Electric Friends: A Gary Numan Podcast

Electric Friends: A Gary Numan Podcast

By Tom Eames

Celebrating the music of electronic pioneer Gary Numan, track-by-track. Each episode delves into a different Gary Numan song from various albums and eras in a non-linear journey.

Episodes

Bill Sharpe interview

For this interview special, it’s with a bonafide music legend: Bill Sharpe.Bill Sharpe is a classically trained pianist and jazz rock musician, who once worked alongside John Peel at the BBC and Trevor Horn in an early band. In 1980, he co-founded the band Shakatak, who scored many big hits around the world with their brand of post-disco jazz-funk.In 1985, he teamed up with Gary Numan on what was meant to be a one-off single, but later turned into several songs, and a whole album - with 1989’s Automatic. He is a prolific songwriter and musician, who has collaborated with many other stars over the years, and is still performing with Shakatak today.In the episode, Bill discusses:How he came to work with Gary Numan and their writing processesThe unreleased demos he made with Gary after Automatic - could they ever be released?How Shakatak came aboutHis friendship with John PeelClips used:Shakatak - Steppin'Shakatak - Easier Said than Done (TOTP)Sharpe & Numan - Change Your MindSharpe & Numan - New Thing from London TownSharpe & Numan - No More LiesShakatak - Nightbirds (TOTP)Please get in touch on YouTube, X, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
12/07/2444m 40s

Your Fascination

"I don't suppose you ever laughed at me"For this episode of Electric Friends, I look back at Gary Numan's 1985 album The Fury, and in particular its lead single 'Your Fascination'.Including:How Gary continued his funk/industrial style from BerserkerHow radio continued to ignore him despite being a funky bangerHow he turned to co-producers and took on a new songwriting technique for the albumIts music video co-starring his then-girlfriendTheories to what the song is aboutClips used:Gary Numan - Your FascinationGary Numan - MiraclesGary Numan - TricksRetrosound - PPG Wave Soundscapes IIGary Numan - Revolution (audiobook)Please get in touch on YouTube, X, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
24/06/2421m 33s

Metal

"We're in the building where they make us grow, and I'm frightened by the liquid engineers, like you."For this episode, I look back at one of Gary Numan's best-known and best-loved songs, 'Metal', from 1979's The Pleasure Principle.The track was the first song on the album with lyrics, and was inspired by the writings of Philip K Dick, about a machine with a desire to be human.The perfect synthpop track was never a single, but it became one of Gary Numan's most-performed songs, and was later covered and sampled by a number of artists, most notably by Trent Reznor's Nine Inch Nails.The episode looks at:What 'Metal' is all aboutIts somewhat forgotten music videoWhy it was never released as a singleThe various live versionsWhen Gary performed it with Nine Inch Nails in 2009Clips used:Gary Numan - MetalThe Beach Boys - Do It AgainGary Numan - Metal (live, 1979)Gary Numan - Metal (live, 1986)Gary Numan - Metal (live, 2018)Gary Numan - Metal 98Gary Numan - MoralGary Numan - Revolution (audiobook)Tubeway Army - The CraziesTubeway Army - We Have a TechnicalNine Inch Nails - MetalNine Inch Nails - Metal (live, 2009)Planet Funk - Who SaidAfrika Bambaataa - MetalNouvelle Vague - MetalPoppy - MetalPlease get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
18/05/2427m 25s

Donovan Silver/John Webb interview

For the latest interview special of Electric Friends, I speak to Gary Numan's brother John Webb, aka Donovan Silver.Donovan opens up about his close bond with older brother Gary, what it was like growing up with him and the first time he joined Tubeway Army on stage as a 12-year-old.He also speaks about joining the band full-time as a teenager and their various tours, as well as working alongside Queen legend Roger Taylor on drums.Donovan also gives a fascinating account of his impressive aviation career, as well as his return to music, including his most recent album Alpha.Clips used:Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Tubeway Army live at the Roxy - Boys (1977)Gary Numan - Remind Me to Smile (live, 1983)Gary Numan - CrashJohn Webb - The Experiment of LoveDonovan Silver - AlphaTubeway Army - Me! I Disconnect from YouPlease get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
21/04/241h 3m

My Shadow in Vain

"Stroll to the cafe, my God, how time flies..."For this episode, we travel way back to one of Gary Numan's first songs. 'My Shadow in Vain' was written before Tubeway Army even existed, and it went on to become one of his most performed songs ever.This episode delves into the different versions of the song, from its punk origins to the 2002 hard rock version. We also hear from Gary as he explains how Tubeway Army came to be, and the meaning behind the song.Clips used:Tubeway Army - My Shadow in VainTubeway Army - My Shadow in Vain (The Plan version)Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Tubeway Army - My Shadow in Vain (live, 1977)Tubeway Army - Something's in the HouseGary Numan - My Shadow in Vain (2002 version)Gary Numan - My Shadow in Vain (live, 1979)Gary Numan - My Shadow in Vain (live, 1984)Please get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
01/04/2415m 8s

