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Tubeway Army

After a couple lineup shuffles, Tubeway Army -- Gary Numan (aka Valeriun), Paul Gardiner (aka Scarlett), and Numan's uncle Jess Lidyard (aka Rael) -- debuted in February of 1978 with "That's Too Bad" on Beggars Banquet, a furious fusion of punk and pop, but darkly cold and clinical. During a studio session a few months later, Numan began fiddling with a mini-Moog synthesizer that remained from another band's recording stint. Instantly falling in love with the instrument's capabilities, he decided that he would use synths to achieve the sounds he heard in his imagination. Though he fought the temptation to associate synths with prog rock, he felt they would help distance the band from the limitations and clichés of punk. Numan and his mates were influenced by Bowie and T. Rex as much as J.G. Ballard and William S. Burroughs (as well as being inspired later on by contemporaries Ultravox and the Human League), so the band's extraction from punk wasn't surprising at all.

After releasing their stellar eponymous record later in 1978, Tubeway Army cut a session for BBC's John Peel. Two more singles followed early in 1979, garnering the band further chart success and increased exposure, especially for Numan. The band's second LP, Replicas, was released in June. Since Tubeway Army had increasingly become the sole vision of Numan, this moniker was abandoned, and Replicas was the last release to feature the name. Lidyard, who had pretty much been involved out of necessity, removed himself from the scene, and Gardiner continued for a while with Numan, also lending duties with his live band. "Cars," the first release as Gary Numan (only two months after Replicas), was an instant hit and became one of the songs most synonymous with the '80s. Numan continued on his own, establishing himself as a prolific cult artist (with a rabid following) throughout the next decades, and become one of the most important figures in the history of electronic pop. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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jbucher725
Are 'Friends' Electric?, Replicas, and Down in the Park have stood the test of time--hard to believe it's 35 years since the Replicas album has been released. I agree, Gary Numan is NOT pop...he is the godfather of electronic and industrial rock.
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agree with everything in the review except calling Numan pop, he formed his own genre which fathered several others-there ' s a REASON NIN covers so much Numan as an example

Numan is a musical genius
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One of the best . . . ever
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Down in the Park! Top 10 favorite songs. Absolutely timeless, thanks Gary!
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One of a kind!
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Too good
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Yes, Numan is awesome!
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Beggars Banquet is one of my fav albums EVER! I have loved Tubeway Army & Gary Newman fromt he very beginnining. They are the bomb!! Gotta go Gang of Four is palying... TOTAL AWESOMENESS! ! !
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i was extremely surprised first time i had listening are 'friends' electric?
The '78,'79 & '80 has been brilliant years for electronic music...
The pioneers of that!
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I was suprised to hear he said in an interview that he has Asperger's. He explained very articulately that that was why he has always has been on the outside. Never interested in music so to speak. He said he was more interested in what made sound...
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very approachable articulate polite man and easy to talk to
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@psychicjunk u e b y - p r o x y

So true!
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Never gets old
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Listening to this again is very much like a time machine. The only thing is that it could be in either direction.
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I love him too. 'Cars' was the first thing I ever heard and wasn't impressed. My room mate at the time had all of his earlier work and she played his records often. I am very glad about that because I kind of hated his hit song.
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I still Love Gary Numan after all of these years.
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Scary to say that I have now seen him perform in three different decades and he continues to rock! Most recently saw him at The Fillmore in San Francisco and the performance still gives me goosebumps. He started with the Cars album for the first half but cleared the stage of synths for the second half and brought the house down.
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dontrish931
He's still the best. Saw him in recently in Boston - I'm so glad he is still touring to the States when he can. Are Friends Electric? hooked me the first time I heard it in 1978
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knichol3
Numan was the only new wave artist I know of who succESSFULLY INTEGRATED keyboards and synths not only with pop music but electric guitar as well.
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youngfamily4
One of the first songs I heard from Numan and Tubeway Army. It carries much more power live on Urgh: A Music War. I agree Jeff, warm and detatched all at the same time!
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Quirky and ineresting sound, mechanical & industrial.
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pinot7
Classic quirky synth new wave! Even though it is clinical, it has a strange warmth to it. Does anyone agree?

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