Gary Numan revolutionized guitar music in the late 1970s with his unique blend of electronic and rock sounds. His use of synthesizers, drum machines and other electronic instruments created a futuristic sound that was unlike anything heard before. Numan’s hit song “Cars” was a prime example of this new sound, featuring a driving beat and catchy melody that became an instant classic.Numan’s influence on guitar music extended beyond just his use of electronic instruments. He also experimented with unconventional guitar techniques, such as playing with a slide and using feedback to create unique sounds. These techniques, combined with his electronic sound, helped to pave the way for the new wave and synthpop genres that emerged in the 1980s.Today, Numan’s impact on guitar music can still be felt. His innovative use of electronic instruments and unconventional guitar techniques continue to inspire musicians across genres. Numan’s legacy as a pioneer of electronic music and a trailblazer in guitar music will continue to be celebrated for years to come.
Carrying on with our series of articles regarding the Guitar as the songwriter’s tool we are arriving at one of the most interesting artists. Gary Numan is not a virtuoso, but over 10 million albums sold and a career from 1977 to the current certainly speaks to his talent and popularity.
My Friend Steve Morgan turned my head around when we were discussing Concerts and Steve had caught 2013’s “Splinter” tour. He advised me at any chance to go to a Numan show and I have always trusted his music advice. He’s never been wrong and I credit him for introducing me to Public Image Limited and The Cramps just for starters.
He set me on the Path, as Far as I knew of Gary was the song “Cars”. After “going to school” on the work of Gary Numan I’m a massive convert.
From the beginning of the 1978 EP for Tubeway Army, the Synth was not really in play. It was a guitar band emerging from the end of Punk. The signing to record Label “Beggars Banquet” was to deliver that sort of music. Upon finding the early Moog in the studio Gary had other plans.
TUBEWAY ARMY Bombers
“TUBEWAY ARMY’s “Bombers” is a song that showcases Gary Numan’s evolution as a musician. Numan was originally a guitar player, and he used his 1970 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe on early recordings like “Are Friends Electric?” However, he discovered the Moog Bass sound in the early 1980s, and this led him to transfer his guitar parts over to the synth. The result was a new and groundbreaking sound that helped to define the electronic music of the 1980s.
In the video, Numan is seen playing the Moog Taurus III bass synthesizer. This synthesizer was a key part of the “Bombers” sound, and it helped to create the song’s driving rhythm. Numan also uses a vocoder on the song, which gives his voice a robotic quality. This effect was also popular in electronic music of the 1980s, and it helped to create the “Bombers” soundscape.
“Bombers” is a landmark song in the history of electronic music. It was one of the first songs to use the Moog Taurus III bass synthesizer, and it helped to popularize the vocoder effect. The song’s driving rhythm and robotic sound helped to define the electronic music of the 1980s, and it continues to be a popular choice for DJs and musicians today.”
Gary Has always been a Guitar Player. Gary Numan’s dad bought him this sunburst 1970 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe for his 15th birthday; he’s used it on stage and on every album ever since. (Note the “goof rings” around the mini-humbucker pickups that confirm his guitar’s precise vintage).
However, the discovery of the Moog Bass sound pushed him to transfer these Guitar parts over to the Synth and a whole new vision and sound became a Hurricane of reaction.
Gary Numan .:: Reinvention
Gary Numan: Reinvention is a 2011 documentary film about the English musician Gary Numan. The film chronicles Numan’s career, from his early days as a punk rocker to his later success as an electronic music pioneer. The film also explores Numan’s struggles with mental health and his diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome.
The film was directed by David Stubbs and produced by Adam Bullmore. It features interviews with Numan, as well as with other musicians and critics who have been influenced by his work. The film was released to positive reviews, with critics praising Stubbs’ direction and Numan’s openness about his personal struggles.
Numan: Reinvention is a fascinating look at the life and career of one of the most influential electronic musicians of all time. The film is a must-see for fans of Numan’s music, as well as anyone interested in the history of electronic music.
Here are some additional details about the film:
- It was filmed over a period of two years, and features interviews with Numan, his family, friends, and collaborators.
- The film explores Numan’s early life, his rise to fame in the 1980s, and his struggles with mental health and addiction.
- It also features footage of Numan’s live performances, as well as interviews with other musicians who have been influenced by his work, such as Trent Reznor and Moby.
Numan: Reinvention is a powerful and moving film that offers a unique glimpse into the life and work of one of the most important figures in electronic music.
He at first shocked the Record Company, Followed by the world. The Guitar still was a part of the sound but more often was the second or third place in the ever-increasing sonic exploration and Stage show. Gary would go on to buy at least one other Gibson Les Paul Custom and both Gibsons would make their appearances on stage when needed.
It’s a fascinating study to hear some of the songs stripped down to a simple acoustic and vocal. It brings into focus the craft of the writing and solidifies the notion that the man despite the presentation writes great Material.
