Kings of the Wild Frontier

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Kings of the Wild Frontier
Studio album by Adam and the Ants
Released November 1980
Recorded Rockfield Studios, August 1980
Genre Post-punk, new wave
Length 47:21
Label CBS
Epic (USA, Canada and Japan)
Producer Chris Hughes
Adam and the Ants chronology
Dirk Wears White Sox
(1979)
Kings of the Wild Frontier
(1980)
Prince Charming
(1981)

Kings of the Wild Frontier is a new wave album by Adam and the Ants, released in 1980 (see 1980 in music). This album introduced the new Burundi Beat drum sound.[1] After having his previous backing band wooed away by producer Malcolm McLaren, who used them to form Bow Wow Wow, Adam Ant recorded Kings of the Wild Frontier with guitarist Marco Pirroni as his new writing partner. In spite of the difficulties with the recording, Kings of the Wild Frontier has become acknowledged as an inspirational and unique-sounding album, introducing two drummers, with Duane Eddy-esque guitar riffs.

The album spawned three hit singles: "Kings of the Wild Frontier" (7/80, reached # 2 in 2/81), "Dog Eat Dog" (reached # 4 in 10/80) and "Antmusic" (12/80 reached No. 2 in 1/81). In addition, Antmusic reached No. 1 in Australia for five weeks.[1] The album was remastered and reissued in 2004 with several bonus tracks.

The US version (LP and subsequent CD issue) dropped "Making History" in favour of two tracks penned by Ant prior to teaming up with Marco Pirroni: The "brilliant grind-rocker" "(You're So) Physical"[2] and "Press Darlings".[3][4]

"Killer in the Home" is based on the same twangy, descending glissando riff that is featured in Link Wray's "Rumble" (Ants' guitarist Marco Pirroni has cited Link Wray as a major influence). "Dog Eat Dog" was featured in the film Doomsday. It is used in the closing credits of the British television series The Kevin Bishop Show.

The album was the UK number 1 selling album in 1981 (and the 48th best seller in 1980) and won Best British Album at the 1982 Brit Awards. The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Samples & covers of album songs[edit]

Kevin Max's song "Jumpstart Your Electric Heart!" from The Imposter samples the music from "Jolly Roger."

"Feed Me to the Lions" guitar solo at 1:30, was sampled from the soundtrack of Lawrence of Arabia (1962), composed by Maurice Jarre.[5] The same guitar solo was resampled in Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota song "La Bestia Pop".

Nine Inch Nails's 1992 EP Broken includes a cover version of "Physical (You're So)", which Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni performed live with Nine Inch Nails in 1995.

Crippled Black Phoenix's 8 Songs includes a cover version of "Physical (You're So)".

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[6]
Robert Christgau B[7]

Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine rated Kings of the Wild Frontier four-and-a-half out of five stars. He explained that "there's simply nothing else like it, nothing else that has the same bravado, the same swagger, the same gleeful self-aggrandizement and sense of camp." He also stated that "it fearlessly, imperceptibly switches gears between giddy and ominous, providing nothing short of a thrill ride".[6] Famed rock critic Robert Christgau, writing for The Village Voice, rated the album a B. He explained that "it's the sex and the music that'll determine whether Adam is David Bowie or Marc Bolan (or Gary Glitter)." He also stated that "especially given Adam's art-schooled vocals, I find that the hooks grate".[7]

UK track listing[edit]

All songs written by Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni.

