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Baker's Dozen

Apollo 13: Adam Ant’s Favourite Albums
Joe Clay , January 21st, 2013 06:44

Adam Ant is back after years in the creative wilderness. Here he discusses his all-time favourite LPs with Joe Clay

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Iggy Pop – The Idiot

I was listening to this all through 1977 at a time when I was staying at a flat in Buckingham Gate with Linda, the famous dominatrix – y'know, beating up MPs and all that. And we'd have the New York Dolls in there and various members of the Pistols hanging out. I was staying there because that was where my friend Jordan lived, who worked with Vivienne [Westwood]. Everyone had gone to bed and I had the headphones on listening to The Idiot. I only ever listen to it late at night; I can't listen to it any other time. It's got such a great mood to it. It's a very dark record, the songs are really grinding.

I went to do a gig a year or so later in Berlin at a club called SO36 on Oranienstrasse. The Idiot was mixed in Berlin and was the perfect soundtrack to going there when the Wall was still up. It was such a volatile, dangerous place to be. People were disappearing on the way there. We stayed in an old building. The place hadn't changed much since the war, it was still bomb damaged. There were lots of really old ladies with fur coats on going around buying gloves. There seemed to be lots of shops there selling these beautiful handmade gloves. It was in the Turkish quarter and it was quite exciting to go over there and play a gig. It was lost in time, that place.

The fans there were quite ahead of the game. They had their own scene. The SO36 club was the reverse of any club we'd ever played. It was completely white with these dazzling neon lights, so you played in this absolutely bright, white room. The crowd were all there with their wedge haircuts, looking all existentialist. And at the end of the show the police tear gassed the place and it came to an abrupt end. That album always reminds me of that time. But every song on that album is a mood; him in a basement breaking out of whatever it was going through at the time. It's the perfect late night record.

I met Iggy once at a theatre in Fulham during the Lust for Life tour, I think. He was there rehearsing and we were introduced. The thing that impressed me was that he'd introduce himself off stage: "Ladies and gentlemen, Iggy Pop." [Chuckles] He came out and played that night and he had jeans on with a big fur tail hanging out the back and a German helmet and he'd covered himself in paint. Typical Iggy. He was a great performer. Off stage he was very smiley, really sweet to talk to.

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Jan 21, 2013 2:18pm

can't be faulted

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Jan 21, 2013 3:02pm

Some of my favourite records and artists there. Probably the worst ever Miles album though. ( Nice to read that he was at the same Hammersmith gig as I was though)

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Jan 21, 2013 5:29pm

The Duchess of York is a Legendary Stardust Cowboy fan?? Mind blown...

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Jan 21, 2013 7:27pm

Jonathon Richman is from Boston area. Roadrunner is about driving around Boston. Other than that a good list.

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Jan 21, 2013 8:19pm

For my tastes, an all but flawless selection. Awesome.

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Jan 21, 2013 8:36pm

Good list, fun read, thank you Mr. Ant. Um...worst gig ever? It's gotta be following Michael Jackson the first time he'd done the moon walk. I've seen that footage, the place became fookin' unhinged when he pulled that out. Sorry Mr. Ant, that had to have been an SOB going on after!

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Feb 5, 2013 8:29pm


I had reservations about buying the new Adam Ant record and before your article I'm sure I would not have gotten around to it. As much as I've listened to Adam in the past, most comebacks by older artists who haven't consistently worked are not great and I probably should have listened to some of it online first. But reading this from your article made me rush out on an impulse and buy a copy of the CD yesterday because it sounded like a best case scenario for what I wanted this comeback to be...

"Ant still favours two drummers, lending the tracks the rousing Burundi-inspired, tribal thump of his purple period, and the guitars are slashing and raw, with the riffs equal parts razor-sharp glam to punk thrash."

I don't know what album you heard, but Joe, you owe me $14.16 (that's $12.99 + 9% California sales tax). You write well, but I am not sure if you really listened to this record or if you just misread the liner notes because the actual record does not fit this description in any way, shape or form. For starters, none of the tracks have the 2 drummers Adam plays with live, it is a drum machine for 14 tracks and the 3 tracks with real drums are played by a solo drummer, and no tracks have the tribal feel of some of Adam's past work. And the guitars are slashing & raw? If this had been produced at all, maybe on two tracks the riffs could have created something slashing and raw, but as is they are nothing but dull and most of these songs are ballads anyway.

I am rooting for Adam, and I really wanted this record to be good, but at best it is demo quality material for what could have been a decent 8-10 track album if a good producer had been involved. I can't believe they listed 3 producers for this album, because the biggest problem is that it doesn't sound produced at all.

Next time, actually listen to the records you describe. I take Paypal.

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