Today's artists are an English rock band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The group, which lasted from 1977 to 1982, existed in two incarnations, both fronted by Adam Ant. The first, founded in May 1977 and known simply as The Ants until November that year, achieved considerable cult popularity during the transition from the punk rock era to the post-punk and new wave era and were noted for their high camp and overtly sexualised stage performances and songs. The final line-up of this first incarnation left the band in January 1980 at the suggestion of then-de facto manager Malcolm McLaren, to form the instrumentalist personnel of the controversial Bow Wow Wow. The second incarnation of Adam and the Ants featured guitarist Marco Pirroni and drummer-producer Chris Hughes and was noted for its use of Burundi drums. It lasted from February 1980 to March 1982 and achieved major commercial success in the UK and abroad.......N'Joy
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Prior to Adam and the Ants, Adam Ant (born Stuart Leslie Goddard) played bass in pub rock group Bazooka Joe, now primarily known as the band that headlined when Sex Pistols played their first concert on 6 November 1975 at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. After witnessing this, Adam quit the band with the intention of forming his own, inspired by Sex Pistols. Tentatively called The B-Sides, they practised regularly over the following months but, lacking a drummer, never managed to play a gig. Meanwhile, Adam Ant had befriended some influential figures in the burgeoning London punk scene, most notably Jordan, who worked in Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's SEX boutique shop. The Ants eventually formed in early 1977 consisting of Lester Square (guitar), Andy Warren (bass guitar) and Paul Flannagan (drums). Lester Square left to finish his course at an art school and to later form The Monochrome Set just days after The Ants played their first gig on 5 May 1977, at a bedroom in Muswell Hill. Mark Ryan replaced him on guitar and played the first formal gigs (starting with a performance at the ICA in London on 10 May 1977). In early June, Flannagan was replaced with Dave Barbarossa and the resulting line-up recorded "Plastic Surgery" (along with seven other unreleased demos later dubbed the "Jubilee Demos" by bootleggers) and featured in the film Jubilee as the band of Adam's character Kid, until Ryan was replaced by Johnny Bivouac in October 1977. Shortly after this, the group adopted the longer Adam and the Ants bandname.
The band made their radio debut on the John Peel show with a session recorded on 23 January 1978, including the song "Lou" featuring the group's manager Jordan guesting on lead vocals (as she would regularly do on live performance of the song from mid-1977 until May 1978 when she split from the band). The following day, Adam and the Ants re-recorded "Deutscher Girls" (and overdubbed a guitar solo onto the above-mentioned version of "Plastic Surgery") for the Jubilee soundtrack album, which would be released in April – the two tracks on the album being the group's vinyl debut.
Touring extensively around the UK, often with Siouxsie and the Banshees, they proved to be unpopular with much of the British music press who disliked their fetishistic lyrics and imagery. In response, the group formed a strong – at times ideological – rapport with amateur punk fanzines such as Ripped And Torn which gave them more favourable coverage. The band built up a strong cult following (the early "Antpeople") but struggled to find overground success or even a record deal (apart from the two Jubilee soundtrack songs) until 1978 when they were signed to Decca.
By this time, Adam and the Ants had been through several line-up changes before eventually settling on the stable line-up of Adam Ant (vocals and guitar), Matthew Ashman (guitar), Andy Warren (bass guitar) and Dave Barbe (drums). It would be this line-up that recorded and released their first single "Young Parisians" to confused reviews and little success, along with a total of 21 demo recordings, all bar one of which was recorded at Decca's own studio in West Hampstead. Many of these and other early recordings and demos would eventually surface as bootleg recordings. They also recorded a further two John Peel Sessions in July 1978 and March 1979 and all three sessions were released in 2001 on The Complete Radio 1 Sessions.
Apparently unable to satisfactorily market the band, Decca let them go in early 1979, and the group, still with the same line-up but employing a lighter sound than previously (except for live shows), signed with independent label Do It Records and recorded their second single "Zerox" and debut album Dirk Wears White Sox, before Warren also left to join Lester Square in The Monochrome Set. Ashman also temporarily left the band at this point, and Ant and Barbe recorded a set of nine demos at Solid Gold Sound Studios in London for a putative Ant solo project, using a heavily soul/funk/disco influenced sound. Do It rejected the new songs and Ashman returned to the band shortly thereafter.
Late 1979 saw the release of Dirk Wears White Sox (1979, Do It Records). The title referenced Dirk Bogarde. The album was somewhat dark, with post-punk riffs and some vestiges of glam rock, as well as attempts to fuse this sound with funk and soul. Lyrically it addressed subjects such as fetishism, historical figures like Adolf Hitler, John F. Kennedy and Cleopatra as well as art history, particularly the Futurism movement. It gained a cult following rather than commercial success, leading a frustrated Adam to hire Malcolm McLaren, former manager of the Sex Pistols, in the hope of gaining more widespread recognition.