  1. "Dog Eat Dog" – 3:11
  2. "Antmusic" – 3:37
  3. "Feed Me to the Lions" – 3:03
  4. "Los Rancheros" – 3:30
  5. "Ants Invasion" – 3:19
  6. "Killer in the Home" – 4:22
  7. "Kings of the Wild Frontier" – 3:56
  8. "The Magnificent Five" – 3:07
  9. "Don't Be Square (Be There)" – 3:32
  10. "Jolly Roger" – 2:11
  11. "Making History" – 2:59
  12. "The Human Beings" – 4:32

Kings of the Wild Frontier was remastered and reissued in 2004 with six bonus tracks:

  1. "Antmusic (Alternative Mix)" – 3:43
  2. "Antmusic (Demo)" – 3:28
  3. "Feed Me to the Lions (Demo)" – 3:02
  4. "The Human Beings (Demo)" – 2:30
  5. "S.E.X. (Demo)" – 3:57
  6. "Omelette From Outerspace (Demo)" – 3:06

US track listing (LP/CD)[edit]

All songs written by Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni, except where noted.

  1. Dog Eat Dog – 3:07
  2. "Antmusic" – 3:36
  3. "Los Rancheros" – 3:28
  4. "Feed Me to the Lions" – 2:59
  5. "Press Darlings"* (Ant) – 4:12
  6. "Ants Invasion" – 3:20
  7. "Killer in the Home" – 4:19
  8. "Kings of the Wild Frontier" – 3:53
  9. "The Magnificent Five" – 3:05
  10. "Don't Be Square (Be There)" – 3:29
  11. "Jolly Roger" – 2:09
  12. "Physical (You're So)"** (Ant) – 4:26
  13. "The Human Beings" – 4:24

* "Press Darlings" is the b-side to the UK single "Kings of the Wild Frontier"

** "Physical (You're So)" is the b-side to the UK single "Dog Eat Dog"

*** The US version omitted the track "Making History"

US track listing (Cassette)[edit]

All songs written by Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni, except where noted.

  1. Dog Eat Dog – 3:07
  2. "Jolly Roger" – 2:09
  3. "Los Rancheros" – 3:28
  4. "Feed Me to the Lions" – 2:59
  5. "Press Darlings" (Ant) – 4:12
  6. "Ants Invasion" – 3:20
  7. "Killer in the Home" – 4:19
  8. "Beat My Guest" (Ant) * – 3:12
  9. "Kings of the Wild Frontier" – 3:53
  10. "The Magnificent Five" – 3:05
  11. "Don't Be Square (Be There)" – 3:29
  12. "Antmusic" – 3:36
  13. "Physical (You're So)" (Ant) – 4:26
  14. "The Human Beings" – 4:24
  15. "Stand and Deliver" * – 3:06

* Copies of the single Stand and Deliver/Beat My Guest were included as a free bonus item with some vinyl copies of the US version of the album. The cassette edition on Epic appended the two tracks to each end of either side of the tape.

Personnel[edit]

Note – Merrick & Chris Hughes are the same person – Merrick being Chris Hughes middle & stage name.

Chart positions[edit]

Album

Chart (1981) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[8] 1
Billboard 200 44

Singles

Year Single Chart Peak
position
1980 "Kings of the Wild Frontier" UK Singles Chart 48
"Dog Eat Dog" 4
"Antmusic" 2
1981 "Kings of the Wild Frontier" (re-release) 2
"Dog Eat Dog" Billboard Club Play Singles 19
"Antmusic" Billboard Mainstream Rock 14
"Dog Eat Dog" Billboard Mainstream Rock 15
"Physical (You're So)" Billboard Mainstream Rock 19
Preceded by
Super Trouper by ABBA
Face Value by Phil Collins
UK Albums Chart number-one album
24 January 1981 – 6 February 1981
14 March 1981 – 22 May 1981
Succeeded by
Double Fantasy by John Lennon & Yoko Ono
Stars on 45 by Starsound

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THE POP LIFE; LATEST BRITISH INVASION: 'THE NEW TRIBALISM". The New York Times. 25 November 1981. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Antmusic – Review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Press Darlings – Song Review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  4. ^ "Kings of the Wild Frontier". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Opening soundtrack of Lawrence of Arabia
  6. ^ a b Kings of the Wild Frontier – Adam & the Ants at AllMusic
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Review: Kings of the Wild Frontier". The Village Voice. Robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Number 1 Albums – 1980s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 

External links[edit]