ADAM ANT - THE ALBUMS 1982 - 2013



 "FRIEND OR FOE"

1982


FRIEND OR FOE - Adam's first solo album kicks off with this title track carrying on with a more polished sound than "Prince Charming". More mature with the orchestration sounds and brass but still with the big percussion.  This track reached number 9 in the singles chart as the second single.  Its jaunty uptempo beat combined with the usual vocal improvisations of wah wah's and the like merged to make a catchy tune.  

SOMETHING GIRLS - One of my favourite Ant tracks, its innuendo laden, mid tempo and full of whoops and whistles and yet a kind of ballad. It has a really dirty but sexy sounding backing.  Adam sings his best crooner style.  The catchy sing along chorus makes this a hit for me.

PLACE IN THE COUNTRY - Big, brash and Jazz/Pop fusion, always loved this track.  You can't help but sing along, its fast paced and you need to take a quick breath! Love it, really good song.

DESPERATE BUT NOT SERIOUS - Another ballad, Ant style.  A good Pop Rock track in my opinon.  A pulsating beat with Adam's breathy vocals merging superbly.  It has a moody and melancholic feel but packs a punch.  Criminally ignored on the UK chart only reaching number 33.  It is a classy track.

 

HERE COMES THE GRUMP - With its whimsical sound you would think this was an upbeat positive song.  It's actually a stark warning to would be Pop stars about the pressure of staying at the top.  A moody slice of realist Pop Rock.  Another catchy chorus too.

HELLO I LOVE YOU - Proving Adam could rock out with the best of them covering The Doors classic.  I wasn't much into The Doors but I love this track, a proper Rock workout, pumping beat and lots of brass and guitars. Great stuff.

GOODY TWO SHOES - Adam's debut single under his own name solely.  Hitting number 1 in 1982 it had an infectious beat and catchy chorus with Adam mocking the press who wrote about his supposed "wild lifestyle".  A real foot tapper and a simple classic.

 

CRACKPOT HISTORY AND THE RIGHT TO LIE - This was never one of my favourite Ant tracks, in fact probably the weakest on this album.  It doesn't seem to go anywhere, definitely a filler.  It is repetitive with some Country sounding vocals.  Not for me although some may disagree.

MADE OF MONEY - This is a great track, catchy chorus, a little repetitive but it works.  Fits in well with the album's big, loud brass orchestration mixed with Pop and Rock segments.  Another gem here on a vastly underrated album.

CAJUN TWISTERS - This is a strange one, and I still to this day am not sure of it.  It sounds a little like a demo from the "Prince Charming" album in its composition.  It is a bit of everything yet sparse in volume.  Unusual.

TRY THIS FOR SIGHS - Similar in style to "Made Of Money", great catchy chorus, pumping beat and uptempo backing.  Another one of my favourite sing along tracks.

MAN CALLED MARCO - Long time music partner Marco Pirroni takes control here with a really nice instrumental guitar track to finish the album.  Marco even has a few spoken words in this, a rarity in itself. 


 "STRIP"

 1983

STRIP - The lead song from Adam's second solo album is a saucy, sexy romp with an almost classical Pop feel.  This is a much more mature sounding album with some great vocals and inventive merging of sounds.  Not always a favourite with Antpeople but I loved this album, it was refreshing and like other Ant albums, sounded like nothing else in the chart. This track is aided by Phil Collins on drums and Abba's Frida on the speaking part!

 

BABY, LET ME SCREAM AT YOU - An almost Motown Pop sound here, I really like this track.  Adam sounds much more confident singing and rather than the tribal yeps and growls he sings with a maturity and melody.  The lyrics are becoming more clever and thoughtful.  Still the sex innuendos are there but this is quality.

LIBERTINE - A moody, downbeat track but has a light backing and yet again something about sex is mentioned.  Adam states "my only books were women's looks, but the more I read the less I said".  I think people took the sex references too literally and ignored the quality of this album's recordings.  Some fans state this as Adam's weakest album.  This a melancholic yet weirdly catchy tune, when the music fades at about 3 minutes and Adam is left vocalising, it sounds great and worth a sing along with him!

SPANISH GAMES -  Strangely sounding a demo again from the "Prince Chraming" sessions.  It is sparse sounding and although has a pretty good chorus, it fails to grasp me.  Not one of my favourites.  Yes it IS Spanish sounding, though!

