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A Secret Wish [25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition] Collector's Edition, Extra tracks

4.6 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • A Secret Wish [25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]
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  • The Best Of Propaganda
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  • Wishful Thinking
Total price: £27.56
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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 July 2010)
  • Deluxe Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Collector's Edition, Extra tracks
  • Label: Union Square Music Limited
  • ASIN: B003IODNJA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,769 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

25th Anniversary edition of the classic Propaganda album, featuring the hit singles "Duel", "Dr. Mabuse" and "p:Machinery". A Secret Wish has been completely remastered from the original tape recordings for the best possible sound quality.

This release also includes a bonus disc, filled with rare and previously unreleased remixes, studio out-takes, Trevor Horn 12" mixes and the legendary 20-minute cassette mix of "Duel".

Expanded artwork includes 24-page booklet featuring extensive new liner notes and rare photos

BBC Review

Propaganda added spice and fascination to the ZTT roster. Alongside house orchestra Art of Noise and its chart conquering boy band, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, this German confection added a pitch-black seductiveness to Trevor Horn and Paul Morley's label.

Their debut album, A Secret Wish, appeared just after ZTT had crested commercially in July 1985, and remains a fascinating addition to the clumsy, clattering canon of 80s electronica. Powered by the vocal mystery of Claudia Brü cken, the sweetness of Susanne Freytag and the engine room of Michael Mertens and Ralf Dörper, the group was able to sate the European fantasies of the label. Here, it had its Kraftwerk, its Boney M. and its ABBA.

Employing about every Weimar Republic and Wagnerian reference in the book, ZTT created something as grand and illusory as anything they had put together. The concept was so high, the music they assembled could have been almost incidental were it not so inventive, and at times brilliant.

The seductive, lumbering groove of Dream Within a Dream is the real story here, however. It is, in many respects, where the album begins and ends; although largely created on a Fairlight computer, it sounds like the ensemble playing on some satanic ghost train. It is the middle track of Trevor Horn's sacred triumvirate of the 80s, alongside Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Welcome to the Pleasure Dome and the Pet Shop Boys' Left to My Own Devices. If you listen very carefully, that is the sound of the kitchen sink you can hear rattling away in the background. "Oh god, can I not grasp it with a tighter clasp," Brü cken proclaims as the track builds and builds.

The rest of the album basks in the halo effect of its opener. Duel, their greatest hit, the track which gained them the oft-repeated epithet of being "Abba from hell", chugs along full of pop frisson and fizz. First single, Dr, Mabuse, is another of this album's highlights.

Here, sumptuously packaged with a plethora of bonuses, A Secret Wish is still not quite as good as it thinks it is. But it's still brilliant and inventive enough to put most of its peers in the shade.

--Daryl Easlea

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"A Secret Wish", an album of mystery without explanation and a musical journey best undertaken in completeness, much like Roxy's "Avalon" or Frankie's "Pleasuredome". I can't actually believe it has taken 25 years for the definitive version of this magnificent recording to finally be realised.

Packaged beautifully in a fold out digipack with a 24 page booklet, the release continues to uphold the extremely high standards that I have now come to expect from ZTT, Union Square and project producer Ian Peel. There's attention to detail on the minutest scale, from the thoroughly researched band history right through to the pinpointing of tiny differences between analogue and digital versions of the same song. People with a passion for what they are doing go to this much trouble, and again, that is what continues to set this re-issue series apart from those of others. Well, that and the excellent audio quality which abounds here, thanks to every track being sourced and enhanced (note, `enhanced' not `maxxed out to oblivion') from the original masters. It appears that in the ZTT archives, the Propaganda catalogue has been well cared for, meaning that the very best of what was recorded at the time has been available for inclusion here.

