Dirk Wears White Sox

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Dirk Wears White Sox
Studio album by Adam and the Ants
Released 30 October 1979
Recorded 24–29 August 1979 at Sound Development Studios
Genre Post-punk
Length 40:39
Label Do It
Producer Adam Ant, Chris Hughes
Adam and the Ants chronology
Dirk Wears White Sox
(1979)
Kings of the Wild Frontier
(1980)
Alternative cover
1983 US re-release cover

Dirk Wears White Sox is the debut studio album by English new wave band Adam and the Ants. It was released on 30 October 1979 by record Do It. It holds the distinction of being the very first number one album on the UK Independent Albums Chart when the chart debuted in Record Week in 1980.[1]

Background[edit]

The album was made with an early line-up of Adam and the Ants, which disbanded after the album was released. Guitarist Matthew Ashman and drummer David Barbarossa went on to form Bow Wow Wow with then-Ants bassist Leigh Gorman (who had only played one gig with the Ants and was not involved in any studio recordings). Original bassist Andy Warren had departed shortly after recording the album to join former Ants guitarist Lester Square in The Monochrome Set. Many of the songs, notably "Cleopatra" and "Never Trust a Man (With Egg on his Face)", remained a part of Adam Ant's live repertoire throughout his career, both with the Ants and later as a solo artist.

The "Dirk" of the title refers to classic British film icon Dirk Bogarde.[2]

Release[edit]

Dirk Wears White Sox was released on 30 October 1979.

The album was re-released in 1983, featuring a different album cover taken from a December 1979 video for the song "Zerox". "Catholic Day" and "Day I Met God" were dropped and "Cartrouble" appears in its single version. This edition also adds three songs from the same era not on the original LP: "Kick!", "Zerox", and "Whip in My Valise". It was re-issued again in 1995 by Sony, featuring the original black-and-white album art in somewhat cropped form. The lettering on the sleeve was recreated in the style of the original and does not feature the stroke through the letter O in the word "Sox"; it also substitutes a letter "Z" in place of the zig-zagged "S" in the word "Ants" (previously a common practice among unofficial merchandisers around the time of the album's original release).

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[3]
Stylus B−[4]

In his retrospective review, Chris Woodstra of AllMusic wrote "while the somewhat pretentious, overly arty lyrics and inexperienced playing are a drawback, the album offers a fascinating look at the Ants' formative years, capturing a raw energy that would be sacrificed for more polish on subsequent releases."[3]

Musical style[edit]

Chris Woodstra of AllMusic described the album's style as a "sometimes-awkward fusion of punk, glam and minimalist post-punk with bizarre images and disturbing tales of alienation, sex and brutality."[3] Peter Parrish of Stylus wrote "Dirk slips somewhere between The Banshee's [sic] Scream and Gang of Four's Entertainment; all stark, angular and brittle."[4]

Track listings[edit]

All songs written and composed by Adam Ant

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Cartrouble (Parts 1 & 2)"    
2. "Digital Tenderness"    
3. "Nine Plan Failed"    
4. "Day I Met God"    
5. "Tabletalk"    
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Cleopatra"    
2. "Catholic Day"    
3. "Never Trust a Man (With Egg on His Face)"    
4. "Animals and Men"    
5. "Family of Noise"    
6. "The Idea"    
1983 re-release
1995 re-release
2004 reissue

Personnel[edit]

Adam and the Ants
  • Adam Ant – vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica
  • Dave Barbarossa (as Dave Barbe) – percussion
  • Matthew Ashman – guitar, piano
  • Andrew Warren – bass guitar
  • Marco Pirroni – guitar on tracks 18 and 19
  • Jon Moss – drums on tracks 18 and 19

References[edit]

  1. ^ Katagiri, Charlie (29 September 2012). "Adam Ant". Encyclopedia.com. 
  2. ^ "Adam Ant: The King of Sexual Diversity | Ant Lib Ønline | Adam & the Ants Community Øutpost | Adam Ant News & Events". Ant Lib Ønline. 28 February 2010. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Woodstra, Chris. "Dirk Wears White Sox – Adam and the Ants | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Parrish, Peter (28 July 2004). "Adam & the Ants – Dirk Wears White Sox – Review – Stylus Magazine". Stylus. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 

External links[edit]