60 ALBUMS @ 60 : #60


A Secret Wish – Propaganda (1985)

This is one of those albums thay belatedly and perhaps unexpectedly sneaked its way into the Top 60.  It’s also fair to say that if the list had been compiled a few months back, it wouldn’t have made it.

It’s an album I played a great deal when it was released.  It had been preceded by two fabulous singles – Dr Mabuse and Duel.   I recall buying it with some of the money left over from my first ever salary at the end of July 1985, having just moved to Edinburgh to live and work.  I had a very small and inexpensive stereo system at the time, so I certainly didn’t get the full effect of its OTT production for a few more years.  It was one of those albums I had a habit of playing when I had come in from the pub but was too tired/pissed to have a dance around the room…..this was one for lying on the bed, trying to avoid the sensation of the room spinning out of control, and waving my hands around as if I was some kind of crazy German conductor.

A few years later, I ended up buying the CD version, which had a different running order from the vinyl, as well as having a couple of extended versions of the songs, and so it became the version more commonly played.

Indeed, it was only a couple of months back that I dug out the vinyl copy again after what will be more than 30 years, and that was to play it immediately after giving a spin to my newly acquired copy of the excellent The Heart Is Strange, the album released last year by X-Propaganda, the group formed by Claudia Brücken and Susanne Freytag.

It’s fair to say that my passion for A Secret Wish has been smouldering rather than burning brightly for a long time.  But it’s been on a healthy rotation in 2023, and as I said earlier, has unexpectedly crept into this rundown.

mp3: Propaganda – The Murder Of Love

Worth mentioning that the bass slapping on this one is courtesy of Derek Forbes, once of Simple Minds before they went all stadium rock on us.*

*Correction.  While Derek Forbes played live with Propaganda in 1985, and would be part of the group on later records, he didn’t actually contribute the bass parts on the debut.  With thanks to Post Punk Monk for the info……see comments section for more details.


16 thoughts on “60 ALBUMS @ 60 : #60

  1. Very glad to see this make the cut, JC. I first bought this in Feb 1986, on cassette from a gift shop whilst on a family holiday in Tenerife, and playing it to death. I bought the vinyl very shortly after, later the CD and then the expanded CD reissue. It’s always been the original vinyl mix and sequencing for me and I’d go so far to say that it’s my favourite ZTT album of all. That said, I haven’t played it in a while so thanks for the prompt.

    If this is #60, this series is going to be an absolute cracker.

  2. Just read Trevor Horn’s autobiography and rather enjoyed it . He’s always very generous with what he says about the musicians he worked with . There’s a good chapter on Dr Mabuse

  3. Rather a surprise, I must say … a great album indeed. I always thought ‘Duel’ was great – until I first heard the extended ‘Jewel’ (Cut Rough) …. one of the very best songs ever to come from Germany!!

  4. I have been neck deep in Propaganda since catching a bit of the “Duel” viddy on “London Calling.” This was on my “50 At 50” list [https://postpunkmonk.com/2013/09/27/50-years-50-records/] but none of the five copies I have of this cite Derek Forbes. He would join the band live and on the [appalling] second album, “1-2-3-4.” And I completely agree with Khayem that this was the acme of ZTT.

  5. Reading that Hornbook [I meant to do that] made progressing through it without playing all of the records he was writing about nearly impossible!

  6. Whoops! Meant that comment for here! Reading that Hornbook [I meant to do that] made progressing through it without playing all of the records he was writing about nearly impossible!

  7. Thanks PPM. You’re right. I’ve dived in based on recalling him play ‘The Murder Of Love’ live with the band on Whistle Test.

  8. I was 13/14 in 1985 and discovered Propaganda on the ZTT compilation ‘Sampled’ which I only bought for the Frankie Goes To Hollywood content. There was a 12″ mix of p:Machinery on it which blew my mind (it still does, by the way). I managed to get a copy of the album from a friend who put it on a blank cassette for me. I never actually owned a copy of it on any other format until just last year when I picked up an original vinyl copy (in extremely good nick, despite the crackles) from a shop in Bristol. Damn, it still sounds surprisingly good.

    You’re so right about the xPropaganda record from last year too. It made my end-of-year rundown.

  9. A great opener. Duel is in my top ten singles from 1985, I’ve never thought of compiling a top whatever of albums – until now. I remember seeing Propaganda on The Tube (early 1986) when they belted out Jewel, think I bought the album soon after.

  10. Propaganda = brilliant. Xpropaganda new album – very good. Went with a friend to see solo Claudia a few years back and counted 46 people there including bar staff and security guards. Ms Brucken is a criminally underrated talent..

  11. Derek Forbes might not have played bass, but David Sylvain played on it [Propaganda Acknowledge The Participation, With Some Voices And Instruments, Of…]

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