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Music / Music Has the Right to Children

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Music Has the Right to Children is the major-label debut album by Scottish electronic duo Boards of Canada, released by Warp Records on 20 April 1998. The album saw the use of samples, field recordings and sound manipulation, and continues the 1970s nostalgia invoked in both their earlier (all 10 of them) and later works.

The album saw critical acclaim upon release, was hailed as a modern classic and is today considered one of the greatest electronic albums of all time.



  1. "Wildlife Analysis" (1:17)
  2. "An Eagle In Your Mind" (6:23)
  3. "The Color of the Fire" (1:45)
  4. "Telephasic Workshop" (6:35)
  5. "Triangles & Rhombuses" (1:50)
  6. "Sixtyten" (5:48)
  7. "Turquoise Hexagon Sun" (5:07)
  8. "Kaini Industries" (0:59)
  9. "Bocuma" (1:35)
  10. "Roygbiv" (2:31)
  11. "Rue the Whirl" (6:39)
  12. "Aquarius" (5:58)
  13. "Olson" (1:31)
  14. "Pete Standing Alone" (6:07)
  15. "Smokes Quantity" (3:07)
  16. "Open The Light" (4:25)
  17. "One Very Important Thought" (1:14)
  18. "Happy Cycling"Note  (7:55)


Music Has The Right To Tropes:

  • The '70s: Invokes '70s nostalgia via sampling and more analogue recording/performing techniques.
  • An Aesop: "One Very Important Thought," about free speech. Based on this message from the end of the 1982 adult film A Brief Affair.
  • Arc Number: "Sixtyten" began the habit of including the number 70 which makes appearances in Boards of Canada's later albums.
  • The Blank: The cover shows a faceless family.
  • Call-Back: One of the numbers recited in "Aquarius" is sixty-ten, an earlier track.
  • Call-Forward: The 'I love you' sample in "The Color of the Fire" makes an earlier appearance in "An Eagle In Your Mind", though it's been modified to sound much deeper.
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Bocuma" into "Roygbiv".
  • Ghibli Hills: Arguably the musical equivalent of it, with its warm synths and sampling of nature documentaries.
  • Gratuitous Panning: Used in several songs, most notably during the counting sequence in "Aquarius", where the numbers bounce back and forth between the left and eight speakers.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: Subverted on the normal version, but played straight on the Japanese version, which includes the nearly 8-minute-long "Happy Cycling".
  • Miniscule Rocking: "Wildlife Analysis", "Kaini Industries", "Bocuma", "Olson" and "One Very Important Thought".
  • One-Word Title: "Sixtyten", "Bocuma", "Aquarius" and "Roygbiv."
  • Self-Referential Track Placement: Subverted. Aquarius (the 11th Zodiac sign), is the 12th song on the album.
  • Sampling: Heavy use of this, especially from field recordings, movies, Sesame Street (yes, really) National Film Board of Canada documentaries, as well as more "normal" sampling of other songs ("Aquarius", for instance, is driven by a sample from the Hair soundtrack).
    • "One Very Important Thought" samples the ending of the 1982 adult film A Brief Affair, which appeared in Boc Maxima two years earlier. For this album, the sample was slightly re-recorded, replacing "would stop you from viewing an adult film" with "would stop you from listening to Boards of Canada".
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Turquoise Hexagon Sun" references the Hexagon Sun artistic collective, as well as the name of their recording studio.
    • "Telephasic Workshop", among other things, is suggested by the BoCpages fansite to be a reference to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, best known for its contributions to Doctor Who.
    • "Kaini Industries" is a misspelling of Kainai Industries, a Canadian company set up in July 1971 (the month Mike was born) to provide employment for a Kainai (Blood Nation) reserve.
    • "Roygbiv" is a famous mnemonic used to remember the order of colours in a rainbow.
    • "Aquarius" is named that because its primary sample comes from "Aquarius" by Galt MacDermot, from the Hair soundtrack (specifically, the 1979 soundtrack).
    • "Olson" and "Smokes Quantity" are references to the band's friends Melissa Olson (who directed the "Dayvan Cowboy" video) and an unnamed friend who was nicknamed "Smokes Quantity".
    • "Pete Standing Alone" is a reference to Pete Standing Alone, a First Nation Canadian who appeared in seven National Film Board of Canada documentaries about the Kainai nation, including Circle of the Sun.
  • Singer Namedrop: "Telephasic Workshop" has a sneaky reference to the band's name, through a vocal sample at 4:39 and 5:17 which says "bordering Canada". "One Very Important Thought" name drops the band as well.
  • Zeerust: Music Has the Right to Children was directly influenced by the National Film Board of Canada's old 1970s music, so this is no surprise.