John Peel Wiki


The Normal is the 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.

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 synthesiser. His thinking was that you only needed to learn to press one key on a synthesiser. After buying a Korg 700s synthesiser 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 synthesiser.[citation needed]

"Live at West Runton Pavilion", The Normal's second release, done with another Mute Records act, Robert Rental, wasn't well received. A strange release, it was a one-sided album (side two was left blank) of improvised electronic noises, in a plain purple dust jacket. Marat Records released the record in Germany as Daniel Miller Robert Rental Live, with a black and white picture sleeve, catalogue No. Marat Rough 017.

Links to Peel

After Peel's death, Daniel Miller paid tribute to the DJ in Music Week, published on 6th November 2004:

"He was such a huge inspiration and influence. He inspired people to form bands and make records, including me, so they could hear themselves on the Peel show. We really cared about what he thought. There was respect. It would be a shame if he didn't play something, but we knew he would have listened to it and respected that." [1]

Indeed, Peel played material from Daniel in 1978 under his Normal name and would also revisit his single track, Warm Leatherette, in later years. The DJ also gave generous airtime to Miller's next musical project, Silicon Teens, and provided longtime support for other releases on Mute Records.

Shows Played


Warm Leatherette

  • 08 May 1978: Warm Leatherette (7" - T.V.O.D. / Warm Leatherette) Mute
  • 25 May 1978: Warm Leatherette (7" - T.V.O.D. / Warm Leatherette) Mute

External Links