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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Kings Of The Wild Frontier

Adam & The Ants

1980

Buy At Rough Trade
Kings Of The Wild Frontier
Album Summary

Kings of the Wild Frontier is the second album by English new wave band Adam and the Ants. It was released in November 1980 by CBS Records International. This album introduced the Burundi beat sound to popular music.It reached No. 1 in the UK Album Chart and spawned three hit singles: "Kings of the Wild Frontier", which was released in July and reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart; "Dog Eat Dog", which reached No. 4; and "Antmusic", released in December and reaching No. 2, as well as No. 1 in Australia for five weeks. The album was the UK number 1 selling album in 1981 (and the 48th best seller in 1980) and won Best British Album at the 1982 Brit Awards.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.84

Votes

11146

Genres

  • Pop
  • New Wave
  • Punk

Reviews

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Fri Apr 29 2022
4

This is fucking horrible - I love it. I'm not sure why I actually like this. The lyrics are stupid, the music is stupid, the name and album art are stupid.. there's even a completely random pirate song for absolutely no reason. The band's not even "Adam & The Ants", there's one guy named "Adam Ant". It makes no sense - that's like The Beatles calling themselves "John & The Lennons". This is what the kids like to call "penis music" and I'm here for it. Yeah I gave this a 4/5 and The White Album a 2/5, what are you going to do about it. I am aware that my brain is completely rotten and that I have tiny goblins building aqueducts in my cerebral cortex.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
1

Why does the album generator hate me?

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Wed Jul 28 2021
5

The range of influences in this album is impressive. I hear Beach Boys, Beatles, punk, African music (particularly Burundi), and glam rock. Adam and the Ants are clearly not overly concerned with mixing these influences or writing idiosyncratic songs, such as 'Jolly Roger,' yet there is a unity to this album that makes it all work. There's a lot to love here. The more I dive into New Wave, the more I'm convinced that it is one of the most forward thinking movements in popular music history.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
2

An album I've never heard of from an artist I've never heard of, nice! After reviewing the Belle & Sebastian album, a band formed by two Stuarts, I'm surprised to find that Adam Ant is in fact also named Stuart. There's some sort of British Stuart invasion that needs to be investigated. I appreciate this album's weirdness. It's got a touch of that '80s new wave feel, but it's mostly dwarfed by a more experimental edge. I wish I could say I liked this, but I didn't. Of course, I liked a few songs, and I can tell why someone would like it (I'm guessing Andrew and/or Alden will love this one), but as experimental as it is, it didn't really grab or hold my interest. The '80s pop/droning rock combo is lost on me. I wouldn't say it's a bad album, but I wouldn't say it's good either. Also, did Death Grips sample "Killer in the Home" on "Spread Eagle Cross the Block"? Maybe not, but the three-chord riff sounds similar. Favorite tracks: Dog Eat Dog, Ants Invasion Album art: really cool picture, very menacing. Giving off some Buffalo Bill, "Goodbye Horses" vibes. I like the inexplicably backwards D in "ADAM," especially because the D in "WILD" is not backwards. Watch out folks, this guy's wacky! 2.5/5

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Wed Jan 11 2023
4

Big cowboys and Indians/Western meets glam rock vibes here! Really fun with lots of catchy songs and always gotta appreciate anyone trying to be a bit different!

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

I really like this one. It's like the Animals meets the Talking Heads, but with a little something special mixed in there. Honestly, I can't iterate why I dug this so much. I just did.

