Label: Luxury Soundtracks - none • Format: Cassette Compilation • Country: UK • Genre: Electronic, Rock • Style: Punk, New Wave, Lo-Fi
Y ou dictate to everyone in music,' Seventeen magazine told its young female readers in September Since its full inception at the end of the Second World War, the teenage market has relied on music as one of its biggest hooks: indeed the very existence of the teenage market was predicated, to some degree, on the manic crowd scenes that greeted appearances by the Benny Goodman Orchestra and Frank Sinatra. So, if you're going to sell music to teenagers, it seems fairly obvious that that music should contain qualities that will appeal to adolescents.
In the s and the s, before the terms 'teenage' and 'youth culture' were coined, the sheer energy and - to adults - De Hoofdschotel (Prisma Remix) - Various - Friends, Fools & Family II noise of hot jazz was enough to demarcate the generation line.
But that's as far it went. If there are any Charlestons about acne or swing tunes about school, I haven't found them. As teenage marketing was more seriously pursued during the Second World War, it became to some degree self-conscious. Hence the emergence after of songs about what it is to be a teenager, with all that adolescent angst and potential purchasing power. Naming something helps to bring it into being, so all the Fifties songs about teens and teenagers reinforced the nexus between youth, music and money.
Ranging from to the present day, these 50 songs - arranged in chronological order - contain various thoughts and feelings about what it is to be adolescent. Some are shameless cash-ins, others reveal acute insights, others just celebrate peer power. The list is not supposed to be definitive, but organised around various key words: youth, teen, teenage, adolescent, generation. Any omissions are accidental. This talky show tune was recorded in the same July session as 'Over the Rainbow'.
On 14 August, Grand Central Station was swamped by a 'delirious mob' of 10, fans. At the premiere three days later, 15, fans thronged the streets Ill-Pire - Bringin The Heat the Capitol Theatre.
Alerted by this display of peer power, reporters noted that 60 per cent of the crowd were 'minors'. By the end of the day, Garland and Rooney, who performed after each showing, had played to 37, fans, and the crowds continued for the rest of the run. At this time, the term denoting young consumers changed from 'sub-deb' to the more music-specific 'bobby-soxer' and the age-derived 'teenster' or 'teen-ager'. With lyrics by Roger Edens, 'In-Between' pin-pointed that adolescent dilemma: are you a child or an adult?
Garland looks forward to the day when she'll be 16 and can stop being 'an awful in-between', 'too old for toys and too young for boys'.
Echoing her own confusion - a young woman of 16 strapped up to play a child - it remains a haunting document from the start of teenage culture. Written by LA music industry all-rounder Dootsie Williams, this is an accurate portrait of the new youth world.
Like Haley, Bennett was on the cusp of his thirties - a professional musician equally at home with swing, country and r'n'b. After sessions with Earl Bostic and Bill Doggett, he decided to fashion something for the teenage market. Bennett was shrewd enough to itemise all the period's teenage style signifiers: 'sloppy shirt, old blue jeans, dirty jeans And relentless enough to record another song, 'My Boy Flat Top', that, aimed at boys, celebrated the rockabilly hairstyle. The style that scored with the young public was the slow, unearthly ballad, such as the Penguins' 'Earth Angel' - a true teenage swoon.
Its success made Dootsie Williams's Dootone label a magnet for Los Angeles groups and the Meadowlarks - led by year-old Don Julian - were the smoothest. One of their few rockers, 'Boogie Woogie Teenage' is little more than a standard boogie riff. The lyrics celebrate the new youth world - 'Well, if you're ever on jukebox street, let me tell you about the kids you'll meet' - but despite an energetic performance, the horn-based arrangement is rooted in a style that was becoming obsolete.
But the buzzword was out. Featuring the unbroken voice of year-old Frankie Lymon, the Teenagers were one of the most popular acts in America during Entering the US pop charts before 'Heartbreak Hotel', the fresh, doo-wop of 'Why Do Fools Fall in Love' reached number six, making There Must Be A Way - Mike Peters & The Alarm - Blood Red group Heavens Creative Energy - Kosmos - Ashes Of The Orphic Dream adolescent deities and an inspiration to their peers.
