Long before I heard the original “Fourteen or Fight” from Wild In The Streets, I somehow first heard the cover version by the relatively unknown Florida pop-punk outfit The Cichlids.
When I first laid eyes on the cover of the Cichlids album cover, I for some reason built up a whole backstory that they were like a brother/sister outfit. A power-pop version of the Osmonds or The Jets. The faux family bond, however, was my narrative and mine alone.
Formed in 1979, this band and their high-energy tunes burned brightly throughout the pan handle, even getting airplay on major Florida radio stations, but they broke up shortly after their sole eponymous full length.
Their take on the track is a very upbeat affair, channeling appropriate protest ethos of the Runaways by way of the Fabulous Stains, and frankly it makes the movie version sound like a tepid track from Bye Bye Birdie. Upgrade!
14 or Fight – The Cichlids
Fourteen or Fight – The 13th Power