Interview

Paul Hardcastle on '19' at 30

19_paul

Paul Hardcastle‘s classic 1985 single 19 has its 30th birthday this year and to celebrate, the Ivor Novello winning musician and songwriter is issuing a special anniversary album featuring 14 different mixes of the anti-war song, with the proceeds going to charity. SDE caught up with Paul last week to discuss 19 and some of the remixes on the new compilation…

SuperDeluxeEdition: You swore you’d never revisit 19, so what’s changed?

Paul Hardcastle: A lot has happened since then. I’m actually a chairman of a record label [NUA Entertainment] and the guy that owns it, Neil Utley, was a massive fan of 19 and I mentioned it was coming up to the 30th anniversary and he said “come on, you’ve got to do something…” So we decided to do it and to give the proceeds to a PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] charity called Talking2Minds. So that was the reason I said yes. I didn’t really want to go back [figuratively] to Vietnam and Afghanistan and all that, and I thought the only thing that’s really relevant about that record now is the fact that lots of people are still fighting wars in their own heads, with PTSD. Panorama did this programme and in one year, 40 people died in Afghanistan, I think it was, and 50 killed themselves. That one fact was as powerful to me as when I very first made the record and found out that the kids were only 19.

SDE: You and I had a plan previously to put out a three-CD set that was going to be quite comprehensive [this never worked out due to foreign language masters not being available]. With this 30th anniversary release, how much effort did you go to in seeking out some of the original mixes like the instrumental version? Obviously you don’t have all the original period mixes on here…

PH: To be honest with you, I wanted it to mix it up and I wanted the new stuff on there as well. At the time when we were looking for The Final Story Requiem mix they didn’t even think they had that, so it was a battle. You’re talking about a 30-year old record and some of them probably aren’t even alive who were working it then. Like you, I had a hassle trying to track stuff down and you think ‘is it all worth it?’. So in the end I did what I could and I think it’s got a good balance on there.

SDE: Is the PTSD mix the only actual ‘new’ mix?

PH: No I’ve changed the Electronica one, and then there’s one called 19: The Rage…

SDE: So The Rage a new mix too, then?

PH: Yes, that’s not been around before.

SDE: I noticed that the ‘Inner Changes’ mix appears to be the same as Victims of War Part 1 from 2010?

PH: Yeah… Inner Changes [another track completely] was done from that mix and it’s got no narration, and that’s become a very big record for me in America, so I basically just thought it’s nearer to that than the Victims of War one – I mean Victims of War was very, very rare. I think I might have put a slightly longer version on the new CD.

SDE: In 2010 there were so many remixes made available digitally, on iTunes and Amazon etc. How did you keep track of all the different versions? There was an incredible amount… did you do all of them yourself?

PH: A lot of them I did myself, for the 25th anniversary. But that anniversary was really messed up by the fact that I’d just put the record out right in the middle of an election. So I wasn’t allowed to be in the papers that much at that time because of it.

SDE: The new compilation starts off with the Destruction Mix which was the second twelve-inch in the UK – was that one of your favourites?

PH: I think that’s my favourite version of 19 from the original versions, but I have to say I really like the one I’ve called the Cryogenic Freeze Mix. And then obviously you’ve got one featuring Marvin Gaye, which is new because I’ve added more vocals to that. And I really like Electronica Dark Remix, it’s based on the Electronica Mix but I’ve added stuff to that too, so some of my favourites are on the album.

SDE: There was no problem getting clearance to use Marvin Gaye’s voice?

PH: I’d had clearance three or four years ago. If you remember I put this out as Rainforest featuring Marvin Gaye and the fact was it made sense to do it since both songs were about Vietnam.

SDE: Tell me about the Jim Pavlov Edit?

PH: A guy called Jim Pavlov did a remix for me – he said ‘is there any chance of having a go?’ I’d seen the guy before, do his stuff on YouTube. So I thought I’d give him a bash at it. He made it 9 minutes long, it was much too long, so I reedited it and cut it down and thought I’d use it – because it was different.

