Music beyond their years

Mike Oldfield, 19 when he wrote this, he performs most of it on the album I think.


This sort of thing constantly amazes me. In the Summer of Soul film when they casually mentioned that Stevie Wonder is 19, and already an established star with a whole career behind him it blew my mind. Also in the Stones documentary last night when Mick Taylor talked about being 20 and getting a phone call inviting him to come and join the Stones and play his first gig with them in front of a quarter of a million people in Hyde Park.

Prince released his first album, which he produced, wrote and played all the instruments on, when he was 19 too.


Roddy Frame wrote We Could Send Letters when he was 15.


Arthur Lee was 19/20 when he wrote and arranged Forever Changes.


Kate Bush wrote Man With the Child in His Eyes when she was 13, and recorded it when she was 16.


Johnny Marr being 23 when the smiths split up constantly freaks my nut


Just realized that Isaac Brock was in his early 20s for the entire This Is a Long Drive / Lonesome Crowded West / Building Nothing out of Something / The Moon and Antarctica run.

And the Ugly Casanova album feels like a world-weary artist experimenting in his 40s or 50s, not the work of a 26 year old.

Steve Winwood had just turned 18 when he wrote and sung Gimme Some Lovin,

Similarly when I learned George Harrison was only 27 when the Beatles split up I remember being pretty ‘fuck, what have I done with my life?’


Alex Chilton was 16 when he sung this


Actually, the idea of having gone through all of that by 27 makes me feel sad. Imagine being 27 and knowing nothing in your life could ever live up to what you had already experienced, that the rest of your life was basically a postscript.

Pretty much the story of life but for most the first part isn’t as good


George Michael wrote Careless Whisper when he was 17


Now that’s depressing. Definitely not true for me.

1 Like

Dunno, I don’t think you’d know that and also from a personal POV there’s no reason to be linking it to your popularity. Might well have enjoyed being a Beatle minus the mania a lot more too!

And he released his greatest song when he was 27

I imagine when it ended it was an enormous relief in many ways at first. There must have been a massive sense of loss and ‘what do I do now?’ after that though.

can’t find a clip online, but there’s a lovely line from one of the Bad News films where Vim Fuego says “I could play Stairway To Heaven when I was twelve. Jimmy Page didn’t actually write it until he was twenty two. I think that says a lot”


Ricky Wilson was only in his mid thirties when The Kaiser Chiefs released I Predict A Riot


That’s fucking mad. As is how short the Beatles career span was