Puneet Varma (Editor)

ZTT Records

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SPZ Group



Parent company
SPZ Group


Official website

Country of origin
United Kingdom

ZTT Records wwwzttcomimageszttlogotransparentpng

Trevor Horn, Paul Morley, Jill Sinclair

Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Trevor Horn, Art of Noise, 808 State, Seal

Welcome to the Pleasuredome, A Secret Wish, Who's Afraid of the Art of, Ex:el, Seal


Paul morley interviews trevor horn about ztt records

ZTT Records is a British record label founded in 1983 by NME journalist Paul Morley, record producer Trevor Horn, and businesswoman Jill Sinclair. The label's name was also printed as "Zang Tumb Tuum" and "Zang Tuum Tumb" on various releases.


History of the label

ZTT is an initialism of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's sound poem Zang Tumb Tumb which had described "zang tumb tumb" as the sound of a machine gun.

The majority of the creative team at ZTT had first assembled when Horn produced the acclaimed album The Lexicon of Love for British pop band ABC.

A precursor to ZTT was the short-lived Perfect label, spun off from the newly founded Perfect Songs publishing subsidiary of Trevor Horn and Jill Sinclair's company. Perfect Recordings only released The Buggles' Adventures in Modern Recording and the singles derived from it.

In 1983 Horn, Sinclair and Morley founded ZTT Records which soon boomed into success. Sinclair became ZTT's managing director, while Paul Morley concentrated on marketing duties. In the same year Sinclair and Horn acquired Basing Street Studios from Island Records in exchange for distributing the ZTT label.

ZTT's first major signing was Frankie Goes To Hollywood, whose hits Relax and Two Tribes were among the most influential and best-selling singles of the decade. It was the label's second single, Relax, that became the label's first number one in January 1984. Relax stayed in the Top 75 for a full year and ZTT was well and truly established. During the 1980s also Grace Jones and Art Of Noise were ZTT acts to chart. In the early days, the label also helped to shape the very structure and format of pop music (its 12” remixes getting chart positions of their own and its T-shirts becoming the uniform of the 80s) and turned every aspect of the business of pop into entertainment.

in 1984, the Horn-Sinclair family businesses were reorganized as SPZ Group, which then consisted of Sarm studios, Perfect Songs and ZTT records. From the beginning, the majority of ZTT releases were published by Perfect Songs and recorded at Sarm Studios.

The latter part of the decade was eclipsed by the bitter legal battle between ZTT and Holly Johnson who fought his way out of the strict, long recording agreement. Similarly, in disagreement, a few other ZTT artists, like Art of Noise and Propaganda left the label. Propaganda's case was settled out of court; Johnson won his outright.

In the late 1980s ZTT refocused on the emerging dance music scene. Manchester group 808 State would reach the top 10 with their anthemic song Pacific State and three other singles and one album during early nineties. Seal was the next major ZTT act to emerge in 1990.

Over the years, the label has reissued material by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Propaganda and Art of Noise in various formats - from remix albums, to straight reissues.

Acts on the ZTT label

† as one-time UK distributor for Tommy Boy Records

Action Series

As part of ZTT internal cataloguing of releases they maintained two series; the Action Series and the Incidental Series. The Action Series was issued mainly to singles and albums by a majority of the labels artists. However to confuse matters the series also contains a booklet and a concert.

The Action series was discontinued by ZTT in 1988.

  • AS1: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax
  • AS2: Propaganda - Dr. Mabuse
  • AS3: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Two Tribes/War
  • AS4: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Welcome to the Pleasuredome
  • AS5: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - The Power of Love
  • AS6: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - And Suddenly There Came A Bang! (Booklet)
  • AS7: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Welcome to the Pleasuredome (single)
  • AS8: Propaganda - Duel
  • AS9: Roy Orbison - Wild Hearts
  • AS10: The Value Of Entertainment (concert)
  • AS11: Art of Noise - Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise
  • AS12: Propaganda - p:Machinery
  • AS13: Propaganda - A Secret Wish
  • AS14: Various - The Shape Of The Universe
  • AS15: Glenn Gregory & Claudia Brucken - When Your Heart Runs Out Of Time
  • AS16: Grace Jones - Slave To The Rhythm (A Biography)
  • AS17: Andrew Poppy - The Beating Of Wings
  • AS18: Various - Zang Tuum Tumb Sampled
  • AS19: Anne Pigalle - Everything Could Be So Perfect...
  • AS20: Propaganda - Wishful Thinking
  • AS21: Propaganda - p:Machinery (Reactivated)
  • AS22: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Rage Hard
  • AS23: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Liverpool
  • AS24: Das Psycho Rangers - Starve God There's Choice
  • AS25: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Warriors of the Wasteland
  • AS26: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Watching the Wildlife
  • AS27: Andrew Poppy - Alphabed (A Mystery Dance)
  • AS28: Act (band) - Snobbery and Decay
  • References

    ZTT Records Wikipedia

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