Andy Gray interview

For this interview special of Electric Friends, I’m speaking to Andy Gray, one of the most sought-after DJs, songwriters, producers and composers of the last few decades.Andy made a name for himself in the early 90s in the growing dance music scene, with his remixes and work with his group Amoeba Assassin, and for his work with Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto label. He has gone on to produce or remix music by a wide range of artists such as The Human League, Tori Amos, New ORder, Tears for Fears, Moby, U2, John Foxx and many more.He is also a prolific film and TV soundtrack composer, on projects such as Swordfish, Get Carter and Hunters, and he also composed and produced the iconic Big Brother theme in the UK.He has also had a long association with Gary Numan, whom he counts as a good friend. He has collaborated and remixed Gary’s music many times, including appearances on the Hybrid, Jagged and Dead Son Rising albums. In particular, he remixed the brilliant version of A Prayer for the Unborn, which we hear at pretty much every Gary Numan gig today.I caught up with Andy to talk about his career, how Gary’s music inspired him as a youth, and what his experiences of working with Gary have been, and what we can look forward to in the future. Clips used:Tubeway Army - Are Friends Electric?Amoeba Assassin - RollercoasterThe Human League - Tell Me WhenElementfour - Big Brother ThemeGary Numan - Listen to My Voice (Andy Gray remix)Gary Numan - A Prayer for the Unborn (Andy Gray remix)Gary Numan - Are Friends Electric (Andy Gray remix)Gary Numan - AncientsAndy Gray & Gary Numan - For YouPlease get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
12/03/2451m 0s

Dark

"Kneel before my altar and drink the wine of slaughter"In 1997, Gary Numan followed his career-rebooting Sacrifice album with the critically-acclaimed Exile. It was the closest thing to a concept album that he had recorded, delving into a world where God and the Devil were the same.In this episode, I look back at perhaps its most well-known song, 'Dark'. Including:An exclusive clip of my interview with Gary back in 2017, talking about whether he would ever make film soundtracksIts use in the 1998 film Dark CityThe epic storyline of Exile and how it compares to SacrificeClips used:Gary Numan - DarkGary Numan - Dark (Andy Gray rework)Gary Numan - Innocence BleedingDark CityGary Numan - Dead HeavenPlease get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
27/02/2417m 48s

Chris Payne Interview

In this interview special episode, I speak to the legend that is Chris Payne!Chris joined Tubeway Army back in 1979 just before 'Are Friends Electric' was released, and stayed with Gary's band for the albums Replicas, The Pleasure Principle and Telekon, and continued performing with Gary's live band for the rest of the 1980s.He also co-wrote Visage's 'Fade to Grey', and has been a prolific composer and conductor of classical, cinematic and medieval music over the past few decades. In the interview, Chris speaks about first meeting and auditioning for Gary, his musical background, his time as part of Dramatis, reuniting with Gary and much more. He also answers YOUR questions!Thank you to Chris for giving up your time for this interview, it was awesome speaking to you at such length.Clips used:Tubeway Army - Are Friends Electric? (Old Grey Whistle Test)Gary Numan - ComplexGary Numan - We Are GlassGary Numan - M.E. (live, 1980)Tubeway Army - Down in the ParkDramatis - Love Needs No DisguiseDramatis - Take Me HomeGary Numan - The Fury tourGary Numan - Complex (live, 2009)Gary Numan - M.E. (live, 2022)Chris Payne - DeclamationZaine Griff & Chris Payne - CarsChris Payne - Early Dance
18/02/241h 14m

Remind Me to Smile

"Move from my window, leave me alone..."In this episode, we look back at the Telekon album track 'Remind Me to Smile' from 1980. The electropop banger is still a live favourite, but it wasn't released a single. Or was it?We take a look at how Gary's struggles with fame and fandom influenced the song, his strange experience with hardcore fans back then and more.Clips used:Gary Numan - 'Remind Me to Smile'Gary Numan - 'Remind Me to Smile' (live, 2004)Please get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
21/01/2412m 54s

I Can't Stop

Gary Numan's 1986 album Strange Charm was not a happy one for him, and while it might be a forgotten LP compared to others, it still has a lot of... well... charm.Its second single 'I Can't Stop' was a bombastic radio friendly track that deserved more radio attention at the time, and it was the first vinyl single I bought 10+ years after its release.This episode delves into the song's history, and the making of the Strange Charm album, including Radio 1's gaslighting of Gary, why the music video was "terrible" according to Gary, and more.Clips used:Gary Numan - 'I Can't Stop'Gary Numan - 'My Breathing'Radio 1 Chart Show, June 1986Gary Numan - 'Faces'Gary Numan - 'I Can't Stop (live, 1986)'Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Please get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
15/12/2314m 48s

