Prior to the 2003 release of The Essential Adam Ant, there hadn't been a career-spanning hits compilation on his career apart from the 1999 Sony International set The Very Best of Adam and the Ants. This 17-track collection shares 15 songs with that 22-song collection (as well as the same cover picture), so it would seem to be pretty much interchangeable, but that isn't the case. Even though this is shorter, this is the preferable collection since it has a logical chronological sequence and includes two essential songs: the sexy menace of "Physical (You're So)" and the deliriously intoxicating "Home in the Country," one of his greatest and most underrated cuts. In contrast, the only song from The Very Best Of that should have been here is "Car Trouble," and while that's one of his finest, it's not a deciding factor in making one collection better than the other. Song for song, from the angular post-punk of "Zerox" to the lovely adult pop of "Wonderful," The Essential Adam Ant takes every step right, and the result is the best summation of his career.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine