CMU Playlists

Playlist: Gary Numan

By | Published on Saturday 8 May 2010

Legend’, it is often said, is a word that is bandied around all too often these days. But I’m sure you’ll forgive me using it this once, given we’re talking about Gary Numan.

Numan, of course, first appeared as frontman of Tubeway Army in the late 70s, best known for their 1979 number one single ‘Are Friends Electric’, which later topped the charts again when it was sampled by Sugababes for their single, ‘Freak Like Me’. But as a solo artist he is no less influential, releasing classic pop singles like 1980’s ‘Cars’.

Over the years, he has experimented with numerous musical styles, and in recent years has adopted a sound which leans more towards rock and metal, perhaps fittingly as he has been acknowledged as influencing artists like Dave Grohl and Trent Reznor.

Gary will be DJing at The Playground club night at 93 Feet East in London this very night (8 May), topping a bill which also features Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Losers, You Lover Her Coz She’s Dead, David E Sugar, Get Shakes and more. Full details at

Ahead of that, we asked him to put together a playlist of some of his favourite music just for us.

Click here to listen to Gary’s playlist in Spotify, and then read on to find out more about his selections.

01 T.Rex – Telegram Sam
T.Rex made me realise that being in a band was what I wanted to do with my life.

02 Ultravox – Slow Motion

Years ahead of its time, the mix of electronics with an otherwise conventional line-up became the blueprint for me when I first stumbled across electronic music in 1978.

03 David Bowie – Jean Genie

At the time this sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before. Still sounds great, actually.

04 Human League – Being Boiled

Another band that were doing things somewhat differently to the norm. This should have been the song that heralded in the electronic movement to the masses. Luckily for me, it wasn’t.

05 Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side

I had no idea what this song was about until many years later but, even so, it felt as if it was something scary and dangerously exciting in my ignorance.

06 Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant

I was never a massive punk fan but I did like the Sex Pistols, and it certainly opened doors for a huge wave of new people, following along and getting excited by music again.

07 Nine Inch Nails – Head Like A Hole

Arguably the best chorus ever written by possibly the best band the world has ever known. I could have chosen so many NIN songs. Absolutely brilliant.

08 Deftones – Change In The House Of Flies

An amazing mix of ethereal atmosphere and aggression.

09 Depeche Mode – I Feel You

From the ‘Songs OF Faith And Devotion’ album, a song that helped me to completely change my attitude and musical direction. For me, a truly pivotal piece of music.

10 Marilyn Manson – Beautiful People

I love Marilyn Manson. He has made some of the best videos I’ve ever seen, this song being no exception. Fantastic live, thanks to his larger than life attitude.