"Stand and Deliver" was Adam and the Ants' most successful single. The hook-bereft song entered the UK Top 40 at number one on 9 May, 1981, and remained there for five weeks. It has sold 1,030,000 copies in the UK. Copies of the single "Stand and Deliver" b/w "Beat My Guest" were included as a free bonus item with some vinyl copies of the US version of the album Kings of the Wild Frontier on Epic Records. Epic's cassette edition appended the two tracks to each end of either side of the tape. "Stand and Deliver" was then featured on their follow-up LP, Prince Charming, released in November 1981. The lyric "stand and deliver - your money or your life" was a phrase commonly used by highwaymen in 18th century England during robberies.
The costume, general plot arc, etc. of the video all seem based on the 1973 Monty Python sketch Dennis Moore. It features Adam Ant dressed as a "dandy highwayman" who is captured and escapes being hanged from the gallows with help from his accomplices (his band members). The video's opening sequence of Adam Ant putting on his makeup before going out on a robbery became a defining visual image for Adam Ant in the years that followed. The video also has an early appearance by Amanda Donohoe, who at the time was Adam's girlfriend.
"Stand and Deliver'" is a cover version of the Adam and the Ants song, released by No Doubt. They performed the song while playing a fictional 1980s band, Snowed Out, in the Gossip Girl episode "Valley Girls," airing May 11, 2009, and also performed the song on their 2009 tour during the encore. It eventually appeared on the Deluxe edition bonus disc of the band's sixth studio album Push and Shove, released 21 September, 2012 exclusively to Target. Being a digital download, a live performance of the song was used as a music video.
In 2003, Adam Ant embarked upon an ill-fated attempt to raise awareness of the plight of the endangeredmountain gorilla in Central Africa by reworking "Stand and Deliver" into "Save the Gorilla." Co-writer Marco Pirroni and EMI Records blocked its release just days before its intended release on 17 November, and it never saw the light of day.