A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has varying roles during the recording process, they may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements. A producer may also: Select session musicians to play rhythm section accompaniment parts or solos Co-write Propose changes to the song arrangements Coach the singers and musicians in the studioThe producer supervises the entire process from preproduction, through to the sound recording and mixing stages, and, in some cases, all the way to the audio mastering stage; the producer may perform these roles themselves, or help select the engineer, provide suggestions to the engineer. The producer may pay session musicians and engineers and ensure that the entire project is completed within the record label's budget.
A record producer or music producer has a broad role in overseeing and managing the recording and production of a band or performer's music. A producer has many roles that may include, but are not limited to, gathering ideas for the project, composing the music for the project, selecting songs or session musicians, proposing changes to the song arrangements, coaching the artist and musicians in the studio, controlling the recording sessions, supervising the entire process through audio mixing and, in some cases, to the audio mastering stage. Producers often take on a wider entrepreneurial role, with responsibility for the budget, schedules and negotiations. Writer Chris Deville explains it, "Sometimes a producer functions like a creative consultant — someone who helps a band achieve a certain aesthetic, or who comes up with the perfect violin part to complement the vocal melody, or who insists that a chorus should be a bridge. Other times a producer will build a complete piece of music from the ground up and present the finished product to a vocalist, like Metro Boomin supplying Future with readymade beats or Jack Antonoff letting Taylor Swift add lyrics and melody to an otherwise-finished “Out Of The Woods.”The artist of an album may not be a record producer or music producer for his/her album.
While both contribute creatively, the official credit of "record producer" may depend on the record contract. Christina Aguilera, for example, did not receive record producer credits until many albums into her career. In the 2010s, the producer role is sometimes divided among up to three different individuals: executive producer, vocal producer and music producer. An executive producer oversees project finances, a vocal producers oversees the vocal production, a music producer oversees the creative process of recording and mixings; the music producer is often a competent arranger, musician or songwriter who can bring fresh ideas to a project. As well as making any songwriting and arrangement adjustments, the producer selects and/or collaborates with the mixing engineer, who takes the raw recorded tracks and edits and modifies them with hardware and software tools to create a stereo or surround sound "mix" of all the individual voices sounds and instruments, in turn given further adjustment by a mastering engineer for the various distribution media.
The producer oversees the recording engineer who concentrates on the technical aspects of recording. Noted producer Phil Ek described his role as "the person who creatively guides or directs the process of making a record", like a director would a movie. Indeed, in Bollywood music, the designation is music director; the music producer's job is to create and mold a piece of music. The scope of responsibility may be one or two songs or an artist's entire album – in which case the producer will develop an overall vision for the album and how the various songs may interrelate. At the beginning of record industry, the producer role was technically limited to record, in one shot, artists performing live; the immediate predecessors to record producers were the artists and repertoire executives of the late 1920s and 1930s who oversaw the "pop" product and led session orchestras. That was the case of Ben Selvin at Columbia Records, Nathaniel Shilkret at Victor Records and Bob Haring at Brunswick Records.
By the end of the 1930s, the first professional recording studios not owned by the major companies were established separating the roles of A&R man and producer, although it wouldn't be until the late 1940s when the term "producer" became used in the industry. The role of producers changed progressively over the 1960s due to technology; the development of multitrack recording caused a major change in the recording process. Before multitracking, all the elements of a song had to be performed simultaneously. All of these singers and musicians had to be assembled in a large studio where the performance was recorded. With multitrack recording, the "bed tracks" (rhythm section accompaniment parts such as the bassline and rhythm guitar could be recorded first, the vocals and solos could be added using as many "takes" as necessary, it was no longer necessary to get all the players in the studio at the same time. A pop band could record their backing tracks one week, a horn section could be brought in a week to add horn shots and punches, a string section could be brought in a week after that.
