XTC Vs. Adam Ant
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|song name||XTC vs. Adam Ant|
|artist||They Might Be Giants|
|releases||Factory Showroom, John Henry + Factory Showroom|
|first played||March 23, 1995 (142 known performances)|
|sung by||John Flansburgh|
This song is about an imaginary rivalry between these two seminal but totally distinct early '80s rock icons. It is also definitive proof TMBG is still hopelessly trapped in a world of pop culture references. We recorded a song for the XTC tribute record last year, and while we were tracking it we had to record some backwards vocal for a psychedelic section. Since it didn't really matter what we said we recited a bunch of bands contemporary with the lads from Swindon, including Adam Ant. The contrast between the two seemed striking and while doing a bit of press to promote that tribute album, we cooked up this song.
- On October 11, 2010, this song was included in a feature in the A.V. Club, "28 Songs That Mention Other Songs By Name":
This track from 1996’s Factory Showroom finds the two Johns moving past their usual whimsical absurdism into full-blown silliness, as they set up a theoretical duel to the death between two titans of the British new wave. “Beatle-based pop vs. New Romantic”—even Bow Wow Wow’s Annabella Lwin can’t decide. Although it’s unclear what the consequences are, it’s quite a titanic struggle: “Just when you think it’s finished, with XTC on top, ‘Ant Music,’ like a phoenix, flies back up the charts.”
- On June 24, 2002, Washingtonpost.com hosted a moderated chat with Flansburgh, in which fan questions were chosen to be answered. When asked about the meaning of the song, Flansburgh said, "The point of the song is they are both good for different reasons- who is rock more? Buddy Holly or Little Richard? We need them both!"
- Bow Wow Wow were formed in 1980 when Adam and the Ants were broken up by former Sex Pistols producer Malcolm McLaren, and he joined the former Ants with 13 year-old singer Annabella Lwin (who presumably can't make up her mind after being fired by her band in 1983). Adam Ant (a.k.a. Stuart Leslie Goddard) continued on as a solo act.
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XTC Vs. Adam Ant is currently ranked #692 out of 910. (95 wikians have given it an average rating of 7.51)