Monday, 24 August 2015

80s ALBUM FILLERS OR POTENTIAL SINGLES: PART 5: ADAM & THE ANTS/ADAM ANT

This is a new series, I will listen to all the 80s albums released by the decade's artists and judge the songs that were not singles (in the UK) from an album.  I will give my opinion whether the remaining songs were just fillers or could have been singles.  How many singles I can find will determine the final rating of how good the album is as a whole.  Below 49% = Poor/50-64% = Average/65-79% = Very Good/80-100% = Excellent.  There will be a different artist each blog.  I am a big fan of all the artists I review in this series, so I have to think hard if the song would wow the chart public, even if they are my favourite songs!

PART 5: ADAM & THE ANTS/ADAM ANT

Members - Adam Ant (Lead Vocals/Guitar) /Marco Pirroni (Guitars) /Terry Lee Miall (Drums) /Kevin Mooney (Bass) /Chris 'Merrick' Hughes (Drums).

Other Members - Previous - Andy Warren (Bass) / Dave Barbarossa (Drums) /Mark Ryan (Guitar) /Paul Flannagan (Drums) /Lester Square (Guitar) /Johnny Bivouac (Guitar) /Matthew Ashman (Guitar) /Leigh Gorman (Bass).

Later - Gary Tibbs (Bass).

KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER (#1) (1980) -

Tracks -
Dog Eat Dog/Antmusic/Feed Me To The Lions/Los Rancheros/Ants Invasion/Killer In The Home/Kings Of The Wild Frontier/The Magnificent Five/Don't Be Square (Be There)/Jolly Roger/Making History/The Human Beings.

Singles -
Kings Of The Wild Frontier (#2)/Dog Eat Dog (#4)/Antmusic (#2).

Potential Singles -
Feed Me To The Lions - Catchy chorus and warrior chants, searing guitar riffs, definite hit.

Ants Invasion - One of the best tracks, eerie guitars and almost a horror film backing.  With Adam's video knowledge this could have been an awesome video!

Killer On The Home - Classic tribal ants, in the mode of Dog Eat Dog, warrior drums and chants, again, would make a great video!

Don't Be Square (Be There) - The Ants anthem "Antmusic for Sexpeople, Sexmusic for Antpeople", including the first album title "Dirk Wears White Sox" as a bridge, hit!

Jolly Roger - Pirate goings-on including catchy sing along chorus, Sailor's whistling a tune and buccaneer's ha-ha's! Ant classic.

Fillers -
Los Rancheros (One of my favourites but I don't think the chart people would have got this, the Ants in cowboy mode for the first time)/The Magnificent Five (More Cowboy Ants and not really one of my favourite Ant tracks)/Making History (Not a great Ant song, never really understood this one in all my years of being an Antfan!)/The Human Beings (Love the feel of this, a real Indian tribe anthem, but I don't think the charts would get it!)


FINAL ALBUM RATING -
Very good album! 8 singles from 12 tracks.  66.6/100.



PRINCE CHARMING (#2) (1981) -

Tracks -
Scorpios/Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios/Prince Charming/Five Guns West/That Voodoo!/Stand And Deliver/Mile High Club/Ant Rap/Mowhok/S.E.X.

Singles - Stand And Deliver (#1)/Prince Charming (#1)/Ant Rap (#3).

Potential Singles -
Scorpios - Less Burundi drums and more brass, but still unmistakably Ants, I think this would have made a hit, a new direction for the band.

5 Guns West - Another Wild West themed track, complete with cowboy chants, and Country style vocals, another video that MTV would have loved!

Mowhok - The tribal spirit is back, this could have appeared on the "Kings" album, chanting and drums in abundance, this is classic Ants.

S.E.X - A controversial track, but it's actually a very laid back, great Acoustic number.  The title and theme may have got it banned, but still a great Ant track!

Fillers -
Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios (Frenetic, a favourite of mine but a bit too intellectual for some chart listeners I think!)/That Voodoo! (Another fan favourite but even the Classic Rock chorus wouldn't make this a hit)/Mile High Club (Not a favourite of mine, I think the subject matter may just scrap this as a hit anyway).


FINAL ALBUM RATING -
Very good album! 7 singles from 10 tracks.  70/100.



FRIEND OR FOE (#5) (1982) (AS ADAM ANT) -

Tracks -
Friend Or Foe/Something Girls/Place In The Country/Desperate But Not Serious/Here Comes The Grump/Hello, I Love You/Goody Two Shoes/Crackpot History And The Right To Lie/Made Of Money/Cajun Twisters/Try This For Sighs/Man Called Marco.

Singles -
Goody Two Shoes (#1)/Friend Or Foe (#9)/Desperate But Not Serious (#33).