VANITY - A Pop Rock ballad in the usual Ant vein but with some really good, passionate vocals.  A grea chorus with doubed up deeper vocals.  Its sweet, melancholic and a great track.

PUSS 'N BOOTS - The lead single from this abum with another brilliant video.  The unmistakeable cat meow at the start still sends tingles down my spine.  I remember waking up early to catch this video on morning TV.  Love it, its quirky, crazy and cool all at the same time.  If anybody could make a video looking like a pantomime and make it cool (it's been done before!) it's Adam! Phil Collins again joins on drums with an awesome infectious chorus! Reaching number 5 on the UK chart, a classic 80s hit!

 

PLAYBOY - This reminds me of the "Friend Or Foe" album.  This track has Adam mocking his Playboy image, its funny, bonkers and brilliant.  Screeching guitar, pumping beat, various vocal styles, classical backing and a catchy chorus.  One of my favourite tracks and should have been a single here.

MONTREAL - Another strange song, it's got that old days' feel with its chugging backing, akin to an old car driving along.  The vocals are also kicked back in volume but this is great.  It sounds like a demo because it is so sparse but its a really nice, gentle composition.

NAVEL TO NECK - A favourite of mine, I just love the sound of it.  The sparse but tribal sounding beat with various vocal pitches and a dirty sounding punch is irresistible.  It's very New Wave Pop and hints to the "Kings" style cowboy styles and "Friend Or Foe" segments.  Love it.

AMAZON - Not a great ending to the album, a pretty weak track in my opinion, there are some great moments on here but this is not one of them.  Sounds very experimental, a little like "Spanish Games" , not that catchy or hitting your ears with a bang.


 "VIVE LE ROCK"

1985


VIVE LE ROCK - The third solo album by Adam Ant had him with a steady band comprising of him, Marco Pirroni, Chris De Niro (aka Constinou) and Bogdan "Count" Wiczling.  The album flopped largely thanks to a criminally cut short performance at Live Aid thanks to Bono's antics and Adam volunteered his set be cut.  Still this is an all out Rock album and its great.  This opening track sadly only reached number 50 on the UK chart but its a great track with searing guitars and pumping beat.

 

MISS THING - Continuing the "live sound" of the opening track, this reminds me of The Doors a little and the album's crazy madcap lyrical notations carry on here.  It's a great upbeat, pounding Rock track that is a stomper from start to finish.

RAZOR KEEN - Progressive Rock meets Glam Rock and smacks into Heavy Rock.  This is an awesome track.  Even diehard Rock fans cannot stick their upper lip at this one.  Brilliant track.

RIP DOWN - This track reminds me of Billy Idol's sneering vocals in parts.  It's got a great Country Rock laid back vibe and has that "Kings" style tribal drumming in the background.  Another gem!

SCORPIO RISING - Taking me back to the "Prince Charming" album, this is what those tracks could have sounded like with better, unrushed production.  A gentle, inspiring Western style song with a simple chorus.

APOLLO 9 - The debut single from the "rockers in space" era, it reached number 13 before the album's release and before Live Aid.  It is said that the lack of promotion after this single from the record company led Adam to take a huge break in music for 5 years to try acting.  It's a great Pop track in the vein of "Puss 'N Boots", madcap, quirky with an infectious chorus.  Classic Adam.

 

HELL'S EIGHT ACRES - This reminds me of the 80s band, Tenpole Tudor (of "Wunderbar" and "Swords Of A Thousand Men" fame).  Its joint chanted vocals and big, brash sound make this a track I really like.  It's melodic, pacey and completely bonkers.  Brilliant!

MOHAIR LOCKER ROOM PIN-UP BOYS - It seems in te last 3 albums there is always one track that sounds like a "Prince Charming" demo! This is the one for this set.  Not great, it is sparse and not really engaging in any way for me, as a fan. Weakest track on the album.

NO ZAP - This is right out of Marc Bolan's copybook.  Glam Rock with a little Beach Boys, if you can imagine.  It's simple, classy and great.

P.O.E. - A Country and Western styled track that is just mad and sounds like an afterthought to me to fill the album.  It's not a great ending to "Vive Le Rock" with the following track.  The set has so much to offer and should have been received better.

APOLLO 9 (Reprise) - A pretty pointless 1 and a half minutes of a stripped down version of the hit single.


