Spotify playlist: Young guns

  • The List
  • 3 March 2011
Spotify playlist: Young guns

The best tracks by young artists, featuring Prince, Depeche Mode, Kate Bush, Laura Marling, Little Richard and more

Spotify playlist: Young Guns
Many artists spend years honing their craft, slowly carving out a reputation though relentless touring, learning as much as they can from serial failure and rejection. There are some however that just hit their stride early, jettisoning any commitments to Higher Education, National Service and mechanic apprenticeships to dedicate themselves to the world of music. Here are a few who found their calling in life early.

Prince – 'I Wanna Be Your Lover' – Prince
Aged 21 (1981)
Prince’s eponymous second album, following 1978’s embryonic For You, saw the 21-year-old nail his colours to the mast with the opening track.
Depeche Mode – 'Just Can’t Get Enough' – Speak and Spell
Aged 20 (1981)
Having sold over 100 million albums worldwide, Depeche Mode are statistically the most successful electronic act in history. The band received global attention at the ages of just 20 and 21 with debut album, Speak and Spell.
Kate Bush – 'Wuthering Heights' – The Kick Inside
Aged 19 (1978)
As debut singles go, 'Wuthering Heights' was a well-chosen and it remains her only UK No 1 to date.
Laura Marling – 'Rambling Man' – I Speak Because I Can
Aged 20 (2010)
Despite releasing Alas, I Cannot Swim two years previous, Laura Marling didn’t see true success in the UK charts until 2010’s I Speak Because I Can.
Dizzee Rascal – 'Fix Up, Look Sharp' – Boy In Da Corner
Aged 17 (2003)
Little more than a boy in da corner when his first album was released, Mr Rascal shot to stardom off the back of a Mercury prize win, with debut single landing comfortably inside the Top 20. Altogether now: ‘OOOOIIIIIIIIII!’
Little Richard – 'Tutti Frutti'
Aged 24 (1955)
While Richard Wayne Pennimen – what is it with the youngsters and their alteregos? – was at the ripe old age of 19 when he cut his first album, he’d been performing on stage for six years prior to that. He quit rock’n’roll in 1957 at the dusty old age of 27, when he found God. Thankfully he worked through it, and is still going today, aged 78.
Aphex Twin – 'Xtal' – Selected Ambient Works (85-92)
Aged 21 (1992)
Richard D. James had already been kicking about for a few years when Selected Ambient Works 85-92 made him a critical success. As suggested by the title, the recordings date back to those made by his 14-year-old self.
Four Tet – 'You Could Ruin My Day' – Pause
Aged 21 (2001)
Keiren Hebden (yep, another alias) released debut album Dialogue aged 19, but it was second album Pause that really laid out the blueprint of his sound two years later. A career in groundbreaking folktronica beckoned.
Ash – 'Jack Names The Planets' – Trailer
Aged 17 (1994)
With an early biography littered with anecdotes about requiring written permission to bunk off school to tour and record, Ash at least had the common decency to put off releasing their debut album till aged 17.
Michael Jackson – 'Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough' – Off The Wall
Aged 21 (1979)
Even if you discount his whole early career as boychild singer with The Jackson Five, this massive album was his fifth solo recording.

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