2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2011
A great collection - I always used to look forward to hearing what old song would be revived on the reverse of each single. I can see why songs such as 'Plastic Surgery' might have been excluded, as it was actually by the original Ants and presumably not owned by CBS, or not relevant for this collection of 'old songs by the new Ants', however what stops me awarding 5 out of 5 is the failure to include 'Press Darlings', probably my favourite of all the 'new/old' B-sides (amazingly this didn't even make it onto the expanded re-issue of KOTWF). Surely this was a more essential track than an instrumental version of 'Vive Le Rock' or a remix of 'Making History'. This, together with 'Cartrouble' and 'Kick' would have been far better than those two tracks and made this a perfect album - bring on the revised re-issue!
Nevertheless, a great collection of tracks and a lot better than some of the later solo albums.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2011
I say NEARLY PERFECT because ' Plastic Surgery ' is missing. I used to travel all the way from Welling to Acton, to see Adam and the Ants back in 1978. For me the halcyon days before they got " Mclarened ", I can only hope they re-release this collection and include it, as the only place I know of it`s existence is on the ' Jubilee ' soundtrack. I also read in an interview with ' TRENT REZNOR ', that he sighted both ' You`re so Physical ' and ' Plastic Surgery ' as being massive influences on his own music, don`t know why I mentioned this particularly , I just don`t know when I will get another chance to impart this info.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is a fascinating collection which I have owned for a while now. Whilst Adam was racking up the chart hits in the early Eighties, he was using the flip side of the singles to try, test and at times recycle ideas from his punk days. The result is actually quite scintillating, with some powerful compositions and great ideas coming to the fore, many of which can be described as 'Left field'. Collected together, they actually make quite a balanced and coherent album which often seems a million miles away from his more commercial songs. Recommended.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Before Adam divorced punk he was an unnatural innovator. Adam, Banshees and Wire all hurtled from the Pistols Super Nova into unknown sonic territories. Adam like Billy had good looks, charisma and a penchant for the peverse, hugely influenced by all things Malcolm.
The questionning of 3rd Generation Punks of the original influences; Situationism, Marcuse, 1968, Alan Jones, Dada, Surrealism, Fluxus only occured because punk quickly became severed from its philosophical roots.
Journalists desperate to reclaim a movement passing them by, jumped into the arena to redefine it. Pre 77, the UK was even more class segregated and obsessed than today. Subtle changes over 30 plus years have been gradual. The upper classes, now aware they appeared ridiculous, see Henry Rawlinson of Rawlinson End are desperate to appear middlebrow normal. David Cameron and his Eton Rifles desperately trying to ape middle class norms, was never an issue in MacMillan's "You've never had it so good," day.
The public school detritus has always gathered in swathes to populate journalism, dominating the Guardian, Telegraph, Times, Mail, Express and the music papers. Even proto proles, Parson's and Burchell reversed the norms simply to join the insiders club, the new reactionaries. Punk had a defining effect and the big marker of change was the silence greeting the Queens Golden Jubilee, a ripple of polite applause from the elderly and blank stares from the mass. The upper classes need to find a new identity, is punks social legacy seen again at the opening of the Olympics.
Whilst punk traversed class interests based on surrealism and situationism it was forever an uneasy alliance. Look at the tensions in Crass between Steve Ignorant and Penny Ribaud?
Malcolm was the key to the embedded philosophy, the man was exposed to ideas, first and foremost. Embroidering them on his clothes, loud, brash and bright and Adam was attracted to the glamour. He came across a hidden fetish scene at Sex and Seditionaries, the portal to an S&M world of Irving Klaw, Eric Stanton, Bettie Page and later Allen Jones. Malcolm created bondage trousers combining sex with the political, one a hidden pleasure and the other the mundane use of power on people to enter and tain(t) them, particularly children. Bondage was a condition people aimed to contain themselves within, trapped in the dialectic of also trying to escape the strictures of their social worlds into some Bowie Bolan planet of glitz and glamour.
Adam just pushed the envelope even further, based on Malcolm's tutoring. This album of B sides highlights his detournement of pop pulp. A sides for the teens ,and the old Ants B sides recomposed thoughts. As a strategy it helped him to keep his teeny bop/ secretary audience happy, whilst maintaining sales to the bemused proto punks.
On this disc the chaff has been sieved, the mixture distilled; and it is around 80% proof. The best is the first 80%, tailing off towards the end. Adam gave us Red Scab, Physical and Beat My Guest, bringing S&M out of its dungeons and brown paper bags. Adam's exploration of S&M, was hated by journos who felt uncomfortable with a playing with power. It brought back the repressed memories of public schools, as now the hidden was brought into the light. S&M also signified National Socialist codings of floggings and erotica. Playing with power was something the upper classes did, black leather, whips, the smell of sex, all something perverse. The Stranglers also suffered from the same myopic view.
Adam churned out the kitsch pizzaz of pizz and bling bringing home the bonhomie of the 80's empty sterile office party on the A; Prince Charming, Stand and Deliver became couched in stripey shirts, red braces, red Porsches, and brick sized mobile phones.
The B sides are Adams repressed desires, his dark esoteric visions given full sonic production. Eventually Adam became addicted to material success and left his art visions behind. Perhaps if he re-engaged with the latter his personal malaise may have shifted as the music represents a polarity, the beaming actor of the A and the dank underworld of the B.
Adam's gift to the world was sex situationism. This album is exhibit B Side Baby.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2007
A collection of songs that were destined only to be B sides, but which could, and maybe should, have been on an Ants album slotted between Dirk and Kings. These tracks would have been lost when Adam took a change in direction that lead to stardom, but they were just to good for that. So Adam put them on the B side of both Ants and his own solo singles over the next few years. Press Darlings really should have been included, but still, a great collection and one of my favourite Ant CD's.