 "MANNERS & PHYSIQUE"

1990

ROOM AT THE TOP - The fourth album by Mr Ant has a very different Funk and Dance style.  Aided once again by Marco Pirroni on guitars and previous Prince associate Andre Cymone on "everything else".  There is a distinct Minneapolis vibe going on and as a Prince fan I liked this album.  This lead track is a kind of Funk/Damce/Pop mix, with a great video and memorable chorus this was a good start.  Once again criminally ignored by the UK reaching only number 13!

 

ROUGH STUFF - Not one of my favourites, it tries to be R n' B a little but the annoying Disco like beat is overpowering.  It is repetitive and seems like Adam really isn't comfortable with this style on this track.

IF YOU KEEP ON -  This is a pretty decent song, a more Pop sound than Dance and has better lyrical content than the previous track.  Its mid tempo half ballad style matched with Ant's various vocals and melodies which work nice together.  Co-written with Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners fame.

MANNERS & PHYSIQUE - The title track has a great Funk Pop feel like the opening track, some nice harmonies and the various musical parts are all at the same volume so nothing is overpowered.  A quite catchy chorus and accomplished vocals from Adam make this a winner.

CAN'T SET RULES ABOUT LOVE - Adam has tried ballads before but all with the Ant style.  This is a pure Pop Rock ballad and probably helped him shape the great sounds of the "Wonderful" album later on his career.  This is a beautiful sound, great lyrics and a fine emotional and passionate vocal performance from Adam.  Love this, a favourite of mine.  Ridiculously only reaching 47 on the UK chart.

U.S.S.A. - This track is more like 80s Synth Pop in style with a New Wave Rock kick.  A great hybrid of styles, its quirky and a bit mad as some of Adam's songs are but it works.  Cool track.

BRIGHT LIGHTS BLACK LEATHER - Similar in style with "Rough Stuff" but has a lot more substance.  The chorus isn't as repetitive and there are variations on the vocals and backing track.  It grows on you the more you play it.  As an Antfan I have had many plays of this so I now appreciate it.

PICCADILLY - A more guitar led track with the percussion pushed back a little. This is a great track, more like the Adam we all know.  New Wave Pop Rock from the late 80s.

YOUNG, DUMB & FULL OF IT - One of my favourites from this set, pumping beat and great guitars plus a catchy chorus.  Almost reminds me of the B52's, great quirky Pop Rock.  Class.

ANGER INC. - The final track is like a mid tempo ballad.  A really great track that incorporates the pure Pop of "Strip" and Rock style of "Vive Le Rock".  Again some Antfans were against this album but the best thing about Adam Ant is that he never stayed the same, he tried different things.  That is always a plus for me like my other favourite artists Blondie, Prince, Madonna, even A-ha and Duran Duran matured from pure Pop to a more rockier sound.  Kudos to Adam.


"WONDERFUL"

1995


WON'T TAKE THAT TALK - Adam's fifth solo album had a more rockier and Acoustic feel.  This opening track is a guitar driven, moody Alternative Rock track that kicks off the album in style.  This was Adam, the serious rocker.

BEAUTIFUL DREAM - A quirky, almost fast spoken word Pop Rock track with a nice "pure" studio sound as all of this album. Engaging and cool with is sligt leaning to a Electronic Pop.  Its serious lyrics over a bright, almost humourous backing is an interesting mix.

WONDERFUL - Not many ballads in the Ant catlaogue but this is an absolute gem.  A beautiful song and Adam delivers it in his own style giving a heartfelt vocal. A great Rock Pop ballad by anyone's standards.  Prompting Adam to cry real tears in his video this is allegedly about a former girlfriend. Criminally ignored by the music media and only reached number 32 in the UK chart.

1969 AGAIN - New Wave Pop Rock with a laid back tone.  Hints of Americana and Folk.  Unusual.

YIN AND YANG - An almost Dream Pop style track.  Soft vocals from Adam and an almost Acoustic bare bones backing, very nice.

IMAGE OF YOURSELF - One of my favourite tracks on the album, almost Tom Petty style, a kind of Americana mixed with Grunge Rock.  Really great song.

ALIEN - A rhythmic Punk/Alternative Rock hybrid with a hint of Funk and Rock N' Roll.  Another favourite of mine.  Again has that pure "live" sound of a jam.

GOTTA BE A SIN - The second single from the album and its a great catchy tune.  Its almost Glam Rock in style like T-Rex and The Sweet but with those guitar driven Classic Rock riffs.  Only reached number 45, ignored by the music buying public who were probably not ready for the Dandy Highwayman to mature into a rocker!