SDE: There was a DJ Remix in 2010 that I thought was really good. It was speeded up quite a bit…I was hoping that might make an appearance.

PH: Do you know what… I was signed to Pacha a few years back and I let a couple of their DJs remix it, so it might have been one of them. The thing is Paul, to put everything on there it would have had to have been a 20-disc box set! So I just thought let’s get what my favourite mixes of it now – you just can’t please everyone all the time! But at least this is the first time a lot of these mixes have been on CD. And it is the last time, I promise you that! People will be going ‘thank God for that!”

SDE: You’ve got the original demo on here, recorded in your Mum’s front room. Take me back to that time when you were creating it – how long did it take to put together?

PH: It started off with a [Roland] TR-808 drum track. We’d hired a TR-808 for another project and I thought ‘you know what, I’m going to program a few beats’ – that’s why they don’t change that much! So it started off as a drum track and after watching the TV show ‘Vietnam Requiem’ I took all the parts from that which I’d recorded on a Betamax and then recorded that to a Revox quarter inch tape and spun in all the bits onto the recorded track. And I think I told you, the only reason it was ‘In Vietnam he was 19’ was because I had an Emulator II which only had two seconds of sampling time, which is ludicrous when you think about it. But I suppose it was lucky, because if I’d had an hour’s worth of sampling time I might have chosen something different and I’d never have had the hook. So I put all the bits together in my Mum’s front room and took it to a place called ‘The Sound Suite’ in Camden and we bounced it over from an 8-track Tascam that I had to a 24-track, and we soon filled up all 24-tracks. Mixing it without automation was all hands to the pump!

SDE: And you had a deal with Chrysalis at this time, didn’t you? Famously, they didn’t want 19.

PH: Yes they didn’t want the record. It was like ”what on earth is this? You’re bringing us some crazy track with a guy going n-n-n-n-n-nineetenn!” It’s about the Vietnam war and it’s as stark as anything, talking about brains being blown out. And Simon Fuller who was working there said “why don’t I basically just leave my job here and become your manager” – and that’s how I got to meet him and that’s what started off the massive company 19 Entertainment.

SDE: So The Final Story – what’s going on with that then? Why didn’t you just put the full version on here and then you’d have had at least the three original UK 12-inches?

PH: Well, do you know what, in hindsight maybe I could have. But if I’m really honest with you I prefer the ‘Requiem’.

SDE: But ‘Requiem’ is really just the second half of that whole mix, isn’t it?

PH: It is, but after listening to it at the end I thought it really sounded like the Destruction Mix a lot…. so you know, that track is out there if people want to listen to it, but as I say it’s hard to please everyone.

SDE: Is the PTSD Mix going to be promoted as any kind of a single, or anything like that? Or are you just doing the whole social media thing and putting it up on YouTube?

PH: It’s mainly that. To be honest with you no one would play the PTSD version – it’s a bit heavy, especially the video. We’re half promoting the Marvin Gaye one to radio and the other one on social media. It’s not a massive full release though, this is more about the album, really.


Thanks to Paul Hardcastle who was talking to Paul Sinclair for SDE. 19: The 30th Anniversary Collection is out now.

CD Edition

2LP Vinyl Edition


Track listing

  • 1. Destruction Mix (remastered) 7.07
  • 2. 19 PTSD Mix 4.07
  • 3. History Keeps Repeating Itself 5.07
  • 4. 19 Cryogenic Freeze Remix 5.33
  • 5. 19 Inner Changes Mix 4.39
  • 6. Electronica Dark Remix 6.13
  • 7. 19 Original (remastered) 5.14
  • 8. 19 The Vision 5.04
  • 9. 19 Welcome To Hell Remix 3.38
  • 10. 19 NUA Remix (feat. Marvin Gaye) 4.42
  • 11. 19 The Rage Remix 4.26
  • 12. 19 The Final Story (remastered) 3.04
  • 13. 19 Jim Pavloff Edit 4.43
  • 14. 19 The Original Demo 5.11

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28 responses to Paul Hardcastle on '19' at 30

  1. Jim says:

    You should have found out about his thoughts or input on the awful, generic sleeve design.

