Record Review: Propaganda – “Wishful Thinking” UK DLX RM CD [part 1]

Salvo | UK | CD | 2012 | SALVOCD055

Propaganda: Wishful Thinking DLX RM – UK – CD [2012]

  1. Abuse 3:30
  2. Machined 6:54
  3. Laughed! 8:54
  4. Loving 0:47
  5. Jewelled 7:44
  6. Loved 6:43
  7. Abuse 4:18
  8. Thought 2:38
  9. Strength To Dream (Outtake 04.02.84) 2:29
  10. p:Machinery (The Beta Wraparound) 10:47
  11. The Murder Of Love (Murderous Instrumental) 4:29
  12. Dr Mabuse (Outtake 24.04.85) 5:41
  13. Frozen Faces (A Secret Sense Of Rhythm) 5:09
  14. p:Machinery (The Voiceless Beta Wraparound Edit) 4:25

I have a history that goes back a long way with “Wishful Thinking.” It was in the spring of 1985 that I first heard Propaganda and made a bee-line to Murmur Records to buy the “Duel” 12″ single; igniting a lifetime of Propaganda fandom that has yet to ebb. I bought the other 12″ single that were available, “Dr. Mabuse” and was astonished that it was even better. I’ll go as far as saying that I felt that it was Trevor Horn’s finest production and my mind has not changed even 37 years later. I waited the rest of the year for “A Secret Wish” to come to CD format, but it was worth it! From that point on I bought any and all Propaganda releases as the default position.

It was some time in 1986 when a trip to Murmur revealed “Wishful Thinking;” a remix album of material that had not surfaced on any of the subsequent Propaganda 12″/7″ singles. At the time, it was a fantastic thing to get long ZTT remixes of deep cuts from the album, such as “The Murder Of Love” and their JosefK cover, “Sorry For Laughing.” I had the LP for a few years, until I finally found a CD somewhere. As was my practice in the dawn of the CD era, I duly traded off my LP once I replaced it on the silver disc. But in the 90s, drunk with the possibilities of collecting, I found another LP of the title and re-bought it, to join the 40-50 other Propaganda releases in my Record Cell.

That was the status quo before 2012 when Salvo/ZTT reissued the title packed with bonus tracks. I needed one, but didn’t see a copy to buy until the first trip to Amoeba Land [a.k.a. California] in 2014. I bought a used copy that was lacking the booklet, but beggars can’t be choosers! You see a Propaganda CD you need for sale used, and you buy it. Booklet or no.

“Dr. Mabuse” already had a couple of 12″ mixes which were cataclysmic and cinematic to the max, so here we got short dubs that were brief and to the point, allowing the relentless machine chug of the industrial rhythm track to act as a siren; pulling us into the world of the remixes here. A short mix that acted as appetizers for the meal that was about to unfold. The first of these was “Abuse” and if memory serves, it was the version of the song that appeared in the opening scene of the John Hughes film, “Some Kind of Wonderful,” but not in the soundtrack album. The brief dub mix stopped only for a split second before seamlessly segueing into “Machined;” a nearly seven minute remix of “p:Machinery” that was all about the relentless bass loop that propelled this song forward like a charging stallion.

Many of the ornate elements on the earlier “Polish” 12″ mix were pared away to sharpen its rhythmic focus. The vocals were still there but were dosed with reverb and EQ’d lower in the mix to become just another element in the sound. The guitar of John McGeoch, who would also be on the “p: Machinery [ßeta] single was in evidence here, but is a minimal, dublike fashion. As were other elements of the melodic portion of the cut. The “horn riff from hell” was also dubbed out here to introduce, instead of to relieve tension. The nine minute mix was down to the rhythm, usually alone with dub elements of the track teased in. With the horn riff only materializing, in the climax of the mix.

Then the tribal drum machine of “Laughed!” – the nearly ten minute remix of “Sorry For Laughing,” followed. It was the high point of this album as no commercial single of the incredible song had been released. The stentorian sweep of its melodramatic synths being phased down endless corridors of sound as the thunderdrum movements churned and danced for nearly half of the song’s running time before the vocals finally entered at midpoint. Barely a dubbed out echo at first with sounds of Claudia Brücken laughing mixed over it. Eventually the song played out as a tougher, more minimal mix until its final percussive flourish.

Next: …Bejewelled Perfected

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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4 Responses to Record Review: Propaganda – “Wishful Thinking” UK DLX RM CD [part 1]

  1. Gavin says:

    I never really “got” this album at the time,though I bought it on cassette,but I didn’t buy the reissue CD.
    After reading this post yesterday, I went on a major Propaganda listening frenzy-maximum volume!(Oh,the joys of isolated country living!)
    I must revisit this album and see what all the fuss is about.
    The “Noise & Girls Come Out to Play” compilation is very good however and that has lots of odd mixes on it.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Schwenko – ¡Ay dios mio! You can’t get more synchronous than that! Thanks for letting us know. Looks like a fantastic ultrabox of a ton of. Hughes film music. Tarquin Gotch was his right hand man who managed many of the artists involved. Stephen Duffy, XTC et. al. No matter what one might think of the movies, the bands and music could be fantastic.


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