Multitrack recording had another pro
Shepperton is a suburban village in the borough of Spelthorne, in the county of Surrey in England, 15 miles southwest of Charing Cross, bounded by the Thames to the south and much of the east and, in the northwest bisected by the M3 motorway. Shepperton is equidistant between the towns of Sunbury-on-Thames. Shepperton is mentioned in a document of 959 AD and in the Domesday Book, where it was an agricultural village. In the early 19th century resident writers and poets included Haggard, Peacock and Shelley, attracted by the Thames beside which they and other wealthy residents lived, painted at Walton Bridge here in 1754 by Canaletto and in 1805 by Turner, its accessibility was improved by Sunbury Lock and Shepperton Lock built in the 1810s supporting the trade and agricultural barges and the use of residential narrowboats. The suburbanisation of Shepperton began late for Middlesex, in the latter part of the 19th century, with the construction in 1864 of its railway — the owner of its manor, William Schaw Lindsay sponsored the venture which had aims to be extended via Chertsey and connect to the South Western Main Line.
Shepperton's proximity to burgeoning London led to small businesses being established along its high street by the end of the century. With its film studios and production facilities and electrified railway since the 1930s many more homes have been constructed, it is an age-diverse commuter settlement. Expansion continues in the form of occasional new housing developments, its Green Belt has The Swan Sanctuary and two SSSIs, one of, managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust. While a history summary of 1994 indicates that Shepperton meant Shepherd's habitation, which would earlier have transliterated into late Saxon language as Sceapheard-ton, the place has been found in "a document of 959 AD" as Scepertune, which the book Middlesex, states instead meant Shepherd's farm; the name of one of the older lanes, Sheep Walk, may date to the medieval period and was on a wide tract of low-lying meadows which produced the Middlesex wool, namely marsh wool, included in a valuation of 1343. The valuation was two years after Edward III imposed wool tax — Middlesex rendered a sack for every 760 acres s of the county – much of which however appears from contemporary returns to have been collected from other riversides in the county including, in particular, Hampton.
Shepperton in the Domesday Book of 1086 was recorded by the Norman conquerors as Scepertone, with a population of 25 households and was held by Westminster Abbey. In total the annual amount rendered was £6; the Church Lane and Church Square area, leading to and next to the river predates by several centuries the High Street as the village nucleus. When the Thames Valley Railway built in 1864 the terminus of Shepperton railway station, 1 mile north, for the 12 initial years a single train and track running to and from Strawberry Hill, the village expanded into its northern fields, its coming, due to contributions and permission of W. S. Lindsay the owner of Shepperton's manor; the River Thames was important for transport from the late 13th century and carried barley, wheat and root vegetables to London's markets. While the village was wholly agricultural until the 19th century, there are expensive gravestones of the local minor gentry in the churchyard, two of which are dedicated to their naturalised black servants and Cotto Blake who both died in 1781.
These bear the inscription "Davo aptio, Argo fidelior, ipso Sanchone facetior". During this long period since the conquest the wealth of the local rector and his bishop was great: William Grocyn was rector 1504–1513 and was an Oxford classical academic who corresponded with Erasmus and Lewis Atterbury expended much of the large parish revenues on having the large tower rebuilt. A large net income of rents and tithes of £499 per year was paid to the rectory belonging to S. H. Russell in 1848. A change to secular council-administered rather than church-administered public services followed the establishment of poor law unions and Sanitary Districts and was completed with the founding, in 1889, of the Middlesex County Council and Staines Rural District from 1896. In 1930 on the rural district's abolition, Shepperton became part of the Sunbury-on-Thames Urban District until its dissolution into a reduced and reconfigured county of Surrey in 1965. Three districts of the historic county thus did not become part of Greater London: Staines Urban District joined Surrey and Potters Bar Urban District joined Hertfordshire.
Use in semi-fiction and alleged hauntingsIn semi-fiction, George Eliot's Scenes of Clerical Life telling the Sad Fortunes of The Rev. Amos Barton, gives a thinly veiled picture of Chilvers Coton's church and village in the early 19th century in which she uses the name Shepperton. If anything real is to be gleaned for its use, it is a passing similarity. Shepperton Manor by John Mason Neale was contemporaneously written in 1844 fifteen years after he had spent six years living in the village. Old parts of Sh
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated. Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways; the artistic nature of music means that these classifications are subjective and controversial, some genres may overlap. There are varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between form, he lists madrigal, canzona and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre – both are violin concertos – but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."
Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language." Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can differentiate between genres. A music genre or subgenre may be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects". Among the criteria used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art and traditional musics. Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal and depth.
