GARY NUMAN AND TUBEWAY ARMY
The Early Years (1977-1984)
By Mark Nobes, chief editor
Tubeway Army Years
Previously, the release of the band's self-titled debut album had been in limited numbers only, but a re-release in mid 1979 (with new stencil cover art as shown below) saw it climb the album charts to peak at No.14. Although many of the lyrics were based on a dystopian sci-fi theme, the music was still very much guitar and drum-based, and the only synth used on the album was a Minimoog, which they stumbled upon in the studio.
Replicas LP (original 1979 pressing)
Solo Albums and Singles
In the UK charts, the song reached Number 1 in 1979, and rose to Number 9 on the U.S. Billboard charts, in 1980. This debuted on the American Top 40 on March 29, 1980, and spent a total of 17 weeks in the chart.
"Cars" has been a UK Top 20 hit for Numan in three successive decades. First the original release that I've already mentioned in 1979, then in 1987 as the 'E Reg Model' remix (reaching No.16), and again in 1996 following its use in an advertisement for Carling Premier beer, and reaching No.17.
Original first pressing of "Cars" (7" vinyl) with "Asylum" B-side
"Cars" rear sleeve (original 1979 pressing)
The Pleasure Principle
The Pleasure Principle 8-track cartridge (remember these?))
"We Are Glass" was Gary Numan's third single release under his own name and it was another Top 10 hit. This
song wasn't originally added to the UK release of the second solo album, Telekon (1980) but was added to the
We Are Glass reached number 5 in the UK singles chart in 1980.
As with Dance, Numan continued being experimental and included jazz elements in his songs. However, many tracks also included an added funk element, and overall the album featured more pronounced bass and percussion.
Warriors (The Troublesome Fifth Solo Album)
"Warriors" 12 inch vinyl sleeve front (1983)
was the lead single and title track from Numan's seventh studio album and reached #20 in the UK. It was
the first of two tracks which were released as singles, with the second being Sister Surprise which peaked at #32. On the sleeve and in the video, we see Numan sporting a new Mad Max fashion style.
"Warriors" (1983) 7 inch vinyl sleeve front
Studio Album Discography
1978 Tubeway Army #14 (reissue) -initially failed to chart
1979 Replicas (Tubeway Army) #1
1980 The Pleasure Principle #1
1980 Telekon #1
1981 Dance #3
1982 I, Assassin #8
1983 Warriors #12
1984 Berserker #45
1985 The Fury #24
1986 Strange Charm #59
1988 Metal Rhythm (New Anger in the US) #48
1989 Automatic (as Sharpe & Numan) #59
1991 Outland #49
1992 Machine + Soul #42
1994 Sacrifice (Dawn in the US) #94
1997 Exile #48
2000 Pure #58
2006 Jagged #59
2008 Replicas Redux #96
2009 The Pleasure Principle (20th Anniversary Edition) #98
2011 Dead Son Rising #87
2013 Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind) #20
2017 Savage (Songs From A Broken World) #1
2021 Intruder #1
Chart positions shown are for the UK album chart.
Here is Gary Numan performing Warriors on the kids TV programme Crackerjack! Remember how the show used to start? "It's Friday, it's five to five and it's Crackerjack!". Erm, I'm really not sure about that blonde hair, though, Gary!
Gary Numan 80s Slideshow
Image of Gary Numan performing in 1980