Archive for the ‘Cassette pets’ Category

Propaganda – ‘The Nine Lives of Dr Mabuse’ cassette single (ZTT, CTIS101, 1984)

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

An incarnation of Propaganda recently reactivated and performed ‘A Secret Wish’ in full at a couple of sold out shows at ‘The Garage’ in London, under the monicker of xPropaganda. I never thought I would get a chance to hear this album performed live, so it was quite the event, one that simply had to be attended if at all possible. Many highlights, inevitably, ‘Dr Mabuse’ chief amongst them. What better way to celebrate the re-emergence than to take a look back at the ‘singlette’ edition (as ZTT were wont to call their cassettes) of their debut single…

Propaganda - The Nine Lives of Dr Mabuse - cassette single inlay and case - front

^ Propaganda – The Nine Lives of Dr Mabuse – cassette single inlay and case – front

The inlay card for the cassette noted “Three of Dr Mabuse’s nine lives appear on this cassette. Learn about his black crimes in Dr Mabuse. Hear about his strange lover – the woman with the orchid in Femme Fatale. Then marvel at his unlikely return in The Ninth Life” and went on to list the tracks as follows;

  1. Dr. Mabuse
  2. Femme Fatale (The Woman With The Orchid)
  3. The Ninth Life

However, that is not what appeared on the cassette. No, that would be far too straightforward for a ZTT release, wouldn’t it?!

Propaganda - The Nine Lives of Dr Mabuse - cassette single inlay and shell - rear

^ Propaganda – The Nine Lives of Dr Mabuse – cassette single inlay and shell – rear

In fact, the correct tracklisting is as follows;

  1. Das Testament Des Mabuse
  2. Dr. Mabuse (A Paranoid Fantasy)

The truly splendid, 10 minute long work that is’ Das Testament Des Mabuse’ made good use of the extended cassette duration, with the more familiar 7″ inch mix ‘Dr. Mabuse (A Paranoid Fantasy)’ alongside. No place then for the woman with the orchid, sadly. The tracklist repeats the same programme both sides of the singlette.

Propaganda - The Nine Lives of Dr Mabuse - cassette single shell and case - front

^ Propaganda – The Nine Lives of Dr Mabuse – cassette single shell and case – front

Why the tracklisting was incorrect, I don’t know.

The outside of the inlay also states “An ‘incident’ cassette that contains sections from number two of zang tumb tuum’s noble action series. As an ‘incident’, and despite its catalogue number, this cassette becomes number 12 in ZTT’s wondering incidental series.”, in familiar ZTT style. The cassette shell is a fairly standard moulded design, nowhere near as elegant as the later ‘Complete Machinery’ singlette would come housed in.

Propaganda - The Nine Lives of Dr Mabuse - cassette single inlay and shell

^ Propaganda – The Nine Lives of Dr Mabuse – cassette single inlay and shell

Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 cassingles

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

In these days of digital downloads and the disappearance of the physical format, it no doubt seems quite quaint to think back on the multitude of ways record companies used to dream up ways to exploit multiple formats in order to get eager fans to buy the same thing again and again. These two cassette singles are examples of that very thing, record company venal zeal in full effect. Nevertheless, they are presented here for what they are, their own charm, or otherwise to enjoy (or not).  (more…)

Gary Numan ‘Berserker’ – Numa variations

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

‘Berserker’ was the first album released on Gary Numan’s own label after he decided to up sticks and move on from his previous long established Beggars Banquet/WEA home. Numan mentioned in his ‘Praying to the Aliens’ autobiography how he felt that he had outstayed his welcome there, with the attitude that his success had plateaued at an acceptably comfortable level of sales, as evinced by the lack of promotional support, particularly for 1983’s ‘Warriors’ album. Intended as a fresh start, this new home, ‘Numa’ records, would see three Numan album releases in its original incarnation from 1984-1987, before Numan inked a new deal with IRS records for 1988’s ‘Metal Rhythm’ – though Numa would be reactivated again in the 1990s for further new album releases (and reissues).  (more…)