Arousal reflects the energy level of the music. These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres. Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of'folk','art' and'popular' musics", he explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria. The term art music refers to classical traditions, including both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music exists in many parts of the world, it emphasizes formal styles that invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered a written musical tradition, preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music are. Most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period.
The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is defined by the notated version rather than by a particular performance, is associated with the composer rather than the performer. This is so in the case of western classical music. Art music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is a form of popular music. Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can be considered to have an identity of its own; the term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects: Popular music, unlike art music, is conceived for mass distribution to large and socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners and distributed in non-written form, only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of'free' enterprise... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do; the distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction, not always precise. Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s; the polka is a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particular
Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief. In an narrower sense, atheism is the position that there are no deities. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists; the etymological root for the word atheism originated before the 5th century BCE from the ancient Greek ἄθεος, meaning "without god". In antiquity it had multiple uses as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society, those who were forsaken by the gods, or those who had no commitment to belief in the gods; the term denoted a social category created by orthodox religionists into which those who did not share their religious beliefs were placed. The actual term atheism emerged first in the 16th century. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope.
The first individuals to identify themselves using the word atheist lived in the 18th century during the Age of Enlightenment. The French Revolution, noted for its "unprecedented atheism," witnessed the first major political movement in history to advocate for the supremacy of human reason; the French Revolution can be described as the first period where atheism became implemented politically. Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in deities include arguments that there is a lack of empirical evidence, the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, the rejection of concepts that cannot be falsified, the argument from nonbelief. Nonbelievers contend that atheism is a more parsimonious position than theism and that everyone is born without beliefs in deities. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere. Since conceptions of atheism vary, accurate estimations of current numbers of atheists are difficult.
According to global Win-Gallup International studies, 13% of respondents were "convinced atheists" in 2012, 11% were "convinced atheists" in 2015, in 2017, 9% were "convinced atheists". However, other researchers have advised caution with WIN/Gallup figures since other surveys which have used the same wording for decades and have a bigger sample size have reached lower figures. An older survey by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 2004 recorded atheists as comprising 8% of the world's population. Other older estimates have indicated that atheists comprise 2% of the world's population, while the irreligious add a further 12%. According to these polls and East Asia are the regions with the highest rates of atheism. In 2015, 61 % of people in China reported; the figures for a 2010 Eurobarometer survey in the European Union reported that 20% of the EU population claimed not to believe in "any sort of spirit, God or life force". Writers disagree on how best to define and classify atheism, contesting what supernatural entities are considered gods, whether it is a philosophic position in its own right or the absence of one, whether it requires a conscious, explicit rejection.
Atheism has been regarded as compatible with agnosticism, has been contrasted with it. A variety of categories have been used to distinguish the different forms of atheism; some of the ambiguity and controversy involved in defining atheism arises from difficulty in reaching a consensus for the definitions of words like deity and god. The plurality of wildly different conceptions of God and deities leads to differing ideas regarding atheism's applicability; the ancient Romans accused Christians of being atheists for not worshiping the pagan deities. This view fell into disfavor as theism came to be understood as encompassing belief in any divinity. With respect to the range of phenomena being rejected, atheism may counter anything from the existence of a deity, to the existence of any spiritual, supernatural, or transcendental concepts, such as those of Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism. Definitions of atheism vary in the degree of consideration a person must put to the idea of gods to be considered an atheist.
Atheism has sometimes been defined to include the simple absence of belief. This broad definition would include newborns and other people who have not been exposed to theistic ideas; as far back as 1772, Baron d'Holbach said. George H. Smith suggested that: "The man, unacquainted with theism is an atheist because he does not believe in a god; this category would include the child with the conceptual capacity to grasp the issues involved, but, still unaware of those issues. The fact that this child does not believe in god qualifies him as an atheist." Implicit atheism is "the absence of theistic belief without a conscious rejection of it" and explicit atheism is the conscious rejection of belief. For the purposes of his paper on "philosophical atheism", Ernest Nagel contested including mere absence of theistic belief as a type of atheism. Graham Oppy classifies as innocents those who never considered the question because they lack any understanding of what a god is. According to Oppy, these could be one-month-old babies, humans with severe traumatic brain injuries, or patients with advanced dementia.
