Gary Numan

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 2003 (The 2004 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
The Pleasure Principle (1979)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Cars (1979)

Gary Numan @ Wikipedia

Gary Numan Videos

Will Gary Numan be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


25 comments so far (post your own)

Gary Numan's chances are deplorable! How do we jumpstart this process?

Posted by Mike Gutshall on Monday, 03.12.07 @ 16:38pm

It's unbelievable that someone who influenced so many artists over the years isn't in the hall of fame. I think the list of people he hasn't influenced is a shorter list.

Unlike many others who came out of the post puck / new romantic / 80's time period, this guy keeps giving his all and refuses to sit solely on past glories.

He deservies to be in their - he's the Godfather of Electronica for goodness sake.

Posted by Alex on Monday, 10.1.07 @ 12:13pm

Should probably get in for his musical contributions to electronic and for being a fruitcake.

No way should he get in before the Krauts, though.

Posted by Liam on Wednesday, 02.6.08 @ 11:35am

Which "krauts"...Kraftwerk? No argument there!

Posted by Terry on Wednesday, 02.6.08 @ 19:38pm

My Conversation....

Posted by Joe-Skee on Thursday, 02.7.08 @ 08:54am

I'd guess that he fares a better chance with the Tubeway Army.

Posted by Liam on Thursday, 02.7.08 @ 12:10pm

the hall is a mess with who they let in so I would not be surprised if he never gets in. Any artist that is currently in from the 80s forward who are considered pop music with synths- he pretty much influenced or broke doors down for on MTV. Replicas represents the transition from guitars to synth driven music in one record- Kraftwerk should be in, but even Depeche Mode sights Gary Numan as a bigger influence on them- give me a break, so has snoop dog and big rappers like DRE. They all agree that his use of synths were revolutionary, and unlike Kraftwerk everyone in the U.S. heard the music, so due to that I think it had a broader effect.
Maybe someday the guy will get the respect he deserves.

Posted by D on Wednesday, 08.19.09 @ 00:46am

Everyone heard Cars anyway, even in african american rap clubs that record got spun in the early 80s- Garbage, Marilyn Manson, NIN, Depeche Mode, were all influenced by him for example--
NIN and Depeche will be in for sure so what about Numan

Posted by D on Wednesday, 08.19.09 @ 00:49am

The thing is, while most his synthpop contemparies stayed in the same genre, perfectly comftorable in their own litle niche, Numan went on to a darker more industrial sound.

Posted by GFW on Monday, 06.14.10 @ 11:13am

I cant believe his chances are so low, Grnadmaster Flash got in and he's only had 1 hit in the US. Numan only had 1 but his was bigger anf just as influential if not more.

Posted by Jarrod on Friday, 01.21.11 @ 03:00am

Gary Numan is a no-brainer for me. He had a very unique style (kind of like a synthpop equivalent of David Bowie, although both were different in many ways) in his time and was among the pioneers of synthpop. You can look at Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson and see a major Numan influence.

I despise the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, but it'd be apropos to see Numan get inducted.

Posted by Zach on Monday, 11.7.11 @ 20:19pm

Agreed, biggest electronic snub after Kraftwerk.

Posted by GFW on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 11:40am

Must be a British adoration thing... other than "Cars", he's pretty much an unknown here in the States. And I effin' hate "Cars."

Posted by Philip on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 12:07pm

I don't think one has to be British to appreciate Gary Numan. I'm an American and I love his music. I do agree about Cars, though. It's a shame that he is known only for that one song and nothing else. For a better appreciation of his music, check out some of the other tracks on his first solo album The Pleasure Principle. I'd especially recommend Metal, Films, Airplane, and Random.

What I find appealing about Numan's music is his retro-futuristic style and creative use of synthesizer and electronic instruments. Although he's often classified as electronica or synthpop (both labels are accurate but don't describe his entire output), he encompasses other styles as well. Being a science fiction movie buff and retro-futurist, I can't help but think how appropriate it would have been for him to record a few movie soundtracks.

Posted by Zach on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 14:12pm

His best song has got to be Are Friends Electric. It still sounds awesome.

Posted by GFW on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 14:54pm

"I do agree about Cars, though. It's a shame that he is known only for that one song and nothing else." - Zach

Yeah, I agree.

"For a better appreciation of his music, check out some of the other tracks on his first solo album The Pleasure Principle. I'd especially recommend Metal, Films, Airplane, and Random."

Excellent suggestions. Great post, Zach.

"He's the Godfather of Electronica"

Never heard that title before, but I wouldn't necessarily disagree with it. There's people who think Mitch Ryder is the Godfather of Blue-Eyed soul. Even though I like Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, that's something I can disagree with!

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Thursday, 11.24.11 @ 14:32pm

I wouldn't call him the godfather of electronica, there are only four godfathers of electronica and they're all german. Massive influence? yeah, he's got that.

Posted by GFW on Thursday, 11.24.11 @ 15:06pm

I don't know. Pretty borderline. Influential, yes. As previously stated, "The Pleasure Principle" is a GREAT album.

Posted by Chalkie on Thursday, 11.24.11 @ 15:09pm

He has influence and innovation but not much critical respect or commercial success which dosen't bode well for him.

Posted by GFW on Thursday, 11.24.11 @ 15:13pm

"...but not much critical respect"

"The Pleasure Principle" was pretty well received and is more or less revered by critics today.

Posted by Chalkie on Thursday, 11.24.11 @ 15:20pm

add tubeway army with him and he definitely deserves in.

Posted by GFW on Monday, 04.9.12 @ 13:43pm

I wouldn't have a problem with him getting in after a few others. It certainly helps his cause if you include Tubeway Army. Their self-titled was the first meld of synths, electronics and guitars, and certainly pre-dates Nine Inch Nails.

Posted by Sam on Thursday, 08.30.12 @ 11:26am

The Pleasure Principle was published in 1979, not in 1980.

Posted by Florian on Tuesday, 10.29.13 @ 09:53am

Thanks again, Florian.

Posted by FRL on Tuesday, 10.29.13 @ 10:12am

Almost 5+ years later, and Gary Numan is still tops for me as far as electronic music goes. I retract my admittedly shallow "Godfather of Electronica" statement, as I've gotten deeper into synthpop, house, hi-NRG, electro, and other related genres since then (In my defense, I was just beginning to really dive into electronic music then). I now obviously recognize Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, Wendy Carlos, etc. as being the vanguard in electronic music and inspiring subsequent movements, including my much-loved synthpop. :)

That all said, I think Gary Numan does play a pretty significant role in shaping electronic music. His Tubeway Army work, while obviously operating out of the punk/post-punk (the latter of which was more synth-friendly, generally speaking) mold, does point toward the synthpop explosion of 1979-1984 (give or take a couple years). Just from listening at Replicas, I can hear some crucial links between Numan's TWA period and his solo peak, especially the very futuristic-sounding and slightly poppier tracks like Praying to the Aliens and When the Machines Rock. He did wield significant influence over the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Devo, the Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, and Nine Inch Nails, to name a few major names. His triple threat of Replicas, The Pleasure Principle, and Telekon all helped synthpop become a viable genre, commercially and critically. Numan also received a boost critcally this year with his receiving the Moog Innovation Award at this year's Moogfest.

There are some choice quotes here that illustrate the influence Numan has had on his contemporaries and disciples:

Posted by Zach on Sunday, 09.18.16 @ 00:49am

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