Various Artists

Teenage: Teenagers & Youth in Music 1951-1960

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Rock & roll changed a great many things in American culture, but nothing as dramatically as the role of teenagers. Once upon a time young people between 13 and 19 were expected to behave like miniature adults, albeit with a more impulsive nature and somewhat less wisdom, but once rock & roll created a sound and style that was embraced by youngsters and rejected by most adults, teenagers took on a new role in American culture, one that would soon follow around the world. The rise of rock & roll upended the music industry and revealed the economic power of teenagers, and nearly every other aspect of popular culture followed suit, as teens informed fashions and trends while avidly following them at the same time. The gifted author Jon Savage offers an entertaining introduction to this concept in Teenage: Teenagers & Youth in Music 1951-1960, which collects 34 teen-themed songs from the years that gave rise to rock and teen culture. Savage presents a valuable cross section of music, with some instances representing an organic reflection of teen culture, others offering an artful exploitation of teen interests and obsessions, and still others simply providing an amusingly crass expression of how easily the music biz believed it could separate kids from their money. Accompanied by extensive and entertaining notes, Teenage is a brilliant collection of vintage pop music as well as a study of a crucial time in the history of youth culture; you can appreciate it as entertainment or sociology and it's effective either way. (Those fascinated by mastering technology take note: this CD plays for 83 minutes and six seconds, which may be a new record for audio storage on a conventional disc.)

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:14
2 2:33
3 2:07
4 2:17
5 2:26
6
1:49
7 2:19
8 2:26
9 2:43
10 2:22
11 2:21
12 2:22
13 2:38
14 2:08
15 3:03
16 1:35
17 2:14
18 2:07
19 2:27
20 2:32
21 2:35
22
2:22
23
2:51
24 2:51
25 3:44
26 2:14
27 2:35
28 2:06
29 2:25
30 1:54
31 2:52
32
2:03
33
1:54
34 2:39
blue highlight denotes track pick