I Die: You Die

"This is not love, this is not even worth a point of view..."In 1980, Gary Numan released one of his greatest singles, the top 10 hit 'I Die: You Die'. At the time it was a non-album single, but was later included on the Telekon album, alongside We Are Glass.The episode delves into:How the song was inspired by the press's hatred of himThe various versions, mixes and coversHow David Bowie got him thrown off the Kenny Everett ShowClips used:Gary Numan - I Die You DieGary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Radio 1 interview, 1980Radio 1 Chart Show, 1980Gary Numan - I Die You Die (alternate mix)Gary Numan - I Die You Die (The Kenny Everett Show)Gary Numan - I Die You Die (live in Sydney)Gary Numan - Down in the Park (piano version)The Magnetic Fields - I Die You DieColdplay - ClocksPlease get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
18/11/2323m 55s

Berserker

As voted for by you, this episode is all about Gary Numan's 1984 album Berserker, and in particular its title track and lead single.The episode delves into its inspirations, from '60s sci-fi books to 1984's biggest hit single, and Gary's own fantastical ideas.It also looks at the album and tour's striking blue and white imagery, Gary's turn to sampling and its disappointing lack of airplay and chart success.Clips used:Gary Numan - BerserkerGary Numan - My Dying MachineGary Numan - Berserker (live, 1984)Radio 1 Chart Show, November 1984Please get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
30/10/2317m 7s

Here in the Black

By the late 2000s, Gary Numan had become a father to three girls, and his career had been better than ever. However, for various reasons, he found himself with serious bouts of depression.This depression led to the writing of his next album, 2013's Splinter. One such track that tackled the themes of depression and life apathy, was the epic 'Here in the Black'.This episode looks back on that song, including its inspiration, what Gary was going through at the time, live versions and more.Clips used:Gary Numan - 'Here in the Black'Gary Numan - 'Lost'Gary Numan - 'My Last Day'Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Gary Numan - 'Here in the Black (live)' with the Skaparis OrchestraThis episode deals with issues of depression. If you are suffering from depression, you are not alone. Depression is a common and treatable condition that affects millions of people around the world. There are many ways to cope with depression, such as seeking professional help, talking to someone you trust, engaging in activities that make you happy, and practising self-care. Other places you can reach out for help include:[The Samaritans]: A UK-based charity that offers confidential emotional support to anyone in distress or suicidal. You can call them 24/7 at 116 123 or email them at jo@samaritans.org.[Mind]: A UK-based mental health charity that provides information and advice on various mental health issues, including depression. You can visit their website to find local services, helplines, and online support groups.[NHS]: The UK’s National Health Service that offers free and confidential health care and advice. You can visit their website to learn more about depression, its symptoms, causes, and treatments. You can also find self-help guides, online tools, and apps to help you cope with depression.[Beyond Blue]: An Australian organisation that aims to reduce the stigma and impact of depression and anxiety. You can visit their website to access online forums, webinars, podcasts, and personal stories. You can also call them 24/7 at 1300 22 4636 or chat with them online.[National Suicide Prevention Lifeline]: A US-based network of crisis centres that provides free and confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. You can call them 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 or chat with them online.
14/10/2312m 46s

Please Push No More

"Now it's all over for sure, I'll walk back home..."In 1981, Gary Numan said goodbye to his fans with his epic Wembley shows, which was meant to be his retirement from live performance (thankfully, it wasn't).The year before, he had recorded 'Please Push No More', a piano-synth ballad that dealt with his feelings about fame, fans and critics. This episode tells the story of that song, and the emotional goodbye, and how he soon regretted his decision.Clips used:Gary Numan - Please Push No MoreGary Numan - TelekonGary Numan - Please Push No More (live, 1981)Gary Numan - Please Push No More (live, 2006)Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Please get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
26/09/2316m 33s

Thereza Bazar Interview

For this interview special of Electric Friends, I caught up with a genuine pop legend: Dollar's Thereza Bazar!Ahead of her UK tour, I spoke to Thereza about her amazing career, working with Trevor Horn, her upcoming projects, and of course... what it was like working with Gary Numan.Thereza sang on Gary Numan's 1982 tracks 'Noise Noise' and 'Bridge? What Bridge?', later included on re-releases of the I, Assassin album.Thereza reveals how she met Gary, and what it was like being in the studio with him at the height of both of their careers.Clips used:Dollar - Mirror MirrorDollar - Hand Held in Black and WhiteDollar - Love's Gotta Hold on MeDollar - Oh L'amourGary Numan - Noise Noise
08/09/2334m 15s

