Monday, 8 September 2014

Vintage Vinyl

Over the summer, MrsRobster and I visited a number of weird and wonderful emporiums in search of weird and wonderful things. Some people may call these places 'junk shops', but that doesn't really do them justice. After all, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Anyway, somewhat inevitably, whenever I spied a stack of old records, I had to browse through them. While doing so, I had an idea for a series of posts. I decided to set some simple criteria: am I able to write a short article about it? If the answer is yes, and it’s not going to break the bank, then I’ll buy it and post it here.

Record collecting will become almost extinct in years to come, which is sad. Music is always worth something. I fell for it you know, buying rare and ‘collectable’ items for obscene prices back in my younger days. Sucker. Nowadays I’ll do it on the cheap. Ironically, my first post may seem rather pricey to some, but the truth is, it’s not that bad a deal really…

Adam Ant – Goody Two Shoes (7” picture disc)
Bought from: The Pumping Station, Cardiff
Price paid: £5

The Pumping Station used to be an old Victorian pumping house. It now hosts numerous traders selling everything from WW2 memorabilia to comics, from antique furniture to old records. Naturally it’s the latter I always gravitate towards. It's an intriguing place and MrsRobster and I do enjoy a visit there now and again, if only to browse at the crazy array of miscellany on offer.

I picked this record up from there in July for two reasons: one, I was a big Adam Ant fan as a boy; and two, it has a bit of a back story which means I can write something about it.

Goody Two Shoes was officially Adam Ant’s first solo single. Adam & The Ants as a band broke up at the very peak of their fame in early spring 1982. Adam first said it was amicable, but later claimed it was down to the lack of enthusiasm of some band members. He subsequently indicated that he was unhappy that the ‘no drink or drugs’ rule the band had adhered to through their rise was being flouted. He wrote Goody Two Shoes as a response to the flack he got for his abstinence and clean-cut image, particularly from the media. He released it as his debut solo offering just a few months after the band’s break-up.

This timing, along with the line-up, caused confusion and the first pressings of the single were credited to Adam & the Ants. Adam was joined on the record by Ants guitarist and songwriting partner Marco Pirroni, and Ants drummer Chris “Merrick” Hughes. All three co-produced. The confusion was therefore somewhat understandable, even amongst the record company who were no doubt keen to keep the Ant brand at the height of the public’s consciousness for as long as possible.

The single went to number one, and Adam made a couple of memorable appearances on Top of the Pops, in which he was given free reign of the studio to do pretty much whatever he wanted – a privilege not proffered to any artist before or since - and bloody hell, did he take advantage! Goody Two Shoes subsequently appeared on the ‘Friend Or Foe’ album, though Merrick’s drums were replaced by the album drummer Bogdan Wiczling. A shame, as the big appeal of the original to this day, for me at least, is Merrick’s driving, pounding drum track.

The picture disc I picked up in the Pumping Station was part of the initial pressing which erroneously credits Adam & The Ants. That was the clincher, for me. It’s a brill song, even now. It gets stuck in my head for days when I hear it.



  1. Looking forwrad to this, and finding out how much you paid! Probably a bit more than Mr Charity Chic is prepared to fork out at chairty shops?