The Normal – T.V.O.D./Warm Leatherette (US 12″)

Burning The Ground Exclusive 1988


“T.V.O.D.”/”Warm Leatherette” is a 1978 single by The Normal a recording artist name used by English music producer Daniel Miller, a film editor at the time, who is best known as the founder of the record label Mute Records. “T.V.O.D.”/”Warm Leatherette” was also the first-ever release by Mute Records in November 1978.

In 1977, Miller had split up with his girlfriend. A friend suggested that he read a book the friend himself had just finished. The book was Crash (1973) by J.G. Ballard. He felt that Ballard’s writing took him five minutes into the future; the novel was to be a major influence in the music he would produce as The Normal. Miller was disillusioned by the fact you needed to learn three chords to be in a punk band, so he decided to purchase a synthesizer. His thinking was that you only needed to learn to press one key on a synthesizer. After buying a Korg 700s synthesizer from Macari’s music shop in London, Miller recorded and released a single under the name The Normal. This was “T.V.O.D.”/”Warm Leatherette”. Both tracks were minimalist electronic songs influenced by the Crash novel. He wanted the sound of the recordings to be visual, like driving along a highway between large buildings then going through a tunnel. The single was recorded in Daniel Miller’s house using a TEAC four-track tape recorder and the Korg mini700s synthesizer.

Songs by The Normal have been covered and performed by many notable artists such as Grace Jones, Sleep Chamber, Chicks on Speed/Hell on a split-7″, Giddle and Boyd Rice, and in 2006 by Trent Reznor with Jeordie White and Peter Murphy. “Warm Leatherette” was performed live by Duran Duran in November 2007 as part of an electro medley during their 2008 tour, in support of their album Red Carpet Massacre.

Both songs were re-issued in the 1980s on a 12″ single by Mute Records.

T.V.O.D. 2:52

Warm Leatherette 3:22

Vinyl: Near Mint
Sleeve: Near Mint

Label: Mute ‎– 7 71400-0, Mute ‎– 12MUTE 001
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 45 RPM, Single, Reissue
Country: US
Released: 1988
Genre: Electronic
Style: New Wave, Minimal

Design [Uncredited] – Simone Grant
Photography By –  Motor Industry Research Association
Plated By – MAX*
Written-By – Miller*

“….feel the steering wheel….”
“….stick the aerial into….”

Originally released in 1978.

Find the 12″ at DISCOGS


Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (DC)
Cartridge/Stylus: Ortofon 2M Black
Turntable Isolation Platform: ISO-Tone™ Turntable Isolation Platform
Platter: Pro-Ject Acryl-It platter
Stabilizer: Pro-Ject Record Puck
Phono Pre-amp:
Pro-Jec Tube Box DS2
Alpha Design Labs GT40a USB DAC
Record Cleaning
: VPI HW 16.5 Record Cleaning Machine
Artwork Scans
: Epson Workforce WF-7610 Professional Printer/Scanner

Recording/Editing: Adobe Audition 3.0 (Recording)
Down Sampling/Dither: iZotope RX Advanced 2
Artwork Editor: Adobe Photoshop CS5
Click Removal: Manual
FLAC/MP3 Conversion: dBpoweramp
M3U Playlist: Playlist Creator

All vinyl rips are recorded @ 32bit/float
FLAC (Level Eight)
Artwork scanned at 600dpi

Password: burningtheground

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19 thoughts on “The Normal – T.V.O.D./Warm Leatherette (US 12″)”

  1. Thanks for this Paul! Love the details in your story. I know both songs because 1) They played them constantly on Long Island’s WLIR in the 80’s, and 2) I’m a longtime Depeche Mode fan. 🙂

  2. song and dance

    Fascinating. Mindboggling. Flabberghasting. Being a big depeche Mode fan, as you know, I´m blown away by the Daniel Miller story. Cool songs, too. The a-side I knew but “Warm Leatherette” is completely knew to me in its original. What a gem, Paul.
    The weekend can come. Actually, mine has just started 20 minutes ago (2 pm over here).

    Have a nice weekend, everybody. Stay healthy. My first Biontech shot is due on Tuesday coming.

    1. Have a great weekend. Good luck with you vaccine I got the Pfizer one back in April and I am glad I did it 🙂

  3. Thanks Paul! I first heard Warm Leatherette featured on Dr. Demento’s radio show in the late ’70s. While totally unrelated, the songs reminds me of princess Diana’s gruesome death.

  4. Thanks for this Paul, I’ve grabbed a copy even though I have the 7″ & cd single of it already, your rips are beyond comparison so I shall enjoy a re-listen of an old favourite.
    An interesting note about Mute, almost identical to the other classic British Indie label Factory, is that they do not delete back catalogue music so my cd single & your 12″ are just further pressings rather than reissues

    1. I have to ask because I do not know the answer.
      “Never Say Never” was originally released under the 415 label; I never heard this version but I am told that the play time was over 6-minutes. When Columbia got the rights, they reissued the song, but took out the swearing.
      Is the original 415 label EP release of “Never Say Never” available on CD?


  5. The interesting fact here is that the single was done on cheap equipement. Where the Human League or Gary Numan used expensive modular synths.

  6. I can’t wait to listen Paul! I seem to remember Grace Jones repeating the phrase “Warm Leatherette” in a warm, commanding voice, but it was so long ago I can’t remember anything else about her cover of the song, if it was a B side on a 12” or an album or where I heard it? You don’t record anything unless it’s good so I am prepared to be impressed. I regret I have allowed myself to remain distracted from getting a copy of everything you publish, but I see the emails in my inbox and promise myself every day to come visit. Thanks!

    1. You should grab what you want when I post it because the files do not stay active forever I have to make space for new ones. I hope you like this one 🙂

  7. Are you a mind reader?
    I needed to rip a new copy of “Ca Plane Pour Moi” today; song #1 on Rhino’s “New Wave Hits of the 80s Vol-1” CD. Song #2 on this CD is “Warm Leatherette”…

  8. This is a cult classic Paul!! I’m so happy you’re posting this record on your site. I think it was so bizarrely cool that Daniel Miller was so influenced by the J.G. Ballard novel, “Crash” because it was such an interesting (and disturbing book)! People getting off by experiencing car crashes was twisted. I guess, another definition to, “auto-erotic.” I did enjoy the movie based on the novel by David Cronenberg, although I believe the film should be an animated one to bring this scary vision to life. Can you imagine it!?!

    And of course, Grace Jones’ version was exquisite too.

    Thanks Paul!!!!


    1. You’re welcome, Jeff. I love how experimental these tracks are it’s also very cool that he was so inspired by a book. More people need to read books (ha ha) 🙂

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