the arkive

  •  - Tubeway Army Reissue
A1. Listen To The Sirens
A2. My Shadow In Vain
A3. The Life Machine
A4. Friends
A5. Something’s In The House
A6. Every Day I Die

B1. Steel And You
B2. My Love Is a Liquid
B3. Are You Real?
B4. The Dream Police
B5. Jo the Waiter
B6. Zero Bars (Mr.Smith)

Tubeway Army

Tubeway Army Reissue

Beggars Banquet
Released 10 February 2023

TUBEWAY ARMY was the name of Gary Numan’s band. Formed in 1977, their self-titled debut album was released at the tail end of 1978. In addition to Gary, the band consisted of Paul Gardiner on bass and backing vocals and Jess Lidyard on drums.

The album was a segue from the punk-leaning sounds of their early singles, to the pioneering electronic music that Gary Numan became known for. The phrase “garagey sci-fi rock” was used in reference to this album. This album truly paved the way for Gary Numan to become an electronic pioneer. It was during the sessions for this album that he came across a minimoog synthesizer by accident in the recording studio, and the rest is history.

Shortly after this album’s release, Tubeway Army recorded their follow-up, Replicas, which contained “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?”, which became the first synthesizer-based number 1 hit of the electronic era in 1979. After its release, Numan opted to drop the Tubeway Army name and release music under his own name, retaining the musicians from Tubeway Army as his backing band.

In a 2018 interview with TapeOp Magazine, Gary spoke about that legendary first studio session with Tubeway Army where he spotted the synth in the corner… “We got to Spaceward [Studios], in Cambridge in the eastern part of England. I'd done one session there already, so I did know the man there, Mike Kemp. I went in to say hello and introduce ourselves, and that's when I saw a synthesizer for the first time. He had a [Moog] Minimoog in the corner of the control room; I'd never seen one before. I'd never been massively interested in electronic music. I liked a bit of Kraftwerk. I liked what Eno did with Bowie – the Low album. But I was still very much guitar driven. When I saw the synthesizer at Spaceward for that first time, I was fascinated by it in a nerdy way; but I didn't have any expectations from it at all. He said, "Have a go." He turned it on; I didn't know how to set it up so I just accepted whatever sound it had. I pressed a key and it blew me away. This hugely powerful, growly sound came out of it. The control room shook with the weight of the sound. I'd never heard anything like it. I just thought, "Fuck me! That's unbelievable!" I'd only ever heard prog rock or Kraftwerk-y, bleepy music. I'd never heard anything that had any real power to it. The boys had finished unloading the van into the recording studio, and Mike was out there setting up microphones. He'd left me alone with the synthesizer in the control room, and by the time that was done I was absolutely converted. I was already trying to figure out how I could convert my guitar-based rhythms into electronic grooves; all very basic and very amateurish. Over the next three days I turned that entire album [Tubeway Army] into a pseudo-electronic guitar album, and that's what I took back to the record company. That's how it started for me. That moment effectively changed my entire life."

In a career that spans over forty years, Gary Numan’s music evolves and the themes change. But fans remain fascinated by Numan for the very fact that he’s so uncompromising. Gary recently released his twenty first album Intruder in May 2021.