VAMPIRES - Another great track, almost Grunge like with dark Gothic overtones.  Some classy guitars though.  Atmospheric, moody and superb.

ANGEL - Reminds me of the big anthemic songs by U2 or Simple Minds.  A positive, upbeat chorus and its just not what you expect from Adam Ant.  A brilliant track and the album is worth checking out for this track alone!

 

VERY LONG RIDE - Reminds me of Madness, but its an "explicit" song, bascially it has one reference of the "f" word, but never mind.  Its quirky and rocky in a down played way.  Unusual end for the album but Adam never got where he did without experimenting.


"ADAM ANT IS THE BLUEBLACK HUSSAR IN MARRYING THE GUNNER'S DAUGHTER"

2013

COOL ZOMBIE - As with the album this only single from the album was self-promoted and released.  The album teased at being the "Kings of the Wild Frontier" Adam back from the dead, the "marrying..etc" in the title is an old naval term for a punishment of flogging, seemingly how music stars are treated today! This first track is similar to the "Kings.." era, but I am still disappointed he went "back", as Adam was the only star in the 80s who looked forward and moved on, re-creating...oh well.  This was a decent tune with its half bluesy feel.

STAY IN THE GAME - This is an eerie, dark track in the style of Iggy Pop and like the majority of this album seem to go back to the early Punk days of the Ants of the "Dirk Wears White Sox" era and late 70s.

MARRYING THE GUNNER'S DAUGHTER - This is a merging of some dirty Blues with Rock 'N Roll.  It's a good track and a favourite from this album of hit and misses.

VINCE TAYLOR - A Punk Rock track reminding me a little of The Clash and The Ramones and the bands at that time of the mid to late 70s scene. Another decent track.

VALENTINES - Not really sure what this is or where it is going.  Just sounds like a mish mash of sounds and vocals put together (like some of the tracks here) in a big rush and sounds sloppy.

DARLIN' BOY - I have to say, even for a long time Ant fan, this is so poor, its just a myriad of wails and sounds sounding desperately to make a meaningful, atmospheric track, another disappointment.

DIRTY BEAST - Well the music sounds great on this one, but the vocals are very well back in the mix and almost inaudible.  Sounded a little like the "Strip" album tracks in composition but with the muffled vocals...I just don't know how Adam could put this out, to be honest.

PUNKYOUNGIRL - Another disappointing track that sounds like a rough demo, its just annoying to a fan that someone with such creativity and a perfection ethic that this album sounds unfinished.  Not a good track, but could have been with more care.

SAUSAGE - Great guitars but the vocals are horrible and the production even worse.  This is why this album barely gets played on my stereo with less than a handful of good tracks.  Sad.

CRADLE YOUR HATRED - The production lets this down again, and this time it's really annoying as it sounds like a really good track.  A good, moody Pop Rock track ruined by a lack of effort in making a class song.

HARDMENTOUGHBLOKES - I actually like this, it reminds me of the "Vive Le Rock" album, a bit of punch and Rock on the track.  Vocals could be more audible, but its almost like "B-Side Baby", the flipside to "Apollo 9".  Hard to pick great favourites here so I'm picking this one out!

SHRINK - This isn't a bad track, a Grunge/Punk/Glam Rock vibe about it.  It is loud, brash and seemed to have some thought behind the making of it.

VIVENNE'S TEARS - Not great production again, but the sentiment shines through that.  The song is about Vivienne Westwood, Malcolm McLaren's partner.  A nice off beat Punk ballad.

WHO'S A GOOFY BUNNY - Supposedly about Malcolm McLaren, it is a quirky number filled with the various chants and vocals Adam has used in his career.  It has a bit of everything but seems to work.  Early Ant recordings are reminded here.

HOW CAN I SAY I MISS YOU? - A big Electronic track, another fairly good track, similar to the "Vive Le Rock" days.  Another saving grace on this album.

BULLSHIT - This is probably my favourite on the album, a great New Wave Pop Rock/Grunge hybrid.  The mix is well done and the vocals match the backing nicely.  Pity it came at the end of the album!

 

HOW CAN I SAY I MISS YOU? (Reprise) - Basically just the instrumental version!









Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SAMANTHA FOX - "TOUCH ME" 1986

HUE AND CRY - "SEDUCED AND ABANDONED" 1987

FLEETWOOD MAC - "RUMOURS" 1977