Top positive review
40 people found this helpful
Classic album, less than perfect CD
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.