The new wave band TV21 formed in the late '70s, comprising drummer Colin Maclean, guitarist Ally Palmer, bassist Neil Baldwin, and vocalist/guitarist Norman Rodger. The band took their name from Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson's fanzine. After releasing their first two singles on Powerbeat in early 1980, they recorded a session for John Peel's BBC radio program. Another pair of singles followed for the Demon label in 1981. Maclean split and was replaced by Ali Patterson, a former member of the Rezillos. Deram snapped the group up and issued A Thin Red Line in late 1981, the band's only long-player. Renowned producer and musician Ian Broudie (Original Mirrors, the Lightning Seeds), who had produced one of the group's earlier singles, loaned his skills to one of the songs on the record. Yet another single followed in early 1982, and the group's potential hit a peak when they opened a series of shows for the Rolling Stones as they toured Scotland. However, TV21 felt they had reached an impasse musically and opted to break up by the middle of the year.