Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rock of Ages: Adam & The Ants - "Prince Charming" (1981)

Glam rock took a turn for the worse during the 80s when the Sunset Strip bands like Poison and Jerseyites Bon Jovi gave it a Bad Name.... Anywho, before that, a man from London, England named Stuart Goddard embraced the better era of glam, the Bowie, Hoople, Roxy Music era that is. Stuart Goddard went by Adam Ant and helmed the band Adam and the Ants to glam rock done right in the 80's. With guitar driven rock riffs, catchy hooks and still a sense for the flamboyant and fun side of the glam universe, Adam Ant gave us much better, catchier and all the less annoying glam rock songs. The New Romantics they were, Adam and the Ants had a penchant for strange fashion, but luckily that didn't hold them back to just being guys dressed in frilly clothes writing baseless music. The track "Prince Charming" stands as sort of epigram for their new wave fashion as the repeated lyric "ridicule is nothing to be scared of" seems to be quite a powerful lyric to use in defense of they way they want to live their life. It's almost punk rock in a way? Anyway, their anti-establishment may have come in the form of fashion and living their lives the way they want it, but in the process they wrote a kickass tune.

"Prince Charming" is best known for it's percussion. The Ants drummer, Merrick, uses the Burundi drum style, derived from African music, to give the song it's very interesting and tribal. It's juxtaposed with a very catchy riff played on acoustic guitars and a searing guitar solo that constanly surges back and forth in the background. It's interesting to hear a band composed of guys dressed as pirates embracing such a world music sound, but it works perfectly. The other aspect of Adam and the Ants being, well, awesome was their pioneering of the MTV generation and using the music video as an art form for their flamboyant style. The video for "Prince Charming" is ridiculous in some ways, but for the most part it's really freakin' awesome.

Up Next: Michael Jackson: King of Pop

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