Berry's huge hit is a peerless invocation of the young female consumer upon whom pop culture rests. More sweet sounds from hardened inner-city kids. Released the month after Buddy Holly's death - the Belmonts had been on the same tour but could not afford the money for the fatal plane ride - this was their biggest hit to date.
Sparse and melodic, On The Beach - Various - A Classic Slice Of Teenage Angst hit the market for adolescent self-absorption fair and square, rising to number 5 in the US. Like Frankie Lymon, Dion's innocent vocal worked against his own experience. Unlike Lymon, however, he survived and continues to record today.
After the fantasy, a slice of reality: 'I'm feeling low down, I'm 18, and I don't know what to do with my future: I've got the blues, man. Over a sparse, minimal backing, Steve Carl born Steven Leuthold ponders the options open to him as a young man in Minnesota: 'Go to school, work for Uncle Sam, get a job as a factory hand.
With a good dose of brutally simple instrumentation and yearning lyric, 'Teenage Love' marks the moment when Brits started to make decent pop records.
It was quickly followed by Cliff Richard's 'Move It'. Real-life teens, the Five Chesternuts included future Shadows Bruce Welch and Hank Marvin, who co-wrote this rudimentary Buddy Holly knock-off that contains within its lilting energy the first-time innocence of a generation finding its voice. The word 'teenager' was such a hot branding device that Sun Ra, the jazz band leader who claimed to have been to Saturn, turned his hand to the topic. Already experienced in doo-wop, Sun R as Mr V put together this bizarre, spookily effective mixture of echoed recitative 'And now reminiscent of the lover's voice, I shall be the shadow lying at your feet' and yearning female vocal by Juanita Rogers.
With its melodramatic storyline - car stalls on train line, the pair escape, the girl goes back for Mark's high school ring and dies - this ghoulish slice of kitsch went to number one in the US. Dinning was a country singer in his mid-twenties when he recorded 'Teen Angel'. Its morbidity tapped into the Romantic nexus of youth and premature death that had been a staple of 20th-century culture - think of Rudy Valentino - and what Fifties teens claimed as their own with James Dean and Buddy Holly.
In the hands of the Expressionists and the Futurists during the s, it tended to take on a punkish, crudely ideological flavour - ie we're young: you're old: move over. From the lost generation to the beat generation was not too big a step: a term coined by the junkie hustler Herbert Huncke, 'I'm beat' meant 'beaten'. The beat generation became national news after Jack Kerouac's On the Road By the term had become shorthand for a new youth style.
Sixteen years later, Richard Hell stole the riff and the lyric for his manifesto, 'Blank Generation'. Nowhere is his determination 'to cater to the teenage market' more apparent than on this early attempt. An American dancer and actor, Chakiris was one year away from stardom and an Oscar in West Side Story when he cut this formulaic ode to the mythical girl 'who is On The Beach - Various - A Classic Slice Of Teenage Angst 17'.
Meek would soon perfect his approach. A real teen - 14 when she cut this record - Shapiro had confidence beyond her years. The theme tune to the 'let's do the show right here' clean teen film and the start of Cliff's imperial period, 'The Young Ones' went in On The Beach - Various - A Classic Slice Of Teenage Angst number one in the UK in January and stayed there for six weeks.
A great pop production - with the swing of the Shadows balancing producer Norrie Paramor's sweetening tendencies - the song celebrates living in the present and the transience of On The Beach - Various - A Classic Slice Of Teenage Angst . Titled 'Seventeen' until the last moment, the lead track from the Beatles' first album acted as a manifesto for a new pop age.
No pizzicato strings or shrill female back-ups here, just tough, guitar-driven rock'n'roll and sharp, colloquial lyrics 'she was just seventeen, you know what I mean' that described teenage life as it was or could be. Right from the count-off, these tough girls know what they want and know how to get it. It was put together by Shadow Morton, of Shangri-Las fame. A fascinating concept - a look at adolescence from the point of view of adulthood written by an adolescent - is matched by an inventive production: harpsichord, tricksy drum beat, and soaring harmonies.