Rip

In 2000, Gary Numan released his most industrial album yet, Pure. Well received by critics and fans, it was arguably his best LP for nearly two decades.However, its lead single wasn't released until nearly two years later. And it was a surprising success, sending Gary back into the charts.This episode reflects on the Pure era and the lead single 'Rip', the most unlikely top 40 hit.Clips used:Gary Numan - RipGary Numan - PureGary Numan - Rip (Andy Gray remix)BBC Radio 1 Chart Show (2002)Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Please get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
01/09/2316m 25s

Tubeway Days: Chris Fielding Interview

For this episode of Electric Friends, I catch up with Tubeway Days singer and Gary Numan impersonator Chris Fielding.I first saw Chris Fielding when he appeared as Gary on Stars in their Eyes back in 1998, and was amazed at how close he looked and sounded like him. Fast forward to 2020, and Chris joined the lineup of the excellent Gary Numan tribute band Tubeway Days. Specialising in the 1979-81 era of Numan, the band and Chris sound exactly like the real thing and are a must-see for all Numan fans.Chris talks about his love of Gary Numan growing up, how he got into impersonations and performing, what the Stars in their Eyes experience was like, meeting Gary, and what's coming up next for the band.You will also hear snippets of Tubeway Days' excellent covers of Gary Numan songs, including 'Cars', 'Down in the Park', 'Remind me to Smile' and more.A big thank you to Chris Fielding for his time and for a brilliant interview, and to Steve Guard for arranging.
15/08/2345m 15s

Me! I Disconnect from You

On Replicas, Gary Numan and Tubeway Army kicked it off with this incredibly catchy piece of synthpop/new wave/post-punk brilliance: Me! I Disconnect from You.This episode delves into the meaning behind the song, its sci-fi influence, the various remixes, live versions and covers, and more.Clips used:Gary Numan - 'Me! I Disconnect from You' (Replicas)Gary Numan - 'Praying to the Alines' (Replicas)Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Gary Numan - 'Me! I Disconnect from You' (live, 1979)Gary Numan - 'Me! I Disconnect from You' (live, 1984)Gary Numan - 'Me! I Disconnect from You' (live, 2008)Gary Numan - 'Me! I Disconnect from You' (Hybrid)Gary Numan - 'Me! I Disconnect from You' (Peel Session)Grace Jones - 'Me! I Disconnect from You'Please get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
05/08/2314m 57s

New Anger

"They say that I'm all over, I don't know..."In 1988, Gary Numan released his first album under the IRS Records label, and despite good reviews and an improvement on previous albums, Metal Rhythm didn't get him back in the charts.Taking on a Robert Palmer-style hard rock meets electronic album, the LP featured the lead single 'New Anger', about his irritation over his critics at the time.This episode delves into the making of the album, how it was made and how Gary feels about it now.Clips used:Gary Numan - New AngerGary Numan - DeviousGary Numan - This is EmotionGary Numan - RespectGary Numan - VoixGary Numan - I Don't BelieveGary Numan - ChildrenGary Numan - CreaturesGary Numan - Cold Metal RhythmGary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Please get in touch on Twitter (@numanpodcast) or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
10/07/2317m 49s

We Take Mystery (To Bed)

"You're my assassin but you can't see the crime..."For this episode, let's look back at what would prove to be Gary Numan's final ever top 10 single, from 1982's I, Assassin.A song about an ex-girlfriend, and a track that has everything (funk, synthpop and jazz), it's one of Gary Numan's most intriguing singles.Please get in touch on Twitter (@numanpodcast) or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
26/06/2311m 43s

M.E.

"I turned off the pain, like I turned off you all, now there's only m.e."For this episode, we look back at the fantastic sci-fi themed Pleasure Principle track, M.E..Based on a story from Gary Numan about the last machine on Earth, we look at its inspiration, covers, remixes and more.Clips used:Thomas Newman - 2185 ADGary Numan - M.E.Gary Numan - M.E. (Hybrid version)Wand - M.E.Metz - M.E.Earl Brutus - M.E.Nine Inch Nails - MetalBasement Jaxx - Where's Your Head At?Foxy - Party BoysGary Numan - M.E. (live, 1980)Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Please get in touch on Twitter (@numanpodcast) or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
08/06/2315m 38s

Jo the Waiter

"Young men need love special."In this episode, we look back at the quirky yet hugely popular fan favourite track, Jo the Waiter, from Tubeway Army's self-titled debut album in 1978.From the person who inspired the song to its various live versions, let's tackle the folk-style track ahead of Gary's acoustic tour later this year.Clips used:Tubeway Army - Jo the WaiterGary Numan - Jo the Waiter (live, 2004 - Shepherd's Bush)Gary Numan - Jo the Waiter (live, 2022 - Wembley Arena)Gary Numan - Jo the Waiter (live, 2019 - Aberdeen)The Orb - Jo the WaiterPlease get in touch on Twitter (@numanpodcast) or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
22/05/2312m 10s

