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Gary Numan Biography


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Birth Name: Gary Anthony James Webb
Born: 1958/03/08
Birth Place: Hammersmith, West London, United Kingdom
Years Active: 1976 - present
Genres: 1976-1994:, New Wave, Synthpop, Electronic, 1994-present:, Industrial Rock, Gothic Rock, Dark Wave


Gary Anthony James Webb was born on March 8, 1958 in Hammersmith, London and is a pop singer most well-known for his 1979 hits “Are 'Friends' Electric?” and “Cars.” Webb's stage name is Gary Numan and his pioneering sound during the late 1970s and early 1980s was based in electronics with heavy synthesizer hooks and aggressive punk-rock elements. When Numan was 15 years old, his father bought him a Gibson Les Paul guitar, which he cites as changing his life, and love for music. Numan got his start in music playing in various local bands in and around London, before forming “Tubeway Army” with his uncle, Jess Lidyard, and Paul Gardiner. The band released their punk-influenced demo tape, “The Plan” in 1974, which resulted in a record deal with Beggars Banquet Records in 1978.

The band's self-titled, new-wave debut album arrived that same year, with the first three singles off the album failing to chart. 1979 saw the release of the fourth single off the album, “Are 'Friends' Electric?” which peaked at #1 on the U.K. Singles Chart. “Cars” followed, peaking at #1 on the U.K. Charts, #1 on the Canadian Charts, and #9 on the U.S Charts. “The Pleasure Principle” was released under Numan's name in 1979, with a sell-out tour following. 1980 saw Numan on top of the album charts once again with “Telekon;” the album produced three hit singles: “We Are Glass,” “I Die: You Die” and “This Wreckage” and reintroduced guitars to Numan's music. Another tour followed. As the 1980s progressed, Numan experimented musically and began to move away from the electro-pop that became his signature, and experimented with jazz, funk and rhythmic pop. “Dance” arrived in 1981 and peaked at #3 on the U.K. Album Charts, however, Numan's style of music began to fade into the background as bands like Adam & The Ant, The Human League, Duran Duran, and Depeche Mode began to take the spotlight and change the direction of popular music at the time.

1983 saw Numan release a jazz-influenced body of work in “Warriors,” which peaked at #12 on the U.K. Album Chart and produced two hit singles. Numan created his own record label by the mid 1980s, Numa, and began to release his own music on his label. Numan continued to experiment musically, always trying to reinvent himself in the public's eye. As the 80s drew to an end, so too did Numan's record label which closed its doors in 1987. As the 1990s emerged, along with grunge music, Numan turned his attentions to film scoring, his first being the film , “The Unborn.” Musically, Numan moved into a harsher, more industrial direction with his songwriting, as seen on his album “Sacrifice” Numan cited Nine Inch Nails as the biggest influence on his musical change. Numan's late 1990s albums: “Exile” (1997) and “Pure” (2000), restored his critical reputation and were well-received by both fans and critics alike. For the first time in almost twenty years, Numan toured the U.S in support of “Exile.”

2002 saw Numan score another hit with “Rip,” peaking at #29 on the U.K. Chart, and a year later again with the single, “Crazier,” peaking at #13 in U.K. As the 2000s moved forward, so did Numan musically, continuing to push himself artistically and release albums that were unique and positively received. 2010 saw Numan touring Australia, U.K., and the U.S. Numan's latest album, “Dead Son Rising” arrived in 2011. Currently Numan is working on new material.