“19” is a song by British musician Paul Hardcastle released as the first single from his self-titled third studio album Paul Hardcastle (1985).
The song has a strong anti-war message, focusing on America’s involvement in the Vietnam War and the effect it had on the soldiers who served. The track was notable for early use of sampled and processed speech, in particular a stutter effect used on the words “n-n-n-n-nineteen” and “d-d-d-d-destruction”. It also includes various non-speech samples such as crowd noise and a military bugle call.
“19” features sampled narration (by Peter Thomas), interview dialogue (“I wasn’t really sure what was going on”) and news reports from Vietnam Requiem, an ABC television documentary about the post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by veterans. In 2009, the song placed at 73 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s.
“19” topped the charts in the UK for 5 weeks, and reached the top 20 in the US, where it also topped the dance chart. For a while, it was the top selling single in 13 countries (helped by the fact that versions of the song were recorded in French, Spanish, German and Japanese), and it received the Ivor Novello award for Best-selling single of 1985. The song’s English language release came in 3 different 12″ versions (“Extended Version”, “Destruction Mix” and “The Final Story”), each with an alternative cover design.
19 (The Final Story) 8:00
King Tut (U.S. Remix) 5:21
Fly By Night 3:33