Sunday, 8 March 2009

1982 Adam Ant: Goody Two Shoes

Shortly after the 'Prince Charming' album, Adam broke up the Ants (though crucially keeping guitarist Marco Pirroni on board) and launched an ultimately short lived solo career with this as it's first single. Adam's stock was so high in 1982 that he could have released any old tripe and scored a major hit, but he didn't, and far from being tripe, 'Goody Two Shoes' is a worthy wearer of it's number one crown.

The lyrics here deal with Adam's disillusionment with the media intrusion he suffered with the Ants and the role model persona that was unwillingly thrust upon him. As far as that particular angle goes, methinks that Mr Goddard doth protest too much. You only have to watch him pouting and preening through the video to this for evidence that he was no retiring wallflower and he could have found himself on a very sticky wicket if
'Goody Two Shoes' turned out to be some earnest, string drenched dirge. But it isn't. And far from it.

'Goody Two Shoes' reminds me of a Ready, Steady Cook scenario, though instead of having a carrot, a block of lard and some biscuits and then being told to make a gourmet meal out of it, Adam was given a drum, a one string guitar and a trumpet and told to come up with a hit song. Which he did.

Though the ethnic twin drum attack of the Ants had been left behind, 'Goody Two Shoes' is propelled along with a ferocious and unrelenting drumbeat that's more Taiko than Burundi with the aforementioned guitar picking out a simple rockabilly riff to compliment it. All the while, some glorious bursts of salsa-like brass drop in and out of the mix and keep the party fervour to the fore. On paper, it reads like a mess and it is simple enough to be sure, but whenever things threaten to get stale, a simple key change or dropped beat acts like a new coat of paint and keeps it fresh right to the end.

'Goody Two Shoes' is a barnstormer of a track, different enough from his previous recordings to warrant the 'solo artist' tag, yet familiar enough to ensure that no long time fan feels left out of the party. It would also be Adam's last appearence to date at the top of the charts.

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