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Shane’s Music Challenge: ADAM & THE ANTS – 1980 – Kings Of The Wild Frontier

| 17 January 2014

ADAM & THE ANTS – 1980 – Kings Of The Wild Frontier

Adam & The Ants - Kings Of The Wild Frontier CD

I don’t recall why this was the first record I bought with my own money (well, I went halves with my brother Scott) as I certainly had been exposed to plenty of good music before this point. Maybe I just didn’t have any spare change before November 1980? Any which way, this seems like the perfect place to start the challenge to listen through my entire collection.

I know we saw the band on the TV show Countdown, which we watched religiously every Sunday evening. In amongst some ‘orrible pop schmaltz was usually something exciting and new… though at 15, isn’t most music ‘new’?

Listening to the remastered album now, it is imbued with the spirit of punk rock: vibrant and unique and tribal. The mainstream remembers punk for Mohawks and safety pins and spitting and aggressive OI! Bands, but the first wave of punk was like the original 80’s bands: they all had a completely individual sound, and none of them sounded like each other.

They’re probably considered ‘uncool’ to listen to nowadays. Fuck that shit – we saw Adam Ant in Perth a couple of years ago and he and his band were bloody awesome!

He’s mad as a box of cut eels, of course, but Kings… is still more original and vibrant and exciting than 95% of the dross that pollutes today’s charts, and it remains the high point of his career, sitting between the previous year’s too-alternative Dirk Wears White Sox, and the following year’s too-pop Prince Charming (though both of them have some great moments too)

As a naïve teenager juggling the nascent conflicting desires to be accepted, and to be an individual, Adam & The Ants – with their tribal sounds and look, their devil may care attitude, and completely individual style – provided hope for kids like me that maybe we could have both slices of the pie, find a clique of our own that would accept us, and remain true to our individuality at the same time.

Favourite tracks – Dog Eat Dog and Ant Music provide a masterblasting first two tracks here, and instantly transport me back to those days full of teen excitement when the world was new.


Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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