Ant Music

StripWas a defocused Adam Ant ever a sex symbol? This 1983 cover of Strip certainly suggests that over 30 years ago, he was. I was busy acting out my favorite scenes from Return of the Jedi with my Jedi Luke Skywalker (with green lightsaber) and Jabba the Hutt playset (with snub-nosed Salacious Crumb) at the time, so this obvious monument of male sexual prowess escaped me.

AntMusicI’ll admit that I went through an “80s” phase about a decade ago, and managed to gobble up any and every early 80s pop album I could find. I’d been the proud owner of Adam Ant’s B-Side Babies back in High School, and figured that expanding my Adam Ant collection was a logical endeavor. Strip, with its chart-climbing single, Puss ‘n Boots (which was co-produced by Phil Collins, I’ll have you know) was Mr. Ant’s 2nd solo effort after ditching the Ants in ’82.

Sex symbol or not, Stuart Leslie Goddard (aka Adam Ant) made some pretty damn good pop music throughout his career, and although B-Side Babies never received a proper vinyl release, it comes HIGHLY recommended.

Cha-Cha-Cha with Art Mooney

Art CoverWhen Luke Skywalker said to Han Solo in the murky bottoms of a damp and dungeon-like trash compactor, “Did you see that?!” What the ol’ scoundrel SHOULD have answered was, “Why, yes I did, kid. That’s the sound of Art Mooney.”

Decades old intergalactic space references aside, I’m here to tell you that Art Mooney’s music on Cha-Cha-Cha with Art Mooney does, in fact, set sound in motion… it says so right on the cover, “Movement in Sound.” Like a 12-6 curveball, the bachelor-pad-ready-sound from this smokey-lounge-album moves, man! It moves in ways that force parents to shield the virgin ears of their children, you dig?

Art BackThe next time my significant other and I decide it’s time for a change of scenery, I’m calling Art Mooney and His Orchestra to help us move. If he’s half as good at hauling my T-Z shelf as he is delivering the moving sound of the Cuban Cha-Cha-Cha, we’ll be hosting casual dinner parties at our new digs in no time.

“He enjoys golf, swimming and tennis and is a classical records’ collector.” – Back Sleeve

1983: Return of the Jedi Read-Along

VaderThis is the story, of Return of the Jedi. You can read along with me in your book. You will know it is time to turn the page when you hear Artoo-Detoo beep like this, “Boop, beep-beep, boop. BOO-BEW!”

Let’s begin now:

Throughout the early 80s, Star Wars, with its vast world filled with luscious characters, could be found fighting for galactic power in your cereal bowl, your pencil kit, on the laces your shoes, on your back helping to carry your books, on your waist to help keep your pants up, packaged with bubble gum as little cardboard trading cards, and as a beaming Prudent Groove would like to acknowledge, a 24 page read-along with 33 1/3rpm record containing the story, music and photos from the original motion picture, Return of the Jedi. Me as a 4-year-old, “You mean, I can LISTEN to the story and FOLLOW ALONG with my very own book?!” Mind = blown.

Boop, beep-beep, boop. BOO-BEW!

Read-Along ColoredStar Wars was such a massive part of my generation’s childhood that, for me, it’s difficult to see the printed year 1983 and NOT think Return of the Jedi. And thanks to this little read-along-reminder-guy, I can relive the great tale of (spoiler alert!) the Rebel Alliance defeating the Galactic Empire in grand, book-turning fashion.

Boop, beep-beep, boop. BOO-BEW!

The narrator does a good job of keeping the story going with his smooth, yet demonstrative voice. Sound effects are lifted directly from the film, as is the classic John Williams’ score. The movie stills were great to analyze as a kid (this was back when it was difficult to pause a VHS tape at the exact moment you wanted), but the REAL fun of this little 7” lies in the voice actors hired to portray the story’s main characters: Luke, Han & Leia. It became apparent early on in this read-along that the Luke Skywalker standing up to Jabba the Hut (original voice), was NOT the Luke you knew and loved. This was immediately jarring, but, like a child’s mind works, was quickly forgotten when Artoo-Detoo prompted:

Boop, beep-beep, boop. BOO-BEW!

Read-Along BackI’m ecstatic that I kept this little gem from my wonder years, but then again I keep EVERYTHING (much to the dismay of my GF and my parents). This book and record set is worth seeking out if only to chuckle at the stand-in voice acting cast.

Leia hugged him. “Come join us, my brave Jedi.” She led him back to their circle of friends – heroes together to the end.