Sunday, 23 June 2019

2000 AD - May 1981.

May 1981 was not a good time for fans of either reggae or Catholicism because it was the month in which Bob Marley died and Pope John Paul II was almost killed by a Turkish gunman in St. Peter's Square.

On the other hand, it was a great time if you were a football club called Liverpool because, in that month, the team won the European Cup for the third time, by vanquishing Real Madrid at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

The month also saw the first performance of the musical Cats, at the New London Theatre, which was good news if you liked that kind of thing.

Personally, I didn't. My attention was on other music matters.

Speaking of which...

The UK singles chart began May with its top spot held by Bucks Fizz's Making Your Mind Up before that was replaced by Adam and the Ants' Stand and Deliver which spent most of its run holding off the challenge of Shakin' Stevens' You Drive Me Crazy.

We might like to kid ourselves that the Early 1980s was dominated by groundbreaking acts doing things with synthesizers, hair and makeup to usher in a brave new era but, let's be honest, it was a man in denim, endlessly reviving the 1950s, who was the British singles chart's true commercial juggernaut in that period.

On the album front, the month kicked off with Adam Ant's Kings of the Wild Frontier successfully seeing off the threat of Gary Numan and Shakin' Stevens before catastrophe hit us all when the Number One slot was claimed by the nightmare horror of Stars on 45 by Starsound. Was this the moment civilisation died? It certainly felt like it at the time and it's still hard to believe anyone ever actually listened to the thing. Seriously, forty minutes of non-stop Stars on 45, you'd need a lifetime of therapy after that.

Anyway, 2000 AD. Tharg was still giving us his Future Shocks, Judge Dredd, Johnny Alpha, Return to Armageddon and Meltdown Man.

Personally, I wish he'd dropped Return to Armageddon because every month, doing this feature, I  manage to spell, "Armageddon," wrong. It's a terrible reason for wanting a strip dropped but it's my own.

Judge Dredd was involved in a thing called The Mega-Rackets which seems to be some sort of fifteen part story, split into one and two part chapters.

Other than that, I know little of the contents of this month's issues. I do note that the cover of Prog 213 seems to be a spoof of Flash Gordon but doesn't seem to relate to any of the tales contained within, which seems a little random.

2000 AD Prog 210, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 211, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 212

2000 AD Prog 213

2000 AD Prog 214

38 comments:

Killdumpster said...

Adam & The Ants' Kings Of The Wild Frontier is a fragging great album.

Marco was really channeling his inner Dwaynne Eddy on his lower note guitar rifts, and the percussion was was incredible. I got a promo copy on l.p. and it never left my turntable for a month, much to the chagrin of my neighbors. Made a copy on cassette to play in my bitchin' Camaro, and if I put that in or Dead Kennedys, my pals or girlfriend knew they had better grab a hold of the armrests. Lol.

When Sony re-mastered the CD, I bought it instantly and played it at work. A co-worker who is a drummer (his band's sound was a cross between Cheap Trick & Ramones) poo-poo'd it as I put it in the player. He was only exposed to the scrappy Phil Collins-produced later Adam Ant bubble gum pop.

He came up to me and yelled, "You're right! This is great! I would've never guessed!"

"Cowboys In Space" was an attempt to recapture the harder edge, but it was too little, too late.




Killdumpster said...

Man, another title to add on the shopping list when I go to used CD/DVD shops.

Redartz said...

Yes I'm agreeing with you Steve, and with KD, on the praises for "Kings of the Wild Frontier". I was first exposed to the Ants when Tom Snyder featured them on his late night "Tomorrow" show. Totally knocked out, I promptly visited a local used record stores that had a big import section. Coincidentally, like you KD, I got a promo copy. Maybe it was still too much for US radio at the time. Their loss, our gain. " That music's lost it's taste, so try another flavor..."

Killdumpster said...

"You might not like it now, but you will"

"The future will not stand still."

Killdumpster said...

Amazingly enough, I still have a promo copy of Shakin' Street's first album. It's in a small box of vinyl of autographed albums & bands I was fearful of never seeing on cd.

I wouldn't mind hearing that again.

Steve W. said...

