Was the 1990 hit ‘Wind of Change’ a piece of CIA propaganda?

It’s the question on the lips of a new eight-part podcast doco of the same name due to premiere next month.

The whole thing kicked off after New Yorker investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumour from a source within the CIA – that the CIA was behind the 1990 international hit.

“It’s a story that stretches across musical genres, and across borders and periods of history,” he told Deadline.

“So, it was important to me that you hear the music, and the accents and the voices, and judge for yourself who might be lying and who is telling the truth.

“I’ve had so much fun pursuing this crazy story over the course of a year, exploring the dark byways of Cold War history and doing nearly a hundred interviews in four countries with rockers and spies.”

Yes. Spies.


Tommy Vietor, the co-founder of production company Crooked Media, said that the story is “crazy enough to be true”.

“[The CIA] paid to film George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm. They sponsored a European tour for the Boston Symphony Orchestra,” he said.

“Why not help a German rock band write a power ballad to shred the iron curtain?”

Wind of Change drops on May 11 on Spotify.

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