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Thu Jul 21 2022
5

Behind the idiosyncratic sounds of early 80s post punk/new wave--which have aged quite well given the revival surge of these sounds occuring in the British scene these days--, behind the experimental drive borrowing a lot of disparate elements here and there, from Glam Rock and Surf Rock to traditional Burundi rythms and Tex Mex / Western Country twangs, behind all those endearing and/or hypnotic details, there's one thing that this record displays that's cruelly missing in a lot of the more obscure cuts sometimes suggested by Dimery's list among well-known landmarks: infectious pop melodies. They're here played with an undeniable sense of fun, and the end result is here a record which is anything but pretentious, and yet manages to impress you from the get-go with its manifold stylistic twists and turns. I was barely aware of who Adam Ant was before his name popped up on this app. From what I hear, his overall discography will be quite hit or miss for me. But it only took one exhilarated spin of this particluar record to make the latter a new late-70s/early-80s favorite of mine, along with the greatest albums of Siouxsie And The Banshees, Wire, The Cure, Bauhaus, Gang Of Four, The Clash, The Damned, This Heat and the likes. An awesome discovery. Whoever in Dimery's team was in charge of that specific scene has great taste. I will thank him forever, along with the creator of this app. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 853 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory: 81 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 36 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 31

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Sun Oct 16 2022
5

Love this album, busted out the vinyl for this listen

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Sun Mar 19 2023
4

Bonkers in the best way possible. A heady mixture of African drumbeats, pop culture references and giddy yelps that helped herald the birth of new wave.

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Thu Jun 01 2023
4

Met a guy in a bar once who told me he was a famous popstar in the 80s. I didn't really believe him, but he was Adamant...... I only knew Prince charming and stand and deliver prior to this, but this album wasn't what I expected. Was a bit glam rock, which surprised me, that opening track sounded like Hanoi rocks. Probably didn't enjoy it enough to go back but it was far more interesting than I expected. 3.5

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Fri Jan 29 2021
3

Overrated album from an overrated band

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Thu Apr 15 2021
3

I always liked Adam Ant without really knowing his music that well. This is a fine display of why I like it and possibly also explains why i never got to know it that well. It is a major thump-a- thon - high energy right at yeah. The easiest to hear lyrics are often amusing. Not too much drama; just good fun. Adam has a way to grab hold of you without being arrogant or obnoxious It's a great party vibe and a band meant to be seen live or heard at parties where you're so fucked up you can't hold a normal conversation anyway so why not spin the Ants.  The last half of the album did seem to start to fade. 

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Mon Oct 16 2023
5

I've been a fan of Adam Ant's pop music since I was a kid, but I hadn't listened to Kings of the Wild Frontier until a few years ago. Ant was one of my first crushes, but I learned to deeply appreciate his work after rewatching Sofia Coppola's film, Marie Antoinette & taking a deep dive during the pandemic. He & his band were tired of the gritty punk scene & wanted to do something colorful and "heoric." In the book, Mad World - An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs that Defined the 1980s, he says he tapped into and studied the Regency dandy, military history, pirates & Native Americans. He grew to deeply appreciate Native Americans and even got a tribe's blessing to wear the Apache war stripe. For him, the stripe represented war against the record companies. He also felt a kinship to the Native Americans & adopted some of their philosophies. (Having a Romani Gypsy grandfather born in a caravan, he understood to be culturally mindful & respectful). It's evident in the lyrics, "I feel beneath the white, there is a redskin suffering from centuries of taming." What a brazen political statement made by an English band. I can't recall any American bands taking these types of stances in their music at the time. The album is interestingly a bit of everything: spaghetti western, pirates, and Burundian drum music. Let's not forget those twangy guitars. It's very entertaining, and his style was like no other. It turns out Michael Jackson asked Ant where he got his jacket, so Ant directed him to Bermans in London. It's a hussar jacket - a theatrical costume. Michael said, "I want an Adam Ant jacket." And that's how his famous red military jacket look was born. Adam Ant deserves FAR more credit than he gets. He & his band are the forefathers of post-punk, and they were incredibly creative & bold. Personally, I love this album. I had hoped to dress as Ant for Halloween (I enjoy gender bending, so a female as Ant would've been rad), but I don't have the time. Maybe next year. And I hope to see him live next year since he canceled Cruel World 2023. If I never see him live, I'll always have his music. 5 fucking stars.

