Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Adam Ant - Manners & Physique (1987)

Adam Ant isn't generally associated with synthesizers - having based his career on energetic rock/punk and a flashy look - nor would many consider this his best album. 'Kings of the Wild Frontier' (recorded as Adam and the Ants) is generally regarded as his enduring classic. Personally I give the honour to the follow-up 'Friend Or Foe,' his first solo release. All his solo records to date have been recorded with the Ants' guitarist Marco Pirroni, and for Manners & Physique they were joined by producer Andre Cymone - who was in Prince's band, and produced Jody Watley (of Shalamar) among others.

Cymone mixed Adam & Marco's strengths for percussion, guitar, and vocal melody with synthesized bass, brass, and lush chords. The result is a funky dance-pop vibe, which works very well. The vocals on Manners & Physique are some of Adam's most refined and showcase his exceptional voice. Marco's guitars chug along on the verge of being at odds with the rest of the music, but this juxtaposition adds to the appeal of the record.

Let's start with the opening track:

Room At The Top, courtesy of likefershure

This is a slightly different mix to the album version (it has some extra vocal samples & synth parts):

Rough Stuff, courtesy of luciusfunk

I particularly like the outro on this one:

You Can't Set Rules About Love, courtesy of AnythingBut1966

I wanted to share the title track, which I consider one of the best pop songs ever written, but unfortunately it wasn't to be found on Youtube at the time of this posting. Check it out if you get a chance. This album has been freshly remastered and reissued with bonus tracks. If you like what you hear, I highly recommend it.

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