Adam and the Ants

Peel Sessions

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An oddly abbreviated trawl through the King Ant's BBC sessions archive, the original issue of The Peel Sessions outraged many fans by omitting -- for no apparent reason whatsoever -- two songs that had contrarily been knocking around on bootleg for years, versions of "Deutscher Girls" and "Puerto Rican" recorded at Adam & the Ants' first-ever John Peel session in January 1978. The remainder of the recording ("Lou" and "It Doesn't Matter") is here, together with two further sessions, from July 1978 and April 1979; why were this pair singled out so ruthlessly? All that's immaterial now, since the release in 2002 of a complete Ant BBC album, and that's the disc that interested parties should gravitate towards. However, anybody looking for a speedy introduction to Adam Ant's pre-Wild Frontier days will nevertheless find much of the man's early charm on display here, the expected whipsmart lyrics and quirky melodies blending with the crude sexual cheekiness that his future success swiftly dispensed with. Flashlit, too, is the electrifying lividity of the early Ants in full flight -- there's a mannered quality to their vinyl recordings that is thrown out of the window here, to be replaced by a knowing, nudging bonhomie that simply relishes in the chance to express the band's most pressing concerns -- bondage, violence, and kinky sex, mainly -- over the national, state-run airwaves. In 1978, that really was quite a coup.

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