Adam and the Ants: Prince Charming / Christian d’Or

 

adamant_prince charming
Format: 7″ (gatefold)
Label: CBS (A1408)
Country: UK
Year: 1981
Price paid: $6
Purchased at: The Bop Shop, Rochester NY

 

“Ridicule is nothing to be scared of…”

‘Prince Charming’ is the second single off the 1981 album of the same name. It was Adam & the Ants second UK #1 hit (the first being ‘Stand and Deliver’); Adam would have one last UK #1 upon going solo with 1982’s ‘Goody Two Shoes.’ The single failed to chart in the US, but reached #4 in Australia and #8 in the Netherlands.

Due to similarities to Rolf Harris’ 1965 ‘War Canoe’ and an out court settlement was reached, with a not inconsiderable amount of royalties going to Harris for infringement.

The sleeve is a classy affair, with a rather subdued pallet in browns, reds, and gold. The single was also released in non-gatefold form (yawn); the B-side is spelled ‘ CHRISTIAN DIOR’ or ‘CHRISTIAN D’OR’ depending on release. The change could be due (once again) to possible copyright infringement. Oh those naughty music pirates!

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Adam Ant: Vive Le Rock, Re Mixed!

adamant_vive

Format: 12″

Label: Epic

Country: US

Year: 1985

Price paid: $2.50

Purchased at: Angry Mom Records, Ithaca NY

 

You’re scratching records but you won’t be scratching mine

Don’t give me chish-chash in rinky-dink time!

‘Vive Le Rock’ is the second single from Adam’s third solo album, ummm, ‘Vive Le Rock.’ It was his second-lowest charting single in the UK, coming in at #50. It fair better on the US Dance Charts where it rose to #29.

The single and album launched Adam’s new ‘Rockers in Space’ persona/philosophy, moving away stylistically from his early eighties pirate motif. This change in direction wasn’t popular with fans nor the public at the time, but I must admit I rather like it. In the greater scheme of British New Wave things it works well as a bridge between the first half of the decade and the development of the futurist/sci-fi aesthetic taken on by artists such as Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Westworld, and Transvision Vamp.

The sleeve art as well hints at the direction British album design would be heading in as the decade progressed. Slick production values, modern ‘contemporary’ fonts, and playful dynamic composition. This 12″ contains the ‘Remix’ and ‘Instrumental Dub’ mixes of the single. The art is similar to the 7″ version (UK, US, etc.) with the most notable difference being that Adam’s face is blue instead of pink.

adamant_vive2

Bubble Yum Bubble Gum Pink Flash! volume 1

pinkflash

Format: 12″

Label: CBS

Country: Canada

Year: 1981

Price paid: $3.50

Purchased at: Angry Mom Records, Ithaca NY

 

Either a promo or mail-away premium for Bubble Yum Bubble Gum, I must admit I bought this one pretty much for the cover. I was sold when I saw Adam and the Ants made an appearance, hoping that (despite the inclusion of Cheap Trick and Journey) there might be a hidden gem in the otherwise rather obscure Canada-heavy mix. Alas only Adam delivers the goods in the New Wave department, with most of the other tracks being dull energy-free rock ballads of little note. But what a cover!

There was never a volume two.

Track listing:

Adam And The Ants: ‘Dog Eat Dog’– This single is from the band’s second album, 1980’s ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier.’ It peaked at #4 in the UK and #15 in the US.

Harlequin: ‘Innocence’– Blasting out of Winnipeg in the mid-70’s, Canada’s Harlequin swooned listeners in the great white north for decades, eventually being inducted into the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

Powder Blues: ‘Doing It Right’– The Powder Blues were a Canadian blues/jazz band formed in Vancouver in 1978. This single, their first, reached #40 on the Canadian charts in 1980 and was taken from their 1979 freshman album ‘Uncut.’ It has a vaguely ‘Huey Lewis’ sound to my ears…

Cheap Trick: ‘Dream Police’– This song is from the band’s fourth studio LP of the same name. It reached #26 on the US charts; it’s Canadian chart ranking is unknown, but the album itself went to #4 and stayed on Canada’s charts for 20 weeks.

Randy Meisner: ‘Hearts On Fire’– Randy was a founding member of both Poco and the Eagles, having wrote and sang ‘Take It to the Limit’ for the later. This single reached #14 on the US Mainstream Rock chart in 1981. Yawn.