Gary Numan- Down In The Park (Acoustic)
Down in the Park” is a song by Gary Numan, originally released in 1979 as the second single from his second studio album, “The Pleasure Principle”. The song is a synth-pop ballad with a driving beat and Numan’s signature vocoder vocals. The lyrics are about a couple who meet in a park and fall in love, but their relationship is ultimately doomed.
The acoustic version of the song was released in 2006 as part of the “The Pleasure Principle: The Singles” compilation album. The acoustic version features a more stripped-down arrangement, with Numan’s vocals and guitar taking center stage. The song retains the original’s driving beat, but the acoustic instrumentation gives it a more intimate feel.
The acoustic version of “Down in the Park” has been praised by critics for its simplicity and emotional power. It has been described as a “beautiful and haunting” version of the song, and it has been performed live by Numan on several occasions.
If you are a fan of Gary Numan or synth-pop music in general, I highly recommend checking out the acoustic version of “Down in the Park”. It is a beautiful and moving song that is sure to stay with you long after you hear it.
Gary Numan- Bleed (Acoustic)
Bleed” is a song by Gary Numan, originally released in 1982 as the third single from his fourth studio album, “Telekon”. The song is a synth-pop ballad with a driving beat and Numan’s signature vocoder vocals. The lyrics are about a man who is haunted by nightmares and visions of death.
The acoustic version of the song was released in 2006 as part of the “Telekon: The Singles” compilation album. The acoustic version features a more stripped-down arrangement, with Numan’s vocals and guitar taking center stage. The song retains the original’s driving beat, but the acoustic instrumentation gives it a more intimate feel.
The acoustic version of “Bleed” has been praised by critics for its simplicity and emotional power. It has been described as a “haunting and beautiful” version of the song, and it has been performed live by Numan on several occasions.
The song is about a man who is having nightmares about death and violence. The lyrics are full of imagery of blood and gore, and the song has a dark and foreboding atmosphere. The acoustic version of the song does not change the lyrics, but it does change the mood of the song. The stripped-down arrangement makes the song feel more intimate and personal, and the focus is on Numan’s vocals, which are more raw and emotional than in the original version.
If you are a fan of Gary Numan or synth-pop music in general, I highly recommend checking out the acoustic version of “Bleed”. It is a haunting and beautiful song that is sure to stay with you long after you hear it.
After releasing two albums with the band, he released his debut solo album “The Pleasure Principle” in 1979, topping the UK Albums Chart. While his commercial popularity peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s with hits including “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “Cars” (both of which reached number one on the UK Singles Chart), Numan maintains a cult following.
However, the Cult is Mighty and since “Splinter” he has kept climbing in profile for the second time in his career. 2017’s “Savage” and 2021’s “Intruder” have seen his star rise and his credit as an innovator of countless bands from his initial arrival on the world stage in the late ’70s.
He is a workaholic who has written and released 23 albums and was recently the subject of the film “Android in La La Land”.
Despite the 1981 “Farewell “ nights at a sold-out Wembley Arena. The hiatus didn’t last very long and the work in between now and then has quite possibly made him more popular now than ever.
Gary Numan (London 1981) . Everyday I Die
No matter your feelings about his polarizing past, He is a prolific and pleasant-natured artist and man. One more story of “ Young person wanting a guitar and takes over the world.”
Is it a New wave? Industrial? Techno? I don’t know. What it IS for sure is it’s Gary Numan music and it is Glorious, and the guitar has been there as the anchor the entire time.
Gary Numan/Tubeway Army – Are ‘Friends’ Electric? | The Story Behind the Track | Top 2000 a gogo
The song was released in 1979 as the lead single from Numan’s second studio album, “The Pleasure Principle”. The song is a synth-pop ballad with a driving beat and Numan’s signature vocoder vocals. The lyrics are about a man who is lonely and isolated, and who finds companionship in a robot.
The song was inspired by Numan’s own experiences with loneliness and isolation. Numan was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in the early 1980s, and he has said that he has always felt like an outsider. The song’s lyrics reflect this feeling of isolation, and the robot in the song represents Numan’s own desire for companionship.
The song was a commercial success, reaching number one in the UK charts. It also helped to establish Numan as a leading figure in the synth-pop movement. The song’s influence can be heard in the work of many other artists, including The Human League, Depeche Mode, and OMD.
The song’s title is a play on words. The word “electric” can refer to both the robot in the song and the electronic sound of the music. The question mark in the title suggests that the song is asking a question about the nature of friendship and companionship. Is it possible to be friends with a robot? Or is it just a substitute for real human connection?
The song’s lyrics are also ambiguous. They can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the listener’s perspective. Some people see the song as a cautionary tale about the dangers of isolation and loneliness. Others see it as a celebration of the power of technology to connect people.
Ultimately, the meaning of the song is up to the listener to decide. But there is no doubt that “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” is a powerful and moving song that has resonated with people for generations.