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Vive Le Rock

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Album Review

Adam Ant adopted a '50s-style rock & roll sound for his third solo album, achieving a pastiche with some of the effervescence, but none of the definition (or popularity), of Elton John's "Crocodile Rock." Producer Tony Visconti tried to give him some of the plastic rock legitimacy of Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, but Ant was even goofier, and especially with his vocals smothered in harmony and echo and buried in the mix, he wasn't so much transformed into a rocker manqué as rendered anonymous on his own record. The best track was the year-old U.K. Top 40 hit "Apollo 9," which had some of the manic energy of the Adam & the Ants hits. If the rest of the album had re-created its dizzy spirit, Ant might have made the comeback he needed with Vive le Rock. Or maybe not — it's possible that his moment had simply passed. In any case, the album flopped on both sides of the Atlantic, Ant was dropped by his record label, and he didn't make another album for more than four years. [Vive le Rock was reissued in 1996 with the added track "Mohair Locker Room Pin-Up Boys."] [This version of the album includes even more bonus material.]

Customer Reviews

Still My All Time Favorite Album !

My second favorite has got be Scott Walker's "Tilt" so don't look for a frame of refernece there....This album, however, is blocky pop genius wrapped in static by legendary producer Tony Visconti. Ant's signatures; layered tribal drums, myriad intertwining harmonies and counterpoint melodies (mostly on song outros) and punky twang guitar courtesy of long time writing partner Marco Pirroni are all here but used more sparingly. Buzz saw guitars and straight, driving backbeats dominate while the lyrics have become almost impenatrable. Ant gives us more obscure pop culture, nonsense and obtuse, idiosyncratic verbalisms than ever before. I don't get it but I can't get it enough! Every song is strong and the weirdest are the best. Scorpio Rising, Hell's Eight Acres and Human Bondage Den are highlights of a consistantly impressive, excellant album. A perfect way to end a long run of chalenging and highly enjoyable recordings. Ant takes Roxy Music and Elvis to Mars for a rockabilly space romp and returns triumphant to a "red injun" & gypsy welcoming party the likes of which your ears have never heard. The remastered version with bonus tracks sounds super and does not alter the sequence of the original LP & cassette release. The packaging is gorgeous and pregnant with lyrics and photos. I have 5 wrapped copies on vinyl. What does that tell you?


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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