The Fall

"Do you fall like dust on a ruin? Empty and dead like the life you are losing."For this episode, we go back to 2011 and Gary Numan's album Dead Son Rising, for its lead single 'The Fall'.Intended as an 'outtakes' album to fill the gap between Jagged and Splinter, it ended up being its own fully-fledged album thanks to the persistence of producer Ade Fenton.This episode focuses on the lead single, including:How Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor inspired itHow Gary got through apathy to finish the albumIts original track from the Pure sessionsIs it based on an apparent fallout with a former band member?The music video filmed in a creepy abandoned asylumClips used:Gary Numan - The FallGary Numan - For the Rest of My LifeNine Inch Nails - MetalGary Numan - LookGary Numan - The Fall (live at Brixton Academy)Gary Numan - The Fall (Officers remix)Gary Numan - The Fall (South Central Bad Trip remix)Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Gary Numan speech at 1,000th gig
03/05/2319m 41s

She's Got Claws

"You are attraction, it gets to be routine, you're up, I'm down"This episode looks back at the one and only single from Gary Numan's 1981 album Dance: 'She's Got Claws'.We delve into how the song and album was inspired by a bitter end to a relationship that went rather scary for Gary, as well as a ghostly experience on the London Underground, and how it was influenced by the music of the band Japan (leading to the involvement of Mick Karn).Clips used:Gary Numan - 'She's Got Claws'Gary Numan & Paul Gardiner - 'Stormtrooper in Drag'Japan - 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids'Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Gary Numan - 'A Subway Called You'Gary Numan - 'Slowcar to China''Cat People' (trailer) / David Bowie - 'Cat People'Gary Numan - 'I Sing Rain'Gary Numan - 'Exhibition'Posh - 'She's Got Claws'Gary Numan - 'She's Got Claws (Biokraft remix)'Please get in touch on Twitter (@numanpodcast) or email at numanpodcast@gmail.com.
07/04/2328m 56s

Heart

"Time will heal you, time helps you forget me..."For this episode, I remember Gary Numan's largely-forgotten album Outland from 1991, and its lead single 'Heart'.The episode delves into the underrated love song from Gary, as well as the difficulties in making the album alongside Miles Copeland, how it was inspired by Janet Jackson and Jam & Lewis, and how it led into what was to come next.Clips used:Gary Numan - 'Heart'Gary Numan - 'Interval 1'Gary Numan - 'Confession'Gary Numan - 'From Russia Infected'Gary Numan - 'Tread Careful'Janet Jackson - 'Escapade'Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)
14/03/2320m 50s

This Wreckage

"Turn out these eyes, Wipe off my face, Erase me"For this episode, I look back at the Telekon single 'This Wreckage' from 1980. In the episode, I delve into:Why Gary Numan regretted choosing it as a singleThe meaning behind some of its Japanese lyricsHow it was sampled by a classic 2000s dance trackIts beautiful B-side 'Photograph'What his fans think about the divisive singleClips used:Gary Numan - 'This Wreckage'Gary Numan - 'Photograph'Basement Jaxx - 'Where's Your Head At?'Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)
18/02/2313m 11s

Magic

For this episode, I take a look back at the moment when Gary Numan turned a corner. In 1994, he took partner Gemma's advice and made the music he actually wanted to make again, without outsider influence.The album was Sacrifice, and it was the moment that Gary started his long road to recovery.Focusing mainly on the Lord of the Rings-inspired track 'Magic', this episode looks at the making of Sacrifice, what came before, and its enduring legacy.Clips used:Gary Numan - 'Magic'Gary Numan - 'Pray'Gary Numan - 'Deadliner'Gary Numan - 'Scar'Gary Numan - 'You Walk in My Soul'Gary Numan - 'Metal Beat'Gary Numan - 'Magic' (Dark Light, live)Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Nine Inch Nails - 'Heresy'Howard Shore - 'The Breaking of the Fellowship/In Dreams'
31/01/2323m 44s

Films

Revisiting one of Gary Numan's most influential tracks, which featured on his seminal The Pleasure Principle album.Containing an excellent drum break by Cedric Sharpley and bass from Paul Gardiner, the synth-heavy 'Films' was a hugely influential song in the early days of hip-hop.This episode looks at how the song was used in New York block parties, who has sampled it over the years and why it's still one of Gary's very best songs.Clips used:Gary Numan - 'Films'The Fatback Band - 'King Tim III'The Sugarhill Gang - 'Rapper's Delight'Visage - 'Fade to Grey'Gary Numan - 'Engineers'GZA - 'Life is a Movie'Prince Rakeem - 'Deadly Venoms'Esh the Monolith - 'Self Centred Youniverse'Royal Flush - 'Watch Out the Plant'Underdog - 'Films'Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Gary Numan - 'Films' (live 1981)
29/12/2216m 11s