Philosophers such as Antony Flew and Michael Martin have contrasted positive (st
A phonograph record is an analog sound storage medium in the form of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. The groove starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc. At first, the discs were made from shellac. In recent decades, records have sometimes been called vinyl records, or vinyl; the phonograph disc record was the primary medium used for music reproduction throughout the 20th century. It had co-existed with the phonograph cylinder from the late 1880s and had superseded it by around 1912. Records retained the largest market share when new formats such as the compact cassette were mass-marketed. By the 1980s, digital media, in the form of the compact disc, had gained a larger market share, the vinyl record left the mainstream in 1991. Since the 1990s, records continue to be manufactured and sold on a smaller scale, are used by disc jockeys and released by artists in dance music genres, listened to by a growing niche market of audiophiles; the phonograph record has made a notable niche resurgence in the early 21st century – 9.2 million records were sold in the U.
S. in 2014, a 260% increase since 2009. In the UK sales have increased five-fold from 2009 to 2014; as of 2017, 48 record pressing facilities remain worldwide, 18 in the United States and 30 in other countries. The increased popularity of vinyl has led to the investment in new and modern record-pressing machines. Only two producers of lacquers remain: Apollo Masters in California, MDC in Japan. Phonograph records are described by their diameter in inches, the rotational speed in revolutions per minute at which they are played, their time capacity, determined by their diameter and speed. Vinyl records may be scratched or warped if stored incorrectly but if they are not exposed to high heat, carelessly handled or broken, a vinyl record has the potential to last for centuries; the large cover are valued by collectors and artists for the space given for visual expression when it comes to the long play vinyl LP. The phonautograph, patented by Léon Scott in 1857, used a vibrating diaphragm and stylus to graphically record sound waves as tracings on sheets of paper, purely for visual analysis and without any intent of playing them back.
In the 2000s, these tracings were first scanned by audio engineers and digitally converted into audible sound. Phonautograms of singing and speech made by Scott in 1860 were played back as sound for the first time in 2008. Along with a tuning fork tone and unintelligible snippets recorded as early as 1857, these are the earliest known recordings of sound. In 1877, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph. Unlike the phonautograph, it could both record and reproduce sound. Despite the similarity of name, there is no documentary evidence that Edison's phonograph was based on Scott's phonautograph. Edison first tried recording sound on a wax-impregnated paper tape, with the idea of creating a "telephone repeater" analogous to the telegraph repeater he had been working on. Although the visible results made him confident that sound could be physically recorded and reproduced, his notes do not indicate that he reproduced sound before his first experiment in which he used tinfoil as a recording medium several months later.
The tinfoil was wrapped around a grooved metal cylinder and a sound-vibrated stylus indented the tinfoil while the cylinder was rotated. The recording could be played back immediately; the Scientific American article that introduced the tinfoil phonograph to the public mentioned Marey and Barlow as well as Scott as creators of devices for recording but not reproducing sound. Edison invented variations of the phonograph that used tape and disc formats. Numerous applications for the phonograph were envisioned, but although it enjoyed a brief vogue as a startling novelty at public demonstrations, the tinfoil phonograph proved too crude to be put to any practical use. A decade Edison developed a improved phonograph that used a hollow wax cylinder instead of a foil sheet; this proved to be both a better-sounding and far more useful and durable device. The wax phonograph cylinder created the recorded sound market at the end of the 1880s and dominated it through the early years of the 20th century. Lateral-cut disc records were developed in the United States by Emile Berliner, who named his system the "gramophone", distinguishing it from Edison's wax cylinder "phonograph" and American Graphophone's wax cylinder "graphophone".
Berliner's earliest discs, first marketed in 1889, only in Europe, were 12.5 cm in diameter, were played with a small hand-propelled machine. Both the records and the machine were adequate only for use as a toy or curiosity, due to the limited sound quality. In the United States in 1894, under the Berliner Gramophone trademark, Berliner started marketing records of 7 inches diameter with somewhat more substantial entertainment value, along with somewhat more substantial gramophones to play them. Berliner's records had poor sound quality compared to wax cylinders, but his manufacturing associate Eldridge R. Johnson improved it. Abandoning Berliner's "Gramophone" tradem
New wave music
New wave is a genre of rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music or pop music that incorporated disco and electronic music. New wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre, it subsequently engendered fusions, including synth-pop. New wave differs from other movements with ties to first-wave punk as it displays characteristics common to pop music, rather than the more "artsy" post-punk. Although it incorporates much of the original punk rock sound and ethos, new wave exhibits greater complexity in both music and lyrics. Common characteristics of new wave music include the use of synthesizers and electronic productions, a distinctive visual style featured in music videos and fashion. New wave has been called one of the definitive genres of the 1980s, after it was promoted by MTV; the popularity of several new wave artists is attributed to their exposure on the channel.