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Mon Nov 06 2023
5

Catching up on last 3 days - Hendrix made me appreciate why people bang on about him so much (he's on another level), Hookworms transported me to a cool electronic plane of smooth, but damned if this isn't the album of the 3 that I'll be playing again and again on repeat. Banging.

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Thu Dec 07 2023
5

SEX MUSIC FOR ANT PEOPLE! ANT MUSIC FOR SEX PEOPLE!

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

Loved it! Serious Oingo Boingo vibes!

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Fri Sep 17 2021
3

Meh. Nothing standout at all here except for a few, very stupid lyrics.

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Sat Jun 01 2024
1

What is this even? I'm not even sure if this still counts as music or if it's just a weirdo sing-songing whatever happens to be going through his head at that moment, supported by an unquestioning backup band. This is just really bad in every way. It's not even weird in an interesting way. Just weird and off-putting.

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Mon Jun 03 2024
1

One notable item about this album is the "Jolly Roger" song. A pirate song by a punk/new wave group? Ok... Other than that, not much else to say about this. Should not be on a "must listen" album list for anyone. A final note is making mention of the odd "Lawrence of Arabia Theme" musical quote in song "Feed MeTo The Lions"; not sure if it is intentional or not...

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Thu Oct 21 2021
5

Punky, upbeat glam pop, definitely an influence on Supergrass and Franz Ferdinand. Irresistible.

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Fri Nov 26 2021
5

Dog Eat Dog has some excellent beat and bass work. This sounds like the sound track for the lost boys in Peter Pan.

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Sun Apr 03 2022
5

So catchy and filled with raw energy and rambunctious vocals p, absolutely love it! I’d give it a 9.5 out of 10!

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Fri Jun 17 2022
5

really interesting new-wave hard-rock had a lot of really great stuff in there 9/10

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Thu Jan 26 2023
5

9/10 - All round great album, bit strange at points but i liked it

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Wed Apr 12 2023
5

Kooky, fun, unique - well paced and just right in length. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but purely subjectively to me - this is an awesome perfect album.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

This music always resonates with me. I love Adam Ant on all of good band configurations. This isn’t his best album in my mind, but damn good.

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Fri Feb 16 2024
5

Pop used to be this mad. Why do we now worship such mediocrity. Pirate afrodrum pop punk. What's not to love?

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Wed Feb 28 2024
5

Drums have never sounded better than on this record. The production on them is so good that Michael Jackson himself phoned up Adam Ant to ask how he recorded the drums. The rest of the music is really catchy and unique, nothing else really sounds quite like this record, especially in 1980

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Thu May 09 2024
5

Loved this. It was so much better than I thought it would be. I hope I won’t regret later saying it is five stars but I think this is on a pedestal above the previous 4 I gave which was the Stevie wonder one. Highlights included antmusic, los rancheros, ants invasion and the title track. This album will be on the rotation from now on - great fun and encapsulates the sounds of the 80s very well and I’m surprised people don’t talk about this album more. This is exactly the reason why I’ve started this project is to discover gems like this

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Wed May 22 2024
5

I bought Kings of The Wild Frontier as soon as it came out. I was a fan then and still am. The mixture of the musical themes was fresh, original, and fascinating. There was this heroic and adventurous touch to it. Pirates, gunman, native Americans, the Wild West, and other references in lyrics, music, and appearance of the group placed them in the time after punk and before New Wave in a unique spot. Remember, at that time there was no MTV, just Top of the Pops on BBC. The double drums were a centerpiece of the music, as were the sailor choir like backing vocals. The production was astonishingly good, so no wonder that this got number one in the UK.

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Thu Jun 13 2024
5

had a lot of fun listening to this, unexpectedly

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Wed Jun 19 2024
5

Great A&Ants album from the early 80s: 5 stars obviously, not a single weak song. Dirk Wears White Sox (probably the best Adam Ant album) and Friend or Foe should also have been on the list.

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Fri Jul 12 2024
5

I've never heard of this group or album, but I loved it.

