Duel (Propaganda song)

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Propaganda Duel single cover.jpg
Single by Propaganda
from the album A Secret Wish
Released7 April 1985 (1985-04-07)
Format7", 12", cassette, picture disc
GenreSynthpop, new wave
Songwriter(s)Claudia Brücken, Ralf Dörper, Michael Mertens
Producer(s)Stephen Lipson
Propaganda singles chronology
"Dr. Mabuse"
Shaped picture disc
Propaganda Duel picture disc.jpg

"Duel" is the second single by German pop group Propaganda. The song was included on their first album, A Secret Wish.

Released in the United Kingdom in April 1985, it became their most successful single in the UK, reaching no. 21. This led to the band making their sole appearance on the flagship BBC music programme, Top of the Pops, in June of that year.

Alternative version - Jewel[edit]

"Duel" was originally released with an alternative version of the track, "Jewel (Rough Cut)" as the B-side. This featured the same lyrics delivered in a more aggressive manner, mainly by Susanne Freytag,[1] over a backing track of heavy beats and industrial sound effects.

A 12-inch mix, "Jewel (Cut Rough)" extended this with further sound effects, and an instrumental version appeared on the group's debut album, A Secret Wish.

The two approaches to the song were combined in two different tracks. "Bejewelled" played the song through, alternating between the two versions, while "Jewelled", on the remix album Wishful Thinking, combined elements of both, with the melodies of "Duel" playing alongside the rhythms of "Jewel".

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
Germany (Official German Charts)[2] 30
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[3] 15
Italian Chart [4] 3
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[5] 5
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[6] 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 21

Use as a sports theme[edit]

The song is often played at the stadium of Heart Of Midlothian Football Club during home matches.[citation needed] A remix, "Jewelled", was also used as the title and credits music of the BBC programme Rally Report (later Top Gear Rally Report) covering the Lombard RAC Rally (now called Rally GB) which is the UK round of the World Rally Championship. The instrumental was also used as the sport "bed" by BBC Radio 1 on the evening news report News90, News91, and News92.

An instrumental section of "Duel" was used in the mid-to-late 1980s by Australian Television Network's sports section "7 Sport" as an intro theme for their coverage of the Australian Touring Car Championship which was quite long as the presenter/main commentator also used the timing of the intro to advise the viewers as the contents of the program as well as the races themselves.

In the UK, "Jewel" was also used by Channel 4 for its American football coverage in the late 1980s and by Granada Television for its regional Granada Goals Extra programme in the early 1990s.

Cover versions[edit]

This song was covered (as a Spanish translation called "Hoy comienza tu derrota") by Venezuelan singer Melissa, for her 1986 album Melissa III.[8]

British singer Mandy Smith recorded a cover version of "Duel" for her debut album Mandy in 1988.

In August 2007, Sophie Ellis-Bextor recorded and released a cover of "Duel" as the B-side to her single, "Today the Sun's on Us".

In 2009, UK girl group Dolly Rockers sampled the bridge and melody from "Duel" to form the basis for their song, "How Did I End Up with U".


  1. ^ According to the booklet in the 2010 2-CD Deluxe Edition of A Secret Wish, Freytag was the only singer in the band's original line-up. She brought in her friend Claudia Brücken at the insistence of Trevor Horn, who claimed that Freytag could not sing.
  2. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Propaganda – Duel". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 24 February 2013 (2013-02-24).
  3. ^ "Ultratop.be – Propaganda – Duel" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 24 February 2013 (2013-02-24).
  4. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Top Settimanali Single". Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 31, 1985" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 24 February 2013 (2013-02-24).
  6. ^ "Charts.nz – Propaganda – Duel". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 24 February 2013 (2013-02-24).
  7. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 February 2013 (2013-02-24).
  8. ^ "Melissa - III". Discogs. Retrieved 24 February 2013.

External links[edit]