The Essential Adam Ant

The Essential Adam Ant

It takes real dedication to keep refining a seemingly frivolous persona while maintaining the public’s interest. And as this collection reveals, Stuart Goddard (AKA Adam) managed that feat over a ten-year period with wit and spunk. As leader of Adam and the Ants, he reeled off a barrage of cheeky, angular singles in the early ‘80s, among them “Zerox,” “Dog Eat Dog,” “Kings of the Wild Frontier,” and the shamelessly self-exalting “Antmusic.” Adam’s preening vocals and faux-decadent lyrics tickled and provoked, while his band delivered perfect New Wave dance club fodder. Dispersing the Ants, Adam toned down his silliness slightly and peppered the American charts with “Goody Two Shoes,” “Strip,” and “Puss’n Boots.” In the mode of Marc Bolan, he became adept at crafting giddy pop gems: tunes like “Apollo 9” and “Room at the Top” twitching to manic beats are at once irritating and irresistible. “Wonderful” finds Ant able to deliver a reasonably sincere love ballad, a definite breakthrough for him. Taken together, Adam’s output is at once ingenious, aggravating and animated by a spirit of real fun — no kidding.

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