  2. Daniel says:

    I’m so happy that I have 4 different language versions on MiniDisc
    since 20 years in real good quality!
    This interviews shows me: these great international 7” and 12” versions
    ( incl. the promo only ‘instrumental’ & ‘beats’ )
    will not being released in the next years – maybe ( surely ) never.
    And if I understand Paul Hardcastle right he will be “honest to us”:
    he is not interested in bringing us the original remixes on CD.
    He talks only about the new mixes…
    He thinks 20 new remixes are better than the classic 80’s mixes.
    He’s wrong in my opinion…

  3. Daniel says:

    I forgot: the cover is a BIG SHAME too!
    It’s a deeply, dramatic song about death and lost souls.
    How can anyone use such a funny 80’s cover for this anniversary?
    Terrible!

  4. Mark Armstrong says:

    Paul, this is a missed opportunity !!!

    Us long term fans would love as many of the original mixes as possible, this is the important stuff. feel free to add the new mixes after the originals, in one place, one package, which could have been great.

    Agree with the other comments too, the cover is truly horrible too – I feel it devalues the package to the level of a Hits of the 80s compilation.

    Ah, I just feel a bit sad about all this, sorry….some 30th anniversary celebration eh?

  5. Darren says:

    It’s interesting that he says “it’s hard to please everyone”. This all sounds like he only really thought about what he wants rather than what the fans want with regards to the music.

    I bought every format at the time on vinyl including all the foreign language versions, so I would be an ideal target for a new CD. I’ve managed to get the French and Japanese 12″ mixes on CD, so they do still exist. But the tell-tale sign is where Paul says “To be honest with you, I wanted it to mix it up and I wanted the new stuff on there as well”. That’s fair enough to have *some* new stuff, but it dominates this release to the point where there are so few original mixes that I won’t be buying it and I’m sure many people will feel the same.

    The only thing that pleased me about this was the fact that the money is going to a worthwhile cause.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I have to agree that it is a missed opportunity. I’m a little bit sad that Paul didn’t give me a call when he first thought of doing this because I put quite a lot of time and effort into working on the 3CD box and even though we couldn’t get that to work, I could have offered some best advice on how to make the one-disc collection please the target audience. Let’s face it, the market for a CD with 14 versions of 19 is pretty small, so the majority of buyers ARE the hardcore fans. And while I have no doubt it’s well meant, the cheery ‘bit of this, bit of that’ approach isn’t going to cut the mustard with fans who have a ‘wish-list’ of stuff they want on CD. Oh well.

  6. Darren says:

    On Amazon in the description, Paul says “Over the years I have had so many people ask for all the original versions to be re-released…. I have added all of the remixes I have done since 1985. So here are the fourteen different mixes of ’19’ all in one package”.

    The only original mixes are:
    Track 1 – Destruction Mix
    Track 7 – Original 12″ Mix (which is on countless compilations already)

    and at a push, part of the Final Story mix

    Maybe the truth is that the new remixes are exclusively owned by Paul and the original mixes aren’t. That’s the only reason I could think of for not including more of those. Something doesn’t add up.

    For anyone looking for the original mixes, here are where you can obtain some of them:

    The 7″ Version is available in full on “The Greatest 80s Hits Collection”. Many other more recent compilations edited the 7″ version by 6 seconds, removing the repeats of “I wasn’t really sure what was going on” at the end.

    The Final Story 12″ Mix is available on “So80s (SoEighties) 9″

    The French 12″ mix “19 (Dix-Neuf)” is on a French EMI CD from 2007 called “100 Tubes 80 Introuvables”.

