Adam and the Ants was one of the most influential bands of the late '70s and early '80s, and their lead singer, Adam Ant, became an international star. The band had a unique mix of punk, new wave, and pop, and their songs were both catchy and thought provoking.
The Ants story began in 1976, when Adam Ant (born Stuart Leslie Goddard) formed the band and played occasional gigs. The original lineup included Josh Fendible on drums, Gary Tibbs on bass, and Leigh Heggen on guitars. In late 1977, Deidre Cartwright joined on guitar and voals and Jerry Dwyer replaced Fendible on drums. During this early period, Ants leaned more towards punk than the pop sound the band is now known for.
In 1978, Cartwright left and was replaced by the iconic guitarist, Marco Pirroni. Together with producer, Malcolm McLaren, Adam and the Ants developed their more polished sound. With the addition of Pirroni, the Ants became more theatrical and their studio albums began to take shape.
The Ants first single, â€œYoung Londoners,â€ was released in 1980 and the band began to get radio play. However, they failed to generate enough record sales and saw limited television appearances. During this period, the Ants also released the mini-LP, Kings of the Wild Frontier, which charted extremely well in the UK. The album featured the bandâ€™s first UK top 10 hit, â€œDog Eat Dog.â€
In 1981, the Ants swung to the top of the UK charts with the single, â€œStand and Deliver.â€ The single, which featured Adamâ€™s iconic line, â€œYour kisses are like an arsonistâ€™s flame,â€ also cracked the US top 40 and earned him the Grammy award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
The Ants followed up their success with the single, â€œPrince Charmingâ€. Yet, despite all their success, the Ants mysteriously splitup in 1982.
After the split of the Ants, Adam Ant pursued a solo career. In 1984, he released Friend or Foe, which yielded the UK no.1 single, â€œGoody Two Shoes.â€ The album was a smash success and sold more than million copies.
Yet, despite his fame and success, Adam Ant was struggling with mental health issues and financial problems. In the 1990s, he was briefly homeless and even spent some time in prison after a series of bizarre incidents. Yet, fairly slowly Adam recovered and found success with his 2003 single, â€œWonderful,â€ which reached no.4 in the UK single chart.
In recent years, Adam has occasionally been touring and released a thorough compilation album of his work in 2015, titled Antology. He also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Kings of the Wild Frontier with a tour in 2020.
Adam and the Ants were one of the most influential bands of its time and Adamâ€™s unique vocal style and arresting lyrics earned him the title, â€œGod of Pop.â€ Revered by musicians and fans alike, Adam and the Ants have no doubt secured a special place in the history of popular music.