Dirk Wears White Sox

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Dirk Wears White Sox
Studio album by
Released30 November 1979[1]
Recorded24–29 August 1979
StudioSound Development Studios, London
GenrePost-punk, alternative rock
LabelDo It
Adam and the Ants chronology
Dirk Wears White Sox
Kings of the Wild Frontier
Alternative cover
1983 US re-release 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 November 1979[2] by record label Do It. It was the first number one album on the UK Independent Albums Chart when the chart debuted in Record Week in 1980.[3]


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.[4]


Dirk Wears White Sox was released on 30 November 1979[5].

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: a re-recording of "Kick!" (previously on the Antmusic EP, which contained completely different lyrics and featured Jon Moss on drums, who later went on to join Culture Club), "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).

The album was remastered and reissued in 2004 with several bonus tracks.

A white vinyl edition was released by Ant's own label Blueblack Hussar Records in Spring 2014. To tie in with this, on 19 April, Ant performed the full album at the Hammersmith Apollo with a band including former Ants Dave Barbe and Lee Gorman, preceding this with several UK tour dates. A launch party gig for the white vinyl album was held at the 100 Club. Both London concerts were filmed and later released as the DVD album Dirk Live at the Apollo. Ant would subsequently perform the full album again with his regular band for four nights at the Islington Assembly Hall in November 2014 and a full UK tour in Spring 2015.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[6]
Trouser Pressunfavourable[8]

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."[6]

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."[6] 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."[7]

Track listings[edit]

All tracks are written by Adam Ant.

Side A
1."Cartrouble (Parts 1 & 2)" 
2."Digital Tenderness" 
3."Nine Plan Failed" 
4."Day I Met God" 
Side B
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


Adam and the Ants
Additional personnel


  1. ^ https://www.adam-ant.net/dwws.html
  2. ^ https://www.adam-ant.net/dwws.html
  3. ^ Katagiri, Charlie (29 September 2012). "Adam Ant". Encyclopedia.com.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ https://www.adam-ant.net/dwws.html
  6. ^ a b c Woodstra, Chris. "Dirk Wears White Sox – Adam and the Ants | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  7. ^ a b Parrish, Peter (28 July 2004). "Adam & the Ants – Dirk Wears White Sox – Review – Stylus Magazine". Stylus. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  8. ^ Young, Jon; Lewis, Kate; Rompers, Terry. "TrouserPress.com :: Adam Ant". TrouserPress.com. Retrieved 28 August 2016.

External links[edit]