Saturday, November 9, 2013

Adam Ant - Strip

Yesterday (November 8th) marked the thirtieth anniversary of Strip, the second solo studio album from Adam Ant. This one reached at number 65 on the US Billboard Album chart and number 20 on the UK charts.

The cover, of Adam posing coyly on a bed of straw, was modeled after a photo of Jane Russell from the 1943 film The Outlaw.

Side one starts with the title track “Strip”, a song about the seductive art of clothing removal. It was released as the second single, and it climbed to number 42 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 41 in the UK. The track features two guest performances - Phil Collins on drums and Anni-Frid Lyngstad on the female spoken part. I have always liked the juxtaposition of rock and orchestration on this one.

“Baby, Let Me Scream at You” features a funky bass groove from Adam.

“Libertine” has a slinky, sway to it rhythmically.

“Spanish Games” revisits a musical sound that he and guitarist Marco Pirroni often touched upon during their days with the Ants.

“Vanity” tells the tale of two people coming together with a slow, seductive groove.

Side two begins with the bouncy “Puss ‘n Boots”. As the first single, this tale of a girl come to the big city peaked at number 84 in Australia, number 22 in the Netherlands and number 5 in the UK. Collins makes another appearance on the thundering drums here.

“Playboy” tells of a guy trying to pick up a woman in a club, using a variety of lines to turn her head.

“Montreal” has an interesting sound thanks to a country rhythm and an old-time vocal filter on the verses.

The physically seductive “Navel to Neck” is next.

The final track is “Amazon”, a song about a very dominant woman.

I have been an Adam Ant fan since the early 80‘s even though I never owned any of the albums on vinyl back in the day. Strip has been on my to-download list from for awhile now; I was just waiting to listen to it in its entirety for this review before picking it up. I liked the variety of styles here, even if it was a change from some of what came from him before. It still features that common denominator of tempting and teasing lyrics.

For his 1980 album Kings of the Wild Frontier with the Ants, click here.

For 1982’s solo album Friend or Foe, click here.

1 comment:

HERC said...

Have to admit that after the top to bottom playability of Friend Or Foe, Strip was very disappointing. After an initial spin, the record was placed back in the sleeve and then on the shelf.

When the Ant Box came out in 2000, it featured just two songs from Strip so I heard "Strip" and "Puss 'n Boots" a couple of more times but didn't put them in regular rotation.

The 2005 Remastered series of expanded discs marked the first time I had Strip on CD and I put the entire shebang, every disc, bonus tracks and all, onto my iPod.

So now "Puss 'n Boots" (kitty, kitty) gets lots of plays - those Phil Collins drums are hard to beat - and to a somewhat lesser extant, "Strip" is getting more plays than ever. Don't know why the "let's get naked" lyrics didn't appeal more to the horny 17 year old in me back then.

There's a line and the way its sung in "Puss 'n Boots" reminds me of Prince's "P. Control". Actually, now that I pulld up and listened to both songs, there are several lyrically thematic as well as melodic similarities between the two songs.

There are extended versions of both of those songs available as well as non-album B-sides that were left off the expanded Remasters if you're interested.