Adam Ant

Vive le Rock

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Adam Ant adopted a '50s-style rock & roll sound for his third solo album, achieving a pastiche with some of the effervescence, but none of the definition (or popularity), of Elton John's "Crocodile Rock." Producer Tony Visconti tried to give him some of the plastic rock legitimacy of Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, but Ant was even goofier, and especially with his vocals smothered in harmony and echo and buried in the mix, he wasn't so much transformed into a rocker manque as rendered anonymous on his own record. The best track was the year-old U.K. Top 40 hit "Apollo 9," which had some of the manic energy of the Adam and the Ants hits. If the rest of the album had recreated its dizzy spirit, Ant might have made the comeback he needed with Vive Le Rock. Or maybe not--it's possible that his moment simply had passed. In any case, the album flopped on both sides of the Atlantic, Ant was dropped by his record label, and he didn't make another album for more than four years. [Vive Le Rock was reissued in 1996 with the added track "Mohair Locker Room Pin-Up Boys."]

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