On 26 January 1980, McLaren convinced the rest of the band – then comprising guitarist Matthew Ashman, bassist Leigh Gorman (who had replaced Warren in November 1979) and drummer Dave Barbe – to leave Adam and the Ants and form Bow Wow Wow, fronted by Annabella Lwin.
During February–April 1980, a new version of Adam and the Ants was formed with Marco Pirroni (an ex-member of Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Models, Rema Rema and Cowboys International) (guitar), Kevin Mooney (bass guitar), and two drummers, Terry Lee Miall and Chris Hughes (ex-The Blitz Brothers, future Tears for Fears producer), who took the pseudonym of "Merrick." Pirroni would become an influential member of the group, co-writing all of their new songs with Adam Ant.
While in the process of assembling the band, Ant and Pirroni re-recorded the Dirk Wears White Sox track "Cartrouble Pt.2" as a contract fulfilling single for Do It, together with future Culture Club drummer Jon Moss and with Hughes producing. The label released the single under the shorter title "Cartrouble" in March 1980 (with Moss credited as "Terry 1+2"), and it reached No. 1 on the UK Independent Singles Chart. The following month, the by-then recruited full band recorded the single "Kings of the Wild Frontier" for prospective record companies.
Without label support, the band carried out a major UK "Ants Invasion" tour, at the end of which, they signed a major label deal with CBS Records and began recording Kings of the Wild Frontier, having first rush-released the title track as a single. That album was a hit in the United Kingdom and put the band at the forefront of the New Romantic movement. The album reached No. 1 on the UK album charts on 24 January 1981.
There were three hit singles from this LP, including "Dog Eat Dog" (reaching No. 4 on the UK singles charts in October 1980), 'Antmusic' (No. 2 in January 1981 – only kept off top spot by recently murdered John Lennon), whereby Antmusic went to No. 1 in Australia, and "Kings of the Wild Frontier" (No. 2 in March 1981, previously No. 48 in August 1980). In addition, 'Antmusic' made it to No. 1 in Australia for five weeks.
Decca and Do It Records both repromoted all of the band's previous output to cash in on the success of the album and its satellite singles. "Young Parisians" reached No. 9 in December 1980 (giving the old Ants band a posthumous UK Top 10 hit single) while Dirk Wears White Sox made it to No. 17 in the album charts in February 1981. "Zerox" and "Cartrouble" also charted that month, making it to No. 33 and No. 45, respectively, in the UK Singles Chart. Bassist Kevin Mooney left the band in 1981, and was replaced with Gary Tibbs, who joined just in time to promote the hit single "Stand and Deliver".
In November 1981, Adam & the Ants released Prince Charming. The band had two United Kingdom No. 1 singles: "Stand and Deliver" was a No. 1 single in the UK for 5 weeks in May 1981, followed by "Prince Charming", which topped the UK charts for 4 weeks in September 1981 "Ant Rap" reached No. 3 in January 1982. There would be a further round of cash-in reissues of early material in early 1982, when the two Jubilee soundtrack songs were reissued in February as a 7-inch single with "Deutscher Girls" as the A Side, reaching No. 13 on the UK singles chart (giving the original Ants band a second posthumous Top 15 hit), while Antmusic EP, a 12" EP of three unused tracks from the Dirk sessions plus a remix of 'Cartouble (Parts 1 & 2)'), was released by Do It in March, reaching No. 46.
In early 1982, the band received a BRIT Award for Best Album (Kings of the Wild Frontier) and a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist. In March 1982, feeling certain band members "lacked enthusiasm", Adam Ant disbanded the group. Newspaper articles at the time offered various explanations for the motivations behind the split. Initially Adam was quoted as saying that the split was amicable but later he was to say that "the interest just wasn't there any more. It might have been Adam and the Ants on the billboards but not on stage". In addition, it is said that Pirroni quit as he was tired of touring. A few months after the split Adam Ant launched a solo career (though he retained Marco Pirroni as co-writer), enjoying immediate success with a third UK No. 1 hit single "Goody Two Shoes". Some copies of the single are credited to Adam and the Ants, but only Ant and Pirroni from the band feature, plus also Merrick on the UK single mix (the US release used the album recording featuring Bogdan Wiczling from Ant's new live backing band.). Merrick subsequently rejoined Dalek I Love You and later in 1982 began a successful career as a producer with Tears For Fears.