Intruder

We head to Gary Numan's most recent album, Intruder, and its title track.Gary ponders what the Earth would say to mankind if it could talk, and how angry would it be. Gary took an idea from his daughter Echo's poem and turned it into a whole album, with great effect.This episode looks at the making and meaning of the 2021 anthemic track.Clips used:Gary Numan - 'Intruder'Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Gary Numan - Making Music campaignGary Numan - 'Intruder' (demo)Gary Numan - 'Aeon'
27/11/2214m 6s

I Dream of Wires

For Gary Numan's 1980 album Telekon, he channelled his anger and frustration when dealing with the harsh words of the music press of the time. But he was also still inspired by the sci-fi writings of Philip K Dick.For the album track 'I Dream of Wires', Gary imagines a man who was once called 'The Sparkle', and is now the last electrician alive. It's a fascinating idea for a futuristic story, and is pure Gary Numan.This episode looks at the writing and meaning of the song, its brilliant cover version by Robert Palmer and more.Clips used:Gary Numan - 'I Dream of Wires'Robert Palmer - 'I Dream of Wires'Gary Numan - 'I Dream of Wires' (live, 1981)Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)
12/11/2213m 10s

Down in the Park

For the latest episode, we go back to 1979 and Replicas - a song about terrifying androids with human skin who terrorise humans for fun: 'Down in the Park'.The episode looks at the song's influences, lyrics, history, cover versions, remixes and more. From Machmen to electronic car machines to beautiful piano versions, it's time to look back at one of Gary Numan's best ever songs.Clips used:Tubeway Army - Down in the ParkGary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Steeleye Span - Long LankinTubeway Army - Do You Need the Service?Gary Numan - Down in the Park (live, 1980)Gary Numan - Down in the Park (piano version)Gary Numan - Down in the Park (Curve remix)Gary Numan - Down in the Park (Sulpher remix)Marilyn Manson - Down in the ParkFoo Fighters - Down in the ParkElectric Six - I Invented the NightGary Numan - Down in the Park (live at Brixton Academy)
24/10/2218m 9s

Cars

For this episode, we're tackling perhaps Gary Numan's best-known song, and the track which made him an international star at the turn of the 1980s: 'Cars'.From its scary inspiration, to its multitude of covers and remixes, we look back at one of the best ever synthpop songs that inspired countless artists, and turned many of us into instant Numanoids.Clips used:Gary Numan - 'Cars'Gary Numan - 'Asylum'Gary Numan - (R)Evolution (audiobook)Gary Numan - 'Cars (Premier Mix)'Gary Numan - 'Cars (93 Sprint)'Carling Premier advert, 1996Gary Numan - 'Cars (Hybrid remix)'Fear Factory - 'Cars'Barron Knights - 'We Know Who Done It'Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - 'Cars'Shampoo - 'Cars'Armand van Helden - 'Koochy'Chicane - 'Hiding All the Stars'Nine Inch Nails & Gary Numan - 'Cars'Bill Bailey - 'Cars'South ParkFamily GuyThe SimpsonsTwo and a Half MenDieHard batteries commercial
28/09/2231m 40s

Music for Chameleons

40 years ago, Gary Numan had just completed his round-the-world trip in a plane, and then released his latest album I, Assassin.The album continued the experimental nature of Dance, but with a twinge of funk that later influenced Prince among others, and featured the fretless bass work of the soon-to-be in-demand Pino Palladino.This episode focuses on the album's main single, Music for Chameleons. Including its video that may have inspired Michael Jackson, and its infamous use in I'm Alan Partridge.Clips used:Gary Numan - Music for Chameleons (Beggars Banquet)BBC NewsGary Numan - I, Assassin (Beggars Banquet)Paul Young - Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home) (CBS)Gary Numan - Glitter and Ash (Beggars Banquet)Judy Collins - Send in the Clowns (Elektra)Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal (Epic)Gary Numan - Noise Noise (Beggars Banquet)I'm Alan Partridge (BBC)This Time with Alan Partridge (BBC)
11/09/2216m 46s

Everyday I Die

Gary Numan's first full album was the self-titled Tubeway Army, released on Beggars Banquet in 1978, when he was just 19.Recorded with his bandmates Paul Gardiner and Jess Lidyard, the album saw the band transition from punk to a new style of music, helped by Gary's discovery of a Minimoog and his interest in sci-fi novels.Featured on this album was the largely-acoustic track 'Everyday I Die'. The short song had a rather naughty subject matter, but would go on to become a fan favourite for decades to come.This episode delves into the making and meaning of the song, the various different versions, and why it is so loved by Numan and Numanoids to this day.Clips used:'Everyday I Die' (Beggars Banquet)'Listen to the Sirens' (Beggars Banquet)'Everyday I Die' (1980, Living Ornaments, Teletour) (Beggars Banquet)Dubstar - 'Everyday I Die' (Beggars Banquet)'Everyday I Die' (2002 version) (Jagged Halo/Artful Records)'Everyday I Die' (Andy Gray remix) (Jagged Halo)'Everyday I Die' (2020 acoustic)
24/08/2214m 34s

