“Wild Youth”

GENERATION X – “Wild Youth” / “Wild Dub” (version) (Chrysalis CHS 2189) November 1977

New Wave refined and watered down so that it sounds like a younger, faster version of Slade. Good piece of stomperama. (Record Mirror)

The second of Generation X’s magnificent triumvirate of Chinn-Chapman singles, ‘Wild Youth’ barely scraped the charts.

It also did little to eliminate suspicions generated by the band’s well-scrubbed appearance and ‘controversial’ use of pop producers. Yet it’s simple teen lyrics and euphoric power chords marked it as probably the last great single of ’77.

Generation X were the most non-conformist of punks, suffused with a cartoon poppiness more reminiscent of the Glitter Band. ‘Wild youth’ derived from a typically naive fan outing, as Tony James and Billy Idol went in search of the Mayfair phonebox where David Bowie had posed as Ziggy Stardust:

“As we turned the corner we saw someone had sprayed ‘youth!’ on the wall, and I said, I’ve got a great idea for a song! So we stopped in a nearby cafe and Billy hummed out a tune and I scribbled lyrics on a paper napkin, a song literally about walking down the street and having people stare at these two spiky-haired youths . . . . it became an anthem for us.”

Tony James

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