The Number One Album In The UK on the 22nd May 1981 was from Adam and The Ants with their album Kings Of The Wild Frontier.
Kings Of The Wild Frontier was recorded in August 1980 at Rockfield Studios in Wales, supposedly the world’s first-ever residential studio where a farmhouse had been converted for bands so that they could stay in the rural environment for recording; many hit records have been recorded there including releases from Queen, Oasis and Coldplay.
The album was produced by Chris Hughes, also one of the drummers for Adam & The Ants; who also went on to work with Tears for Fears producing their albums The Hurting & Songs from the Big Chair plus co-writing their worldwide hit Everybody wants To Rule The World.
Kings Of The Wild Frontier was released in November 1980 and had three hit singles – Dog Eat Dog [wp.me/p3uHDF-8F] hitting Number 4 in October 1980, Antmusic [wp.me/p3uHDF-8C] reaching Number 2 in January 1981 and Kings of the Wild Frontier [wp.me/p3uHDF-8K] hitting Number 2 in February 1981.
Internationally, Adam and The Ants made a huge impact in Australia where the single Antmusic hit No. 1 on the singles chart there for five weeks from 23rd March 1981 – 26th April 1981 [where they appeared on Countdown whilst touring in Australia – wp.me/p3uHDF-8A].
The album originally hit No. 1 on the UK album charts on 24 January 1981 and stayed at the top position for the periods of January 24, 1981 – February 6, 1981 & March 14, 1981 – May 22, 1981 becoming the Number 1 selling album in the UK in 1981 [see below] also winning the Best British Album at the Brit Awards in 1982.
Top 5 Singles of 1981 in the UK:
1. Soft Cell – Tainted Love
2. Adam and the Ants – Stand and Deliver
3. Adam and the Ants – Prince Charming
4. Shakin’ Stevens – This Ole House
5. Ultravox – Vienna
Top selling Albums of 1981 in the UK:
1. Adam and The Ants – Kings of the Wild Frontier
2. Queen – Greatest Hits
3. The Human League – Dare
4. Phil Collins – Face Value
5. Shakin’ Stevens – Shaky
6. The Police – Ghosts in the Machine
7. Cliff Richard – Love Songs
8. Various Artists – Chart Hits ’81
9. Adam and The Ants – Prince Charming
10. John Lennon – Double Fantasy
Artwork [Sleeve Concept] – Adam Ant & Julian Balme [graphic designer and art director who started his career as designer at Stiff Records in 1979].
Artwork [Warrior Ant Logo] – Danny Kleinman [British music video director – also title sequence designer for the James Bond series of films from 1995’s GoldenEye until 2008 & returned to the series to design the title sequence for 2012’s Skyfall]
Design [Graphic] – Julian Balme
Engineer – Hugh Jones
Performer [Made By] – Adam Ant, Kevin Mooney, Marco Pirroni, Merrick, Terry Lee Miall
Photography By – Peter Ashworth [British photographer – in the 1980s he worked with many UK bands including iconic album covers for Visage, Eurythmics and Soft Cell]
1st Edition: Has an earlier mix of “Antmusic” (fade in version) and was replaced in later pressings with the mix from the single.
All original copies came with a 12 page A4 Catalogue with pictures and text about band members, previous releases and gigs and events from 1976-80.
Dog Eat Dog – 3:11
Antmusic – 3:37
Feed Me to the Lions – 3:03
Los Rancheros – 3:30
Ants Invasion – 3:19
Killer in the Home – 4:22
Kings of the Wild Frontier – 3:56
The Magnificent Five – 3:07
Don’t Be Square (Be There) – 3:32
Jolly Roger – 2:11
Making History – 2:59
The Human Beings – 4:32
All songs written by Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni.