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on 28 April 2003
Cruelly overlooked when they were actively making music back in the mid-80s, arty German synthpop group Propapganda are finally getting the attention they deserve. This remix album was the last proper release by the classic line-up (which included the distinctive vocals of Claudia Brucken and Suzanne Freytag) and puts a strangely modern spin on songs from their debut LP "A Secret Wish". Largely put together by producers Bob Kraushaar and Steve Lipson, the mixes on "Wishful Thinking" are ahead of their time, and should appeal to anyone who enjoys modern dance music.
It must be stressed that these are NOT the original 12" mixes - you'll need the recently-released "Outside World" compilation for those - but they are certainly good enough. The extended version of "Sorry For Laughing" is such a barnstormer that it's hard to believe it was never a single, and mixes of "P-Machinery" and "Jewel" brilliantly build on the drama of the originals.
If you're into synthpop, then you need to get into the classic, ZTT-era Propaganda. Buy "A Secret Wish" for the songs, and "Wishful Thinking" for the beats.
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on 8 June 2012
This was the first Propaganda album I ever bought. I had loved the songs of the band already eventually getting this album as my first Propaganda experience. I've always been introduced in the 'remix' concept and I think the roots of it lie within this album. 8 tracks that basically disconnect the original songs and puts them back together again as a bit of a mish mash of music. First off - there are hardly any vocals on this album, so the focus is on the music, the production and with slightly twiddling of mixers, different emphasise on elements separate from the original versions. You have 80's remix dub elements colliding with different focuses on elements from the original songs. Because I wasn't familiar with the original album 'A Secret Wish' this was all I had to work on. Huge industrial arrangements with little blasts of vocals and unexpected surprises.

Abuse (1) is a great opening track (remix of Dr. Mabuse) - full of exciting and drama, that we're getting into an album that will be very different from you expect.

This collides into Machined (remix of P:Machinery) which makes the bass line the drive of the thing as it forces itself along.

Laughed (remix of Sorry For Laughing) is the dub idea, deconstructing the song as if it sounds like it is being sifted through a meat mincer, with the drums being a dominant part of the mix.

Loving (remix of The Murder Of Love) is a nice little coda that ends the first side of the album (if this was a record) which makes way for...

the crown of the collection is 'Jewelled' which I would say is the best version of the Duel/Jewel idea. It is fast, exciting and is everything it should be. A great song.

Loved (remix of The Murder Of Love) has a lovely piano opening before breaking into another dub style mix of stripping structure apart turning the song into an elaborate piece of music.

Abuse (2) (remix of Dr. Mabuse) - focuses on the last bit of the original song. And is a really nice piece of music showing how great the instrumentation on this song is.

Thought - this is an instrumental version of a song never released called 'Discipline' and is worth a listen. It fits in well with the rest of the album mood quite well.

And that's it. Worth a listen for a change. And the bonus tracks here are good.
'Strength To Dream' - this version could have fitted on this album fine. It fits the same ethos.
'P-Machinary (The Beta Wraparound) - a really good full 12" version of the song (too many vocals to fit Wishful Thinking concept but nice to have it anyway)
'The Murder Of Love - Murderous Instrumental' is not just a basic instrumental. It messes with the arrangement a little.
'Dr. Mabuse' - An alternative out take to the original with some subtle differences. Once again not fitting the Wishful Thinking ideas - but that's ok. I mean it is a great song!
'Frozen Faces - A Sense Of Rhythm' - this is an interesting one. It sounds like a mix where a lot of improvising and messing about happened over a continuous loop. This could have been on the Wishful Thinking album.
'P-Machinary - The Voiceless Beta Wraparound Edit' - stripped of vocals and the arrangement is highlighted.

So this really is a perfect companion to A Secret Wish - but in my opinion stands on it's own as well. Glad it had the nice re-issue. Great new packaging as well.
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on 6 October 2002
Generally speaking, I’m a fan of remix albums. “Wishful Thinking” however is the exception to the rule. From the opening bars of "Abuse" the CD promises much and delivers little. The deconstruction of the superb "Dr Mabuse" is the opening track and on hearing the piano bass chords and sampled strings, a feeling of excitement starts to build. You should hold that thought and welcome it because it's downhill all the way from here. Through the stripped down mix of "p:Machinery" ("Machined") and into "Laughed", virtually an extended dub mix of "Sorry For Laughing", it feels as though the boys at ZTT had far too much time on their hands. This album was obviously the result of a couple of hours worth of knob twiddling in order to cash in maximally on Propaganda's cult status at the time with least amount of effort. There is one outstanding track though; "Jewelled" is almost "Bejewelled", the rare promo remix that merges both "Jewel" and "Duel". The result is an energy filled composite, containing the screamed vocals that eventually become the sung vocals over the same raw track of "Jewel". Then it's business as usual with the promising piano intro to "Loved". Not so much "The Murder Of Love" as the mindless killing of a classic Propaganda track. This is followed by yet more bits of "Abuse", which fills the CD out nicely. Finally we end on the cacophony that is "Thought". The only positive thing to say about it is that it uses the baseline and some of the noises from the exceptionally rare single, “Diziplin”. For those of you who have only recently discovered Propaganda and want to hear more, my advice is this: if you want remixes either hunt for the original 12” singles or opt for “Outside World”, the latest ZTT offering. Alternatively, buy this for “Jewelled” alone but don’t expect “A Secret Wish” Part Two. I think the title of this album says it all really.
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on 16 September 2005
There was never enough output from 'Propaganda' to satisfy their true fans (Amongst which I am proud to include myself!) but this CD goes some way to redressing the balance with interesting reworkings of some of the band's greatest songs.
If you only ever buy one album by 'Propaganda' then buy 'A secret wish'. But if you'd like to hear an alternative take on it, then "Outside World" is probably better than this. Although a completist like me would buy this as well.

Word is that Propaganda were not impressed by "Wishful Thinking" and saw it merely as an attempt by ZTT to cash in on the name with no real involvement from the band. I agree with them that "Outside World" knocks it into a cocked hat, but it's still an interesting recording to own, if only because one can never have too much Propaganda!

Favourite Propaganda tracks? 'Duel' and 'P-Machinery' (both taken from 'A Secret Wish')

There is no better track than 'P-Machinery' (12" Beta wrap-around mix) for playing loud when driving through a neon-lit cityscape late at night in an open top car. Try it. You'll see what I mean!

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on 28 June 2012
If you have - and like - A Secret Wish, but not this then give it a go. Personally for me it is the better of the two by far.

However, the following are worth considering:

1) SOUND QUALITY - not much improvement

I've had the chance to play this on a serious bit of hifi (not mine!) and there is little difference between this version and the 1990s Warner release. There very little extra bass to be heard, but the top end is clearer (not boosted, there is audible improved definition) but it's not necessarily worth the entrance price as it is not major. I wonder if this has come from the LP cutting tapes rather than the actual mix masters as the album sounds quite bass shy.

2) BONUS TRACKS - not very interesting

This seems to be common opinion. While I don't have issue with the bonus tracks following the album (although I would have preferred an additional CD with further outtakes/remixes, etc.) there is little to be excited about.

Strength to Dream - a basic version of what appeared on A Secret Wish. No strings, no thunder and rain, a sudden end instead of the grand finale of the LP version.

p:Machinery (The Beta Wraparound) - as per the reactivated 12" I guess (Beta mix + reprise as also heard on p:Polish mix.) To be honest I have very little motivation to compare to the original 12".

The Murder of Love (Murderous Instrumental) - basic track, not a straight instrumental version of the LP mix, nowhere near as good as Loved on the main album.

Dr Mabuse (Outtake) - very similar to the LP version in structure with different mix levels, some elements mixed out, and different reverb on (some of?) the vocals, it plays out to the end like the instrumental mix and then gives just a little more. Kind of interesting but nothing to blow you away - don't expect another 12" mix.

