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Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Kings of the Wild Frontier"

Adam & The Ants - "Kings of the Wild Frontier" (1980)

Adam Ant was born Stuart Leslie Goddard. Not as big a mouthful as Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, but I think we can forgive him for wanting a stage name.

Interesting song, You've got African style drums, masquerading as Native American drums. You've got guitars that are twangy, so they evoke the country sound and more specifically, the western movie genre sound. then you've got war whoops and lyrics about family, nobility, war cries and 'redskins'. Not exactly politically correct, but for a British band from the 80s gosh darn it they were trying to bring attention to something. They actually used two drummers on this album, one of whom, Chris Hughes, produced the record. The whole guitar sound, crashing down loudly over the drums makes this track much louder and impressive than I expected going into a track from the band before Adam Ant went solo.

So a little history on that. Adam & The Ants were founded in 1977 and had some minor success live, while never achieving much success on record sales. In January of 1980 the band's manager Malcolm McLaren (who had managed the Sex Pistols) convinced the whole band, minus vocalist Adam Ant, to quit and be the basis for a new band, Bow Wow Wow, to be fronted by a 14 year old girl that his friend had seen in a dry cleaner. Adam put together a new band, recorded a new album, and released Kings of the Wild Frontier, a big hit. Just two years later he went solo as Adam Ant, but continued to work with guitarist Marco Pirroni as a co-songwriter.

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