    The Japanese 12″ mix is on a Japanese EMI CD from 2003 called “Dancing 80s”

  7. Ralph says:

    I liked the original Version, but an Album that consists only of one track in different Versions? Sorry, that’s a bit too much.

    • Ross says:

      Not a fan of the Shamen’s “Progeny” then?
      I agree it could get a bit much, endless remixes of one song. But if it was a compilation of all the period mixes of a classic 80s track such as True Faith or Two Tribes for example, I think that would sell reasonably well to collectors. I’d definitely get those. This 19 collection? Meh. Too much missing to make it worth buying.

  8. Eric says:

    I think if Paul S had asked Paul H about that extremely inappropriate sleeve, he’d have said “yeah in hindsight maybe it wasn’t a great idea, but you can’t please everyone”. Paul H has always seemed a decent bloke, and it’s great to know the proceeds will go to a good cause, but as mentioned by other commentators above, something doesn’t add up. Licensing must have been a problem, to have so few original versions.

  9. Steve Burke says:

    Paul any chance you can find out where the 2LP set is being pressed?

  10. James Pigg says:

    I would also have loved the original 19 b-sides too. Fly By Night, Delores and The Asylum (It’z Weird) which was a particular favourite of mine. Does anyone know whether this has made an appearance yet on CD?

  11. Michael says:

    so disappointing…

    it’s a shame that many artists from the 80s think they have do commission new remixes of old classics. in my opinion, this hardly ever works and what the fans want is actually all the good, nostalgic original period mixes…

    “19” is one of this missed opportunities, but who wouldn’t be interested in a collection CD of classic 80s hits who had many different mixes back then? think of a CD of all mixes of Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” for example, or the Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls”, Tears For Fear’s “Shout” etc. etc.

    Of course, this would be niche releases but done in professional way (good music quality, authentic cover art, liner notes) this would be worth a release series of it’s own (it could run under the name of “classic single series” or something like that).

  12. Gerald says:

    I actually have the CD right next to me. The cover doesn’t bother me – it’s a collage of what was current during the original release, i.e. Reagan and Thatcher, the first cell phones and personal computers, the Smiley face. 19 is a time capsule after all.

    What’s REALLY annoying is the fact that the track listing on the back of the CD is divided into four “sides” and that all of them start with 19. No track numbers.

    I also seem to be in the minority by appreciating new remixes more than a comprehensive collection of every original mix ever made. If new mixes are good, such as the Scott Storch Mix of “Relax”, they give new life to an well-worn track.

    That being said, I realize there are many completists out there. If the work of tracking down several of the mixes has already been done, might a digital HD audio release perhaps appease those super fans?

    • Michael says:

      @gerald: of course, this classic single periode mixes re-releases could be done in a digital HD audio way: CD is a dying format, this would even be a far more modern and better way of releasing such nostalgia.

  13. Darren says:

    @Michael “CD is a dying format, this would even be a far more modern and better way of releasing such nostalgia”.

    That is all only your opinion and not fact. More modern doesn’t necessarily mean better. CD sales may have declined (only by 4% in the last year), but digital downloads have actually declined faster than CDs in the last year (down 12%), according to the BPI. When you’re talking about sales of many millions though, there is still scope to sell plenty of CDs…. but only if the product is right.

    If we were talking about giving up on old formats because they were apparently “dying” then we would have got rid of vinyl records long ago, but here they are in fashion once more with a 69% growth in the first 3 months of this year. But with sales in the last year of around 400,000 vinyl records, that is still a small market compared to the 11 million sales of CDs, which isn’t at all bad for a “dying format”.

    Downloading music is mostly done by young people. The demographic who would buy this Paul Hardcastle title are going to be aged 40+ on the whole and they are far more likely to stick with CDs and vinyl records than go for downloads on the whole, because they want a physical product. As “Super Deluxe Edition” acknowledges; “for collectors and fans who love holding the music in their hands”.

    • Gerald says:

      I’m not objecting to a physical release (having bought the compilation…), of course. I just thought that maybe if that is too risky financially, a digital release might do.

