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The Normal

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The Normal is the recording artist name used by Daniel Miller, who is best known as the founder and owner of the record label Mute Records.

Although Miller founded Mute with the intention of releasing his own music, he only ever released one 7” vinyl single under the name The Normal, namely “Warm Leatherette”/”T.V.O.D.”, in 1978.

Both tracks were minimalist electronic songs using a Korg MS-10 analog synthesizers, and a Revox, B-77 tape machine. This single was recorded in Daniel Miller’s living room. Although it did not enter the UK charts, the single was influential on the post-punk/electronic music scene in the UK at the time.

The lyrics for “Warm Leatherette” referenced J.G. Ballard’s novel Crash. The song has since been covered by artists Grace Jones, Chicks on Speed and Laibach.

A second release as The Normal with another Mute Records act Robert Rental was released on Rough Trade as Live at West Runton Pavilion. It was a one sided album (side two was not etched), documenting one performance in a short tour of England by Miller and Rental.

As Silicon Teens, Miller also recorded the album Music For Parties, mostly featuring sparse electronic new-wave covers of ‘50’s and ‘60’s pop classics such as “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Let’s Dance”. Film director John Hughes was so taken with it that an update of the “Red River Rock” cover wound up on the soundtrack for Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

Daniel Miller is also a prolific engineer and producer, producing such acts as Depeche Mode, Wire, Fad Gadget and DAF.

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