EXCLUSIVE: Ian Peel, ZTT curator and archivist talks to Superdeluxeedition

Into Battle Sticker
The sticker incorrectly claims 18 previously unreleased tracks

Ian Peel, the architect and archivist behind much of the recent output from ZTT records, has been in touch to respond to our criticism regarding Into Battle with the Art of Noise.

In our review of April 19 we claimed that the ’18 previously unreleased tracks’ sticker was simply untrue since many of these tracks appeared on the And What Have You Done With My Body, God? Box Set from 2008. Here’s what Ian  had to say…

I’ve had a word with the Zang Tuum Tumb Sticker Department and told them off. They protested (as you would), saying all of the Worship tracks (they thought) were previously unreleased in that context, size, shape, length and format. But, truth be told, they admitted they’d got carried away. But purely carried away by the thought of getting Worship out into the open after all these years.

I have to say I believe them. Though the point you make is spot on. So I’ve suspended the Zang Tuum Tumb Sticker Department from duty, with immediate effect. As such there will be no sticker for the next release (Element 19, 808 state). Or the release after that (Element 18, Propaganda).

We also raised eyebrows at the fact that some of the tracks on Into Battle had already been released under a different name. The buyer would not know this until they listened to the music. Ian’s response is below.

Personally I’ve always approached Z for the puzzle, as opposed to pedantically. But maybe I’m in the minority – I remember lots of disgruntled people in the 80s who got something different to the Sex Mix of Relax when they bought the Sex Mix of Relax. And a few people who returned their 7″ of Dr Mabuse as it was instrumental.

On the AoN front, I once knew someone who wrote to China records to complain that Backbeat was the same track as Beatback! You can imagine his horror when he heard From Hammersmith To Tokyo And Back.

We’d be interested to hear what you Art of Noise / ZTT fans think of what Ian has had to say. Do leave a comment and let us know.

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Charles Daraghy

I can’t even remember, did a correct version of AON “into battle” with the correct version of “Beatbox” on it (5:40-ish) ever come out? I know so many into battles had the longer version (without the ‘bubbles’ sound effect at the end). Or the time in between tracks was too long. I’m also hoping the Shep Pettibone mix for beat box which was only a promo jukebox 7″ sees light of day for all to hear.

Steve Marine

Thanks for the update on this issue. I have been buying most of the ZTT remasters with glee! (The Propaganda release alone is a miracle.) Now if only they’d do a “Slave To The Rhythm” remaster…

And did I mention I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!!!!


well done on the ‘interview’ with ian, glad he could find the time to chat with you


I’m not too fussed about the same-tracks-with-different-names issue – that’s all part of the ZTT enigma and like Ian, I’m happy to play that game.

But “18 unreleased tracks”? That’s a bit naughty. Previous expanded reissues in this series have clearly asterisked tracks as “first time on CD” or “previously unreleased”, and it would have avoided disappointment if Into Battle had done the same. They’re good tracks, but anyone with the And What Have You Done … box set will have heard 95% of them already.

It is, however, fascinating to hear what their debut album could have sounded like. And I’m very glad that they reconsidered and put it out as Who’s Afraid instead!

My biggest complaint with this release, apart from the typo on the front, is the truly appalling quality of the 5-minute Moments in Love edit. How they thought they could get away with something this poor *when the original track still exists* is beyond me. But for £5.99, I really shouldn’t grumble … :)