Turning to the original album, Propaganda, or as one journalist dubbed them in 1985, "Abba in hell" (I love that!) delivered a moment in time. It was one of the truly great albums of the year, a sonic masterpiece that ran the whole gauntlet of contemporary music and beyond. "Jewel" remains one of the most disturbing pieces of music I have ever listened to, truly the complete opposite of "Duel", a great pop record that probably ranks as one of the most commercial singles ever released by ZTT.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What can I say about this album that hasn't already been said? If you only ever buy one album of 80's electro-pop, make it this one. Every track shines out like a beacon, and it hasn't dated at all. Not one little bit. I first heard of this band when 'Miami Vice' featured the track 'P-Machinery' as the soundtrack to a fast night driving scene in the episode 'The Fix' and I went straight out and bought the album on the strength of ten seconds or so of the intro to this track.
In the intervening years it has never been far from my CD player (This is actually the second copy I've owned, as I wore the first out!!) If you like this, buy 'Outside world' as well, for the remixes.
As Paul Lester (Uncut) wrote:
'Sheer brutal beauty'
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Format: Audio CD
Here's a much forgotten secret from the mid eighties, Propaganda's Secret Wish is one of the best albums from this period of golden pop. The album was produced by one of the UK's best known and most successful producer's Trevor Horn, who was also the driving force behind the trend setting debuts of ABC and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Horn's love of complex string arrangements are used to good effect giving Propaganda's well constructed songs an added dimension that starker electronic albums could sometimes lack. Propaganda proved they were on equal terms with fellow German innovators Kraftwerk by releasing an album where every track is a gem. Clever use of synth sequencing and analogue layers give many of the tracks a definite edge, and the album still sounds superb by today's techno standards some 15 years after it was released. This sort of music is always helped by a strong vocalist, and the enigmatic Claudia Brucken with her distinctive German voice is as important to the success of this album as Alison Moyet was to Yazoo. Brucken's vocals easily generate pure emotion against the harsh, industrial sequencing of some of the tracks. On Jewel she provides a manic performance that I really haven't heard from any female vocalist since. It's very difficult to pick highlight tracks as favourites, because they are all so good, but Duel remains as one of the best pop songs from this period. It's a perfect mix of classical interludes and melodic synths, something Horn was to revisit on the PSB classic Left To My Own Devices from 1988. Heaven 17's Glenn Gregory helps out on the vocals for the single P-Machinery, a song that has one of the catchiest synth leads I have ever heard. Japan's David Sylvian also provided the bleeps in the intro.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'll write a more contemplative review when I've lived with this 25th anniversary edition for a few weeks, but the initial play-through has been a great experience.

What you get on Disc One is, firstly, the original "Secret Wish" album as issued on CD on ZTT/Island in 1985, including the specially-remixed "Dream Within A Dream" that Stephen Lipson produced just for CD; the vinyl and cassette had a different version that became the one on the previous ZTT re-issue. Confused? You will be - the superb 10' 41" mix of Dr Mabuse is also here from that original 1985 CD. This is what we've been waiting for for so long. As if that weren't enough, the rest of Disc 1 contains the analogue format versions of the tracks above, plus trainspotters-only versions of Duel and p:Machinery that you'd be hard-pressed to tell apart from the earlier versions. But we do get all those riches in the form of "Dream Within A Dream" in both mixes and the unexpurgated "Dr Mabuse", which is wonderful.

Disc 2 is also a treasure-trove. People have commented on "Do Well", the cassette single version of Duel, and it's brilliant. Some of the other mixes etc. are more subtle (or not, as in "Echo of Frozen Faces"). Fans will probably bemoan the omission of some material e.g. the Beta Wraparound 12" version of p:Machinery but, after all, you've gotta leave something for those vinyl specialist record shops to deal in!

The mastering sounds perfect to me. I'm not sure what the reviewer who complained was expecting - the original tapes put through the too-good-to-be-true filter? (e.g. loads of artificial treble boost? horrible compression to make it sound 'louder'?). The compilers of this re-release seem to have decided that, what Stephen Lipson and Trevor Horn wanted us to hear, is what we get.
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