KD, sadly, Shakin' Stevens had no connection to Shakin' Street, which is a great tragedy. It would have been truly epic to see Shakin' Stevens fronting Shakin' Street.

Red and KD, To this day, I think I still haven't heard Kings of the Wild Frontier beyond the singles.

Anonymous said...

Stand and Deliver was the lead single of the follow up album to Kings of the Wild Frontier and so it shows how successful Adam and the Ants were at the time. He'd make a good subject for a biopic. You'd have the early punk years, the breakthrough, the success, the movie career, (leading to) the downfall, mental illness, domestic violence and ultimate redemption?

DW

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Yowza!

Adam Ant is on tour in the USA in September and coming to Chicago. Should I???

I loved Adam's explanation as to why he switched from Punk to New Wave. Something to the effect that "You could only sick so many safety pins in your face, and spit on people only so much, before they'd move on to something different." Quite profound he was!

I read that in the same book on New Wave in which I learned from ABC's interview that they attribute Sheffield's free bus fares to what made them great!

And, because the cheeky buggers at Human League would not grant an interview for the book, they interviewed the guys at Heaven 17 and also used those same guys as the interview for Human League. LMAO on that one! Sometimes it does not pay to be a cheeky bugger eh, wot?

Anonymous said...

I still got Adam Ant's Friend or Foe album. "Friend or Foe!!"
His stuff was insanely catchy and didn't sound like anything else I was hearing over here in the States at the time.
I'm a sucker for a horn section and the rhythm on that stuff...
So he went a little nuts. I've done that on several nonconsecutive occasions.
Bi-polar disorder is a weird ride, man.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat surprising that the Americans round these parts should be so keen on Adam Ant, because I was under the impression he never really made it on the other side of the Atlantic. I always thought the biggest British act in the US in that period was Sheffield's finest er... Def Leppard (so much for the Human League and ABC).

Don't know that Adam really had a "movie career"; so far as DW's suggestion of a biopic goes, I reckon any film about him would have to be in the style of one of those cheap unfunny British comedies of the period, Carry On Swindling maybe.

Time to be boring and move on to the comics.
The Mega-Rackets was just a way to group together a series of shorts - each about a different futuristic crime - rather than an ongoing story like, say, the Judge Child (although even Dredd epics like that ended to be fairly episodic too).

Didn't the cover of prog 213 refer to a Future Shock?

-sean

Anonymous said...

PS You underestimate yourself Steve - a quick look shows that at least in the last two posts about the progs (I didn't go back further) you did actually spell Armageddon correctly.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Sean

I can only recall his appearances in The Equaliser and Northern Exposure, and it's possible I may have imagined those. I think this 'move' to Hollywood was the start of his decline. I did really like his 'Wonderful' single and was unaware that it was about his relationship with Heather Graham (and unfortunate mental illness and anger problems). Whilst half joke joking about the biopic, he has had a colourful life. My copy of Kings of the Wild frontier had 'You're so physical' and 'Press darlings' replacing 'Making History', which appears to make it the US release. Odd considering I bought it in Essex around the time of release.

Coming back to 2000AD, it looks like we're entering the Alan Moore era. 213 looks like a Bolland cover and I like the composition for 211, although I can't make out the signature.

DW

B Smith said...

211 cover by Ron Smith

Anonymous said...

DW, if that came across like I was dismissing your idea that Adam Ant would be a good subject for a biopic, that wasn't my intention. Rather, I do genuinely agree he's an interesting subject - probably more representative of pop/rock stars generally, who mostly don't have long lasting A-list careers - but think that something like a Carry On pastiche would be the most appropriate way to do it.
Theres a kind of "end of the pier" quality to his story.

Btw, you're right to bring up Moore - pretty sure the cover for prog 214 was for one of his Future Shocks - but technically we've been in his era for a good few months as he wrote a Ro-Jaws Robo tale as early as prog 176.
I think that was his first contribution to Tharg's organ - drawn by Dave Gibbons, funnily enough - but yeah, I think he starts appearing more regularly from this point.
(I will get out more when it stops raining!)

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

HI Sean...

