April 13, 2017


The arch-villain Doctor Mabuse was created by novelist Norbert Jacques and popularized in a series of films between 1922-1971, most notably by director Fritz Lang. He was a master criminal, much like Fantomas, whose dedication to organized evil became, in the lore, an undying idea that lived on in the hearts of his followers. Dr Mabuse returned as a character in the 1980s in a single by avante-pop band, Propaganda. The group hailed from Dusseldorf and recorded under Trevor Horn's ZTT label in the mid-1980s. Spy Vibers may remember Horn from The Art of Noise. After relocating to the UK, Propaganda released a number of interesting projects, including a cover of Throbbing Gristle's Discipline and the acclaimed album, A Secret Wish (1985). One of the album's singles, Dr. Mabuse, charted in both Germany and in the UK and became a popular track on entertainment programs such as The Tube (1982-1987). The promotional video (version 1) for Dr. Mabuse celebrated the era of German Expressionist films, and it was one of the first video projects by Anton Corbijn- famed photographer for many 1980s/1990s bands and director of The American (2010) starring George Clooney. Filmed in beautiful black and white at night, the Mabuse video featured the band members in cloak and dagger vibe, and none other than actor Vladek Sheybal (From Russia With Love, Secret Agent, The Baron, The Saint, Casino Royale, Billion Dollar Brain, The Champions, Callan, UFO) in the role of Dr. Mabuse! The video's rich imagery also recalls Fritz Lang's M and the hooded menace and secret societies of Edgar Wallace Krimi stories. The lyrics of the song warn: "The man without shadow promises you the world. Tell him your dreams and fanatical needs. He's buying them all with cash. Sell him your soul." Check it out below. Read more about Propaganda member Claudia BrückenSpeaking of music, I'm writing and producing a new Spy Vibe radio segment for Cocktail Nation out of Australia! More info HERE.

Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Fahrenheit 451 50thInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama ReviewDavid McCallum novelAndre Courreges R.I.P.Who's Talking on Spy VibeUFO Blu-rayAvengers Pop Art.

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