“Im Zweiten Weltkrieg war
das Durchschnittsalter der Frontsoldaten 26.
In Vietnam war es 19”
Yep, that’s right : the German Version. I came a tad obsessed with this song. At a time when every song was released on multiple formats, it quickly became an expensive obsession for a teenage school boy (especially as I was only getting about a pound a week pocket money) I was used to going to ridiculous lengths to complete my collection: buying the 7-inch, the 7-inch gatefold double disc, the 7-inch fold-out poster version, the 12-inch, the limited edition 12-inch remix, the 10-inch, the cassingle (always disliked that name), the picture disc, and the collectors’ box (basically an empty thin cardboard box that you’d get sent through the post). But this was something new. Now I had to collect the foreign language versions too.
But this was still not actually enough to satiate my appetite for this song. So I began making my own remixes. I’d seek out the rather rare 120-minute-length blank TDK cassettes so I could create versions of ‘19’ that would run uninterrupted for the maximum length of time. And then I’d make my own cassette covers. All for my own amusement. I don’t think I ever shared any of these epic hour-long versions of the song with anyone. I mean, who would really want to listen to them ? But it got me into mixing and that would lead to further adventures – to be continued.
Last year saw another two dozen versions of ‘19’ released by Mr Hardcastle to mark its 25th anniversary. I managed to resist temptation this time, but still very much adore these original versions.
Spotify linky to the 1985 ‘Destruction’ version (my fave):