“Dirk Wears White Sox” by Adam and The Ants - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1979Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

My love for this band will always be true; they were the first band I ever spent my own money on – how could it not? I say band although, when it all comes down to it, this debut LP is all about Adam –the songwriter and visionary – and his three disloyal associates who would soon abandon ship. At the time of their September ’79 debut long-player they were: Adam Ant (24, vocals, guitars, piano, harmonica); Matthew Ashman (18, guitar, piano); Andrew Warren (~21, bass) and Dave Barbarossa (~18, drums). The Ants were yet another group to emerge from the punk scene with a new sound and a new direction; more tuneful, more complex, even occasionally funky. The song-writing flair of the main man is evident all over this album, which begins with the epic “Cartrouble, parts 1 and 2”. Can’t make up your mind whether to be new-wave-disco or pop-punk? Hey, why not have both in a big mad medley! Eye-popping lyrical snips will dominate this set – straight from the off we’ve had “I dreamt I was a spastic, but my boots were clean” and “Have you ever stopped to think who's the slave and who's the master?” Oo-err missus. Another genre-messing classic is delivered with the glam-stomp / disco-punk of “Day I Met God” which hilariously recounts the time when, coming back from Milan, in the van, it was pissing with rain when they met the big G: “Day I met God, I got so carried away, Not with the vision, But the streaks in his hair, Not with religion, But the size of his knob”. : - O That’ll be another tune banned on the radio then?

Opening side 2 in equally shocking fashion is a song about that infamous Egyptian seductress, “Cleopatra”: “Cleopatra did ten thousand in her lifetime, Now that’s a wide mouth, Cleopatra gave a service with a smile, She was a wide mouthed girl.” The shock-tactics are again to the fore on “Catholic Day”; I feel guilty about liking the song when I know fine well it’s overstepped the mark: “Kennedy died in ’63, Poor John F. Kennedy’s wife with his brain on her knee, Poor Jackie… No more messing round, playing with Monroe, No more turning on the middle aged ladies, All I remember was your sporty young hairstyle, All I remember was the Catholic day”. I think I prefer my harrowing tales fictional, “Never Trust A Man With Egg On His Face” being a good example: “A man and a woman walking down the street, with a son and a daughter it was oh so sweet. When Mummy turned to Daddy and she said: “My dear, write out your will the end is near” Then she pulled out the gun, I saw the sparks, messed up the suit that he'd bought from Marks.” This is first class entertainment and “Dirk Wears White Sox” stands as a dark-matter gem; these are sensations as hard to forget as they are to ignore.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [06:51] 9.6.png Adam and The Ants - Cartrouble, parts 1 And 2 (Stuart Goddard) New Wave
A2 [03:03] 8.3.png Adam and The Ants - Digital Tenderness (Stuart Goddard) New Wave
A3 [05:18] 8.2.png Adam and The Ants - Nine Plan Failed (Stuart Goddard) Post-Punk
A4 [02:58] 9.5.png Adam and The Ants - Day I Met God (Stuart Goddard) Post-Punk
A5 [05:34] 6.1.png Adam and The Ants - Tabletalk (Stuart Goddard) Post-Punk
B1 [03:15] 9.5.png Adam and The Ants - Cleopatra (Stuart Goddard) Post-Punk
B2 [03:08] 7.8.png Adam and The Ants - Catholic Day (Stuart Goddard) New Wave
B3 [03:13] 8.0.png Adam and The Ants - Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face) (Stuart Goddard) Post-Punk
B4 [03:20] 8.4.png Adam and The Ants - Animals And Men (Stuart Goddard) Post-Punk
B5 [02:36] 8.2.png Adam and The Ants - Family Of Noise (Stuart Goddard) New Wave
B6 [03:26] 7.4.png Adam and The Ants - The Idea (Stuart Goddard) Post-Punk

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