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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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Marvin Gaye – What's Going On

I would imagine many babies were conceived to this album. If you think you're a singer or you want to do a bit of singing, it's a must listen album. Even when he's just scatting the lyrics and singing along to a melody – which is the way he apparently used to write a lot of stuff, by just going to the mic and ad libbing – he's amazing. I'm not very interested in politics as a musician – never have been – but he managed to incorporate what was going on in US politics at that time in a highly poetic way.

I got to meet him and perform on a show with him at the Motown 25 concert in 1983. That was Marvin's last performance. I did 'Where Did Our Love Go' and Diana Ross came on stage when I was doing it, which was quite an event. She just danced around me and then went off. There was a knock on my dressing room door before the show and I opened the door and he said, "Hi I'm Marvin Gaye" and I said, "I know you are!" He just came to say thanks for doing the show. He was a really nice guy. And when I came off the stage, him and Smokey Robinson were waiting for me and they put their arms round me and all that. It was nice to meet him; he was such a gentle soul. Berry Gordy's No 2 was a woman called Suzanne de Passe who was the MD of the company and she'd seen my videos and heard my stuff, and Berry liked it. The theme of the show was 'Yesterday, Today, Forever', and he wanted something that was in the future style. I think I performed with all my heroes and heroines that night. I'd been listening to their songs all my life. I had the unenviable task of following Michael Jackson. He sang 'Billie Jean' and did the moonwalk for the first time. I was ten feet away from him when he did that. It was quite a memorable evening.

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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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