Halo

In 2006, Gary Numan released his first new album in six years: Jagged.It was the first album to be produced with Ade Fenton, starting a fantastic partnership that continues to this day.This episode focuses mainly on one of the most popular songs from the album: 'Halo'.We learn about how Gary was nervous about following up the critical success of Pure, the introduction of a Nine Inch Nails star, and a particularly comical moment from my first meet and greet with Gary at the launch of the album.Clips used:Gary Numan - 'Halo' (Cooking Vinyl)Gary Numan - 'Scanner' (Cooking Vinyl)Gary Numan - 'Does God Bleed (demo)'Gary Numan - 'Halo' (live on KEXP)Gary Numan - (R)evolution: The Autobiography (audiobook) (Constable)
09/08/2213m 51s

Warriors

For Gary Numan's fifth solo album, he went for a completely new image, brought in new musicians and tried some brand new styles.The album's title track was its lead single, and gave him another top 20 hit.This episode delves into:How Gary was inspired by Mel Gibson's Mad Max 2 for the album's imageBringing in the sweet sax sounds from Blade Runner's soundtrackGary butting heads with his first ever co-producerThe introduction of female backing singers in Gary's musicA silly chart rule that ruined Warriors' successWhy Gary thought it was the start of his late '80s dipHow it's not a sci-fi album, despite the imageryClips used:Gary Numan - Warriors (Beggars Banquet)Gary Numan - The Iceman Comes (Beggars Banquet)Vangelis - Blade Runner Love Theme (East West/Atlantic)Gary Numan - This Prison Moon (Beggars Banquet)Gary Numan - I Am Render (Beggars Banquet)Mad Max 2 trailer (Warner Bros)Gary Numan - My Car Slides (1) (Beggars Banquet)Gary Numan - Warriors (live, 2012)Matt Jessup - Warriors/Tracks
28/07/2220m 39s

My Name is Ruin

The lead single of Gary Numan's 2017 album Savage was 'My Name is Ruin', a soaring track about a man in an apocalyptic future who is trying to get his daughter back from a dangerous religious group.The video featured his daughter Persia Numan on backing vocals for the first time, with a stunning Egyptian sound and imagery, backed by one of his most memorable music videos in years.The song helped Savage to become Gary's highest-charting albums in nearly 40 years. But what is the song about, how was it made and what iconic TV show did it feature in?Clips used:Gary Numan - My Name is Ruin (BMG)Gary Numan - (R)evolution: The Autobiography (audiobook) (Constable)Gary Numan with the Skaparis Orchestra - My Name is Ruin (live) (BMG)South Park (Comedy Central/Paramount)
11/07/2212m 50s

Stories

Wa-cha! 'Stories' is one of the most popular songs from Gary Numan's 1981 album Dance. The album saw Gary take on a new jazz-electronic style, and this song was a particular standout.While not released as a single, it has become a favourite with fans over the years, and has an intriguing tale about a potential estranged mother and son in a surprising and unexpected reunion.This episode delves into the making of the song, its meaning and its recent comeback at Numan shows.Clips used: Gary Numan - Stories (Beggars Banquet)Gary Numan - (R)evolution: The Autobiography (audiobook) (Constable)Gary Numan - Stories (Living Ornaments '80) (Beggars Banquet)Gary Numan - Stories (Lockdown Sessions)
29/06/2210m 15s

We Are Glass

One of Gary Numan's biggest hit singles, 'We Are Glass' was originally a standalone single before being included in future Telekon releases.It's one of Gary's more poppy numbers, and has always been a solid live favourite. But what is the song about? And how did the BBC scupper its chances of being a bigger hit?Clips used:Gary Numan - 'We Are Glass' (Telekon - Beggars Banquet)Gary Numan - (R)evolution: The Autobiography (audiobook) (Constable)Gary Numan - 'We Are Glass' (Live at Wembley 1981 - Beggars Banquet)EMF - 'We Are Glass' (Random - Beggars Banquet)Gary Numan - 'Trois Gymnopedies (first movement) - (Telekon - Beggars Banquet)Gary Numan - 'We Are Glass' (live, 2022 - YouTube, Filmed By Nigel George Limer)
17/06/2210m 33s

A Prayer for the Unborn

Looking at the song which Gary Numan has described as his favourite of all time: 'A Prayer for the Unborn' - from the original version on 2000's Pure to the Andy Gray remix heard at most live shows from the past 20 years.It is one of Gary's most personal songs, written after a tragic family moment that is a moving track for many people who have gone through something similar.Clips:Gary Numan - 'A Prayer for the Unborn' (Pure)Gary Numan - 'A Prayer for the Unborn' (Andy Gray Remix) (Exposure/Hybrid)Gary Numan - (R)evolution: The Autobiography (audiobook) (Constable)Chris Isaak - 'Wicked Game'Gary Numan live at Wembley (2022)Tubeway Days - 'Are Friends Electric'
04/06/2211m 43s

Are 'Friends' Electric?

