Paul Morley’s Greatest Propaganda
Reported by News Editor
Submitted 22-05-12 12:46
Trevor Horn and Paul Morley’s seminal electro-pop label ZTT are releasing a new triple-gatefold 'mini vinyl' packaged edition of Propaganda’s acclaimed remix album Wishful Thinking, featuring five previously unreleased bonus tracks.
Chatting about the collector’s edition this week, Morley (one of Britain’s best known and unashamedly pretentious veteran music journalists) recalled what inspired him to produce the ground-breaking interpretation of Propaganda’s debut album A Secret Wish.
"I just had this need, as much as I love A Secret Wish as one result of the Propaganda experiment, to point out how there is a fascinating ideological element to the content and context of sound, and all these different histories of pop music that coexisted even back in 1984,” said Morley.
“So Steve Lipson's Propaganda was the Propaganda of a fan of Steely Dan and Queen. Mine was the Propaganda of a fan of Can and New Order. Steve's Propaganda was a group that Stevie Nicks invited on to a tour, and that concerned me, as I wanted them to be the kind of group that would go on tour with Depeche Mode or Cabaret Voltaire,” he said.
Despite Morley’s ambitions, Propaganda imploded at the height of their success, leaving a legacy of top quality electro-disco crossover singles including Duel, Dr Mabuse and p:Machinery and a critical reputation that’s remained gold plated ever since. Chatting to Skrufff in 2004 though, Claudia Brucken recalled being deeply unhappy in the band as music business machinations drove them apart.
“When Dr Mabuse was in the German charts I was still finishing my school, then as soon as I finished we started a world tour and had this enormous immediate success,” said Claudia.
“But our record contract was really awful, we had bad management, saying to me ‘get rid of them’ and to them ‘get rid of her’. And in a way, before too long, everything fell apart. I was very sad and heartbroken that it all ended because I thought ‘what a waste’. We were so close to stadium success and we just didn’t do what we ought to have done. Though it’s easy to say that now.”
We were all in the same boat, we had an opportunity and we didn’t do what we should have done. But there’s no point saying ‘should’,” she continued.
“We were on top of the world when we did our tour, particularly towards the end when we gained enough confidence to enjoy it. Then in 1986 we had a huge hit in France with Machine which felt great then sadly it all fell apart because of greed, insecurity, naivety and bad management, I always stress bad management, because I think that’s the key factor behind lots of groups not surviving, because they’re advised incorrectly.”
When I saw Propaganda recently the wounds were healed,” she added.
“We weren’t living in that moment 20 years ago, we’ve all grown up and we’re more easy going. My memories now are a lot fonder.”
Propaganda's Wishful Thinking 2012 Deluxe Expansion is out on Zang Tuum Tumb shortly.
Jonty Skrufff : http://listn.to/JontySkrufff
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