(This page covers both Tubeway Army and Gary Numan as a solo artist.)
Tubeway Army 1979

Tubeway Army, 1979 with Gary Numan standing, centre.

Tubeway Army were a London-based punk rock and new wave band led by lead singer Gary Numan. They were the first band of the post-punk era to have a synthesizer-based number one hit, with their single "Are 'Friends' Electric?" and its parent album Replicas both topping the UK charts in mid-1979. After its release, Numan opted to drop the Tubeway Army name and release music under his own name as he was the sole songwriter, producer and public face of the band, but he retained the musicians from Tubeway Army as his backing band. (Read more at Wikipedia)

Links to Peel

Peel was an early supporter of Tubeway Army, playing at least six tracks from their debut LP in the week of 21 November 1978. The following year, with breakthrough hit "Are 'Friends' Electric?" riding high in the singles chart on the night the band’s second session was first broadcast, the DJ commented:

I must confess I do allow myself the occasional snigger when I consider that Tubeway Army are at number 2 in the charts because their records have been almost universally slagged off by the critics and we've always played them on these programmes. How smug we get on occasion. [1]

While tracks were played by Peel from Numan’s first solo album – and the Damned included a disrespectful snatch of "Cars’/’Don’t Be A Dummy" in their session version of "I’m So Bored" – relatively little by Numan was then heard on Peel’s shows until December 2000, when the musician appeared on a special quiz show to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Festive Fifty, with a live version of "Are 'Friends' Electric?" that marked his first performance for Peel since 1979. The DJ also also asked Numan on air if he'd like to return in the new year to play some more tunes and this went ahead in February 2001 in the form of a live set from Maida Vale. Peel subsequently returned to playing new Numan recordings on his shows.

Festive Fifty Entries


Four sessions, the first two credited to Tubeway Army during the original show broadcasts and the second two to Gary Numan, although #2 is credited to Numan by Ken Garner. Session #2 was selected for the Peel Sessions: The Best 125 list. The 21-year interval between sessions #2 and #3 puts Numan high on the list of Longest Gaps Between Peel Session Appearances.

Official releases:
- #1 on The Peel Sessions EP, 1987 (Strange Fruit)
- #1 and #2 on Double Peel Session LP/CD, 1989 (Strange Fruit SFPMA202/SFPMACD202)
- #1 and #2 on The Radio One Recordings CD, 1999 (Strange Fruit, SFRSCD081)
- #1, #2 and #4 on The Complete John Peel Sessions CD, 2007 (Maida Vale MVRCD001)

Tubeway Army - Peel Session 1979

Tubeway Army - Peel Session 1979

1. Recorded 1979-01-10. First broadcast 16 January 1979. Repeated 02 April 1980.

  • Me I Disconnect From You / Down In The Park / I Nearly Married A Human

2. Recorded 1979-05-29. First broadcast 25 June 1979. Repeated 23 July 1979, 26 September 1979, 26 December 1979.

  • Films / Airlane / Cars / Conversation

3. Recorded: 2000-12-13. Broadcast for 25 years of Festive Fifty special on 19 December 2000. Not repeated.

  • Are 'Friends' Electric?

4. Live at Maida Vale 07 February 2001.

  • Rip / Metal / Pure / My Jesus / Cars / Listen To My Voice / I Can't Breathe / Down In The Park / A Prayer For The Unborn

Other Shows Played

(The following list was compiled only from the database of this site, Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive and Ken Garner's Peel Sessions (pg219). Please add more information if known.)

  • '#' indicates release as Gary Numan only.
  • 17 August 1987: Me! I Disconnect From You (12"-The Peel Sessions) Strange Fruit

Top Of The Pops

(all Gary Numan only.)

See Also

External Links

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