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Kings of the Wild Frontier (Remastered)

Adam & The Ants

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Album Review

Hooking up with Malcolm McLaren was a pivotal moment for Adam Ant, since the manager not only introduced Ant to the thundering, infectious Burundi drum beat that became his signature, he stole his band, too. Ant and the rest of the Ants had just worked up how to exploit the Burundi style when McLaren pirated the boys off to support Annabella Lwin in Bow Wow Wow — using the very same sound they had developed with Adam Ant. It was now a race to get that sound into the stores first, and Ant lucked out when he joined forces with guitarist Marco Pirroni, who quickly proved to be invaluable. Ant and Pirroni knocked out a bunch of songs that retained some of the dark artiness of Dirk Wears White Sox, largely anchored by those enormous Burundi beats and given great, irresistible pop hooks — plus a flash sense of style, as the new Ants dressed up in something that looked like American Indians with a velveteen touch of a dandy fop. It was a brilliant, gonzo move — something that quickly overshadowed Bow Wow Wow — and the resulting record, Kings of the Wild Frontier, is one of the great defining albums of its time. There's simply nothing else like it, nothing else that has the same bravado, the same swagger, the same gleeful self-aggrandizement and sense of camp. This walked a brilliant line between campiness and art-house chutzpah, and it arrived at precisely the right time — at the forefront of new wave, so Adam & the Ants exploded into the British popular consciousness. If image was all that they had, they would've remained a fad, but Kings of the Wild Frontier remains a terrific album because it not only has some tremendous songs — the title track and "Antmusic" are classic hits, while "Killer in the Home" and "Physical (You're So)" are every bit their equal — but because it fearlessly, imperceptibly switches gears between giddy and ominous, providing nothing short of a thrill ride in its 13 songs. That's why it still sounds like nothing else years after its release. [This release of the album contains bonus material.]

Customer Reviews

Mar 2007

Its a shame there is some snobbery regarding the band and their place in UK music. Kings of the Wild Frontier, Dog Eat Dog and Antmusic have some great drumming and don't sound dated. Well worth a listen despite some filler. There are definitely some diamonds within this album. If you like heavy almost tribal drums and strong hooks you'll love it.

Kings Of the Wild What ?

I remember this coming out & on the heels of the much-publicised disaster a la McClaren ( having been asked by Adam for assistance, he promptly stole his band and turned them into BOW Wow Wow) there were a few who were disappointed. many devotees of Dirk Wears White Sox were put off by the sudden mainstream attention & soon took their mowhawks off on tour with Southern Death Cult.
Pity, really because in spite of the sudden interest from TOTP, Smash Hits etc Kings... was a fine album and very much the natural successor to Dirk...
The last laugh was really on McClaren as Adam Ant had purloined the vision for BBW & crafted a very fine punk album full of lefrt-field vision every bit as marvellous as its predecessor.
I won't go into detail, but as the man has now gone back to his roots, has had a very successful tour & is shortly to be releasing a new album this will all be coming under scrutiny again. So for the record, the man who saw the Pistols at St Martins is very much still the punk at heart & all those who cocked their noses will be forced to take another look.
King of the Wild frontier.

Memories are made of this!

An album full of nostalgia for me...but that aside this still sounds edgy and heartfelt. What a great genre this was and this typifies it for me, experimental and easily identifiable as an early 80s post punk stamp. Ah Adam, Marco, Gary et al, we miss you :)

Kings of the Wild Frontier (Remastered), Adam & The Ants
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Customer Ratings