Music Has the Right to Children

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Music Has the Right to Children
Studio album by Boards of Canada
Released 20 April 1998 (1998-04-20)
Recorded 1995–1997
Studio Hexagon Sun studio and Pentland Hills, Scotland
Length 62:58
Label Warp, Matador
  • Michael Sandison
  • Marcus Eoin
Boards of Canada chronology
Music Has the Right to Children
Peel Session TX 21/07/1998
(1999)Peel Session TX 21/07/19981999

Music Has the Right to Children is the debut studio album by Scottish electronic music duo Boards of Canada, released on 20 April 1998 by record label Warp. The album was produced at Hexagon Sun, the duo's personal recording studio. It established the group’s distinctive style of electronica, featuring vintage synthesisers and hip hop-inspired beats,[6] as well as samples and field recordings.[3]

The album received critical acclaim upon its release, and has since been acknowledged as a landmark work in electronic music[7] and IDM,[2] going on to inspire a variety of subsequent artists.[8] It has been included on various best-ever lists by publications such as Pitchfork and Mojo.


Digipak-style packaging for the 2004 edition of Music Has the Right to Children

The album utilizes analogue equipment such as samplers, analog and digital synthesisers, drum machines, and a reel to reel tape recorder. The album also features a wide variety of samples, including several from Sesame Street in songs such as "The Color of the Fire" and "Aquarius".

"Smokes Quantity" first appeared on Twoism in 1995, and many other tracks previously appeared on Boc Maxima, albeit in different forms. "The Color of the Fire" first appeared in a shorter form on A Few Old Tunes as "I Love U". The short songs appended to the end of "Triangles and Rhombuses" and "Sixtyten" predate the album and were featured on the compilation Random 35 Tracks Tape, where they are separate tracks.

The track "Happy Cycling" was mistakenly left off 500 copies of the initial North American release of the album despite the artwork indicating that the song was included.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[6]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[9]
Muzik 8/10[10]
NME 8/10[11]
Pitchfork 10/10[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[12]
Select 4/5[13]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[14]
Spin 8/10[15]

The album received widespread acclaim upon release.[6][14][2] In 2014, AllMusic called it "a landmark for electronic listening music that was widely copied."[16] Pitchfork Media stated that the group "tapped into the collective unconscious of those who grew up in the English speaking West and were talented enough to transcribe the soundtrack."[2]

Music Has the Right to Children featured at number 35 on Pitchfork's "Top 100 Albums of the 1990s" list.[17] It was ranked number 91 in Mojo magazine's "100 Modern Classics" list. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[18]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Marcus Eoin and Mike Sandison.

No. Title Length
1. "Wildlife Analysis" 1:17
2. "An Eagle in Your Mind" 6:23
3. "The Color of the Fire" 1:45
4. "Telephasic Workshop" 6:35
5. "Triangles & Rhombuses" 1:50
6. "Sixtyten" 5:48
7. "Turquoise Hexagon Sun" 5:07
8. "Kaini Industries" 0:59
9. "Bocuma" 1:35
10. "Roygbiv" 2:31
11. "Rue the Whirl" 6:39
12. "Aquarius" 5:58
13. "Olson" 1:31
14. "Pete Standing Alone" 6:07
15. "Smokes Quantity" 3:07
16. "Open the Light" 4:25
17. "One Very Important Thought" 1:14
Total length: 62:58
Bonus track on 1998 U.S. Matador release and 2004 Warp re-release
No. Title Length
18. "Happy Cycling" 7:51
Total length: 70:42


  1. ^ Reynolds, Simon. "Review: The Campfire Headphase". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Richardson, Mark (26 April 2004). "Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Boards of Canada". The Skinny. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  4. ^ Diver, Mike. "Boards of Canada Music Has the Right to Children Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  5. ^ Diver, Mike. BBC Music Retrieved 24 October 2017.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ a b c Bush, John. "Music Has the Right to Children – Boards of Canada". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Cooper, Sean, Boards of Canada Biography, AllMusic. Rovi Corporation, retrieved 31 Jan 2014 
  8. ^ Morpurgo, Joseph. "The genius of Boards Of Canada in 10 essential tracks". FACT. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  9. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  10. ^ Peggs, Tobias (June 1998). "Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children (Warp/Skam)". Muzik (37): 86. 
  11. ^ Crysell, Andy (23 May 1998). "Boards Of Canada – Music Has The Right To Children". NME. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  12. ^ Romano, Tricia (2004). "Boards of Canada". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 90. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  13. ^ Grundy, Gareth (June 1998). "Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children". Select (96): 78. 
  14. ^ a b Cinquemani, Sal (2 November 2002). "Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  15. ^ Taraska, Julie (November 1998). "Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children". Spin. 14 (11): 138. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  16. ^ Cooper, Sean, Boards of Canada Biography, AllMusic. Rovi Corporation, retrieved 31 Jan 2014 
  17. ^ "Staff Lists: Top 100 Albums of the 1990s – Features – Pitchfork". 
  18. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2. 

External links[edit]