By the mid-Sixties, the word teenage had fallen into comparative disuse. As a term that had often denoted adult exploitation, it had become obsolete. Pop groups did not discuss what it was to be young, they just hit you with the raw emotional state.
However, the word generation still held power, no more so than in this blast of fury, where the manic air raid finale takes you right into the state that the lyrics are attempting to describe. The extraordinary thing in retrospect is that this On The Beach - Various - A Classic Slice Of Teenage Angst was a hit. Many observers have stuck on the 'hope I die before I get old' lyric, but 'My Generation' goes deeper.
Pete Townshend was one of pop's most psychological writers, and 'My Generation' sounds more like war damage than anything else. Tragedy replayed as farce. Their failure to do so was their 'degeneration', which was not how moralists would have seen it.
This song recast the frustration of 'Summertime Blues' within folk-rock modes but, despite a TV plug on Batman, it succumbed to the fate predicted by the lyric: 'Sometimes it seems that the world has passed me over. Fantasia A 4 N. 1 - William Byrd, John Dowland, William Lawes, Fretwork, Christopher WilsonCather was only 25 when he wrote this confessional, but he had gone through some kind of rebirth.
In place of the hard-drinking r'n'b singer who had made tough beat records, there was a reflective, angst-ridden man looking back at Evolution - Grachan Moncur III - Mosaic Select (Box Set) brief life: 'I was so much older then, when I was young.
If the psychedelic production didn't alert you, then there was the flip: 'A Girl Named Sandoz'. A huge UK hit in the autumn ofthis four-and-a-half minute song summarised many of that year's fads: ornate instrumentation, several themes, the return to childhood most notably in the kids' chorus that provides the hook.
However, it does not refer to adolescents at all, being a taster for producer Mark Wirtz's ambitious and stillborn A Teenage Opera - which is very of the period.
In America, Vietnam was the flashpoint for the generational war and as the conflict escalated, so the sides became more entrenched. This long recitative begins with Lundberg talking about long hair and beards Abattu Du Vecu II - Various - Le Collector men - he can deal with them - and his willingness to judge his son 'not merely as a teenager'.
Not all teenagers are 'drunken dope addicts or glue-sniffers'. Then the patriotic music swells. Over ominous bass and guitar fret-scrapings, our gravel-voiced guide extends an invitation: 'Come over to a similar apartment in the Village, smoke a joint, burn a little grass, pot party, roach party, mainliner, skin-pop, shoot some crystal, the language of Sounds great, but there's more on offer: 'If marijuana is the appetiser, the advent of space age technology has provided the main course, Lysergic Acid Diathylamide, LSD, the crazy acid.
Simone had long been associated with civil rights: her album Nuff Said was recorded, live, three days after Martin Luther King's assassination. A definitive emotional summary of adolescence. With the turn of the Seventies, a new micro-generation sought to distance itself from the hippies. From Back in On The Beach - Various - A Classic Slice Of Teenage Angst USA comes this witty tale of frustration. Unsuccessful in his quest to find 'release', singer Rob Tyner finds the 'perfect plan: I shake my ass and swing in a rock'n'roll band.
His doubts - 'I'm I don't know what I want' - were echoed five years later by the young man who auditioned to this record. Produced by Eugene Record, then having huge success with the Chi-Lites, this slow, bass-heavy meditation deals with the harsh reality that followed on from the hope of the Sixties.
Too young and too punky for the San Francisco boom of the late Sixties, the Flamin' Groovies perfected their bluesy, psych-punk on their classic third album, Teenage Head. Touching several bases - stylish self-destruction, juvenile delinquency, media scapegoating - Bowie's hymn to the kids became a rock anthem. Blame it on Mott, who slowed the track down and let Ian Hunter cajole the teens with a perfect mix of sarcasm and menace.
Announced by squalling guitar and crowd noises, this was the fourth and last in the Sweet's series of glam blockbusters. Confused in its calls for a teen takeover - 'Go join the revolution, get yourself a constitution' - it is nevertheless epic, fast, hard pop, and does contain a germ of perceptiveness in all the verbiage: 'But they don't care!
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