Some content from the excellent (but paid subscription base) Rock’s Back Pages, has found it’s way onto Yahoo! An excellent interview/profile with Paul Morley from 1979, just as Tubeway Army broke.
Gary Numan was the gloomy Brit who married the influences of Bowie, Ultravox, and even Jobriath, hitting huge with ‘Are “Friends” Electric?’ Now lauded as an electronic godfather, he plays England’s Bestival tonight (Sept 6), so we we’re taking you down memory lane with this great Paul Morley NME profile published June 9, 1979
The list went something like: 2.00pm — Jackie, 2.30pm — My Guy, 3.15pm — Patches, 4.00pm — Record Mirror, 4.45pm — Smash Hits, 5.30pm — Paul Morley.
[the Smash Hits interview link is at the bottom]
After David Bowie’s Low and Heroes, the race was on for the first big British electronic hit. Everyone knew it was going to happen, because this was the sound of the future. Who would it be: the Human League, Ultravox, Orchestral Maneouvres in the Dark? Nobody expected this to come out of left-field: a slow, almost dirge-y blast of pure teen alienation set in a chill Science Fiction future – or, rather, alternative present – with its intimations of surveillance, gay cruising, and robotic sex. It sounds too much, but Numan sealed it with a perfect, disconnected vocal and a sweeping, whooshing synthetic arrangement. With its two note hook, Are ‘Friends’ Electric? – even the quote marks are of their time – dominated the high summer of 1979.