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on September 10, 2004
I was a huge fan of Adam Ant back in the day, and this was one of my favorite albums at the time. After the mid-80's, though, I lost interest and became even a bit embarrassed about having liked his music so much!

With the hindsight that time provides, I can now attest that there was absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of. Kings of the Wild Frontier, his best work, was way ahead of its time, and holds up incredibly well as a complete album and a statement of purpose. The mixture of punk attitude and guitar feedback, glam posturing, tribal rhythms, and spaghetti western and Native American themes was something completely fresh, and remains exciting to this day. Bottom line: the songs rock, and if you aren't moved by songs like Dog Eat Dog and Ants Invasion, it's time to pack it up for the nursing home. Moreover, the influence of the Ants (both musically and aesthetically) on artists like Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails (who covered Adam's "Physical"--more about that later) was huge.

Ok, now to this reissue. The plusses: the sound is as good as could be expected from a relatively raw album, production-wise. Several demos are included for the songs Antmusic (there's also an alternative mix for this one), Feed Me to the Lions, the Human Beings, Omelette from Outer Space (to be renamed Ants Invasion), and S.E.X. (from the Prince Charming album). Full lyrics are included, and the photos in the booklet are great.

Minuses: the track listing for the album is the original British release [N.B.: the track listing above is INCORRECT!], and as follows:

1. Dog Eat Dog 2. Antmusic 3. Feed Me to the Lions 4. Los Rancheros 5. Ants Invasion 6. Killer in the Home 7. Kings of the Wild Frontier 8. The Magnificent Five 9. Don't Be Square (Be There) 10. Jolly Roger 11. Making History 12. The Human Beings (followed by bonus tracks).

If you're a fan of the album, you'll be shaking your head at the omission of two great tracks, Press Darlings and Physical (You're So)! That's right folks, not on the CD. You'd think that with all the bonus tracks, they'd include ones actually on the album (albeit the US release)! True, you do get Making History, never released in the US, but frankly, it's a pretty lousy song that was better left on the cutting room floor. Oddly enough, a demo version of Physical is on the Dirk Wears White Sox reissue, but neither official track is on any of the reissues. Big BIG mistake. Another problem with the cd is the lack of any liner notes whatsoever. You'd think that this would be the chance to talk about the influence of the album, a bit of the inspiration behind it, etc. But nope, BUBKES!

So, a great album and a must have, but this ain't the perfect CD release we've been waiting for... I would hope that a US reissue would fix the problems above, but i'm not holding my breath.
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on April 23, 2001
In the aftermath of punk and just before new romanticism finally broke cover, a man called Adam appeared on the UK music scene wearing a old military cavalry jacket and white stripe across his nose. Adam and his band of merry men seemed to be amongst the first to realise the importance of image (Gary Numan was the other real pioneer in this area, although it eventually worked against him...).
The song-writing team of Adam and Marco Pirroni was superb on this album (less so on it's follow-up Prince Charming) and most of the tracks here still stand up to the best of them today. The use of two drummers also gave the band a distinct sound missing from most of their contemporaries.
The famed English sense of humour (yeah, I know I'm biased...) is also evident on here, listen to the western-themed Los Rancheros and the piratical Jolly Roger. There was a serious side too as evidenced at least on Making History. Mostly, though, it was about fun and this comes through loud and clear (shown in particular on The Magnificent Five, Don't Be Square (Be There) and Antmusic).
For a while this group could no wrong. They were unique then, and there has been no-one like it since - miss out at your peril...
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on March 11, 2005
Hopefully Amazon will post a correction soon, but as of 11 March '05, the tracklisting here is incorrect. The correct tracklisting is:

1. Dog Eat Dog

2. 'Antmusic'

3. Feed Me To The Lions

4. Los Rancheros

5. Ants Invasion

6. Killer In The Home

7. Kings Of The Wild Frontier

8. The Magnificent Five

9. Don't Be Square (Be There)

10. Jolly Roger

11. Making History

12. The Human Beings

13. Antmusic (Demo)

14. Antmusic (Demo)

15. Feed Me To The Lions (Demo)

16. The Human Beings (Demo)

17. S.E.X. (Demo)

18. The Omlette From Outerspace (Early Version Of Ants Invasion - Unreleased Song Demo)

Amazon's UK site has the correct info.

Note that the alternate tracks from the original US release are not included on this CD (?!): Press Darlings and Physical. (The version of Physical on the Dirk remaster is the earlier Do It version.) Seems like a really weird decision, especially since the 1998 Sony remaster includes both of these tracks...
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on December 29, 2005
This album, which held the #1 spot on the UK chart for most of 1981 (though only reaching #44 on the US chart), is simply Adam & the Ants' greatest achievement. It starts of with the fantastic, upbeat & ecstatic 'Dogeatdog', a UK #4/US #15 smash. The song takes a while to get used to, but when you finally get it, it will blow you away.

'Antmusic', a UK #2/US #14 single, was Adam & the Ants big breakthrough, & the only single that was able to reach a respectable chart position during the post-murder Lennon craze of christmas 1980. Being kept of the top spot by the songs of the tragically murdered prophet of his generation, 'Antmusic' nonetheless, broke Adam & the Ants internationally, & desrvedly so, for it is among his best & catchiest songs. New listeners, start with that song, for it will get you in the first listen.

