ZTT

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ZTT Records is a record label founded in 1983 by NME journalist Paul Morley, record producer Trevor Horn, producer/engineer Gary Langan and businesswoman Jill Sinclair. The label’s name was also printed as “Zang Tumb Tuum” and “Zang Tuum Tumb” on various releases.

ZTT is an initialism of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s sound poem “Zang Tumb Tumb”. The word “Tuuuum” is also featured on the cover of the original publication of the poem in book form.

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

A precursor to ZTT was the short-lived Perfect label, spun-off of 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.

ZTT enjoyed considerable success in the 1980s with the composer Andrew Poppy, bands such as Propaganda, Art of Noise, and the chart-topping Frankie Goes to Hollywood. In 1989, both Propaganda and Frankie Goes to Hollywood frontman Holly Johnson went to court to be released from their contracts, and won. In the Holly Johnson case, the court chastised Horn for production cost over-runs. It has since become common knowledge that Horn’s perfectionism can be expensive. (The sleevenotes of the Pet Shop Boys’ Discography compilation make good natured references to Horn’s methods).

In the 1990s, ZTT became a successful dance label once again, with major names on their roster including Seal and 808 State.

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