Youth of America

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Youth of America
Wipers - Youth of America.png
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 17, 1981
StudioWave Sound Studios, Vancouver, Washington
LabelPark Avenue
ProducerGreg Sage
Wipers chronology
Alien Boy
Youth of America
Over the Edge

Youth of America is the second studio album by American punk rock band Wipers. It was released in 1981 by record label Park Avenue.


The album marked a distinctive change in the band's sound. Compared to its predecessor, Is This Real?, which was composed mostly of raw, sleek and relatively traditional songs, Youth of America featured much longer and complex compositions; the title track alone clocks in at over 10 minutes. According to frontman Greg Sage, this change of pace was a deliberate counter-reaction against the trend of releasing short songs, which many punk bands did at the time.[1]

The Quietus noted the album's genre as post-punk[2] and further described its style as "a six track set of lowly garage rock which traverses the cosmos irrespective. Secondly, it's a gothic downer but leavened by motion and momentum thanks to its krautrock influences. And lastly it's a grittily real punk record defined by an unerring air of unreality – as unromantic as it is fantastical".[2]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]

Released in 1981, Youth of America was, according to Sage, not well received in the United States at the time of its release, but fared better in Europe.[1]

In its retrospective review, Consequence of Sound wrote, "From its style of production and songwriting to its driving, angular guitar work coupled with anthemic hooks, Youth of America is as strong and fresh-sounding today as it was 30 years ago".[4] The Quietus wrote "there may be more essential punk albums out there but never again did the genre sound so searching".[2] Head Heritage called it "an enduring legacy of a recording."[5]

Youth of America was later reissued on record labels Backbone and Restless, with different covers for each, and on Sage's own Zeno Records as the second disc of the Wipers Box Set, albeit with a different running order to the original vinyl issue.


Along with other Wipers records, Youth of America has since come to be acknowledged as an important album in the development of American underground and independent rock movements of the early 1980s.[6] Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth cited the album as an inspiration,[7] and covered the track "Pushing the Extreme" with Keith Nealy for Wipers tribute album Fourteen Songs for Greg Sage and The Wipers.

The title track was covered by the Melvins on their 2001 album Electroretard and Mission of Burma on the live album Snapshot. Kurt Cobain listed it in his top 50 albums of all time.[8][9]

Pitchfork ranked the title track at No. 173 on their list of "The 200 Best Songs of the 1980s"[10] and ranked the album at No. 102 on their list of "The 200 Best Albums of the 1980s".[11]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Greg Sage.

Side A
1."Taking Too Long"3:07
2."Can This Be"2:54
3."Pushing the Extreme"3:13
4."When It's Over"6:34
Side B
1."No Fair"4:25
2."Youth of America"10:27


  • Greg Sage – vocals, guitar, piano, production, recording
  • Brad Davidson – bass guitar, tape operation assistance
  • Dave Koupal – bass guitar
  • Brad Naish – drums


  1. ^ a b "Wipers..Youth of America". Archived from the original on February 28, 2008. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Calvert, John (October 26, 2011). "The Quietus | Features | Anniversary | 30 Years On: The Wipers' Youth of America Revisited". The Quietus. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  3. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Youth of America – Wipers". AllMusic. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  4. ^ Comaratta, Len (June 18, 2011). "Dusting 'Em Off: Wipers – Youth of America". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  5. ^ "Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage | Unsung | Reviews | The Wipers – Youth of America". Head Heritage. December 16, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  6. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Wipers | Biography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  7. ^ Thiessen, Brock (January 19, 2009). "Thurston Moore Says New Sonic Youth Album Inspired by the Wipers • News •". Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  8. ^ Kennedy, Thomas (May 9, 2013). ""Top 50 by Nirvana" Journal // Joyful Noise Recordings". Joyful Noise Recordings. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  9. ^ Cross, Gaar, Gendron, Martens, Yarm (2013). Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-7603-4521-4.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2]

External links[edit]