That album, “Savage: Songs From A Broken World”, tackled the issue of global warming, and he’s explored the same theme - one he says he feels passionate about - on its successor, “Intruder”, from which he has released a single.
The 2017 album reached No.2 in the UK chart, the “Cars” singer’s first top ten position since the 1980s.
“I had my first moment of success, which was very large ...but very brief,” Numan told Reuters in an interview when asked about his proudest career moment.
“This slow, slow, slow, slow rise back up again for about, nearly, not quite 40 years ... felt special. And I cried when I got the chart position, I cried like a baby.”
“Savage... ” looked at cultures in a world turned to desert by global warming, a scenario that the 62-year-old is revisiting from the planet’s perspective in “Intruder”, which is due for release in May.
“The entire album is devoted to the idea that if the Earth could speak, how would it feel about what’s going on at the moment?” said Numan, who began his career as lead singer of synth band Tubeway Army in the late 1970s and has gone on to release 20 solo albums.
“Would it see a need to fight back? Is climate change the earth’s equivalent of a fever?”
The arrival of the coronavirus during its creation “fed into it perfectly,” and one song, “The Gift”, is about COVID-19, he added.
Asked what influence his music could have, the singer, who now lives in Los Angeles, said he hoped it could contribute to keeping awareness of climate change in the public consciousness.
“I’m not Madonna, I’m not super famous... (but) if there are lots of little ants like me ... and if people are talking about it, then governments are aware of it,” he said. Reporting by Sarah Mills; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; editing by John Stonestreet