Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
Youth & Young Manhood CD 11 BMG JAPAN BVCP-24032 4988017615683
Youth & Young Manhood CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) 82876 52394-2 828765239424
Youth & Young Manhood CD 13 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle)
Youth & Young Manhood Digital Media 12 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle)
Youth & Young Manhood Copy Control CD 11 Hand Me Down HMD27JC 828765568722
Youth & Young Manhood CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) 82876 52159 2 828765215923
Youth & Young Manhood CD 11 Hand Me Down, Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Aug 5, 2004 - Oct 1, 2008; do not use if a specific sub-label is available) 88697532802 886975328024
Youth & Young Manhood CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) 8287655308-2 0828765530828
Youth & Young Manhood 12" Vinyl 12 Music on Vinyl MOVLP475 8718469530212
Youth & Young Manhood 2×12" Vinyl 6 + 6 Legacy (Legacy Recordings), RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) 88985347311 889853473113

Relationships

artist & repertoire support: Steve Ralbovsky
associated singles/EPs: California Waiting
Wasted Time
included in: Boxed
The Early Vinyl
part of: 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2005 edition)
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000038125 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/123916 [info]
Wikidata: Q969366 [info]
Wikipedia: en: Youth & Young Manhood [info]
other databases: http://www.musik-sammler.de/album/75414 [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/p3q4 [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Although it's the rawest and most primal of Kings of Leon's four albums to date, Youth & Young Manhood is no cheap, haphazardly compiled collection of demos. For a start, this debut's 11 tracks were mostly recorded at Sound City, the Californian studio where Fleetwood Mac mixed Rumours and Nirvana made Nevermind.

Amid these salubrious surroundings the band drew on the talents of producer Ethan Johns (whose father, Glyn, worked with The Eagles and The Rolling Stones) and Angelo Petraglia. The latter had written with the band since their early days and was considered such a safe pair of hands that he shared co-writing credits with Nathan and Caleb Followill (two of the band's three brothers). Unsurprisingly, then, it's actually a fairly polished affair, particularly compared to the Holy Roller Novocaine EP, where four of these songs initially appeared in February 2003.

The dense, vulnerable California Waiting loses a touch of vitality, even if typically broad, yearning KoL lyrics linger: "While you're tryin' to save me / Can I get back my lonely life". It's a mystery why Caleb's vocal performance appears to have been muddied up, too. Thankfully, key single Molly's Chambers is not harmed on its transition to album - it remains a swaggering southern-rock anthem. Elsewhere, non-EP tracks like Happy Alone and Trani are as flabby and forgettable as Jet B sides.

But when the Followills pare it down, the results can be startling. Porch-bound blues ditty Dusty is probably the most soulful tune of their career so far, while tender barroom lament Talihina Sky is remarkably subtle. It's as if JJ Cale sauntered up (Exile on) Main Street to teach The Stones the true meaning of melancholy.

The rudimentary riffs and song structures across the album lack finesse at this early stage - the Nashville-formed outfit have added significant depth to their sound as their career has progressed. Caleb sings like a rockier Randy Newman, which is not a problem compared to what's followed: overblown singles like On Call and Sex on Fire are embarrassing by comparison to this rougher fare.

Now lacking some of the fire that informs much of this debut, KoL may well have traded what initially made them so appealing for major league success. Listening back to this collection, it's clear the band's best work comes when they strip everything back, even as far as an as-unplugged set-up.