Regarding Adam Ant in general he was a one-hit phenom with "Goody Two Shoes" here in the USA. I never heard of him before or after and was surprised he had a chapter in the book I read on New Wave. (Each of the chapters was only 3 -5 pages.)

Also, there was a cartoon called Atom Ant in the late 60s or so.

SO, between the big hit and the cartoon the name kind of stuck.

And I would guess Def Leppard (From Sheffield?) out sold all the other Sheffield acts combined? Though I never listed to them intentionally... no accounting for musical tastes lol.

Anyhow, that we have been talking about him is probably just a coincidence of the persons frequenting SDC?

Cheers!

Now to watch some WOmen's WOrld Cup Action!!!

Anonymous said...

Can't say I listened to much Def Leppard myself Charlie. I think they were bigger in the US than here, although with tastes in the (then) sound of Sheffield leaning more to Cabaret Voltaire and Clock DVA I wouldn't really know.

Metal exists in its own parallel musical world really.

-sean

Steve W. said...

I must admit Def Leppard aren't my cup of tea either.

I've done further research and it appears the Tharg's Future Shock tale in Prog 213 is a thing called Slashman, Kowalski and Rat and stars a talking rat in a pinstripe suit. From what I can make out, it doesn't seem to be connected to the Flash Gordon style cover image.

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, oh my brother!

Adam Ant had more charting hits here in the States than just "Goody Two-Shoes" (admittedly that was probably his biggest one, though).

Killdumpster said...

Def Leppard's "On Through The Night" album was.. well..sorta alright, I guess. It was better than they're later bubble gum stuff. If I never hear "Pour Some Sugar On Me" ever again, I would consider myself a lucky man.

I believe one of the guys from Leppard was involved in a band called Girl. Girl's "Sheer Greed" album is a big recommend. I picked it up a few years ago when it was re-issued on CD, after having it on promo-l.p. years ago. A very fortelling album, a transition of glitter into glam. Lot's of raw, crunchiness.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Okay - I can't believe this is the most important issue in my life at this moment, lol.

From what I see AA charted exactly 3 times in the US of A. I only heard Goody Two Shoes of the three. How the other two charted in the mid-teens is beyond me, without me and anyone else I know hearing it. I am really, really curious. (Maybe their sales were an East / West coast phenom and me living in Chicago?)

And I have to wonder how much of his sound was due to Adam vs. Malcolm McLaren when I hear Bow Wow Wows' "I Want Candy" b/c that's what Malcolm created after pillaging Adam's band in January 1980. I mean seriously "I Want Candy" is the splittin image of Adam's music with the percussion and guitar sound.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

ANd I can't wait until we get to 1983 and discuss Kajagoogoo!

Anonymous said...

And at some point we are going to have to with the serious matter of Men Without Hats.

M.P.

Killdumpster said...

MP, "And you can dance, you can dance"

"Skid marks in your underpants" lol.

Yeah Charlie, there is a definite Adam Ant/Malcolm McClaren/Bow Wow Wow connection.

McLaren was formatting Bow Wow Wow, and Adam wanted in on it. McLaren wanted a female front, and had no use for Adam.

Adam was miffed, and hijacked McLaren's "big beat" idea, adapting it to his own purposes. That's what I've heard in my my music circles, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Funnily enough Charlie, I read a book on that post-punk period with a chapter on McLaren recently.
Seems he had the idea of the music, playing Adam a record of Burundi drummers and suggesting Vivienne Westwood's "pirate look" as an image. For which he was paid a fee and then promptly convinced the band to mutiny, ditch the singer and let him manage them!

Bow Wow Wow were a lot more interesting than Adam and the Ants because of course McLaren took it all further, adding provocation to the mix - tying the image into literal piracy with the cassette thing (Walkman's were new at the time).
And then there was Annabella, and his scheme to expose the sleazy side of the music biz and wider establishment. By er... exploiting a 14 year old girl (not his finest moment really).

McLaren was an interesting geezer. People are so obsessed with the Sex Pistols in this country that its rarely remembered he was the first person to put scratching on a mainstream hit, and pretty much kicked off the sampling craze (Madame Butterfly was a fantastic record).
And he hired Alan Moore to write a film long before Hollywood was interested in his work.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Er... I went on a bit there; apologies everyone if that was boring.

