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!

Kate Bush: Love and Anger / Ken (special edition)

katebush_loveandanger

Format: 7″

Label: EMI (EMG 134)

Country: UK (German pressing)

Year: 1990

Price paid: $1

Purchased at: private sale

 

Looking for a moment that’ll never happen

Living in the gap between past and future

‘Love and Anger’ was the third (and last) single released from Kate’s 1989 LP ‘The Sensual World.’ It reached #38 on the UK charts and an impressive #1 on the US Billboard ‘Modern Rock Tracks’ (aka- alternative/ indie) chart. It was released as a standard (non-gatefold) 7″, 12″, and CD single. The B-side ‘Ken was used on the British TV show ‘The Comic Strip’ which parodied politician Ken Livingstone.

This ‘special’ version of the single has a posh gatefold sleeve with inset pages and black 7″ slip cover. It was designed by Kind Light Studio and Bill Smith studio. Kind Light was associated with Kate from the early 80s up through the mid-90s and is most probably Kate Bush herself. Bill Smith has an extensive resume of New Wave sleeve design including artists such as Toyah, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, and Inspiral Carpets.

That being said I find the cover rather dull. Sure, it’s Kate Bush so a certain level of understated pretentiousness is expected, but the layout is strictly by-the-numbers. The photos used look to be taken on the set of the video production, they’re awfully grainy and orange in a way that looks more like poor quality photography than deliberate artistic expression.

The Creatures: Wild Things EP

creatures_wildthings

Format: double 7″ gatefold

Label: Polydor

Country: UK

Year: 1981

Price paid: $3.86 (incl. shipping)

Purchased at: eBay

 

“With the chatter in the trees, your balls are freezing in the breeze”

creatures_wildthings4The ‘Wild Things’ EP is the result of a side project/band (aka- ‘The Creatures’) created by Siouxsie and the Banshees members Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie. They discovered during the recording of the band’s fourth album ‘Juju’ a unique pairing of stripped down vocals and drums, a haunting combination that differed from the SATB sound enough to warrant outside exploration.

This double-pack 7″ set came in two formats- a ‘deluxe’ gatefold edition and a standard sleeve with both discs crammed inside.

Track listing:

  • Mad Eyed Screamer
  • So Unreal
  • But Not Them
  • Wild Thing
  • Thumb

‘Mad Eyed Screamer’ reached #24 on the UK singles charts. The track ‘Wild Thing’ is a cover of the 1966 hit by The Troggs.

The package is a lush affair, stark black and white infused with a generous helping of shimmering silver ink that refuses to be scanned. Another stunner by album artist Rob O’Connor.

creatures_wildthings3The photography is by Adrian Boot, a well known British photographer who specializes in music photography who has freelanced/worked for publications such as Melody Maker, The Face, and NME. Artists he’s shot include The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Specials, and Debbie Harry. The sleeve caused somewhat of a fuss at the time due to its none-too-subtle erotic imagery.

Surprisingly affordable and readily available, a must-have for the New Wave collector in terms of the music… and as an awesome example of period design.

creatures_wildthings2