Reagan Youth – Youth Anthems For The New Order

Reagan Youth – Youth Anthems For The New Order (RRadical Records) 1984. One of my all-time favourite hardcore records ever. This thing just kills from the beginning guitar line on New Aryans to the last note of Gonowhere and was really my introduction to NYHC. Reagan Youth were part of the first wave of NYC bands that also included Heart Attack, The Beastie Boys and KRAUT. A lot of people bitched about this thing being too punk rock (and not “hardcore” enough), or too peace-punk or whatever back in the day. A lot of other people were scared off by Reagan Youth’s ironic use of fascistic imagery. A lot of people also didn’t know what the fuck they were talking about as well. It’s amazing what we bitched about back then isn’t it? The revolution never happened because we were too busy nit-picking over our fuckin’ record collections. Anyway, I digress. Dave Insurgent, lead singer and main man behind this great band was one of the classic hardcore front-men. He sadly ended up killing himself in the 1990′s after the death of his girlfriend and mother. Reagan Youth went on to release more vinyl and in the 1990′s New Red Archives compiled it all and titled it A Collection of Pop Classics. Apparently they remixed it too, which I just don’t get. Why re-mix old hardcore albums? Their flaws are their strengths! However, it does include a bunch of extra cool shit that is not on this original EP. It’s still in print. Buy it. Then crank Gonowhere and listen to the song Joe Stumble used to listen to when he didn’t want to do his homework. RIP Dave Insurgent.

Reagan Youth circa 1983 – photo by Glen E Friedman


Also, does anyone out there know how Degenerated ended up becoming the theme song for the fake rock band in the movie Airheads?

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16 Responses to Reagan Youth – Youth Anthems For The New Order

  1. kchee says:

    WOW … thanks so much this brings back old Atlanta Metroplex memories. Great album.

  2. Ben Low says:

    Such a great band and record though I prefer the mix on the original vinyl but that might just be ’cause it’s what I grew up with. This was one of the first hardcore records I ever heard (had it on a much-dubbed mix tape with Circle Jerks ‘Group Sex’ and Adrenalin OD ‘Wackey Hijinx’) and the guitar sound alone really fucked me up in it’s corroded, ugly, beauty. I always love how ugly and stupid and fucked up sounding all those early NYHC bands sound. I grew up in the next neighborhood over from these guys and remember my older sister, who was not a punker, talking about them being on the radio and it being a big deal as they were just kids from around the way though I was too young / not cool enough to have seen them at A7 or anything of that nature.

    I think D Generation are probably to blame for the “Degenerated” cover as they used to cover it and are also on the soundtrack to that movie.

  3. Brushback says:

    I was one of those people who stayed away from Reagan Youth, thinking they were too MRR/hippie peace punk, and then I finally listened to “Youth Anthems” around ’86 or so and holy fuck what a great record. Turned out a lot of my friends who were into the “harder” NYHC bands (Agnostic Front, Cause For Alarm, The Abused) were also into the Reagan Youth record, even if they didn’t make it obvious. It was just too good a record.

  4. haizman says:

    A friend back in High School rearranged the letters on a highway reader board to say “Gig Harbor Welcomes New Aryans”. Of course there were only a small handful of people who got the joke. This was in heavy rotation back then, and it was one of those records where the lyrics and imagery probably helped forge our sarcastic and caustic sense of humor.

    I agree with Ben about preferring the original mix…conditioned reflex after hearing something a zillion times. I like how the CD included the bonus tracks, but why no “1-2, 1-2-3-4″‘s or the extended laugh track on Are You Happy? (the guitar is much louder too). If anyone is interested I have the LP Rip available –

  5. Joe says:

    I never owned this album. It was pretty hard to find in the midwest. I did have it on tape back then from one of my East Coast friends and I played the thing relentlessly. I remembered it sounding heavier as well but the tape disappeared a long time ago and I assumed I had just built it into something it wasn’t.