Potential Singles -
Something Girls - Love this song, kind of Jazz Swing feel to it, easy to sing along to, I think the record buying public would love it!

Place In The Country - Loads of brass, fast paced vocals, tap your feet and sing along, sure fire hit.

Here Comes The Grump - Typical 80s track, great vocals and backing, soft Rock guitars, would match any band's hit in 82!

Hello, I Love You - Cover of The Doors hit, I've not heard a better one, Adam Ant rocks out.

Made Of Money - In the style of Goody Two Shoes, great bridge and chorus and mix of brass and guitars and even has some "doo doo" vocals for good measure.  A fun hit!

Try This For Sighs - A rockier Friend Or Foe with yet another catchy chorus, which is Ant's brilliant trademark song writing.

Fillers -
Crackpot History And The Right To Lie (Very inferior track, not a favourite, the title says it all, it is a little crackpot!)/Cajun Twisters (Not sure what this was meant to be)/Man Called Marco (Really nice Instrumental track by Marco and his guitars but I don't think the charts would appreciate it).

FINAL ALBUM RATING -
Very good album! 9 singles from 12 tracks.  75/100.


STRIP (#20) (1983) (AS ADAM ANT) -

Tracks -
Strip/Baby, Let Me Scream At You/Libertine/Spanish Games/Vanity/Puss 'N Boots/Playboy/Montreal/Navel To Neck/Amazon.

Singles -
Strip (#41)/Puss 'N Boots (#5).

Potential Singles -
Baby, Let Me Scream At You - Maturity in Adam's vocal style, and also in this album's song writing.  This song should have been a hit, would have propelled him more as a solo artist who had grown with the times, sadly the music press didn't get it!

Vanity - A rare Ant ballad, this is as good as or better than anything Phil Collins or Billy Ocean brought out in this year.

Playboy - Another underrated brilliantly written track, humorous and filled with innuendo but the whole song construction is awesome.

Navel To Neck - One I'd like to see a video for! Tribal drums and chants return briefly and a return to the punk vocals, and this reminds me of the "Dirk" tracks, only stronger production.  Class.

Fillers -
Libertine (Great lyrics, I don't think the charts would like the seductive brass and vocals, although I think its a great track!)/Spanish Games (Not one of my favourites, not sue I understand it)/Montreal (Like "Libertine", love this track, but I can't see the record buying public getting it!)/Amazon (Love all of this song except the chorus, I think it could have been a bit stronger).


FINAL ALBUM RATING -
Average album! 6 singles from 10 tracks.  60/100.



VIVE LE ROCK (#42) (1985) (AS ADAM ANT) -

Tracks -
Vive Le Rock/Miss Thing/Razor Keen/Rip Down/Scorpio Rising/Apollo 9/Hell's Eight Acres/Mohair Locker Room Pin-Up Boys/No Zap/P.O.E/Apollo 9 (Reprise).

Singles -
Vive Le Rock (#50)/Apollo 9 (#13).
 
Potential Singles -
Miss Thing - Punk Rock returns in the Ant catalogue.  If people didn't click this was Adam, this new Rock sound would have been accepted.  Hit in my opinion.

Razor Keen - A real rocker, ahead of its time, I think this would have been a massive hit in the 90s.

Rip Down - This reminded me a little of Billy Idol, who I also love, a hint of tribal drums in the background, with also a cowboy country rocker feel.  Brilliant.

Hell's Eight Acres - A Rockabilly rocker, but also reminded me a little of Talking Heads, not sure why.  I think this is a great track.

No Zap - Rock and Roll/80s Rock hybrid, crazy enough to be a hit, loads going on!

Fillers -
Scorpio Rising (I really like this song, American Rock, a lot going on for the average chart listener)/Mohair Locker Room Pin-Up Boys (My third least favourite track on the album, disappointing)/P.O.E (The worst track for me, a demo at best)/Apollo 9 (Reprise) (Well, its a 1 and a half minute outro).

FINAL ALBUM RATING -
Average album! 7 singles from 11 tracks.  63.6/100.



My favourite 80s Adam & The Ants/Adam Ant tracks?


Top 20 in no particular order -

1    Dog Eat Dog
2    Antmusic
3    Kings Of The Wild Frontier
4    Prince Charming
5    Jolly Roger
6    Don't Be Square (Be There)
7    Puss 'N Boots
8    Ants Invasion
9    Vive Le Rock
10  Razor Keen
11  Rip Down
12  Feed Me To The Lions
13  Killer In The Home
14  Friend Or Foe
15  Try This For Sighs
16  Goody Two Shoes
17  Desperate But Not Serious
18  Navel To Neck
19  S.E.X
20  Vanity


Check back for another 80's artist review :)


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