14 Nov

It has been quite a learning experience for me doing this theme of songs that were released around my various birthdays. It has given me an interesting bit of perspective, especially today. November of 1982, I turned 5. Now, for this theme I have been looking at songs released within a week of my actual birthday. While there were some releases that are worth talking about like Siouxsie & The Banshees’ experimental album “A Kiss in the Dreamhouse”; “Gone Troppo” by George Harrison;  “Long After Dark” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; and “I Could Rule The World If I Only Had The Parts” by the Waitresses which included the holiday classic “Christmas Wrapping”. But today, I decided to look back at an album that came out the month before.

In October of 1982, the album “The Youth of Today” was released. It was the debut album for British reggae group Musical Youth. This was an album that was in my house growing up. The song “Pass the Dutchie” was a catchy top 10 hit and I adored the song as a kid. But there’s more significance to this album to me than just the one hit wonder. As a little kid, I would pick up this album and look at the cover:

Musical Youth

Musical Youth's "The Youth of Today"

These were kids. They ranged in age from 15 to 11. And they were kids of color. They weren’t flashy looking rockstars. Hell, they looked as if they could have been members of my family or kids I would’ve seen in the neighborhood. And most of all, they had guitars. Look at the bass guitar in the middle of the picture, looking like it could push right out the frame. To young Niveous, age 5, this was awesome. By this time, my parents had bought me my own kiddie record player. I borrowed this record from my siblings along with several other ones including another significant one- “We Will Rock You/ We are the Champions” by Queen. This would set the groundwork for my love of music and more specifically the guitar. I wanted a guitar bad and 6 years later, I would get my first electric. I think 5 year old Niv would have loved to know that almost 30 years later, he would still adore guitars (although he did decide to go acoustic somewhere along the way…)
Song 1076:  “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth

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