Propaganda

Profile:
Synth pop group originating from Düsseldorf, Germany; formed in 1982 by former Die Krupps keyboard player Ralf Dörper and Andreas Thein. The first recordings were made in the summer of 1982 (at 'Zero Green Studio' in Essen, Germany, the reason being that it had a PPG Synthesizer.) Dörper and Thein recorded two songs, "Disziplin" (political) and "Sünde" (religious), with vocals provided by Susanne Freytag. The plan was to release them on the London label Operation Twilight which had released Ralf's solo records in the UK. However, Ralf also sent the two songs to Chris Bohn at the NME. This came to the attention of producer Trevor Horn, who signed the band to his label ZTT in 1983.

A few months before ZTT signed them, the band (incl. drummer Weet) were invited to London to record tracks with Nick Froome at Basing Street Studios in February 1983 (soon to be renamed Sarm West). Trevor Horn, Jill Sinclair and Paul Morley wanted to explore what Propaganda was about and decide whether to sign them based on the material recorded in that session. Demos of "Doppelganger", "Radetzky Marsch" and "Mabuse" were recorded in this session.

Propaganda has been through several line-up changes in its recording career:

1984, ZTT ("Dr. Mabuse")
Claudia Brücken, Ralf Dörper, Susanne Freytag, Michael Mertens, Andreas Thein

1985, ZTT ("Duel", "A Secret Wish", "p:Machinery", "Wishful Thinking")
Claudia Brücken, Ralf Dörper, Susanne Freytag, Michael Mertens

Claudia Brücken left Propaganda in 1986 and the remaining members of the group took ZTT to court to release them from their contract. New album demos were recorded in 1987-88. Mertens, Freytag and Dörper were joined by Derek Forbes and Brian McGee along with vocalist Betsi Miller. Although Freytag and Dörper contributed to the new album, they were no longer members by its release.

1990, Virgin ("Heaven Give Me Words", "1234", "Only One Word", "Your Wildlife")
Derek Forbes, Brian McGee, Michael Mertens, Betsi Miller
This line-up fizzled out in 1991.

By 1998 Mertens was working again with Brücken and Freytag, and in 1999 Propaganda's website announced a new album was being recorded. This line-up were set to sign with EastWest, but this was not to be, and the album remains unreleased, although recordings leaked via the internet. Some of the tracks were recorded by Brücken's act Onetwo and released on "Instead".

In 2004 Mertens, Freytag, Brücken and Dörper reunited for a performance of Dr. Mabuse to benefit The Prince's Trust and to celebrate Trevor Horn's 25 years in the music industry.

2005+, Amontillado Music ("Valley Of The Machine Gods")
Michael Mertens, Susanne Freytag

In 2011, Brücken performed a live concert in London and was joined onstage by Dörper and Freytag. Around 2014 Mertens, Brücken, Freytag and Dörper started working together on new material, but the planned reunion did not take place as the two parties had different views on live performances. In 2015 Propaganda (i.e. Dörper and Mertens) was credited for remixing Holly Johnson's "Dancing with Fear".

Brücken and Freytag reappeared in 2018 on the live circuit, playing concerts on the continent consisting of Propaganda material, under the name Duel. In the UK they toured as X-Propaganda, with Heaven 17 in 2018. With the name stylized as xPropaganda, the duo released a live version of Propaganda's "Secret Wish" album ("A Secret Place") in 2018, and an album of all new material in 2022 – with Stephen Lipson as producer, who also produced Propaganda in 1985.
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Artist

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Albums

207 439, 207 439-620 Wishful Thinking — Propaganda Propaganda Wishful Thinking (Album) ZTT 207 439, 207 439-620 Europe 1985 Sell This Version
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610 540, 610 540-222, 90 288-2, 90288-2, CID 126 A Secret Wish — Propaganda Propaganda A Secret Wish (Album, Comp) ZTT 610 540, 610 540-222, 90 288-2, 90288-2, CID 126 UK, Europe & US 1985 Sell This Version
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150022 1234 — Propaganda Propaganda 1234 (Album) Virgin 150022 Argentina 1990 Sell This Version
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Singles & EPs