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Mon Jul 15 2024
5

An undeniable new wave masterpiece. It's chock full of quirky nuggets of gold and oddball swagger. Adam Ant is like the non-inflammatory version of Morrissey. This album is just a solid good time from end to end. Landmark for the genre.

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Tue Sep 22 2020
4

Lots of good tracks - Los Rancheros and Making History are keepers.

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Wed May 19 2021
4

A&A were my first intro to punk - still as fun today

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Wed Apr 14 2021
4

A little uneven, but good and rockin', nice start to the day.

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Wed Aug 11 2021
4

I thought this was a cool album. It was interesting getting two post-punk albums in a row. I really like the production on this album, it always feels like there's a lot going on

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Thu Aug 19 2021
4

Super fun new wave album. If you haven’t heard Adam and the Ants you definitely should

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Sun Aug 22 2021
4

Welch großartige Pop Collage und vielseitige eklektische Sause. Grandios gealtert auch was den Sound betrifft. Of Montreal verblassen vor Neid und geben sicher nicht mehr als 4.2

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Mon Sep 20 2021
4

Expected the usual 80s synth that seems to dominate anything from the 80s in this list but was pleasantly surprised. Almost verging in talking heads early Post Punk. Lots of kind of fat riffs in there too. Doesn't sound like anyone's taking them too seriously either which I love.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
4

oh dit is een leuke, geeft me een beetje frankie goes to hollywood vibes en die vond ik ook zeer leuk. ik zou dit nog wel eens luisteren.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

Unexpectedly gleeful! Always took Adam Ant to be a punk-Shakey Stevens, bit of a joke band. But he's not - this is some seriously good pop-punk. Not surprised was the Brit Award Best Album.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Weird, loud, and at times nonsensical, this album was actually a fun, interesting, wild listen! A good album filled with wonderful glam rock that reminds me of David Bowie. I want to listen to more, however, unfortunately it's just missing that little something special to push it up to five stars.

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Sun May 08 2022
4

A standout album of the 80s for me

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Mon May 16 2022
4

Surprisingly varied. Some corking tracks on here, with few (if any) that were a chore. The twee nonsense of Adam Ant's theatrics distract from a very talented musician.

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Wed Jul 13 2022
4

Some dated parts, but I'm a sucker for new wave. Quite good for the most part

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Thu Jul 21 2022
4

This was the first album I bought, on cassette, aged 10. Loved it at the time and it’s still a classic. Favourites then and now are Ant Invasion, Killer In The Home and The Human Beings

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Wed Aug 03 2022
4

Really enjoyed this one - definitely a cool new discovery. Dog eat dog is the fav but has a great new wave feel but not so out there that it wouldn't be attractive to a wider audience. Preferred A side to B side.

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Mon Aug 08 2022
4

That was a surprisingly rocky and fun album, which takes itself just the right amount of seriously - not as glam and hammed up as the live act seemed to be. Enjoyed that.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

I generally like the approach to percussion throughout the record, as well as all the chanting. It's charm wears off a bit by the end, particularly on "Jolly Roger," but I'll forgive that one since he developed a fairly unique sort of hybrid sound. At times reminds me of Brian Eno's early solo albums. Also, I loved the era when shooting album cover photos off of TV screens was en vogue. Particularly when they paired it with a bright red font.

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Thu Aug 18 2022
4

Cultural appropriation aside, this was peak Adam & The Ants. They descended into a pantomime act after this album.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

They created a very distinctive sound - twin drummers. The range of material is a bit limited but it shook things up a bit. The singles are great but the other tracks aren't quite so good.

