Monday, 13 April 2009

Adam Ant, the pop star, no doubt

Stand and deliver, your money or this quite natty cover version of the Adam and the Ants hit by No Doubt. Although it will NEVER BETTER the original, it is a neat update (and almost note for note) on a great song which has been crying out for a cover version - I presume, though, that the helium vocals are a fault of the rip! News of the leak was reported by Rolling Stone, and in a typically lazy journo report, it applauds the band for "going a more obscure route with their comeback single, picking this track over more popular new wave hits and even more famous Adam Ant songs like “Goody Two Shoes” or “Don’t Be Square (Be There.)” Now that kind of parochial writing needs wrist slapping in this global age. In the rest of the world outside of the USA, Stand and Deliver was one of Adam Ant's BIGGEST hits (number 1 in the UK for 5 weeks) and Don’t Be Square, was that even an Ants' song? I think they must mean Desperate But Not Serious. Small gripe I know, but we have to correct shoddy writing. Humph.

Adam Ant was such a bona fide pop star, wasn't he? His image was that clever mix of absolute seriousness and knowing piss-taking that Boy George picked up on a year later. The costumes were the serious bit. With a strong concept in mind and always with an artful reference to the period from which they were gleaned, Adam and his designers created looks which nearly 30 years later remain some of the most iconic. So much so, that the Victoria and Albert Museum in London are now showing his Prince Charming outfit (left). They own all of the band's costumes after Adam donated them himself in 1983. He says of the care and attention lavished on them: "When I went in there, there were two girls who spent the whole time that I was there drilling me like, “Who’s scarf is this?”, “Who did this belong to?”. "Oh, I think Marco wore that" and they were like OK, great! “What about these trousers?” and they were slowly putting this puzzle together and they were really protective about it and I’m sure whichever way they present it, it will be very well presented. They do a very good job whenever it comes to anything rock n’roll and I think that it’s nice to see that stuff in the flesh."

Lord Gwendalina of Stefani was old enough to buy this as a seven inch vinyl when it was first released in May 1981 (she's the same age as me and would have been 11, nearly 12 - yes. THAT old). Here's the brilliant video from the original Adam and the Ants.

And here are three of my favourite tracks from the Prince Charming album which included Stand and Deliver.

Ant Rap - Adam and the Ants (zShare)
A much overlooked hit which went to number 3 in the UK and was their last official single before Adam went solo.

Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios - Adam and the Ants
Typically nonsensical lyrics which somehow make sense in an Ant song and full of the trademark sound of Burundi drums and native American whoops and hollering.

Scorpios - Adam and the Ants
Again, typical Antmusic with dissonant melodies and an anthemic chorus. And a name check for the British Marilyn Monroe, Diana Dors (wonder why she changed it from Diana Fluck?)

For all things Adam, go here.


xolondon said...

God he was brilliant.

And I love that he was banging Amanda Donohoe (sp?)- she always seemed smart. Someone needs to get her back on television.

Phil said...

She is back on TV. In UK soap Emmerdale. Sigh.

Paul said...

ah the no doubt cover is quite good. as someone commented on my blog, mark owen would've done better :) Mark has a very adam-esque song on his last album called 3:15

DanProject76 said...

I am scared to see what that old trannie has done to a song from my childhood :-)

Michael said...

The cover is interesting.

I have to admit that when I heard it for the first time the other day I made it half way through, then I went right to youtube to find the original video.

My brother used to play the 7" pic disc of that song over and over and over. Makes me sad he's gone nutty.

D'luv said...

My babysitter in 1982 was really into Adam Ant. I beat her with a rubber shark in my swimming pool.

fiftypercent said...

Some of my fondest primary/elementary school memories are of getting kissed by all the girls because I let them have my Adam Ant posters. And buying the badge and hiding it from mum because it had "for sex people" written on it. I was 10 I think.