholes in the snow, so they put black on there. My so-called image fell into place an hour before going on the show”.
He later said that he, “Got really hung up with this whole thing of not feeling, being cold about everything, not letting emotions get to you, or presenting a front of not feeling”. In 1980, Gary Numan topped the album charts for a third time with Telekon, with the singles “We Are Glass”, “I Die: You Die” released prior to the album reaching No. This Wreckage” taken from the album in December also entered the Top 20. Telekon, the final studio album that Numan retrospectively termed the “Machine” section of his career, reintroduced guitars to Numan’s music and featured a wider range of synthesizers. Departing from the pure electropop that he had been associated with, Numan began experimenting with jazz, funk, and ethereal, rhythmic pop. The album charted as high as No. Dramatis, Numan contributed vocals to the minor hit “Love Needs No Disguise” from the album For Future Reference and lent vocals to the first single release by his long-term right-hand man Paul Gardiner, “Stormtrooper in Drag”, which also made the charts.
Despite producing one Top 10 and two Top 20 singles, the album peaked at No. 8 with a six-week chart run. 12, produced two hit singles including the Top 20 title track and, like I, Assassin, spent six weeks in the charts. Numan subsequently issued a series of albums and singles on his own record label, Numa. Berserker moved away from the fluid, fretless sound that characterised Numan’s previous three albums, featuring instead harder-edged electric bass and drum sounds. Again, the album heralded a change of image, this time featuring Numan in a white suit and red bow tie.