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Stand and Deliver (Adam and the Ants song)

"Stand and Deliver" is a song by English new wave band Adam and the Ants, released as the lead single from their third studio album, Prince Charming (1981). It was the band's first No. 1 hit in the UK. The phrase "stand and deliver - your money or your life", used in the lyrics, is commonly associated with highwaymen in 18th century England.

"Stand and Deliver"
Stand and Deliver - single.jpg
Single by Adam and the Ants
from the album Prince Charming
B-side"Beat My Guest"
Released27 April 1981
Format7" single
LabelCBS Records
Producer(s)Chris Hughes
Adam and the Ants singles chronology
"Stand and Deliver"
"Prince Charming"



Adam and the Ants' previous single, "Antmusic", debuted on the UK Singles Chart on 6 December 1980. It spent nine weeks in the top 10, peaking at No. 2, but was denied the No. 1 position by the re-release of John Lennon's "Imagine" after his murder in New York City on 8 December 1980.

"Stand and Deliver" became the band's first No. 1 when it debuted at the top spot on 9 May 1981, and remained there for five weeks.[1] It has sold 1.03 million copies in the UK.[2] On the US Dance chart, "Stand and Deliver" peaked at #38.[3]

Copies of the single "Stand and Deliver" b/w "Beat My Guest" were included as a free bonus item with some vinyl copies of the US version of the album Kings of the Wild Frontier on Epic Records. Epic's cassette edition appended the two tracks to each end of either side of the tape. A slightly different version of "Stand and Deliver" was then featured on their follow-up LP, Prince Charming, released in November 1981.

Music videoEdit

The costume and general plot of the video all seem based on the 1973 Monty Python sketch "Dennis Moore." It features Adam Ant dressed as a "dandy highwayman" who threatens his victims with the mirror image of their unfashionable selves and who is captured and escapes being hanged from the gallows with help from his accomplices (his band members). The video's opening sequence of Adam Ant putting on his make-up before going out on a robbery became a defining visual image for Adam Ant in the years that followed; a still from this was used as the sleeve for Ant's next single. The video also has an early appearance by Amanda Donohoe, who at the time was Adam's girlfriend.

"Beat My Guest"Edit

It was fairly common for Ant to record new versions his pre-1980 compositions for the B-side of his singles. For this single, an old Ant song dating back at least to May 1977 was used. "Beat My Guest" was the first song Adam and the Ants played at their official debut gig at the Institute of Contemporary Arts restaurant on 10 May 1977.[4] A full band recording was made in the same 14 July 1977 Chappell Studios recording session that had produced the version of Plastic Surgery featured in Derek Jarman's film Jubilee.[5] The version on the B-Side of this single was recorded in August 1980 during sessions for the Kings of the Wild Frontier album and featured the band's previous bass player Kevin Mooney.


"Stand and Deliver" seemed to be a fairly commonly covered track by indie bands (Society Burning, Lynyrd's Innards,[6] among others). Sugar Ray provided the first notable cover on their 1997 release, Floored.

The first episode of the third series of the CBBC historical sketch show Horrible Histories featured a musical segment which spoofs the song and music video for "Stand and Deliver", about the real-life highwayman Dick Turpin.

In 2008, it was featured as part of the Burnout Paradise soundtrack. In 2015, the song was voted by the British public as the nation's 15th favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV.[7]

No Doubt versionEdit

"Stand and Deliver"
Promotional single by No Doubt
from the album Push and Shove
FormatDigital download
  • Adam Ant
  • Marco Pirroni
Producer(s)No Doubt
Push and Shove track listing
12 tracks
  1. "Settle Down"
  2. "Looking Hot"
  3. "One More Summer"
  4. "Push and Shove"
  5. "Easy"
  6. "Gravity"
  7. "Undercover"
  8. "Undone"
  9. "Sparkle"
  10. "Heaven"
  11. "Dreaming the Same Dream"
Deluxe edition
  1. "Stand and Deliver"

In 2009, American rock band No Doubt recorded a cover version of "Stand and Deliver".[8] They performed the song while playing a fictional 1980s band, Snowed Out, in the Gossip Girl episode "Valley Girls", airing May 11, 2009, and also performed the song on their 2009 tour during the encore. It was eventually included on the deluxe edition bonus disc of the band's sixth studio album, Push and Shove, released on September 21, 2012.[9]

"Save the Gorilla"Edit

In 2003, Adam Ant embarked upon an ill-fated attempt to raise awareness of the plight of the endangered mountain gorilla in Central Africa by reworking "Stand and Deliver" into "Save the Gorilla."[10] This was to have been the lead track of a five track EP (with the remaining four tracks all being covers chosen for a jungle/primate theme) of which 2000 copies were pressed. Co-writer Marco Pirroni and the original song publishers EMI Publishing blocked its release just days before its intended release on 17 November, and the EP was withdrawn.[11] One EP track, a cover of Jungle Rock, eventually surfaced on collaborator Boz Boorer's 2008 solo album Miss Pearl.


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 393–4. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 22.
  4. ^ "Biography". Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Stand & Deliver" by Lynyrd's Innards, What Else Records
  7. ^ Westbrook, Caroline (25 July 2015). "The Nation's Favourite 80s Number One: 12 more classic 80s chart-toppers which didn't make the cut". Metro. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  8. ^ Daniel Kreps (April 8, 2009). "No Doubt Go New Wave With "Stand And Deliver" Cover". Rolling Stone.
  9. ^ "Target and No Doubt Team Up for Exclusive Deluxe Edition of "Push And Shove"". August 30, 2012.
  10. ^ "Adam Ant Save the Gorilla". Wildlight Limited. August 30, 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  11. ^ "EMI 'blocks' Adam Ant charity CD". BBC News. 17 November 2003.

External linksEdit