Monday, May 6, 2019

Musical Monday - Stand and Deliver by Adam and the Ants

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: May 9, 1981 through June 6, 1981.

New Wave music of the early 1980s was weird. Sometimes that weirdness resulted in brilliance. Other times, it just resulted in weirdness for weirdness sake. This song has always seemed to me to be the second kind of weirdness.

I must admit that I didn't get the appeal of Adam and the Ants back then, and I don't get their appeal now. Their popularity was then and remains now, completely inexplicable to me. The music was kind of mediocre, the were lyrics pretentious for pretentiousness's sake, their personal style was "shocking" in a boring way, and Adam's singing voice topped everything off by being thin and annoying.

This specific song is a prime example of everything inexplicable about Adam and the Ants' popularity. The lyrics are Adam basically chiding people for their fashion sense while wearing an incredibly ridiculous get up himself. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be some sort of subtle dig at traditional clothing, or a criticism of pop style trends, or something else, but the irony in the fact that these lyrics are sung by a trend-chasing front-man seems not to be noticed by anyone in the band. Self-awareness seems not to have been their strong suit.

Previous Musical Monday: Morning Train (Nine to Five) by Sheena Easton
Subsequent Musical Monday: Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Being With You by Smokey Robinson

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

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