  14. omar says:

    I agree with the above concept that most older people 40+ would prefer to have a physical cd or LP in hand. I think most labels know that their sales might be higher for reissues/deluxe editions in actual cd/lp format than downloading. Booklets,sleeve designs,colored discs etc. can never really be duplicated online properly.

  15. Michael says:

    @Darren: I did not check the actual sales figures but from my experience with record companies (I sometimes help one here in Austria doing compilations), I know they sometimes prefer to go for online only releases because the think that physical CD releases have no market. I fully agree with all your points made (target customers +40 etc.) and personally I also prefer CDs to downloads but I was just trying to see such releases from an industry point of view. I often disagree with their decision for the reasons you gave above, but I do believe that CDs will be in a position like vinyl is now in a few years time. Of course there will be CDs for decades to come but the main share will be downloads once we old dinosaurs who still buy physical releases die out.

    • NeilKelly says:

      Well that isn’t gonna happen in a few years is it lol. Maybe 10-30 by which time we’ll be past caring

  16. Darren says:

    @Michael. I appreciate what you’re saying. Even downloads will become the dinosaur soon, because already younger people on the whole are not so bothered about “owning” the music in the way we do. There is much more interest in streaming music as and when required on the fly (via companies like YouTube and Spotify).

    Personally, I love collecting physical CDs. To me having a collection to look at as well as listen to is important. But I am very selective of what I buy.

    My feeling is that this Paul Hardcastle release will fall between the markets. The young people won’t have a clue who he is and even with modern remixes, this music doesn’t become relevant to them. The people who do remember this song from back in the day will fall mainly into two camps; those who want all the original mixes and will be happy to buy a CD with all those mixes on… or those who like the song, but really don’t need 14 mixes. Having the track pop up on a compilation would be enough, so this wouldn’t appeal to them at all.

    So this CD is really looking to a market of people who want 11 updated mixes of “19” (I would imagine that market is virtually non-existent) or absolute completists who must have absolutely everything Paul Hardcastle releases. My imagination draws a blank at that suggestion :)

  17. Darren says:

    Now what would be really good is if Paul’s 1983 First Light album was released on CD.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I told Paul H I had that album featured in the last ‘Second Hand News’… he didn’t seem to be as excited as I was about it :) He mentioned that Cherry Red had put out some of his early stuff, but I’m no expert on the pre-19 era…

  18. NeilKelly says:

    Here’s my opinion on this. I agree and disagree with the many interesting comments above. Certainly do not care one bit for the CD refering to Side A, B, C, D. I bought the CD and i’m very happy with it. I also own the original 7″ and 3 x 12″ + 19 (1995) CD single and the digital downloads of 19 (2010) which were very expensive for bloody MP3’s. This release is pretty good and after playing it a lot there are a lot of really good takes on 19. Of course what Paul should’ve done is include at least the Demo, Single version, Album version and the 3 full original 12″. All the ‘b’ sides would’ve been nice too. Then include the selection of choice of updates. I would’ve liked it in chronological order too. And to make it perfect it would’ve been 2-3 CD’s (yes i would’ve paid more). The international mixes could’ve been sourced from vinyl because now if we want them we have to source them all over the place and spend a fortune then have one track here one track there. Paul states masters were lost on international versions but where was the French mix on CD sourced from a mere 5 years ago? Overall this CD delights and infuriates in equal measures!

  19. Griffin says:

    Yeah! For a CD or 2 CD’s with the original 80’s period mixes & foreign version, instrumental etc I was willing to pay/buy it! Not for this final product now! Paul H will know he has missed the target group once he sees the disappointing sales figures like Cyndi Lauper with hers or Peter Gabriel with his! Perhaps I will get this with it drops its price due to the fact that this CD won’t sell! I think it’s still not too late to do a super deluxe edition of this cd within 2015! But now with all the missing mixes/versions we (the fans) wanted! Anyone has the sales figures of Cyndi’s or Peter’s to share/compare!

