Paul Hardcastle thinks it’s a shame that his hit song ‘19’ is still relevant, thirty years after it reached the top of the charts.
The songwriter and producer is re-releasing his iconic song to raise money for victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and tells HuffPostUK: “Everyone is still bashing each other to pieces and coming home with their brains scrambled.
“It’s very difficult to unscramble someone once that’s happened.”
Paul made the decision to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the song when he discovered how many people had committed suicide as a result of having PTSD. All money raised will go to the Talking2Minds charity, helping those returning from war, police officers and others suffering.
“I’d been watching a TV programme about Vietnam on Channel 4,” remembers Paul now. “The one thing that stood out was that line, the average age of a soldier over there. And I remembered what life was like for me at 19 – I was working in my first job, with my first car, hanging out with my mates in the pub.
“I remember thinking you weren’t allowed into an off licence to buy a drink until you were 21, and you could go and suffer all that…”
Paul remembers defying his record label back in 1985 to release the iconic track, supported by one junior member of staff – Simon Fuller, who was the best man at Paul’s wedding and went on to form his huge talent agency ‘19’, inspired by the tune.
Six weeks later, the song was at number one in the UK for six weeks, topped the charts 13 countries and its success changed Paul’s life forever, enabling him to build his own studio and work with artists he respected in America, and go on to compile the Top of the Pops theme.
Now, 30 years later, Paul sees the re-release as a final chance for his song to help people, and it’s a tune he never gets tired of hearing.
“It was such a risk for me. There are a few songs I don’t listen to, but whenever I hear ‘19’ on the radio, I always think how fortunate we were that we stuck to our guns.
“People always come up to me to talk about it, and it’s something they would never have known about otherwise, so this is the last chance for me to say, we did some good with that.”
Paul Hardcastle’s new album, 19 The 30th Anniversary Mixes and his new single the PTSD Remix are available on iTunes and Amazon with proceeds going to charity Talking2Minds. Watch the original video above.