Propaganda In-depth Biography
Synth-pop band Propaganda} was formed in Germany by vocalist Claudia Brücken} and drummer Michael Mertens} plus keyboard players Susanne Freytag} and Ralf Dorper}. The quartet moved to England in 1983 and signed to ZTT Records, also the home of Frankie Goes to Hollywood} and Art of Noise}. Propaganda's} first single, "Dr. Mabuse," reached the British Top 30 in early 1984, but the band's second release was more than a year in coming. Finally, in May 1985, "Duel" trumped the debut single by hitting number 21.
Propaganda's} first album A Secret Wish} appeared one month later, and the resulting tour necessitated the addition of bassist Derek Forbes} and drummer Brian McGee} -- both formerly with Simple Minds}. After the release of the remix album Wishful Thinking} later that year, Dorper} became the first original member to leave the band, and Propaganda} splintered soon after, due to a prolonged legal battle to leave ZTT. The group finally re-emerged in 1988 with Mertens}, Forbes}, McGee} and American vocalist Betsi Miller}. The quartet signed with Virgin, and released 1234} in 1990. The single "Heaven Give Me Words" broke the British Top 40 in 1990, and "Only One Word" placed modestly later that year.
Meanwhile, Claudia Brücken} -- who had stayed with ZTT in large part because of her marriage to label-owner Paul Morley -- formed Act} with Thomas Leer}. The duo charted "Snobbery and Decay" in mid-1987 and released their only album, Laughter, Tears, and Rage} in 1988. Brücken} became a solo act by the turn of the decade, and charted only one single, "Absolut (E)," from her 1991 album Love, And a Million Other Things}. Though neither the band nor Brücken} had recorded recently, rumours flew during the mid-'90s that a Propaganda} reunion was in the works. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide