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Adam Ant

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Adam Ant

Adam Ant is the stage name of Stuart Leslie Goddard (born November 3, 1954, London, England), who was the lead singer of the highly successful 1980s pop group Adam and the Ants. Though he started out playing jagged punk rock music, he gradually altered his image, evolving into a more mainstream pop star. Like David Bowie, Madonna, and other pop-music shapeshifters, Adam was notorious for reinventing his image with each album release. Unfortunately, as Adam migrated his image to more pop idol, and less punk movement, his fan base shrunk in favor of the more fickle teeny bopper set.

Ant was representative of the 'Art School Punk' contingent that were followers of the original punk groups and can be seen in the audience in film of early Sex Pistols gigs. His first major outing as an actor was in 1978 in the Derek Jarman film Jubilee, in which he played a character and performed songs. One of the tracks from the soundtrack, 'Deutscher Girls' was released as a single after the Ants hit the charts in 1981.

The high point of Ant's career came in the first three years of the 1980s, when Adam and the Ants had several chart-topping hits, including "Stand and Deliver," "Dog Eat Dog," "Prince Charming," and "AntRap." Ant seized the opportunities provided by music videos on the new MTV channel. His colorful, charismatic onscreen persona was perfect for the new medium, and he joined contemporaries Duran Duran in blazing a trail as pop video stars.

Adam's greatest solo success was the "Friend or Foe" album, which included the hit single "Goody Two Shoes." Other early-80s hits were "Desperate But Not Serious" and "Hello, I Love You." Later in the 1980s, Adam worked with Phil Collins (on the "Strip" album) and veteran Tony Visconti ("Vive Le Rock"), achieving varying degrees of chart success. In 1985, Ant still had enough appeal to secure a spot at the "Live Aid" concert, but rather than perform a crowd pleasing set of old hits -- as Queen did to revive their career -- he did songs from the latest album. His sales continued to decline. As the 80s wore on, Adam's attention turned toward acting, especially TV and movie roles.

In 1990, Ant re-entered the pop music world with the album "Manners and Physique," a collaboration with Andre Cymone, a solo artist and an early member of Prince's band. The album was another moderate success, and featured the hit single "Room at the Top." In 1993, Adam toured in support of a planned album called "Persuasion." For reasons known only to Adam, his entourage, and MCA Records, the album is still unreleased. By this time, Ant had relocated to Los Angeles and had a long-term relationship with Heather Graham. He had also acquired a stalker, which placed him under great stress. As Graham's career took off, the relationship faltered.

The mid-1990s was a time of reinvention for Adam, as he re-entered the pop music world with the album "Wonderful." The title track was a success, as was a tour of the U.S. in support of the album. While Adam and his group (which included longtime partner Marco Pirroni) played in smaller venues than they had played in the 1980s, the houses were often packed with enthusiastic fans. A new generation of Ant-influenced artists covered Adam and the Ants' hits during the 90s, including Elastica, Sugar Ray, Trent Reznor, and Robbie Williams.

"Antbox," a retrospective box set spanning Adam's career from the late 1970s through the 1990s, was released in late 2001. The box set included 66 tracks on three CDs, and quickly sold the initial 10,000 units. Adam was poised to join an 80s-focused tribute tour in early 2002. The plans were derailed when an altercation in a pub in England led to a brush with the law, and the revelation that Adam suffered from bipolar disorder, the mental illness commonly known as "manic depression" - to which some attribute his extraordinary creativity. Since the 2002 incident, Adam has occasionally been featured in news stories surrounding potential projects, his medical condition, as well as tribute bands devoted to celebrating his career. A television special entitled "The Madness of Prince Charming" was aired in the UK in 2003 documenting Adam's career highlights, as well as his struggle with mental illness.

In 2004 and 2005, six "remastered" compact discs were released, spanning the years 1979 through 1985. The CDs featured previously unavailable songs, including demos and material culled from the "Ant vault." The project was greatly overseen by Marco Pirroni, and includes a written message from Adam, circa 2005. Keeping the Adam Ant fan base alive is \www.adam-ant.net (http://www.adam-ant.net), a comprehensive web site started by a fan, which has evolved into an official resource for people interested in Adam Ant.

Contents

Discography Highlights

Albums

  • Dirk Wears White Sox - released 1979, re-issued with bonus tracks 2004
  • Kings of the Wild Frontier - released 1980, re-issued with bonus tracks 2004
  • Prince Charming - released 1981, re-issued with bonus tracks 2004
  • Friend or Foe - released 1982
  • Strip - released 1983
  • Vive Le Rock - released 1985
  • Manners and Physique - released 1990
  • Persuasion - unreleased 1993
  • B-Side Babies - released 1994
  • Wonderful - released 1995

Singles and other releases (non album material)

  • Young Parisians / Lady - single - released 1978
  • Deutscher Girls / Plastic Surgery - single - released 1979
  • Zerox / Whip in my Valise - single - released 1979
  • Antmusic EP - extended play - released 1980
  • Antbox - box set - released 2001

Remastered CDs - released 2004 and 2005 - all with bonus tracks / demos - previously unreleased material

  • Dirk Wears White Sox - Remastered
  • Kings of the Wild Frontier - Remastered
  • Price Charming - Remastered
  • Friend or Foe - Remastered
  • Strip - Remastered
  • Vive Le Rock - Remastered

Videos

  • Prince Charming Revue - Concert video - released 1981
  • Antics in the Forbidden Zone - Compilation - released 1990
  • Live in Tokyo - Concert video - released 1994
  • Antvideo - Compilation - released 2001

SOON TO BE RELEASED - ANT DVD (Definitive Video History 1977 - 1993)de:Adam Ant nl:Adam Ant pt:Adam Ant sv:Adam Ant

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