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Sun Sep 18 2022
4

Pop-punk. Curioso. Un 4, venga.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

"Stand and Deliver" and "Prince Charming" were decade-defining hits in the UK, so it's pretty weird the album they were on isn't the one on this list, eh? Not having heard any Adam and the Ants apart from those singles, I wasn't sure what to expect, but this was quite a fun listen! A little punky edge to the poppy new wave, plenty of variety, yeah, I can get behind this. Gonna check out the "Prince Charming" album off the back of this too! Fave track - "Feed Me to the Lions", perhaps? "Jolly Roger" was fun too. Also liked "The Omlette From Outer Space" if we're including bonus tracks...

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Wed Oct 05 2022
4

What lovely Burundi Beat glory we have here! I thought of Bow Wow Wow as I heard this (insofar as similarity) and was surprised to read that Malcolm McClaren had pinched Ant’s original backing band for BWW prior to this record. Amazing stuff then, this record. I wanted to give it a 3.5 but I cannot, but then I listened to the additions to the US version of this and realised that it needed the full 4 star rating. I love me some New Wave!

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Fri Oct 21 2022
4

1981 Rural midwestern kid with access to only one top 40 radio station - then our town got cable, MTV and also an introduction to Adam and the Ants. My friends and I loved the attitude, camp and revolutionary beats and fashion. Fun stuff for all the boys and girls. Nostalgia aside, this album holds up pretty well. A lot of great 90 second songs that stretch to 3+ minutes. ‘Dog Eat Dog’ is the highlight for me and has been a song I’ve gone back to regularly over the years. ‘Ants Invasion’ is another standout I had not listened to for decades - great lyrics, and I’m glad to hear it again. This is a strong 3.5, and rounding up for the Antpeople.

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Wed Dec 21 2022
4

I still have this one on vinyl (sadly, I don't have my entire collection any more). I didn't know anyone else who listened to it at the time and thought I had stumbled on some rare gem. I guess the album was more popular than all that. On this listen, I had a moment or two of PC concern about appropriation — the notion of "redskin" being a slur has settled into my core — but really, I was just enjoying the drum beats and yelps and campy swagger of Adam and his Ants. I can't think of other artists that quite sounds like this, the band has staked its ground and created something it can claim as its own. Thankfully, it's fun to listen to and entertaining from start to finish. I remember always wanting to get to "Ants Invasion," that was the standout track for me, and I totally enjoyed it on this listen. What the hell any of it is actually about is irrelevant, this sets a mood and sticks to it, and that's what it was all about then and now.

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Wed Dec 21 2022
4

Rockabilly pirate post-punk music. I like it a lot!

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Wed Dec 21 2022
4

Adam and the Ants announce themselves in style. With the Heavy drum attack of Dog Eat Dog. Wow! I know that Dirk Wears White Socks is the debut album but this is my introduction to the Buccaneers of ant music. The recurring themes of pirates, ants and American Indian tribes is a little bit sophomoic at times but damn its fun. And that double drum attack gives the music a power that was unique at the time, at least as far as I know. It's not a GREAT or a Classic album but its really good and still makes me smile 40 years later. 4 stars

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Wed Dec 21 2022
4

Not knowing much about Adam and the Ants beyond the later rockstar image of Adam himself, I was surprised with how layered, creative, and altogether competent this album is. A welcome mixture of post-punk a la Magazine, new wave, and pop rock.

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Sun Jan 01 2023
4

What a surprise. After all the other new wave inclusions, I expected the generic but got something quite original. A mix of the Clash and Talking Heads, packed with duel guitar work and cool songwriting. Maybe lacking a big big hit, but definitely a cool listen.

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Sun Jan 01 2023
4

Очень хороший рок 80х с кучей интересных заимствований из различных жанров и панковской натурой. Вокал здесь ранжируется от детского и беззаботного до буквально абсурдного, пафосного и дерзкого. На этом альбоме всё отлично справились со своей работой и вывели просто хороший и весёлый альбом. (8)

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Wed Jan 11 2023
4

you can really tell bestie was influenced by bowie more than you can tell i went to art school by my dyed hair. really great album even if it did feel a lil like i was listening to bowie 2: electric boogaloo - especially on feed me to the lions. very groovy + boogie 🕺🕺🕺

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Wed Jan 11 2023
4

Gloriously 80s. Nice range of tunes. Brilliant to listen to on a rainy Tuesday

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Wed Jan 11 2023
4

Had only heard a few of their songs before, but really enjoyed this!

