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A Collection of Pop Classics

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Album Review

A Collection of Pop Classics could easily pass for a white supremacist album with its cover shot of guitar-toting Klansmen and song titles like "The New Aryans." Skinheads will be disappointed to find that the album cover, as well as the band's name, are actually deeply ironic commentaries on Ronald Reagan's social and economic policies. The anthology collects Reagan Youth's two albums, Volume One (1984) and Volume Two (1990), on one disc. Volume One is a classic of the hardcore genre with abundant hooks, energy, and righteous fury. Reagan Youth's theme song declares, "We are Reagan Youth, sieg heil!" while blasting Reagan's followers as "brainwashed slime." "The New Aryans" proposes a "final solution" for Nazis and the KKK, and "I Hate Hate" takes a humorously circuitous swipe at negativity. "Are You Happy" and "No Class" critique conformity, authority, and the dominant culture, while "Degenerated" blasts drug use (which, in a further irony, eventually brought down lead singer Dave Insurgent.) The 1990 album finds Insurgent fronting a new group of players who sound as if they traded their hardcore record collection for a copy of Mötley Crüe's first album. The leftist politics remain, but the song title "Heavy Metal Shuffle" shows which way the band is heading. Buy A Collection of Pop Classics for Volume One, which offers more than enough value for the money.

Customer Reviews


This is one the best new york 80s punk band and this is the album to get


Formed: 1980 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s

Be forewarned: The story of this early-'80s New York punk band does not have a happy ending. Reagan Youth got their start in 1980 while founding members Dave Rubinstein -- later known as Dave Insurgent -- and Paul Bakija, aka Paul Cripple, were in high school. Soon after their formation, the band started playing punk clubs around Manhattan; they even managed to enlist one of their high school professors as a roadie. Local tours quickly turned into national tours and Reagan Youth found themselves...
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A Collection of Pop Classics, Reagan Youth
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