Gary Numan interview.
There’s a certain cannon of events that have defined pop music during the past 50 years or so. The Beatles playing The Ed Sullivan Show. Bob Dylan plugging in at Newport. David Bowie creating Ziggy Stardust. And Gary Numan taking synth-based music to No. 1 on the Billboard Charts. Whereas it may have once seemed odd to see Numan’s name alongside some of the biggest names in popular music, bear in mind we’re living in the age of EDM, when Ableton Live has replaced the Les Paul as the axe of choice for kids getting into making music.
Indeed, everything changed after Numan’s 1979 releases—first, the single “Are ‘Friends’ Electric” (recorded as the Tubeway Army), then his follow-up solo LP, The Pleasure Principle, with the mega-hit “Cars,” which brought the synthesizer front and center in the pop paradigm, blowing the doors wide open for commercially viable music of the electronic ilk for bands such as Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys and, later, Nine Inch Nails.