Musical Youth on the cover of their debut LP
|Years active||1979–1985, 2001–present|
|Associated acts||Donna Summer|
Sammy 'Shinpads' Higgins|
Freddie "Junior" Waite
Patrick Waite (deceased)
Musical Youth is a British Jamaican reggae band. They are best remembered for their successful 1982 single "Pass the Dutchie", which became a number 1 hit around the world. The band recorded two studio albums, and released a number of successful singles throughout 1982 and 1983, including a collaboration with Donna Summer. Musical Youth earned a Grammy Award nomination before disbanding in 1985 after a series of personal problems. The band returned in 2001 as a duo.
The group was formed in 1979 when the fathers of Kelvin and Michael Grant and Frederick (known as Junior) and Patrick Waite put together a band featuring their sons. The latter pair's father, Frederick Waite Sr, had been a member of the Jamaican reggae group The Techniques. Frederick sang lead with Junior at the start of Musical Youth's career. Although schoolboys, the group managed to secure gigs at different Birmingham pubs and released a double single in 1981, including songs "Generals" and "Political", on a local label (021 Records, named for the then-Birmingham area code.) An appearance on BBC Radio 1 John Peel's evening show brought further attention to the group, and they were signed to MCA Records. By that time, founding member Frederick Waite Jr had backed down to be replaced by Dennis Seaton as lead singer.
During the autumn of 1982, the group issued one of the fastest-selling singles of the year, "Pass the Dutchie" (based on the Mighty Diamonds' "Pass the Koutchie"; a song about passing a pipe used to smoke cannabis). The title had been subtly altered to feature the patois "dutchie", referring to a type of pot used for cooking. This idea was reinforced throughout the political and economic overtones of the song about extreme poverty and Musical Youth asking the question "How does it feel when ya got no food?". The record went to number 1 in the UK Singles Chart in October 1982. It went on to sell over four million copies, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. A Top 10 placing also followed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.
Their debut album The Youth of Today was certified gold in the UK, while the follow-up single, "Youth of Today", reached number 13 in the UK Singles Chart and "Never Gonna Give You Up", released early in 1983, climbed to UK number 6. Minor successes with "Heartbreaker" and "Tell Me Why" were succeeded by a collaboration with Donna Summer on the UK Top 20 hit, "Unconditional Love". The group also took part in her 1983 TV special A Hot Summer Night with Donna. Their second album, Different Style!, was released in 1983 and showcased more R&B-influenced repertoire to make the band more accessible in the North America, but flopped on both British and American market. A revival of Desmond Dekker's "007" saw them back in the Top 30, but after one final hit with "Sixteen", their commercial success ended. The band received a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards of 1984.
With their careers going downhill, the band members became embroiled in legal, financial, and personal problems. In 1985, Dennis Seaton left the band, leading to its dissolution. The Grant brothers remained involved in the music industry; Seaton released a solo album in 1989 before going on to form his own band, XMY. Plans for a reunion of Musical Youth were halted when Patrick Waite, who had gone on to a career of juvenile crime, died in Birmingham in February 1993. Only 24 years old, he collapsed from a hereditary heart condition. A compilation album, Anthology, was released in 1994, followed by Maximum Volume: The Best of Musical Youth in 1995.
Now reduced to a duo, Michael Grant and Dennis Seaton reformed Musical Youth in 2001, and planned a tour. However, the tour plans were cancelled due to the September 11 attacks. In 2003, Musical Youth finally performed as part of the Here and Now tour, an annual series of nostalgia concerts featuring performances by musicians of the 1980s. A compilation album was released in 2004, 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection. In 2005, the band performed at the Wiesen festival in Austria. In 2009, they released a cover of Boney M.'s "Mary's Boy Child – Oh My Lord", followed by Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come" in 2013. Their new album, When Reggae Was King was scheduled for release in 2016, then early 2017, but has yet to materialize. They performed tracks from the album at Camper Calling Festival at Ragley Hall on 27 August 2017.
- Dennis Seaton (born 2 March 1967) — lead vocals, percussion 1979-1985, 2001–present
- Michael Grant (born 7 January 1969) — keyboards, vocals 1979-1985, 2001–present
- Kelvin Grant (born 9 July 1971) — guitar, vocals 1979-1985
- Patrick Waite (born 16 May 1968 — 18 February 1993) — bass 1979-1985
- Freddie "Junior" Waite (born 23 May 1967) — drums, vocals 1979-1985
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|1982||The Youth of Today||24||8||13||23||23||42||23|
- 1987: Pass the Dutchie
- 1994: Anthology
- 1995: Maximum Volume: The Best of Musical Youth
- 2004: 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Musical Youth
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1982||"Pass the Dutchie"||1||1||1||2||2||1||1||1||1||10||The Youth of Today|
|"Youth of Today"||13||7||—||—||29||9||4||19||—||—|
|1983||"Never Gonna Give You Up"||6||28||—||82||—||5||—||—||—||—|
|"Tell Me Why?"||33||35||—||—||—||20||31||—||—||—||Different Style!|
|"Whatcha Talking 'Bout"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Let's Go to the Moon"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||N/A|
|2009||"Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2013||"The Harder They Come"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
- Roberts, David (2008). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 384. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Craig Harris. "Musical Youth - Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 539. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Donna Summer: A Hot Summer Night (1983) (TV) - Full cast and crew". Internet Movie Database. www.imdb.com. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
- Alexis Petridis (2003-03-21). "Famous for 15 months". The Guardian. www.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
- "Anne Carlini - Exclusive Magazine". www.annecarlini.com. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- George Nott (25 October 2012). "Too much, too young: The tragic tale of Musical Youth". East London and West Essex Guardian Series. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
- "Musical Youth One-Hit Wonders: Where Are They Now". comcast.net. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- "HERE AND NOW". www.here-and-now.info. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
- "HERE AND NOW TOUR". www.tdpromo.com. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
- "Tweets by Musical Youth (@MusicalYouth30) - Twitter".
New album 'When Reggae Was King' out early 2017
- Andy Coleman. "Musical Youth set for new album and tour". www.morethan40.co.uk. Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- "Tragic One-Hit Wonder". Daily Mail. 18 February 1993.
- "Chart Stats - Musical Youth". www.chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
- "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". www.collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-03-16. (See 26 February 1983 and 14 January 1984 issues.)
- "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste". www.infodisc.fr (in French). Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- "Suche nach "musical youth"". www.charts.de (in German). Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- "Discografie Musical Youth". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 2012-03-15.
- "Discography Musical Youth". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
- "Musical Youth". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
- "Certified Awards Search". www.bpi.co.uk. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
- "Gold and Platinum Search". www.musiccanada.com. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- "Musical Youth - Pass The Dutchie (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
- "Discografie Musical Youth". www.ultratop.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 2012-10-01.
- "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". www.collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-03-17. (See 29 January 1983 and 21 January 1984 issues.)
- "Tout les Titres par Artiste". www.infodisc.fr (in French). Archived from the original on 27 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". www.musicline.de (in German). Retrieved 2012-03-17.
- "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". www.irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
- "Discographie Musical Youth". hitparade.ch (in German). Retrieved 2012-03-17.
- "Musical Youth". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-03-17.