Adam and the Ants have had a major influence on many artists that have emerged since the band's short career, including Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) Robbie Williams, The Charlatans, Dirty Pretty Things, Republica, Nine Inch Nails, Suede and Elastica. In early 1995, Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni joined Nine Inch Nails on stage to perform "Physical (You're So)", "Red Scab" and "Beat My Guest", three songs from Adam and the Ants early catalogue. Nine Inch Nails also covered "Physical (You're So)" on their 1992 EP Broken. On 8 May 2006 Hyper released their debut album featuring a cover of "Antmusic", with Leeroy Thornhill of the Prodigy on lead vocals. In April 2009, No Doubt performed a cover of "Stand and Deliver" on an episode of the American TV show Gossip Girl, and performed it at the Bamboozle music festival, New Jersey, in May 2009, although they had no plans to release the song as a single.
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The original Ants lineup released only one LP, Dirk Wears White Sox for Do It in 1979. The album finds a young Adam Ant exploring the sometimes-awkward fusion of punk, glam, and minimalist post-punk with bizarre images and disturbing tales of alienation, sex, and brutality. And while the somewhat pretentious, overly arty lyrics and inexperienced playing are a drawback, the album offers a fascinating look at the Ants' formative years, capturing a raw energy that would be sacrificed for more polish on subsequent releases. [At the height of Antmania, Adam acquired the rights to the album, remixing it, dropping a few tracks, and adding a couple of early tracks for reissue in 1983 with a different cover for Epic. This here the 2004 original remastered version, with singles.
Adam And The Ants - Dirk Wears White Sox (flac 377mb)
Original November 1979 Album Release (Do-It RIDE 3)
01 Cartrouble (Parts 1 & 2) 6:48
02 Digital Tenderness 3:03
03 Nine Plan Failed 5:11
04 Day I Met God 2:56
05 Tabletalk 5:32
06 Cleopatra 3:15
07 Catholic Day 3:05
08 Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face) 3:13
09 Animals And Men 3:17
10 Family Of Noise 2:36
11 The Idea 3:25
Original July 1979 7" Release (Do-It DUN 8)
12 Zerox 3:46
13 Whip In My Valise 3:59
Original March 1982 12" E.P. Release (Do-It DUNIT 20)
14 Kick 1:34
15 Physical 3:56
16 Cartrouble (Parts 1 & 2) 6:35
17 Friends 2:38
Original March 1980 7" Release (Do-It DUN 10)
18 Cartrouble 3:24
19 Kick! 2:06
Adam And The Ants - Dirk Wears White Sox (ogg 170mb)
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Hooking up with Malcolm McLaren was a pivotal moment for Adam Ant, since the manager not only introduced Ant to the thundering, infectious Burundi drum beat that became his signature, he stole his band, too. Adam and the rest of the Ants had just worked up how to exploit the Burundi style when McLaren pirated the boys off to support Annabella Lwin in Bow Wow Wow -- using the very same sound they had developed with Adam Ant. It was now a race to get that sound into the stores first, and Adam lucked out when he joined forces with guitarist Marco Pirroni, who quickly proved to be invaluable. Ant and Pirroni knocked out a bunch of songs that retained some of the dark artiness of Dirk Wears White Sox, largely anchored by those enormous Burundi beats and given great, irresistible pop hooks -- plus a flash sense of style, as the new Ants dressed up in something that looked like American Indians with a velveteen touch of a dandy fop. It was a brilliant, gonzo move -- something that quickly overshadowed Bow Wow Wow -- and the resulting record, Kings of the Wild Frontier, is one of the great defining albums of its time. There's simply nothing else like it, nothing else that has the same bravado, the same swagger, the same gleeful self-aggrandizement and sense of camp. This walked a brilliant line between campiness and art-house chutzpah, and it arrived at precisely the right time -- at the forefront of new wave, so Adam & the Ants exploded into the British popular consciousness. If image was all that they had, they would've remained a fad, but Kings of the Wild Frontier remains a terrific album because it not only has some tremendous songs -- the title track and "Antmusic" are classic hits, while "Killer in the Home" and "Physical (You're So)" are every bit their equal -- but because it fearlessly, imperceptibly switches gears between giddy and ominous, providing nothing short of a thrill ride in its 13 songs. That's why it still sounds like nothing else years after its release.
