Gary Anthony James Webb (born 8 March 1958), better known as Gary Numan, is an English singer, musician, songwriter, composer, and record producer. He first entered the music industry as the frontman of the new wave band Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, he released his debut solo album The Pleasure Principle in 1979, topping the UK Albums Chart. His commercial popularity peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the No. 1 single”Cars”, but he maintains a strong cult following.
“Cars” is a song by English musician Gary Numan. His debut single, it was released as the lead single from his debut studio album, The Pleasure Principle (1979), on 21 August 1979. It reached the top of the charts in several countries, and today is considered a new wave staple.
The song was the first release credited solely to Gary Numan after he dropped the band name Tubeway Army, under which name he had released four singles and two LPs, including the number one UK hit “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?”, and its parent album, Replicas. Musically, the new song was somewhat lighter and more pop-oriented than its predecessors, Numan later conceding that he had chart success in mind: “This was the first time I had written a song with the intention of ‘maybe it could be a hit single’; I was writing this before ‘Are “Friends” Electric?’ happened.” He has since described “Cars” as “a pretty average song”.
In the UK charts, it reached number 1 in 1979, and in 1980 hit number 1 in Canada two weeks running on the RPM national singles chart (29 weeks in the top 100). It was his only single to chart there. It rose to number 9 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Though Numan had a string of hits in the UK, “Cars” was his only song in the US Hot 100. It debuted on the American Top 40 on 29 March 1980 and spent a total of 17 weeks in the AT40, peaking at #9.