Thursday, 12 February 2009

1981 Adam & The Ants: Prince Charming

The make up may have changed (by the time of the album and video at least), but from the opening tribal chants and rattling drum beats, it's business as usual for Adam's second number one of the year. Or rather, business as usual, but we are talking Sunday trading hours here. Because where 'Stand And Deliver' crackled and fizzed with ideas and energy as it raced along, 'Prince Charming' is basically two bars of music repeated throughout in different keys. And as any smartarse will tell you, those two bars were shamelessly lifted from 'War Canoe' by Rolf Harris.

That this got to number says far more about Adam's popularity and what an eye catching video could do for you back in 1981 than any reflection on the music itself. The fierce war screams that litter throughout sound more like bravado by now than the cry of a warrior, giving the impression that Adam thinks if he shouts loud enough it will sound convincing and paper over the cracks that were appearing in the whole concept. True, it's raw and it's primal, but it lacks any kind of excitement or danger.

Lyrically, we're back to the usual 'make sure you always look your best' message, but that in itself was wearing a bit thin by now and here he sounds more like a proud mother dressing her boy for school than a spokesman for disaffected teens looking for a bit of glamour -
"Don't you ever, don't you ever, stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome".And even the celebrated line "Ridicule is nothing to be scared of" now rings a bit hollow after he was committed to psychiatric care in 2002 after threatening pub goers with an imitation pistol after they made fun of his appearance. Bad day for Adam Ant.

The star that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and Adam and the Ants burned ever so brightly in the opening years of the decade. But lacking any kind of substance or variety in the music, it couldn't last and Adam knew it. Even the best pantomimes end their run once Christmas is over. The make up was changed in an attempt to keep things fresh, but the Ants were soon jettisoned to make way for a solo career that almost exactly mirrored that of the band he left behind. But that's another story.

The video for this still looks great though.

No comments:

Post a Comment