Kids in America

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"Kids in America"
Kid in America.jpg
Artwork for European release
Single by Kim Wilde
from the album Kim Wilde
B-side "Tuning In, Tuning On"
Released 26 January 1981
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded 1980
Genre New wave[1]
Length 3:27
Label RAK
Writer(s) Marty Wilde, Ricky Wilde
Producer(s) Ricky Wilde
Kim Wilde singles chronology
"Kids in America"
"Chequered Love"
"Kids in America 1994"
Kids in America 1994.jpg
Single by Kim Wilde
Released 2 May 1994
Format 12", CD single
Length 3:53 (Cappella Mix)
Label MCA
Writer(s) Ricky Wilde, Marty Wilde
Producer(s) Ricky Wilde
Kim Wilde singles chronology
"In My Life"
"Kids in America 1994"
"Breakin' Away"

"Kids in America" is a song recorded by British singer Kim Wilde. It was released in the United Kingdom as her debut single in January 1981, and in the United States in spring 1982.[2] It has been covered by many artists from different genres.


1980 version[edit]

The song was recorded in 1980 after RAK Records boss Mickie Most heard Wilde singing on a backing track for her brother Ricky Wilde. He liked her voice and image and expressed an interest to work with her.[citation needed] Ricky Wilde, together with his father Marty Wilde, a pre-Beatles British rock and roll star, wrote the song "Kids in America" for Wilde to record. Once the demo was sent, Most remixed the track himself and released it on RAK as Wilde's first single in January 1981.[citation needed] The synthesizer featured at the start of the recording is the WASP synthesizer, which was owned by Ricky Wilde at the time and inspired the writing of the song.[citation needed]

1994 version[edit]

"Kids in America 1994" was released in May 1994 in order to help promote Wilde's compilation album The Remix Collection. Although it was intended to be released in the UK, for reasons unknown these plans were cancelled at the last minute. However, the track was released in other countries in several remixed forms using Wilde's original vocals from 1981. The "radio version" of the track was remixed by Cappella, with James Stevenson on guitar.[citation needed]

2006 version[edit]

Among some of her other classic hits, Wilde recorded a new version of the song for her 2006 comeback album Never Say Never, featuring English singer Charlotte Hatherley. This version, like the rest of the album, was produced by German producer Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen, whom she had previously worked with in 2002 for German singer Nena's 20th anniversary album Nena feat. Nena on the track "Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime", a new version of her 1984 hit single. Wilde contributed English verses to the song, which was slightly remixed and released as a single in 2003.[citation needed]

In 1995, The Muffs' cover of "Kids In America" was featured on the soundtrack for the 1995 film Clueless, which eventually won an RIAA award for Platinum level sales. It was later reissued on the Muffs' 2000 album Hamburger. The song is also used in Rock Band 2.

A version of the song by Alexa Brevig was used in a 2010 commercial for Totino's pizza and pizza rolls.


The song peaked at number 2 in the United Kingdom. The following year it reached the top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 hit in the United States and ranked as the 91st most successful song of 1982 on the Hot 100 year-end chart. In the summer of 1981, the track appeared on Wilde's self-titled debut album.

"Kids in America" was the song that signalled the start of Wilde's career. Her father and brother continued to write songs for her (with the latter also given production credits), although in later years Wilde herself and her brother would usually be credited with the songwriting.

Track listing[edit]

  1. Kids in America (3:26)
  2. Tuning In Tuning On (4:30)
7" US/Canada single
  1. Kids In America (3:26)
  2. You'll Never Be So Wrong (4:11)


Chart (1981–82) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[3] 5
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 12
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 4
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[6] 4
Canada (RPM 50 Singles)[7] 34
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[8] 1
France (SNEP)[9] 3
Germany (Official German Charts)[10] 5
Ireland (IRMA)[11] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[12] 6
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 8
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 5
Norway (VG-lista)[15] 9
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[16] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[17] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[19] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[20] 25
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[20] 29


Lawnmower Deth covered the song as their only 1991 single.

Bloodhound Gang covered the song for their first album Use Your Fingers (1995).

Len covered the song for the 2000 film Digimon: The Movie and was released as a single.

No Secrets covered the song for the 2001 film Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius in the scene where Jimmy Neutron and the children blasts off into outer space to rescue their parents from the evil aliens, after they created a fleet of battleships; and was released as a single, and it later appeared on their 2002 debut album No Secrets.

Dave Grohl from the American rock band Foo Fighters covered the song in 1991 and it was eventually released on the band's EP Songs from the Laundry Room on Record Store Day in 2015.

The Jonas Brothers also made a cover version, but was retitled to say "Kids Of The Future" and was used in promotion, changing the lyrics as well to be stylized to be used in conjunction with the 2007 film Meet the Robinsons.

The Donnas had their cover version as part of the soundtrack to the 2007 film Nancy Drew.

In the television series Riverdale, Archie Andrews and Veronica Lodge (played by KJ Apa and Camila Mendes) covered the song in the episode "Chapter Eleven: To Riverdale and Back Again".


  1. ^ Jonathan Williams. "Terminus City/No Holds Barred". Prick Magazine. Archived from the original on 18 November 2004. Retrieved 23 July 2013.  "Terminus even does a punked out cover of the Kim Wilde new wave hit "Kids In America" bringing a whole new meaning to the song."
  2. ^ David Mansour (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 264. ISBN 978-0740751189. 
  3. ^ Danyel Smith, ed. (1981). "Billboard 4 july 1981". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  4. ^ " – Kim Wilde – Kids in America" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  5. ^ " – Kim Wilde – Kids in America" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Kids In America - KIM WILDE". VRT (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2013.  Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 4
  7. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 36, No. 23, July 17, 1982". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3. 
  9. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste". Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc (in French). 23 July 2013. Archived from the original on 20 September 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.  You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Kim Wilde"
  10. ^ " – Kim Wilde – Kids in America". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved 15 June 2013.  Only one result when searching "Kids in America"
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Kim Wilde - Kids in America search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  13. ^ " – Kim Wilde – Kids in America" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  14. ^ " – Kim Wilde – Kids in America". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  15. ^ " – Kim Wilde – Kids in America". VG-lista. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  16. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (W)". John Samson. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  17. ^ " – Kim Wilde – Kids in America". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  18. ^ " – Kim Wilde – Kids in America". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  19. ^ "Archive Chart: 1981-03-28" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Kim Wilde awards at AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 

External links[edit]