Adam and the Ants - Kings of the Wild Frontier (flac 365mb)
Original November 1980 Album Release
01 Dog Eat Dog 3:09
02 Antmusic 3:36
03 Feed Me To The Lions 2:59
04 Los Rancheros 3:29
05 Ants Invasion 3:19
06 Killer In The Home 4:20
07 Kings Of The Wild Frontier 3:55
08 The Magnificent Five 3:06
09 Don't Be Square (Be There) 3:32
10 Jolly Roger 2:10
11 Making History 2:57
12 The Human Beings 4:29
13 Antmusic (Alternative Mix) 3:40
Previously Unreleased Demo Recordings
14 Antmusic 3:26
15 Feed Me To The Lions 3:00
16 The Human Beings 2:27
17 S.E.X. 3:53
18 Omelette From Outer Space 3:06
Adam and the Ants - Kings of the Wild Frontier (ogg 146mb)
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Kings of the Wild Frontier brought Adam and the Ants massive popularity in England, and it brought enormous pressure for Adam and guitarist Marco Pirroni to stand and deliver another slice of dynamite. The first single, the punchy horn-laden "Stand and Deliver," suggested that they were up to the task, but when Prince Charming appeared in late 1981, it was pretty much universally panned and it still stands as the weakest record from Ant's classic period. With its ridiculous song titles and cover photos, which suggest that the Ants were moving away from Native Americans and toward pirates, it's hard not to view it as a descent into camp, yet Adam claims in the liner notes for Antbox that he believes that Prince Charming is "a very serious record based on very classical, historical themes." That may be true on certain tracks, but it's hard to see where "Mile High Club," "S.E.X.," "Mowhok," and "Ant Rap" fit into that scheme, but he's right about the intent -- this is a markedly different record than Kings, intentionally so. The group have not only moved on in image, they've also left behind their signature Burundi beats while upping the cinematic qualities inherent in their music. So, "Five Guns West" and "Mowhok" are given neo-spaghetti western backdrops, while eerie guitars, mariachi horns, and trilling vocals underpin "That Voodoo." There are a lot of little details like that to dwell on in the production -- "Picasso Visita el Planeta de los Simios" sounds absolutely terrific -- but apart from "Scorpios," "Stand and Deliver," and the cheerfully ludicrous "Ant Rap," the songs just aren't there. Kings had style, sound, and songs, while Prince Charming simply has style and sound -- which, in retrospect, isn't all that bad, but it's also not hard to see how it sparked a backlash at the time.
Adam And The Ants - Prince Charming (flac 313mb)
01 Scorpios 2:46
02 Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios 3:28
03 Prince Charming 3:18
04 Five Guns West 5:02
05 That Voodoo! 4:18
06 Stand And Deliver 3:35
07 Mile High Club 2:42
08 Ant Rap 3:26
09 Mowhok 3:28
10 S.E.X.- The Lost Hawaiians 5:00
Original 1981 Demos And Writing Tapes
11 Prince Charming 3:09
12 Stand And Deliver 3:04
13 Showbiz 3:06
14 Picasso Visits The Planet Of The Apes 3:21
15 Who's A Goofy Bunny Then? 4:24
16 Scorpio Writing 3:20
Adam And The Ants - Prince Charming (ogg 125mb)
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Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni ditched the rest of the Ants not long after the release of the widely derided Prince Charming, which provided them with the perfect opportunity for a new statement of purpose in the first Ant-less album, 1982's Friend or Foe. They had already begun moving away from Burundi beats and Indians on Prince Charming, but here they ditch any pretense at the underground, favoring big, glitzy glam pop. There's still residual artiness, of course, since Adam and Marco are post-modernists that love to paste together seemingly incongruous strands of pop culture in an attempt to craft something new. The difference is, they've wrapped this instinct in big, big production and cheerful, unabashed pop hooks, best heard on "Place in the Country" and the hits "Friend or Foe," "Desperate But Not Serious," and "Goody Two Shoes," the latter becoming Adam's biggest hit in the U.S. Since these are deliberate pop trifles, several critics laughed off Ant as a silly lightweight, but that's missing the point -- these are intentionally tongue-in-cheek tunes, delivered with an excess of flair and good humor. Though Friend or Foe does lose momentum on the second side and the cover of the Doors' "Hello, I Love You" falls a little flat, this is good, giddy fun, one of Ant's best records and one of the best new wave albums.
Adam Ant - Friend Or Foe (flac 509mb)
01 Friend Or Foe 3:23
02 Something Girls 3:52
03 Place In The Country 2:50
04 Desperate But Not Serious 4:15
05 Here Comes The Grump 3:37
06 Hello I Love You 2:39
07 Goody Two Shoes 3:29
08 Crackpot History And The Right To Lie 2:45
09 Made Of Money 3:31
10 Cajun Twisters 2:58
11 Try This For Sighs 3:04
12 Man Called Marco 3:30
13 Goody Two Shoes (Single Mix) 3:21
14 Coup D'Etat 3:11
15 Goody Two Shoes 3:12
16 Here Comes The Grump 2:27
17 Little Italy 2:19
18 Made Of Money 2:50
19 Place In The Country 3:01
20 And So You Shall 3:40
21 Yellowbeard 2:26
22 I Know They Know 3:50
23 Gargoyles Are Go 2:23
24 Good Sex Rumples The Clothing 3:01
Adam Ant - Friend Or Foe (ogg 187mb)
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