Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Paul Hardcastle--19 (1985)

     During the late 60s/early 70's, the war was written about and sung about extensively. After the war, musicians, like the rest of the country did their best to forget what had happened and the war was rarely mentioned until the early 80's. At that point several began not only to take a historical look back, but began to access the toll on the men and women who served during that time. Billy Joel was one of the first singers to deal with the issue with the song, "Goodnight Saigon" from the album, "The Nylon Curtain" in 1982.
     A couple of years later, songwriter/keyboardist Paul Hardcastle was watching a news special called, "Vietnam Requiem" and was struck by how young many of those who died were, and how when HE was 19, he was out in the pubs having a grand time. He was also moved by how many had just been ignored upon their coming home.
      This was the genesis behind the song, "19". From a musical standpoint, it was ground breaking for it's use of processed speech and sampling. He had reached the charts earlier in 1985 with a song called, "Rain Forrest", but this song touched a nerve with a population who was either too young to remember the war, or who were attempting to come to terms with it. At the time there were those who considered the song un-American, but Hardcastle refutes this claim. In fact, many veterans at the time praised the song as an attempt to at least bring to light the plight of many of those who had suffered with the after effects of post-war syndrome.
     He continues to record and release smooth jazz albums. His website can be found here:  http://www.paulhardcastle.com


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