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Propaganda Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Propaganda (2006 Re-issue)
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks, 9 Oct 2006
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Frequently bought together

  • Propaganda
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  • Kimono My House
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  • Indiscreet
Total price: £19.51
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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Oct. 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Island Records
  • ASIN: B000I8NGJ6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,569 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Amazon.co.uk

Ah, the eternal problem of how to follow up the overnight success. It's often the case that groups change their sound and image to keep up the commercial winning streak once they hit the big time, often at the expense of their original appeal. Sparks, however, are a law unto themselves. Whatever acclaim was brought by Kimono My House appears to have been ignored by the Mael brothers, who instead solidified the style of demented, sinister pop songs that the band pioneered.

In this case, Ron Mael's eye for lyrical detail, welded to an off-kilter tune, makes for a unique offering. Who else could write the utterly sincere "Bon Voyage", sung from the viewpoint of the animals that didn't get onto Noah's Ark? Also apparent is an early indication of Sparks' reluctance to be pigeonholed as a guitar band; the opening title track is an acapella offering, while the jazzy flourishes that colour the following album Indiscreet make their appearances on nearly every track. Sure, they still rock out, especially on "At Home, At Work, At Play" and "Something for the Girl with Everything", but the detail beneath the surface shows Sparks' unique gift for the darkly humourous. Highly recommended. --Thom Allott

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Obviously `Kimono My House' (released the same year as this album) is an accepted classic album, but perhaps this 21st Century Editions reissue programme will remind people there is another classic: `Propaganda.'

The original 11-track album is present and correct, the Mael brothers joined by Dinky Diamond, T White, Ian Hampton, Adrian Fisher, and producer Muff Winwood - like `Kimono' this album fits well alongside the stuff they called glam rock: Aladdin-Bowie, T-Rex, The Sweet, The Rubettes, Roxy Music, Sailor, the Glitter act we don't talk about now etc. Having the pleasure of seeing Sparks on their latest tour, it was notable that after their latest `Hello Young Lovers' (played in its entirety), it was `Propaganda' that got the biggest airing with storming versions of `Achoo', `Something for the Girl with Everything', `Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth' & `At Home At Work At Play' (...or perhaps I have the wrong song for the start of the encore?).

`Propaganda' is very much a relative of `Kimono', a magnificent blend of pop and pomp, glam and prog...the stuff that Billy Mackenzie later tagged popera maybe? `Propaganda' is one of their classic albums closest to `Kimono' - `Number One in Heaven' (reissue! Expand! Etc!) a far more electronic wonder, while the recent `Lil' Beethoven' and `Hello Young Lovers' are much more modern (& great!). The album is packed full of highlights, but the ones I like the best are the dramatic `At Home....', the hilarious `Don't Leave Me Alone with Her', the euphoric `Something for the Girl with Everything' (which I'd take over `This Town...! & was memorably re-recorded by Sparks & Faith No More on their `Plagiarism' album), and the catchy art rock of `Achoo.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great product, highly recommend and will buy again. Impressed with product. Delivery was speedy and excellent
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
memories regained! I bought the vinyl version which I had back in 1974 - wonderful sound on my hifi - up and running again
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Tongue in cheek pop/rock from a duo who did it so well!
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Format: Audio CD
CD from my youth, still sounds good
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Format: Audio CD
If you only buy one CD this year - get Indiscreet! It's awsome! But after that - get this one - 99% as good! Unfortuneately I'm old enough to remember Sparks the first time around - I loved them then - I adore them now! There are few words good enough to describe how wonderful this CD is - it's a work of art! The opening track, which blends seemlessly into the second, sends shivers down your spine. then you are launched into an hour's journey of what pop is all about - variety, imagination (like few others) and tunes to die for! You will NEVER get tired of listening to this - the only thing worth interupting it for is another brilliant Sparks CD. Puts 'modern' artists to shame! Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
A fantastic album! This is the first Sparks album I bought and it changed my whole view on music on the first listen and even after playing it several times it doesn't tire on me. It is totally original, bold, quirky arty rock that jumps out the stereo. On the first few seconds of the title track/opener I thought 'wow'. This is the lesser known follow up to the legendary 'Kimono My House' (which also has a great opening) and was amazingly released in the same year, 1974. Sparks were, then, extraordinarily creative and prolific and this release is just as good as its predecessor, if not (dare I say it) better. The songs gel together better and there are no duffers on the original album (Sorry, I can't comment on the 2 bonus tracks as I've not got that version but if they're half as good as the ones on Kimono then they're a good listen). The next album, Indescreet, seems lame in comparison as it does not have the 'wow factor'. The singles are the gorgeous 'Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth' and the operatic 'Something for the Girl with Everything'. Great songs, though not as successful as the singles from Kimono which is why the album's not so well known. When I got the album, I did not know anything about it or Sparks, other than that they were influential on a lot of 80s artists. I guessed that the singles were the operner 'Propoganda/At Home, At Work, At Play' (1 minute Acappella stunner followed by New Wave rock) and the Rocky Horror-like 'Don't leave me alone with her'. These could have been hits. If you write the musical notes down to many songs you'd find that the compositions are almost classical in nature whereas the sound is very rocky -like New Wave music five years ahead of its time - what a combination!Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Along with 'Kimono', this album represents the point where the Mael Bros' curiously anglo-centric pop reached its zenith. In many ways it's more consistent than Kimono, with some truly superb songs. "ABC" has machine-gun delivery from Russell Mael disguising some truly witty lyrics and a tremendous melody. "At Home..." is similarly quick-fire and almost obscenely tuneful. "Don't Leave Me Alone with Her" tells the knowing tale of a bloke being cornered by a girl who's head-over-heels for him, but he doesn't feel the same. "Thanks But No Thanks" features Sparks' possibly most graceful band arrangement, with feathery acoustic guitar underpinning the marvellous one-note guitar solo on the outro. "Never Turn Your Back..." is an acknowledged classic that sounds as if it has always existed; the first time I heard the album I checked to see that it wasn't a cover version!
Good production (Muff Winwood, as 'Kimono'), punchy melodic songs and barbed, witty lyrics. Could they do no wrong...? Just give them a couple of years (!).
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