    So I just listened to haizmans rip and I gotta say, this is how I fucking remember it! Man, this is why I love doing this site. I’m gonna upload the tracks and replace the CD rips.

    I also agree about this sort of thing forming our sarcastic and caustic sense of humor. The fact that you could listen to a band that half the people you knew were outraged by because they thought it was too left wing and the other half of the people you knew thought it was too right wing is pure genius. Like Brushback mentions, the music won out on this one and most people I knew, if you could get them to listen to the thing couldnt deny it totally fucking ruled.

    Listening to the LP mixes again, I would say it still rules. Why the fuck do these labels remix old HC albums? Same thing was done with the Batallion of Saints LP Second Coming.

  6. bruce/AOD says:

    I think I may have THE BIG REVEAL concerning the original mix…it was recorded in…MONO!

  7. ian says:

    Yeah, this rocked my world when I first heard it too – the abrasive guitar sound is just fantastic. I was real disappointed when I heard the re-ish & it sounded so much tamer. Also great about this LP (if you can call it that) was how in the hardline h/c scene of the day it dared mix humour with politics, & rock with hardcore – no denying the rock influence in the mix, & the humour & use of 50′s style iconography was a real departure from all the ‘standard’ hardcore art of the day – all up thats why this record is such a great package & in my book ranks up there with all the classics of that time.

  8. ray ss says:

    i love this band one of the best and first bands that i heard wheni got into punk lots of people dont see things as parady or metaphoric and take the dave duke referneces and hooded pictures serious thats too bad cuz they miss out on a great band who is against that stuff like they must be

  9. Brushback says:

    Bruce always has the crucial tidbits.

  10. OTTO says:

    Just one of the best records ever… period.

  11. If anyone is looking for the post-break-up rerelease of Volume 1 & Volume 2 called A Collection of Pop Classics, look no more…

  12. jonder says:

    What if Reagan Youth played Disco Biscuits?

  13. Paul Cripple says:

    Wow, so many kind words. I am truly touched as, I am sure, Dave Insurgent is as well, though up in heaven.

    Now when we re-relased Youth Anthems as Vol. I Dave decided to use alternate takes. Since we recorded those tunes over the course of an entire year, there were many to choose from. Dave reasoned both records should be different and let’s face it, one is an e.p. and the other an l.p. so why not make it different. But were the versions of those 7 songs better on Youth Anthems? Of course they were, that’s why they made it onto our first recording and the ones that were subssequently used on Vol. I did not.

    As for the much malingned Volume Two, we had a much more difficult time with that one as compared to Youth Anthems. Our bassist bolted after playing like shit so it came down to the drummer and I recording all the music in just over two weeks time. And when Dave came in and sang all the songs in one night, he never returned because Dave was beaten so badly a frontal lobotomy was performed on him in order to save his life. So not only did Dave not come back to re-record his vocal tracks, he couldn’t even come back to give Vol II a proper final mix. Would it have sounded different? Better? I know for a fact it would’ve.

    Now I know it’s all just excuses but we did have a Doctor’s note… and from a Brain Surgeon no less. So do you think you kind people can be a bit kinder to Vol. II as well?

    Once again, thanx for all those kind words,
    -Paul Cripple

  14. Joe says:


    I had no idea Dave had to get a lobotomy. Man, his story is even sadder than I knew. You guys really had no idea how fucking influential and cool this record was to us growing up. I don’t think anybody hates the 2nd LP. Its just so hard to top something as perfect as this….

    Thanks for writing in man!


  15. Kevin says:

    I’ve never heard these versions before and I have to say they are way batter than the ones on A Collection of Pop Classics.

    I’ve always wondered… What the hell is he saying at the intro to I Hate Hate? At some point it sounds like he might be spelling something like”…M-E fuckin’ me … H-A-T-E- hate”

    If I recall correctly, the Lone Rangers version of Degenerated from the movie Airheads is actually performed by White Zombie with Brendan Frasier on vocals.

  16. Aaron says:

    They didn’t even give credit for using the song at the end…I always thought that sucked.

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