  20. bertielego says:

    I am very happy with this release, for what it is: a compilation of the best moments across the various 19 eras:
    – 80’s originals
    – 19(95)
    – 25th anniversary mixes
    – Pacha mixes
    – 19 Below Zero mixes
    And with the exception of the Pavlov edit, all versions from the man himself, which make this truly a Paul Hardcastle release.

    When it comes to celebrating the 80’s, I would propose a Deluxe Edition (box set?) revolving around the ‘Paul Hardcastle’ album, which, except on iTunes, didn’t get any deluxe treatment. Imagine the following:

    ‘Paul Hardcastle’ (1985) – Original album remastered:
    In The Beginning 2:04
    19 (new Version) 6:19
    King Tut 3:57
    Don’t Waste My Time 4:30
    Central Park 4:02
    Just For Money 5:08
    Moonhopper 4:18
    Better 2:58
    Strollin 3:32
    Rainforest 7:26

    ‘Rain Forest’ (1985) – Original album remastered:
    Rainforest (Remix) 5:42
    King Tut 4:38
    Panic 4:29
    Forest Fire 7:30
    Loitering With Intent 4:10
    A.M. 5:14
    Sound Chaser 5:48
    Rain Forest (Original Mix) 5:12

    PH’s tracks from the ‘Zero One’ spilt released, remastered:
    Forest Fire 7:17
    Panic 5:03
    Rain Forest 4:24
    Sound Chaser 3:06

    7″ edits, remastered:
    Eat Your Heart Out 3:46
    Guilty 3:45
    You’re The One For Me / Daybreak / A.M. (Vocal Version) 3:55
    Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag 3:53
    19 3:37
    19 (French) 3:37
    19 (Japanese Mix)
    19 (Version Española) 3:47
    19 (German Version) (7″ Mix) 4:07
    Don’t Waste My Time 3:48
    Just For Money 4:08
    Foolin’ Yourself 3:39

    B-sides, remastered:
    Eat Your Heart Out (Instrumental) 3:46
    Guilty (Instrumental) 5:00
    You’re The One For Me / Daybreak / A.M. (Instrumental Dub Version) 4:55
    Fly By Night 3:29
    Dolores 3:51
    The Asylum (It’z Weird) 3:40
    Back In Time 5:25

    Mixes, remasered:
    Eat Your Heart Out (Extended version) [UK] 5:49
    Eat Your Heart Out (Extended version) [Germany] 6:08
    Eat Your Heart Out (Instrumental) [Long] 4:35
    Guilty (Extended Version) 7:30
    Guilty (Instrumental) [Long] 7:47
    Guilty (Remix) 6:23
    Guilty [Semi Vocal] 4:51
    You’re The One For Me / Daybreak / A.M. (Vocal Version) [Long] 6:30
    You’re The One For Me / Daybreak / A.M. (Instrumental Dub Version) [Long] 7:14
    King Tut (Remix) 5:20
    Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag [Long] 6:18
    19 (Extended Version) 5:11
    19 (French) (Version Longue) 5:11
    19 (Extended Japanese)
    19 (Version Española) (12″ Mix)
    19 (German Version) (12″ Mix) 6:01
    19 (Instrumental) 4:33
    19 (Destruction Mix) 7:07
    19 (The Final Story) 8:30
    Don’t Waste My Time (New Extended Version) 5:36
    Don’t Waste My Time (Essential Well-Hard Crucial Remix)
    Dub Waste My Time 3:52
    Just For Money (Extended) 5:25
    Just For Money (Make Or Break) 6:05
    Just For Money (The Breakers Version)
    Foolin’ Yourself (Extended Mix) 6:21
    Foolin’ Yourself (The Frank Mix)

    …And some demos!

  21. mino says:

    August 2015: the CD is mine but the new versions are an insult to the classical ones,,,, What a missed chance…. Lucky me I have the mp3 of all the classic versions…

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