1234 is the second studio album by Propaganda. Released in 1990, Michael Mertens was the only remaining member of the group from their previous album A Secret Wish, though original member Suzanne Freytag made a guest appearance on two tracks, and the album includes some songs co-written by Ralf Dörper.
1234 was not only Propaganda‘s first album for Charisma — it was also the first album the group had recorded since its legal battle with ZTT, and the first since its personnel changes of 1988. Keyboardist Michael Mertens (Propaganda‘s only remaining original member) and Simple Minds graduates Derek Forbes (bass) and Brian McGee (drums) were still on board, although singer Claudia Brucken had been replaced by Betsi Miller, an American vocalist who fit in nicely. While 1234 isn’t Propaganda‘s best album and falls short of essential, it’s generally decent. “Heaven Give Me Words,” “Only One Word,” and “Wound in My Heart” are examples of Propaganda doing what it did well: lush, atmospheric synth-pop. Attractive melodies were Propaganda‘s forté, and the group’s post-Brucken lineup provided its share. 1234 is the work of a group that was past its prime, but still had some things to say musically.
The first single from the album, “Heaven Give Me Words”, reached the UK Top 40 and also reached #22 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart. “Your Wildlife” reached #32 on the U.S. Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart. Both songs were co-written by Howard Jones Another single, “Only One Word” (which featured Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour), peaked at #71 in the UK.
1. “Vicious Circle” (Mertens/Miller/Forbes/Dörper) – 4:54
2. “Heaven Give Me Words” (Jones/Stanley/Mertens) – 5:11
3. “Your Wildlife” (Miller/Mertens/Hughes/Stanley/Jones) – 6:31
4. “Only One Word” (Forbes/Mertens/Miller/Dörper) – 5:51
5. “How Much Love” (Mertens/Miller/Forbes) – 5:51
6. “Vicious (reprise)” (Mertens/Miller/Forbes/Dörper) – 1:36
7. “Ministry Of Fear” (Mertens/Forbes) – 7:18
8. “Wound In My Heart” (Forbes/Mertens/Miller/Dörper) – 5:41
9. “La Carne, La Morte E Il Diavolo” (Mertens) – 5:52
- Phonographic Copyright (p) – Virgin Records Ltd.
- Copyright (c) – Virgin Records Ltd.
- Glass Mastered At – Nimbus
- Published By – Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.
- Published By – 10 Music Ltd.
- Published By – Hojo Music Ltd.
- Bass – Derek Forbes
- Computer – Chris Hughes
- Design – Neville Brody, Simon Staines
- Drums – Brian McGee
- Engineer – Felix Kendall (tracks: 2), John Brough (tracks: 1, 3 to 5), Martin Webster* (tracks: 8, 9), Ross Cullum (tracks: 6 to 8)
- Engineer [Additional] – Haydn Bendall, Martin Webster
- Engineer [Assistant] – Ashley Alexander, John Walsh, Lorraine Francis, Noel Rafferty, Simon Duff, Spencer May, Steve Williams, Tim Burell, Tristan Powell
- Keyboards, Electronics – Michael Mertens
- Lyrics By [Additional] – Ralf Doerper
- Mastered By – Bob Ludwig, Nimbus
- Mixed By – Gary Langan
- Photography By [Booklet] – Juergen Teller
- Producer – Chris Hughes, Ian Stanley
- Recorded By, Co-producer – Ross Cullum
- Synthesizer [Fairlight] – Ian Stanley
- Vocals – Betsi Miller
Released: May 1990
Recorded at: The Wool Hall, Bath Abbey Road Studios, London Marcus Studios, London
Air Studios, London The Justice Room, Cathanger Skyline Studio, Dusseldorf
Label – Virgin Records