In the mid-1980s, differences between new wave and other music genres began to blur. New wave has enjoyed resurgences since the 1990s, after a rising "nostalgia" for several new wave-influenced artists. Subsequently, the genre influenced other genres. During the 2000s, a number of acts, such as the Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers explored new wave and post-punk influences; these acts were sometimes labeled "new wave of new wave". The catch-all nature of new wave music has been a source of much controversy; the 1985 discography Who's New Wave in Music listed artists in over 130 separate categories. The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock calls the term "virtually meaningless", while AllMusic mentions "stylistic diversity". New wave first emerged as a rock genre in the early 1970s, used by critics including Nick Kent and Dave Marsh to classify such New York-based groups as the Velvet Underground and New York Dolls, it gained currency beginning in 1976 when it appeared in UK punk fanzines such as Sniffin' Glue and newsagent music weeklies such as Melody Maker and New Musical Express.
In November 1976 Caroline Coon used Malcolm McLaren's term "new wave" to designate music by bands not punk, but related to the same musical scene. The term was used in that sense by music journalist Charles Shaar Murray in his comments about the Boomtown Rats. For a period of time in 1976 and 1977, the terms new wave and punk were somewhat interchangeable. By the end of 1977, "new wave" had replaced "punk" as the definition for new underground music in the UK. In the United States, Sire Records chairman Seymour Stein, believing that the term "punk" would mean poor sales for Sire's acts who had played the club CBGB, launched a "Don't Call It Punk" campaign designed to replace the term with "new wave"; as radio consultants in the United States had advised their clients that punk rock was a fad, they settled on the term "new wave". Like the filmmakers of the French new wave movement, its new artists were anti-corporate and experimental. At first, most U. S. writers used the term "new wave" for British punk acts.
Starting in December 1976, The New York Rocker, suspicious of the term "punk", became the first American journal to enthusiastically use the term starting with British acts appropriating it to acts associated with the CBGB scene. Part of what attracted Stein and others to new wave was the music's stripped back style and upbeat tempos, which they viewed as a much needed return to the energetic rush of rock and roll and 1960s rock that had dwindled in the 1970s with the ascendance of overblown progressive rock and stadium spectacles. Music historian Vernon Joynson claimed that new wave emerged in the UK in late 1976, when many bands began disassociating themselves from punk. Music that followed the anarchic garage band ethos of the Sex Pistols was distinguished as "punk", while music that tended toward experimentation, lyrical complexity or more polished production, came to be categorized as "new wave". In the U. S. the first new wavers were the not-so-punk acts associated with the New York club CBGB.
CBGB owner Hilly Kristal, referring to the first show of the band Television at his club in March 1974, said, "I think of that as the beginning of new wave." Furthermore, many artists who would have been classified as punk were termed new wave. A 1977 Phonogram Records compilation album of the same name features US artists including the Dead Boys, Talking Heads and the Runaways. New wave is much more tied to punk, came and went more in the United Kingdom than in the United States. At the time punk began, it was a major phenomenon in the United Kingdom and a minor one in the United States, thus when new wave acts started getting noticed in America, punk meant little to the mainstream audience and it was common for rock clubs and discos to play British dance mixes and videos between live sets by American guitar acts. Post-punk music developments in the UK were considered unique cultural events. By the early 1980s, British journalists had abandoned the term "new wave" in favor of subgenre terms such as "synthpop".
By 1983, the term of choice for the US music industry had become "new music", while to the majority of US fans it was still a "new wave" reacting to album-based rock. New wave died out in the mid-1980s, knocked out by guitar-driven rock reacting against new wave. In the 21st-century United States, "new wave" was used to describe ar
Gary Anthony James Webb, known professionally as Gary Numan, is an English singer, songwriter and record producer. Born in West London, he first entered the music industry as frontman of the new wave band Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, Numan released his debut solo LP The Pleasure Principle in 1979, topping the UK Albums Chart, he achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the No. 1 singles "Are'Friends' Electric?" and "Cars", but maintains a cult following. Numan is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music, his signature sound consists of heavy synthesiser hooks fed through guitar effects pedals, he is known for his distinctive voice and androgynous "android" persona. In 2017 he received an Ivor Novello Award, the Inspiration Award, from the British Academy of Songwriters and Authors. Gary Anthony James Webb was born on 8 March 1958 in Hammersmith, West London, the son of a British Airways bus driver based at Heathrow Airport.
He was educated at Town Farm Junior School in Stanwell, Ashford County Grammar School Slough Grammar School in Berkshire, followed by Brooklands Technical College in Surrey. He joined the Air Training Corps as a teenager, he briefly held various jobs including forklift truck driver, air conditioning ventilator fitter, accounts clerk. When Numan was 15 years old, his father bought him a Gibson Les Paul, which he regards as his most treasured possession, he played in various bands, including Mean Street and the Lasers, before forming Tubeway Army with his uncle, Jess Lidyard, Paul Gardiner. His initial pseudonym was "Valerian" in reference to the hero in French science fiction comic series Valérian and Laureline, he picked the surname "Numan" from an advert in the Yellow pages for a plumber whose surname was "Neumann". Numan came to prominence at the mid of the 1970s as lead singer and record producer for Tubeway Army. After recording an album's worth of punk-influenced demo tapes, he was signed by Beggars Banquet Records in 1978 and released two singles, "That's Too Bad" and "Bombers", neither of which charted.
A self-titled, new wave-oriented debut album that same year sold out its limited run and introduced Numan's fascination with dystopian science fiction and synthesisers. Tubeway Army's third single, the dark-themed and slow-paced "Down in the Park" failed to chart, but it would prove to be one of Numan's most enduring and oft-covered songs, it was featured with other contemporary hits on the soundtrack for the 1980 film Times Square, a live version of the song can be seen in the 1982 film Urgh! A Music War. Following exposure in a television advertisement for Lee Cooper jeans with the jingle "Don't Be a Dummy", Tubeway Army released the single "Are'Friends' Electric?" in May 1979. The single took seven weeks before reaching No. 1 at the end of June. A few months Numan found success in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic with "Cars", which peaked at No. 1 in the UK in 1979, No. 1 in Canada and No. 9 in the U. S. in 1980. "Cars" and the 1979 album The Pleasure Principle were both released under Numan's own stage name.
The album reached number-one in the UK, a sell-out tour followed. The Pleasure Principle was a rock album with no guitars. A second single from the album, "Complex", made it to No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart. In 1980, Numan topped the album charts for a third time with Telekon, with the singles "We Are Glass", "I Die: You Die" released prior to the album reaching No. 5 and No. 6. "This Wreckage" taken from the album in December entered the Top 20. Telekon, the final studio album that Numan retrospectively termed the "Machine" section of his career, reintroduced guitars to Numan's music and featured a wider range of synthesisers; the same year he embarked on his second major tour with an more elaborate stage show than the Touring Principle the previous year. He announced his retirement from touring with a series of sell-out concerts at Wembley Arena in April 1981, supported by experimental musician Nash the Slash and Shock, a rock/mime/burlesque troupe whose members included Barbie Wilde and Tok, Carole Caplin.
A live two album set from the 1979 and 1980 tours released at this time reached No. 2 in the charts. Both albums individually released as Living Ornaments'79 and Living Ornaments'80 charted; the decision to retire would be short-lived. Departing from the pure electropop that he had been associated with, Numan began experimenting with jazz and ethereal, rhythmic pop, his first album after his 1981 farewell concerts was Dance. The album charted as high as No. 3 on the UK charts, with an eight-week chart run and produced one hit single reaching No. 6. The album featured several distinguished guest players. With his former backing band, Chris Payne, Russell Bell, Ced Sharpley now reformed as Dramatis, Numan contributed vocals to the minor hit "Love Needs No Disguise" from the album For Future Reference and lent vocals to the first single release by his long-term bassist Paul Gardiner, "Stormtrooper in Drag", which made the charts. However, Numan's career had begun to experience a gradual decline, he was eclipsed by acts s