Journey: ‘The Party’s Over (Hopelessly In Love)’– The only studio track appearing on their live album ‘Captured’, this single made it to #33 in Canada and an impressive #2 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. Yawn.

Loverboy: ‘The Kid Is Hot Tonight’– From their 1980 self-titled debut album, this song was released as a single,but never saw any significant chart action.

Teenage Head: ‘Let’s Shake’– Perhaps Canada’s greatest punk band, Ontario’s Teenage Head released eight studio albums (and one live album) over a twenty-five year period. This vaguely-Rockabilly sounding single reached #88 on the Canadian charts in 1980.

Rough Trade: ‘Fashion Victim’– Canadian rock band that may be marginally known to American listeners through their 1981 single ‘All Touch’, which reached #58 in the states. This single is from 1980’s ‘Avoid Freud’ and reached #25 in Canada. Bland, slow, and uninspired.

Doug And The Slugs: ‘Too Bad’– Another Vancouver powerhouse formed in the late 70s, DATS lasted into the early 90s, racking up ten top-100 singles in Canada (most of those flying south of the top-50 mark.) ‘Too Bad’ was their first and highest charting single, coming in at #20.

 

pinkflash2

Adam and the Ants: Antmusic EP

adamant_antmusicEP

Format: 12″

Label: Do It Records (DUNIT 20)

Country: UK

Year: 1982

Price paid: $12

Purchased at: The Record Archive, Rochester NY

 

See a nation needing civilization just like a hole in the head.

The Antmusic EP is a collection of tracks taken from a recording session done at Sound Development (studios) in August of 1979 for their debut album ‘Dirk Wears White Sox.’ Several other A&TA albums were produced since, so by the time this was released some three years later it was all pretty much old news. The band split around the time of this EP’s release with Adam going solo and, with interest at a new high with singles such as ‘Goody Two Shoes‘ his old indie label Do-It might have thought it a good time to cash in on some of those old demos they had lying around.

 

Track listing:

  • Kick
  • Physical
  • Cartrouble (part 1)
  • Cartrouble (part 2)
  • Friends

The term ‘Antmusic’ as used here was a play on the song of the same name from the 1982 LP ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier.’ ‘Kick’ did not appear on the original release of ‘Dirk Wears White Sox’, but was included on the 1983 Epic/CBS reissue. Both ‘Physical’ and ‘Friends’ are non-LP tracks, although they do make an appearance on the remastered 2004 CD of ‘DWWS.’

I’m rather fond of this simple, stark sleeve. As stated, the music on the disc is older material; the sleeve art is rather anachronistic as well, harkening back to Adam’s earliest ventures.

Adam Ant: Goody Two Shoes/Red Scar

Format: 7″ picture disc
Country: UK
Year: 1982
Price paid: $3
Purchased at: The Bop Shop, Rochester NY

 

 “Don’t drink don’t smoke – what do you do? Subtle innuendos follow- there must be something inside”

Adam and the Ants parted ways in 1982, although Marco Pirroni stayed with Adam in the capacity of co-wrtiter.

Drummer Chris ‘Merrick’ Hughes rejoined ‘Dalek I Love You.’

This is Adam’s first solo single after leaving Adam and the Ants. It was a
#1 hit in the UK, reaching #12 on the US charts. This would be his last #1 hit.

Interestingly some Adam solo material- such as this disc-still carry the old ‘Adam and the Ants’ name. This error was corrected with later releases.

Adam and the Ants: Kings of the Wild Frontier / Press Darlings

Format: 7″

Label: CBS

Country: UK

Year: 1980

Price paid: $4

Purchased at: My Mind’s Eye, Cleveland OH

 

The album ‘King of the Wild Frontier’ was a turning point for Adam and his ants. Previously the band had had little success chart-wise, but that all changed with a forced band lineup brought on by Malcolm McLaren. McLaren, in a brilliant and extremely douchy move, stole Adam’s band and put them to work as the group Bow Wow Wow- with the then jailbait Annabella Lwin on lead vocals. But that’s a different story.

Suffice it to say things started to go really well for Adam and the Ants shortly thereafter…

This is fourth single released by the band, the first with the new lineup and also first in support of ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier’ LP. It reached #48 on the UK charts (their first chart appearance.)

I love the sleeve art on this one. The black/red/white color scheme is rather potent and must have made a dramatic impression on store shelves back in the day; it certainly would have caught my eye! Very intimidating, like a horror movie poster. Potent and primal.