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Wed Jan 25 2023
4

Fun early 80’s sound. Last I heard he was still touring.

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Wed Feb 01 2023
4

I'm reading all these negative reviews here and am thinking I've been listening to an entire different album than the majority here. It's an upbeat album that makes perfect use of these double burundi drums. Adam Ant when he was still good.

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Fri Feb 03 2023
4

Rating: 8/10 Best songs: Dog eat dog, Antmusic, Feed me to the lions, King of the wild frontier, Don’t be square, The human beings

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Sun Feb 05 2023
4

This album is all over the freaking place and I loved that about it. So many absurd songs. Sounded like something King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard could have come up with 4/5

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Thu Jun 01 2023
4

So much better than expected, only Adam and the ants song I know is price charming and it's not my thing. Thought this would be art-rock that was weird for the sake of it but it was weird in the way I like! Reminded me of gang of four and other off-kilter indieish bands sometimes. The pirate song didn't do it for me but otherwise good stuff.

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Fri Jun 02 2023
4

Still the coolest look in pop, and a unique sound too.

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Mon Jun 19 2023
4

My brother introduced me first to a lot of the bands and artists on this list: this one came by way of my sister, back in its original era. I always felt like Adam & the Ants occupied their own unique niche in British 80s pop and new wave. Though the themes of indigenous peoples' plight (such as they are, it's all pretty vague) don't really land these days, the music is at the top of the game, very much holds up for me.

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Thu Jun 29 2023
4

Refreshing new wave album. Satisfying rhythmic and instrumental choices. The album drags a little with some repetitive motifs, but isn’t so long where it’s insufferable

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Sun Jul 02 2023
4

I did not expect to like this but I did!

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Mon Jul 03 2023
4

punk rock, let’s gooooo. with some catchy riffs and some new wave proclivities, these folks got it bass rattling along. i can fucks with this, definitely.

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Fri Jul 21 2023
4

Fantastic album. Loved it back in the early 80’s when released. Still love it today.

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Fri Jul 21 2023
4

I thought Adam and the Ants were more cheesy 80s. This was actually pretty wild and cool.

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Sat Jul 29 2023
4

I love this and I'm not ashamed. Although I do realise much of it is objectively not good. Enjoying the befuddled reactions in the reviews, I guess Adam didn't crack America. I can't have been musically conscious at 2 or 3 years old but Adam Ant was basically my earliest musical memory, the songs off this album went off like a grenade into my little ears. Particularly the title track and Dog Eat Dog. The Burundi drums, the deep voice chants, the big fuck-off riffs those vocal yodels, what was this??? The absolute pop explosion of Stand and Deliver (not a million miles from Jolly Roger, tbf), Prince Charming and Pablo Picasso at the planet of the apes is jumbled up in my young memories of this yet they're all off the next album. So, being a kid I fully bought into the marketing (I think McLaren was involved at this point - before nicking half the band like a kid in a I Want Candy shop. See me after class for more tortured puns), the (essentially cartoon) cowboys and indians schtick. Were they cowboys? Were they indians? Isn't this probably problematic in 2023? What happened to the punky band from Dirk Wears White Sox? I was only possibly asking the first two questions in my toddler mind. It's a shame much of it ages poorly. I stand by the tracks I love (honourable mention to Magnificent Five, also Don't be square, surely a left over from the Dirk period, he even chants the name), and I will readily credit this for opening my fragile young mind and preparing it to enjoy oh so many wonderful post punk masterpieces over the ensuing 40 years and hopefully many more. The title track is a masterpiece and one of the best songs of the 80s, I don't care. Marilyn Manson obviously thought so, the thieving dickhead. Down below those dandy clothes you're just a shade too white.

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