12 ZTAS 2 The Nine Lives Of Dr. Mabuse — Propaganda Propaganda The Nine Lives Of Dr. Mabuse (Single, Maxi, Comp, MiniAlbum, EP) ZTT 12 ZTAS 2 UK 1984 Sell This Version
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J.B. 297 Marinero / Duel — Propaganda Milva / Propaganda Milva / Propaganda - Marinero / Duel(7", Promo) Ricordi J.B. 297 Italy 1985 Sell This Version
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12 ZTAS 21, 602 014 p: Machinery — Propaganda Propaganda p: Machinery (Single, Maxi, Comp, EP, MiniAlbum) ZTT, ZTT 12 ZTAS 21, 602 014 Germany 1985 Sell This Version
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97024 Duel — Propaganda Propaganda Duel (Single, Maxi, EP) ZTT, ZTT 97024 Canada 1985 Sell This Version
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J.B. 307 p : Machinery / It's Called A Heart — Propaganda p : Propaganda* / Depeche Mode p : Propaganda* / Depeche Mode - p : Machinery / It's Called A Heart(7", Jukebox, Promo) Ricordi J.B. 307 Italy 1985 Sell This Version
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SRLM 2052 In My House / Duel — Propaganda Mary Jane Girls / Propaganda Mary Jane Girls / Propaganda - In My House / Duel(12", Promo) Ricordi SRLM 2052 Italy 1985 Sell This Version
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ISLP-1061 Untitled — Propaganda Propaganda Untitled(12", Promo) ZTT, Island Records ISLP-1061 Canada 1985 Sell This Version
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VAS-91-4083-A How Much Love — Propaganda Propaganda How Much Love (Single) Virgin VAS-91-4083-A Philippines 1990 Sell This Version
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0-96412 Your Wildlife — Propaganda Propaganda Your Wildlife (Maxi, Single) Charisma 0-96412 US 1990 Sell This Version
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90597 Heaven Give Me Words — Propaganda Propaganda Heaven Give Me Words (Single) Virgin, Virgin 90597 France 1990 Sell This Version
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113 518, VS1271 Only One Word — Propaganda Propaganda Only One Word (Single, Maxi) Virgin, Virgin 113 518, VS1271 Europe 1990 Sell This Version
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VI PRO 35, VI PRO 38 Es Goal! / Heaven Give Me Words / A Dreams A Dream — Propaganda Indios (2) / Propaganda / Soul II Soul Indios (2) / Propaganda / Soul II Soul - Es Goal! / Heaven Give Me Words / A Dreams A Dream(12", Promo) Virgin, Virgin VI PRO 35, VI PRO 38 Italy 1990 Sell This Version
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U8P-1394 Pacific 808:98 / Moments In Love / Relax / p:Machinery — Propaganda 808 State / Art Of Noise* / Frankie Goes To Hollywood / Propaganda 808 State / Art Of Noise* / Frankie Goes To Hollywood / Propaganda - Pacific 808:98 / Moments In Love / Relax / p:Machinery(12", Promo) ZTT, Universal Records U8P-1394 US 1998 Sell This Version
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AMM007 Valley Of The Machine Gods — Propaganda Propaganda Valley Of The Machine Gods (EP) Amontillado Music AMM007 Germany 2005 Sell This Version
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SSZ3030 The Secret Tapes Of Dr. Mabuse — Propaganda Präpaganda* The Secret Tapes Of Dr. Mabuse (EP, Single) Suezan Studio SSZ3030 Japan 2018 Sell This Version
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Compilations

ZTT 180 CDX Outside World — Propaganda Propaganda Outside World (Comp) ZTT ZTT 180 CDX UK 2002 Sell This Version
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XECZ-1021-1022 A Secret Wish + Wishful Thinking = ア・シークレット・ウイッシュ + ウィッシュフル・シンキング — Propaganda Propaganda = プロパガンダ* Propaganda = プロパガンダ* - A Secret Wish + Wishful Thinking = ア・シークレット・ウイッシュ + ウィッシュフル・シンキング(CD, Album, RE + CD, Album, RE + Comp) ZTT XECZ-1021-1022 Japan 2009 Sell This Version
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SALVOCD059, Element 24 Noise And Girls Come Out To Play / A Compact Introduction To Propaganda — Propaganda Propaganda Noise And Girls Come Out To Play / A Compact Introduction To Propaganda(CD, Comp) Salvo, ZTT SALVOCD059, Element 24 UK & Europe 2012 Sell This Version
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METRSL078 The Best Of — Propaganda Propaganda The Best Of (Comp) Metro Select, ZTT METRSL078 UK & Europe 2013 Sell This Version
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Element 45, BMGCAT325QLP The Eight Testaments Of Propaganda — Propaganda Propaganda The Eight Testaments Of Propaganda (Comp) ZTT, BMG Element 45, BMGCAT325QLP Europe 2018 Sell This Version
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ZTDS 74 Sorry For Laughing (Reactivated) — Propaganda Propaganda Sorry For Laughing (Reactivated) (Comp) ZTT ZTDS 74 2021
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Videos

REP 3018 The Video Collection — Propaganda Propaganda The Video Collection(DVD-V, Comp, Multichannel, NTSC) Repertoire Records REP 3018 Germany 2003 Sell This Version