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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.

Customer Reviews

Biased, I admit,

I wish men would liberate their inner dandy as Adam did. Put the brocade waistcoats back on, tie the hair in a velvet bow, leap and prance. His music is such a celebration of unabashed manhood at the peak of its complicated energy. He exoticized himself and his Romany gypsy background, but at the same time, honored it. Check out the mature Adam on "Wonderful." He still has that timeless quality, but broadened and deepened, the way life does for survivors.

Stuart Goddard is still awesome!!!

I remember holding this album, the REAL thing, a RECORD ...Vinyl...I miss it...I had my first cheap little record player and played this one, Prince Charming and other popular early 80s over & over...I remember Goody Two Shoes making the charts as well. This is quintescential early 80s new wave ...all these kids today are all retro 80s, well, most of them don't have a CLUE to what REAL good 80s tunes were...I hope they catch on the Adam Ant (and the ants!)....yes, his real name is Stuart. My friend had a crush on him! Stephanie Yaede, if yer out there....HEY!

This album is great!

Most people do not give Adam Ant enough credit. They overlook him as being a glam artist who was not serious. In most cases that is true. Even so, this album is great! With his producer, Marco, and a wonderful use of horns throughout the album, this album is a masterpiece that is a slice of history. It takes me back to high school and 25 years later, I still love every song.


Born: November 3, 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...
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