ARTIST: Adam & the Ants
TITLE: Dirk Wears White Sox
YEAR RELEASED: 1979
CHART ACTION: #16 UK
SINGLES: None from the original album or recordings. Later additions Zerox (#45 UK), Cartrouble (edited) (#33 UK), and the B-side EP (#46 UK) hit the UK charts.
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not in the original form
LINEUP: Adam Ant, Dave Barbarossa, Matthew Ashman, Andrew Warren
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Early Ants lineup is raw and shambly and make for an inconsistent album.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Before Adam Ant found his sound (and before the original Ants went with Malcolm McLaren to form Bow Wow Wow), the Ants released their debut record to some airplay and sales, yet it seemed an odd document.
The Ants (and Adam) were influenced by the sex boutiques in London at the time for their look and some of their lyrics (see the B-side “Whip in My Valise”), and this gave them a lot of press (good and bad). Yet the record seems a bit scattered with some inspired bits, and some bits that just didn’t work. Many times, those bits were in the same song.
It’s kind of shocking to hear Adam Ant with a less than coherent music vision (even if you didn’t like the vision, at least he had one later on). The vision would come together soon, with some excellent singles following this album. This is decent for those who like the immediate post-punk era, and for those who want to hear the nascent Adam Ant mewl about stuff and things.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The first Adam and the Ants recordings were for the movie Jubilee and are rare and collectable now. Not to say that they’re good…
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. The 1983 re-issue (for the US market) swapped the singles for a couple of songs, and truncated “Cartrouble” to the second, better half. The current issue has everything and a couple of new mixes.
GRADE: B-: You can her something, but Adam hadn’t quite settled into his successful sound yet.