After these two songs, the record suddenly gets very dark. Actually the album is a pretty dark affair, with 'Los Rancheros' & especially 'Feed Me To The Lions' bringing visions of a Bowiesque post-apocalyptic landscape to mind. 'Press Darlings' is another catchy classic followed by 'Ants Invasion' & 'Killer In The Home', that follow up the apocalyptic tension. 'Kings Of The Wild Frontier' itself, a UK #2 hit following the #9 placing of the non-album 'Young Parisians', is the strangest song on the strangest record. Indeed. There is nothing else to say about that song (later `Ant Rap' would follow up on this tradition of taking Adam & the Ants' weirdest songs into the UK top 3).

`The Magnificent Five', `Don't Be Square (Be There)' & `Jolly Roger' (the name signifies the direction Adam & the Ants would take on their next record) are somewhat average Adam & the Ants songs (though such a thing doesn't exist). `Jolly Roger' jumps from brooding to a parody of singalong every 15 seconds or so. They are all great songs, & carry the hilarious/apocalyptic mood up to `Physical (You're So)', a #19 hit in the US, but never released as a single in the Ant homeland of the UK. Truly one of his best songs, it is also one of his darkest, carried by a paranoid guitar feedback. It leads into `The Human Beings', another misty dark song, which scares you into laugter... or?... well, it sounded good. A strange chorus carries the tune & ends this most fascinating & brilliant album.
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on December 27, 2004
This is one of the great defining albums of its time - there is simply nothing else like it. Nothing else has the same bravado, the same arrogance, and the same sense of post-punk camp. Much was made of the Ants' swashbuckling/Apache image, but if image was all they had, then this album would have died a sudden death. To this day, "Kings of the Wild Frontier" remains a terrific album because it not only has great songs, but because it seamlessly switches directions between frivolous and dark, providing a total thrill ride in its 13 songs. Released in 1980, it still sounds like nothing else more than 35 years later.
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on January 30, 2005
Adam and the Ants' second release, 1980's "Kings of the Wild Frontier," was a mammoth hit in the UK where it went Number One for an incredible 12 weeks on the album chart. The band's sound boldly clashed British punk with African tribal rhythms, and the formula resulted in the hits "Antmusic," "Dog Eat Dog," and the dynamic title track. Other album cuts that shared the same brash energy of those singles are the catchy "Jolly Roger" and "The Magnificent Five." Nearly a quarter century since its release, "Kings of the Wild Frontier" gets digitally remastered and repackaged with bonus tracks. The remastering is pretty decent, and the CD is presented in a digipak with a nice booklet containing lyrics and rare photos. In addition, we get a handful of demo and rare tracks that will likely appeal to diehard Ant fans. But don't throw out your previous copy of "Kings of the Wild Frontier" yet. Much to my disappointment, this new edition omits two key tracks that appeared on the old version: "Press Darlings" and "Physical (You're So)." Why they're not on this album (or at least added as bonus tracks) is a mystery and is a big mistake on Sony's part, and as you can see from the reviews below mine, I'm not alone in my opinion. Still, this remastered version is a good way to introduce new listeners to one of the most successful British albums of the 1980s.
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on February 19, 2012
This version has not been digitally remastered. It has no bonus tracks. This version is the original 80's US release. That means you get the original UK album plus "Press Darlings" and "Physical". (Try finding Press Darlings anywhere else). I remember when it first came out, much of Ants' loyal punk fanbase was horrified by his supposed "change in direction". In hindsight, it appears to be a perfect follow up to "Dirk Wears White Socks". A collision of african beats and Gary Glitter laced with Heavy Metal guitar and Ennio Morricone steals and Ant's angular chord progressions. Fantastic. Faultless. And Fun.
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on August 21, 1999
Quite simply, the album that made me passionate about music. "Dog Eat Dog" sets the tone for the tribal rhythms and his theatrical warrior image, but what remains established the Antpeople populated world of Antmusic. "Antmusic" acts as the anthem for fans who once felt they were part of something similar to the Kiss Army. The cd then follows with "Los Rancheros," an ode to 60's era Clint Eastwood westerns and the eerie yet desperate "Ants Invasion." "Killer In The Home" climaxes with Adam's wailing yodel and the raw grit and sheer power of "Kings of the Wild Frontier" further delve the listener into the Antworld. After the little pirate ditty of "Jolly Roger," the cd closes with what seems almost a mantra-like tribute to native american warriors with "The Human Beings." A unique classic in music and image.
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on March 10, 2004
Having had his band stolen by Malcolm McClaren, Adam Ant regroups with a new tribe of Ants and releases this dinger of an album on the world. BowWowWow, as McClaren styled his stolen musicians didn't come within miles of the standard of this outstanding work. That was over 20 years ago now and this CD is still as frsh as ever to my ears. Nothing quite like it has been done before or after (what followed from the group became successively worse). For me the highlight and one of my top ten tracks ever is "Killer in the Home". So simple, so direct, so passionate - like the rest of the album. You simply cannot be into rock or popular music without having heard this CD. GET IT NOW!
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on September 23, 2004
As the person below me has stated, I can not BELIEVE, for the life of me, that "Press Darlings" and "Physical (You're so)" are not on this disc. These 2 tracks do not appear on any of the 3 newly remastered Ants CDs! Yeah, I know that these cuts were only on the US release but didn't it occur to anyone that these might make, uh, good bonus tracks instead of the crap that they did put on here?

The sound quality is much better than the original US CD but the vinyl still sounds better to my ears.

Ah, there'll always be an England...

EDIT: Oh yeah, what about the sound quality? The album is now definitely more bass-heavy than I've ever heard it, which is a welcome improvement. The biggest improvement is the title track, which now sounds absoutely fantastic - the kettle drums sound like they are right in your listening room. Awesome!
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