Frozen Faces (A Secret Sense of Rhythm) - for me this is pretty tedious. Pretty much a loop with no vocals.

p:Machinery (The Voiceless Beta Wraparound Edit) - why?

There is still stuff that was released that is hard to get hold of on CD - so ZTT please stop teasing bits out on compilations and get the good stuff in one place.

3) PACKAGING - Fragile and doesn't match A Secret Wish

Instead of the digipak for some reason this album has been issued in a trifold square sleeve. The CD does not sit in a tray, but has to be pulled or tipped out of a pouch. On about the forth time of taking the CD out the card sleeve tore. This was while it was being squeezed to try and get the CD out without scratching it. So it is inconsistent to the previous release and apparently easily damaged.

What happenned ZTT? This could have been a much better release. Shame.
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on 4 June 2012
Remix albums can be hit or miss affairs, more often miss than hit. The original release of this album in 1985 was a commercial miss, although in the true ZTT style of contradiction, the material contained within was a hit with the fans of it's authors. Paul Morley & Bob Kraushaar deconstructed Propaganda's debut parent album "A Secret Wish", then reconstructed, remixed, re-edited and reshaped it into the rebellious, all dancing "Wishful Thinking". At the time the group were one the first acts to put out an entire remix album, and perhaps the first to release one with all exclusive mixes.

For almost 27 years Action Series number 20 has remained untouched, until now. With a new running time of 74 minutes and 30 seconds, this new expanded edition becomes number 23 in the ZTT/Salvo Element Series and features no less than 5 previously unreleased tracks from the archives. This latest addition to the series does not disappoint the listener as a lot of thought, effort and time have been put into making the additional "Deviations" tracks blend perfectly with the original "Disturbdances".

Including additional tracks to any album can be tricky at the best of times as quite often they become nothing more than fillers, however this is a fine example of getting it right and actually improving a release rather than reducing the impact of a well loved classic. Thankfully only one disc is included, a second would have alienated the listener and disrupted the perfect balance of the material. However well intentioned the 2002 "Outside World" remix compilation album may have been, it never had the same impact, elegance or perfection that "Wishful Thinking" has, and now all of those qualities have been given a new lease of life.
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on 8 September 2001
Any Propaganda fan out there will know that the only problem with the band is that they didn't release enough material. With "Wishful Thinking" we at last get to listen to some wonderful re-workings of their classics. From the beautiful piano intro of "Loving" to the frantic synthesising of "Jewelled" it's amazing and ultimately refreshing what has been done to tracks from the now legendary "A Secret Wish." That particular album has never strayed far from my music system during the past 15 years - now it has some excellent company!
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on 24 January 2002
If you have the original "Secret Wish" album, this is a definite must have remix album. It's a complex synthesizer landscape that also quite entertaining all the way through!
This CD features an inlay that features some history about the band and about the CD.
Note: the track called "Jewelled" is a remix of "Duel" was used as the theme music of the BBC's Rally Report programme.
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on 20 April 2010
I owned this album on cassette tape way back when it was originally issued. The tape wore out and my musical taste went on a journey for many years. Browsing for something completely different I tripped over this album and temptation got the better of me. I have to admit it brought back many memories and unlike quite a few 80s albums and artists, it does not feel awkward or embarrassed by its advancing years. Indeed, in some ways, it feels advanced for its age in that few artists of that era would have the nerve to release a whole album of remixes, all of which have the feel of a Berlin night club! I find it difficult to find fault with any of the tracks and would recommend it to anybody who likes any electronic music.
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on 14 November 2012
Bought this as i love 'secret wish' and loved it, only gripe is Duel is duel not Jewel but still a good mix.. amazed to read in booklet that original master of Dr mabuse is missing !! worth the buy and please a live CD !!! well done all on a new CD to listen to.
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