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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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The Modern Lovers – The Modern Lovers

Jonathan Richman sounded a bit like Lou Reed. The songs were fantastic. The only place you could buy that album was the Rock On store in Camden Town. I think everybody, including John Rotten and all of the Pistols, had been down there at some point to buy it. Anybody that later got into the punk rock scene had bought this record.

It still sounds really good. John Cale produced it. It's under-produced if anything, which is what's so good about it. His voice is great. American punk rock was completely different from the London scene – you had Richard Hell & the Voidoids and Television and that, and it all seemed a bit arty. But this was four college kids from California who had got together and made a dark record. It sounds like a guy who's had his heart broken. It's a romantic punk record, really. 'Roadrunner' is the one everybody learnt when they were rehearsing or trying to get into a band. The way he sang, he just sort of threw it away. I can't really think of anybody who'd done it like that before. The solos were great, just one or two notes. Very simple stuff, which was what appealed to the punks. The whole punk thing was about stripping things down because people couldn't play very well. Get the band first and worry about the music later.

I saw Jonathan Richman last year doing a festival somewhere, just him and a drummer. He's the only person I know who tells the sound guy to turn it down. But back then he was streets ahead of everyone.



Jan 21, 2013 2:18pm

can't be faulted

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danmac
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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Rooksby
Jan 21, 2013 5:29pm

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

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Andrew
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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Jeff
Jan 21, 2013 8:19pm

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

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Apop
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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Rick
Feb 5, 2013 8:29pm

Joe,

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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