-sean

Killdumpster said...

Sean, do you remember Siegue Siegue Sputnick?

The band that had commercials between their songs, on their vinyl lp?

That was McLaren. That shyster had moments when he was ahead of his time.

Anonymous said...

Not at all, pal. But some of the information I'm picking up here is pushing other information out of my brain, which may explain why I forgot my own phone number a couple weeks back.
...oh, and Killdumpster, I thought the lyrics were "You can dance, you can dance, everybody look at my pants."
And then there's Men at Work, with with their famous song, "Look at me in my brand new Hyundai."

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

And let's not confuse Men at Work for Men without Hats.

And Sean, I wonder if we read the same book? You have the title handy?

And Sean, I love Mclaren's Buffalo Girls and his references to Chicago's "World Famous Supreme Team" lol! "All this scratchin is making me itch!!!"

I've often wondered (truly though pointlessly) if the Buffalo Girls bit caught on, on the south side of Chicago, and inspired them to create Acid House music? And is there really much difference between Acid House and EDM? I really haven't a clue, but from behind this keyboard, I think not much?

Killdumpster said...

MP-
When I used to set-up at flea markets, a fellow dealer named Nick, was offered a dollar for an item.

He exclaimed, "I'm a sucker for a dollar!!"

I couldn't let that one go.

I went over to his stand, and sang in the melody of "Safety Dance":

"Nick will suck you for a dollar,
For 5 he'll do even more,
And if you give him 20,
He's sure to give plenty,
With 4 on the floor!"

Lol! He should of never told me he got thrown on jail when he was young for marijuana, and fellow prisioners would leave peanut-butter cups & Snickers on the pillow in his cell. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Rip It Up, Charlie. Its alright, but as with most books like that theres a fair amount of
dubious cultural theorizing. Unless people actually say they were inspired by something specific - like McLaren going on about New York hip-hop or a lot of those Chicago house wonks raving about Kraftwerk - tracing lines of influences seems fairly pointless to me.
A lot of developments seem implied by technology and economics at least as much as other music.

Kd, all I remember about the Sputniks was that they were (I think?) a Gen X spin-off, so not really my cup of noise.
Were they into commie chic? I'm always a bit partial to that, but other people did it better. Like the Russians, ho ho (a joke for M.P. there).

-sean

Anonymous said...

They weren't that good at it either!
Just like our ancestors and Christianity. Just not very good at it.

M.P.

Steve W. said...

B Smith, thanks for the Ron Smith cover info.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - I read "Mad World." It's worth a read. I'd borrow from the local library before buying, though.

And I'm with you... the bits I've read about music writing, it seems mostly rather happenstance. How many times have I read where Lennon-McCartney or Dave Brubeck or whomever had a couple of phrases rolling around in their heads and just simply combined them to eventually (and luckily?>) make a great popular song e.g., Take 5?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hey UK dudes! I posted on Back in the Bronze Age about your fav "summer annuals." I'd love to hear your input! Especially with your different comics and publications? Maybe you had a favorite DC Thomson summer annual you recall as opposed to Marvel?

Killdumpster said...

Not really sure, but I believe at one point McLaren managed Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Anonymous said...

Seems I maybe wasn't so far off the mark earlier about Adam Ant - turns out McLaren did the theme for Carry On Columbus...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=juH_s72yqFY

-sean

Killdumpster said...

Sean, funny you brought up Generation X. There's a pseudo-documentary film called The Punk Rock Movie (Charlie H47, I sent you that) with a song from Gen X, and Billy Idol looks to be about 13-14 yrs old.

I believe it's in the public domain, so it may be available on utube. Raw footage of performances, rehearsals & backstage antics of virtually all the British punk legends.

Clash, Pistols, Slits, Siouxsie, X-Ray Specs, Eater, etc are all well represented in it. As well as American imports Wayne County & Johnny Thunders.

Highly recommend.

Killdumpster said...

Not sure if Richard Hell is in it, been awhile since I watched it.

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