80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Rational Youth

RY_bHere is another top-notch Canadian band that received little recognition here in the states. Rational Youth has been incorrectly categorized as a “one-hit wonder.” Perhaps “No More And No Less” is what the band is most noted for in the fickle lower 48, but what many people do not know is that this band enjoyed success before and after “No More and No Less,” and adulation from their dedicated followers in Canada and beyond.

Anyone that reads this blog knows I adore synth-driven 80’s music. Rational Youth delivers the synthesized goods flawlessly, along with strong vocals and interesting lyrics.

Like many highly talented bands in the turbulent 80’s, the band survived several personnel changes. Originally formed in Montreal, Quebec, Canada by Tracy Howe and Bill Vorn, the band started with a strong electronic foundation. Both founders had a healthy admiration for German synth-band Kraftwerk and were able to beautifully channel their own electronic talents through Rational Youth.

After enjoying three healthy LP releases during the 80’s, the band reformed fourteen years later around original member Tracy Howe, and crafted a new collection of songs called To The Goddess Electricity. Rational Youth finally called it quits in 2001 after an extensive two-year tour.

If you love electronic 80’s music as much as I do, and you have never enjoyed Rational Youth’s contribution to what I consider the most exciting and diverse musical decade, treat your ears by sampling what is on YouTube, then buy what’s still available for sale. And, remember the source: our talented and criminally overlooked neighbor to the north.

“No More and No Less” via YouTube user kudtss:

“Dancing On The Berlin Wall” via YouTube user bm02134:

“Cite Phosphore” via YouTube user paralisisnyc:

“Heredity” via YouTube user bm02134:

Purchase Rational Youth

1980’s Discography

ry_1Cold War Night Life (1982)




RY_2Rational Youth (EP, 1983)



RY_3Heredity (1985)

5 thoughts on “80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Rational Youth

  1. Missy – nice post. In addition to ‘to the goddess electricity’ they also re-released Cold War Night Life on CD as well as a greatest hits package and a few CD singles in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. There was a box set of their 80’s singles released as well. As far as I know, Heredity has not been re-released in its entirety on CD to date (some tracks were included on the greatest hits CD)

    They were one of my favourites back in the mid 80’s!



  2. Great post MissP, I am glad you included Cite Phosphore. It is one of my favouries, much better than the English version IMO.


    Ed 🙂


  3. Heya ((((Ralph)))))

    Being the 80’s snob that I am, I usually only include the 80’s discography for the bands featured here – but you are absolutely correct. Thank you for posting the additional information! Their music is worth exploring both in and out of the 80’s.

    Aside from “No More and No Less,” my favorite Rational Youth song is “Just A Sound In The Night” – it’s clearly yummy 80’s synth-pop and takes me back to that wonderful time….. 🙂



  4. (((((Ed))))))

    I’ve learned to love the French version thanks to your show – in fact, there’s so much music I’ve learned to love thanks to you! 🙂

    See you Tuesday,


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