Monday, August 8, 2011

PRINCE CHARMING - Adam and the Ants

YEAR: 1981


TRACK LISTING: Scorpios, Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios, Prince Charming, Five Guns West, That Voodoo!, Stand and Deliver, Mile High Club, Ant Rap, Mowhok, S.E.X.

BONUS TRACKS: On the original LP and cd, there is a hidden track called "The Lost Hawaiians". In 2004, the album was remastered and the following bonus tracks were added: Prince Charming (Demo), Stand and Deliver (Demo), Showbiz (Demo), Picasso Visits the Planet of the Apes (Demo), Who's A Goofy Bunny Then? (Demo), Scorpio Writing (Demo)

IMPRESSIONS: My mother was a huge Adam and the Ants fan. That's true. She bought the KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER album; not me. She beat me to it. In 1981, I was painting the back porch blue in the August heat in an attempt to earn enough money to buy my first top-loader VCR. Family friends Ronnie and Karen came over bearing a birthday gift for me: Adam and the Ants' PRINCE CHARMING album. I promptly played it to death. The album ventures away from the "punky" sound of their previous album and uses less of the "burundi drumming"; PRINCE CHARMING veers further into the "New Romantic" and softer sound that was becoming popular through MTV. However, I still have a great deal of affection for the album because I listened to it so much. The album also starts off with the full-on horn-blast of perhaps my favourite Ants song: "Scorpios". The more laid-back, summery-sounding "Picasso..." follows (translating into "Picasso Visits the Planet of the Apes") then comes the war cry of "Prince Charming" ("ridicule is nothing to be scared of"), the Western machismo of "Five Guns West" and the funky "That Voodoo!". Quite a nice side one. Side Two starts with the massive MTV hit "Stand and Deliver" featuring Adam's switch from Native American brave and pirate to "dandy highwayman". The weaker tracks commence with "Mile High Club", "Ant Rap" (which isn't really as embarrassing as people remember -- at least it's not as embarrassing as "Wham Rap" folks), and "Mowhok". Then however we get the nice quiet guitar tune "S.E.X." follows by the hidden track "The Lost Hawaiians" which wimoweh's the band into history as we hear the gently crashing ocean waves. KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER may be better musically but PRINCE CHARMING is my sentimental favourite.

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Scorpios, Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios, Five Guns West, Stand and Deliver, S.E.X.

FACT SHEET: PRINCE CHARMING is Adam and the Ants' third and last album. This is the second incarnation of the band after producer Malcolm McLaren convinced original band members Matthew Ashman (guitar), Leigh Gorman (bass) and Dave Barbarossa (drums) to leave the Ants and form the group Bow Wow Wow with singer Annabella Lwin. The Ants Mach II consist of Adam Ant (vocals, songwriting), Marco Pirroni (guitar, songwriting), Merrick (drums), Terry Lee Miall (drums), and Gary Tibbs (bass); all band members are name-checked in the song "Ant Rap". The album is produced by future Tears For Fears producer Chris Hughes. The hidden track "The Lost Hawaiians" is actually an instrumental "Hawaiian" version of the song "Los Rancheros" from their previous album "KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER". The singles "Prince Charming" and "Stand and Deliver" both reached number one on the UK charts while "Ant Rap" reached the top ten. Singer Rolf Harris claims that the song "Prince Charming" has "musical similarities" with his 1965 song "War Canoe" and that an out-of-court settlement was reached in which he gets royalties from the song. Diana Dors (who is name-checked in the song "Scorpios") appears as a fairy godmother in the "Prince Charming" music video while singer Lulu has a cameo in the video for "Ant Rap". "Prince Charming" is also the first 1980's song which appears in the first series of TV programme ASHES TO ASHES when Detective Alex Drake wakes up to find herself back in time.

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