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Album: Best Of Paul HardcastleReleased: 1985Charted:
The title refers to the average age of US soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War. The song is made up of American commentators and soldiers along with a female chorus talking about the Vietnam War. The vocals play over an electronic rhythm.
Hardcastle is a British producer. In 1984 he formed the Total Control Record Company through which he released some early singles. This was his first hit - he had 3 more British Top 40s, including the 1986 song "The Wizard," which was the theme for the show Top Of The Pops from 1986 to 1991. In America this was his only hit.
Worldwide, this was a huge hit. It was #1 in 13 countries and won an Ivor Novello award for the best selling single of 1985.
Mike Oldfield sued Hardcastle over the similarities between this and his song "Tubular Bells
This is the only single named entirely after a number to top the UK charts.
Hardcastle was an early success for Simon Fuller, who managed him and promoted this song. Fuller, who worked for Chrysalis Records before signing Hardcastle on his own, named his management company "19 Entertainment" after this song. Fuller went on to work with the Spice Girls and S Club 7, but is best known for creating the hit TV shows Pop Idol and American Idol.
The song returned to the UK top 40 in May 2011 when supporters of Manchester United football club decided to mark their side winning a record-breaking 19th league title by buying this track. Hardcastle embraced the attempt to return the song to the charts and agreed to donate all the proceeds to charity.