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Weird of the Day: The Normal, “Warm Leatherette”


The Normal

I’ve just started reading Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984, author Simon Reynolds’ very convincing argument for considering the six years following the breakup of The Sex Pistols to be among the most wildly creative in pop music history. I’m only a few chapters in, but already it’s reacquainted me with, or introduced me to, a slew of fantastic music from that era that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

I’d put The Normal in that overlooked category. Although it’s certainly a project familiar to anyone who grew up in the U.K. in those years, or went to industrial and EBM clubs in the ’80s, most younger fans have probably never heard of Daniel Miller’s post-Kraftwerk experiment in clinically stark electronic music—in part, because Miller only put out two songs as The Normal, before he got more interested in releasing other artists through his label, the influential (and still going strong) Mute Records.

Both of The Normal’s two songs are pretty weird. “T.V.O.D.” is all about sticking TV antennas into your veins, but “Warm Leatherette,” inspired by the J.G. Ballard novel Crash, is about fucking someone who’s just been in a car crash right before they die. So just in terms of creep factor, “Warm Leatherette” wins. There’s also something about its electro-shock synths that still sounds futuristic, even after four decades (it was released in 1978).

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About weirdestband

Founder of Weirdest Band in the World.

Posted on September 19, 2014, in Weird of the Day and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on CIRCUIT BREAKER CLUB and commented:
    Another good choice from Weird of the Day, referencing a very good book you should seek out and read….

  2. Excellent reading choice, great book! Simon Reynolds has also written on JG Ballard…

  3. Hey WBitW.

    Coincidentally, I just watched this excellent hour and a half BBC documentary on the rise of ‘synthesizer music’ in the 70s and how much it was influenced by the whole punk ethos, and how it eventually blossomed into the new romantic / new wave / synth pop scene (Human League, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, New Order, OMD, Pet Shop Boys…). Lots of interviews, including the Normal guy talkin’ about the song.

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