Record Review: Adam & The Ants – A.N.T.S.

Back in 1981 the career of Adam & The Ants was at its zenith. The time was ripe for Flexipop, Britain’s tackiest music magazine, to squeeze another unique rare track from this chart topping combo for its readers’ listening pleasure. A lot of these cuts that appeared in Flexipop were obviously demos of unreleased tracks or songs that eventually made it onto vinyl in another form. The 24-32 page magazine was a willfully garish wallow in the fantastic post-punk pop [a.k.a. the New Pop] of 1980-82. The reason the magazine’s run is still heralded today is as much for the flexidisc taped to the front cover than for their admittedly bold trash aesthetic.

Issue number four scored a coup when they managed to get a rather unique track from Adam & The Ants. You could call it a cover of The Village People’s “Y.M.C.A” but Adam Ant had composed new lyrics extolling their fans and it was now retitled as “A.N.T.S.”

“…Put on a kilt/Dye your hair green/Dance the Xerox Machine”

For a few months, this was a holy grail of sorts for Adam & The Ants fans. I think I remember actually seeing it on the published playlist of one-night-a-week New Wave nightclub Spit [“Spit Tunes”] as published in Orlando’s only New Wave magazine, Dogfood.

Flexipop | UK | 7" flexidisc | 1981 | FLEXIPOP 004

Adam & The Ants: A.N.T.S. UK 7″ flexidisc

  1. A.N.T.S.

The track sounds like it hails from the “Kings of the Wild Frontier” period, and is a real hoot. Even as someone who bristles at the thought of “Y.M.C.A.” without a shred of nostalgia, I can’t help admiring the subversion of that song into this one. For 20 years, this flexidisc was the only way to hear this rare cut, but in 2000 the 3xCD “Antbox” finally coughed up this semi-classic in a format that didn’t sound like a 10″ 78 from the 1940s. That item is officially OOP and heading up the price charts, so it may be time to investigate snagging a copy, if only to get this gem in full fidelity.

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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