Electric Friends' first episode delves into the song which started it all for Gary Numan, and the song that changed many of us fans forever: 'Are 'Friends' Electric?'.The episode looks back at the song's origins, lyrical meaning, chart performance, cover versions, samples and beyond.We also hear just how important the song has been for Gary's fans over the past 4+ decades, and hear extracts about the song from Gary's autobiography.Stories include:How stumbling upon a Moog changed everythingHow it was the first number one about robot sexWho was 'S.U'.?Becoming a live anthem worthy of stadiumsPaving the way for electronic artists foreverClips:Tubeway Army - 'Are 'Friends' Electric?'Tubeway Army - 'Are 'Friends' Electric?' (Old Grey Whistle Test)Moog example (RetroSound)Gary Numan - 'Are Friends Electric?' (Live at Brixton Academy)Sugababes - 'Freak Like Me'An Pierle - 'Are Friends Electric?'Gary Numan - 'Are Friends Electric? (Andy Gray Mix)'Gary Numan - (R)evolution: The Autobiography (audiobook) (Constable)
01/04/2217m 25s

Electric Friends - A Gary Numan Podcast: An Intro

Hello, I’m Tom Eames, and welcome to a new podcast, Electric Friends, a celebration of the musical legacy of someone who is now, rightly considered a true icon of music, and one of the leaders of the electronic synthpop movement of the late 1970s and beyond: Gary Numan.This podcast is for all fellow Gary Numan fans out there, and for anyone who would love to delve more into his back catalogue. Each episode will look at a different Gary Numan song, looking at its creation, the meaning behind it, and more. It won’t be chronological or alphabetical, but rather will take on all eras of Gary’s discography in a non-linear journey. If you’re listening to this, then chances are, like me, you’re a massive fan of Gary Numan. Either that, or you’re a general fan and gatherer of music history, and were intrigued by a man who, in his early 20s in 1979, came out of seemingly nowhere to become an overnight popstar, and brought synths to the mainstream in a way no other artist had quite managed at that point.Fast-forward over 40 years later, and Gary is still making music and touring to fans around the world. If anything, his career over the last couple of years has reached a height he hasn’t felt since the early ‘80s. He has had two albums reach number two in the UK charts, and in 2022 he’s returning to Wembley Arena for the first time since his short-lived touring retirement in 1981. Gary has never decided to sit back and just perform Greatest Hits tours without releasing new music - he has kept interesting and relevant, morphing his sound to fit his evolving tastes and styles, to great effect. In fact, I’d argue that his last four albums - Ded Son Rising, Splinter, Savage and Intruder - are easily his greatest since the holy trinity of ‘Replicas’, ‘The Pleasure Principle’ and ‘Telekon’. He’s actually improving with age. Not many artists in their 60s can say that.There’s no other artist that sounds like Gary. His voice is so unique and hypnotic, and he has a fascinating sound to his records that feel so moving, atmospheric and catchy all at once. Yet, despite his decades of making music and critics finally giving him the credit he deserves, he still weirdly feels like a hidden gem. A secret that not many people seem to know or get. People might know ‘Cars’ or ‘Are Friends Electric’ at least, maybe. But once you ‘get’ Gary Numan, and become a fully-fledged fan, or Numanoid if you will, you’re there for life. Like supporting a football team. You’ll find it hard to find fans as dedicated and passionate as Gary’s.I myself became a Gary Numan fan back in 1994, when I was aged 7 or 8. Up until this point I had only been interested in ‘children’s music’ and then onto hits from the ‘60s, thanks to my parents' collection of CDs at the time. That year was the first year I was aware of ‘current’ music and started watching Top of the Pops and listened to the chart show on Radio 1.At one point on the BBC, there was this one-off Rock and Roll Years-style programme, but weirdly it was all about the environment over the years while shoehorning in the big hits of the era (side note: if anyone has any idea what this programme was, please let me know) - and then when it reached 1979, there suddenly appeared this pale robot-like guy singing ‘here in my car’. This clip only lasted the length of, well, it’s not exactly a chorus, but it only went on for about a minute or so. But in that minute, I was utterly fascinated by this man and the music he was making. It instantly became my favourite song, and I must have rewound that clip over a hundred times. And I’ve never looked back.In the era before YouTube and the internet, it would genuinely take at least a year before I heard the full song. I would relish any moment that Gary popped up on Top of the Pops 2. He became this folk-like creature. Was he even real? Is he still around today? In time, I’d collect his albums at HMV or local markets and build up a
09/03/227m 44s
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