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Friend or Foe

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Album Review

Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni ditched the rest of the Ants not long after the release of the widely derided Prince Charming, which provided them with the perfect opportunity for a new statement of purpose in the first Ant-less album, 1982's Friend or Foe. They had already begun moving away from Burundi beats and Indians on Prince Charming, but here they ditch any pretense at the underground, favoring big, glitzy glam pop. There's still residual artiness, of course, since Adam and Marco are post-modernists that love to paste together seemingly incongruous strands of pop culture in an attempt to craft something new. The difference is, they've wrapped this instinct in big, big production and cheerful, unabashed pop hooks, best heard on "Place in the Country" and the hits "Friend or Foe," "Desperate But Not Serious," and "Goody Two Shoes," the latter becoming Adam's biggest hit in the U.S. Since these are deliberate pop trifles, several critics laughed off Ant as a silly lightweight, but that's missing the point — these are intentionally tongue-in-cheek tunes, delivered with an excess of flair and good humor. Though Friend or Foe does lose momentum on the second side and the cover of the Doors' "Hello, I Love You" falls a little flat, this is good, giddy fun, one of Ant's best records and one of the best new wave albums.


Born: 03 November 1954 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the seminal figures of new wave, Adam Ant (born Stuart Leslie Goddard) had several distinct phases to his career. Initially, he explored a jagged, guitar-oriented post-punk with his group Adam and the Ants before giving way to a more pop-oriented, glam-tinged musical direction that brought him to the top of the charts. After that had run its course, he refashioned himself as a mainstream singer, which enabled him to stretch his career out for a couple of years. Once it seemed that his musical...
Full Bio
Friend or Foe, Adam Ant
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