Many collectors with a large music library own a handful of releases which, to their dismay, are no longer in print. I have quite a few, and one of them is 1995's "Wonderful," the eighth studio album by Adam Ant. After dominating much of the 1980s with his high-concept brand of camp pop, Ant grew up and got serious, offering an appealing mix of mature, guitar-powered rock. It spawned one minor Top 40 hit, the title track, but its sales were disappointing (even for a past-his-prime 1980's star), and Capitol soon let "Wonderful" die an unfortunate death. That's too bad, because it's an underrated album that deserved better promotion and sales. Ant's longtime collaborator, Marco, reappears as a songwriter, but we also get help from Boz Boorer, who's also done a few tunes with Morrissey. "Won't Take That Talk" is a great opener, a fine balance of acoustic and electric guitars with some crisp production. The album takes a funky turn with the sensual "Beautiful Dream," followed by solid numbers "Gotta Be a Sin," "1969 Again," and "Alien." The years since "Wonderful" haven't been wonderful for Adam, though. His frequent run-ins with the law and his public battle with mental illness make it very likely that this could be his final album. But even though "Wonderful" is no longer in print, it's still worth the effort to get it used, either online or at a secondhand record shop.
(Side note: the album artwork and photography is by Anton Corbijn, known for his work with U2, Depeche Mode, and others. The pictures and display are done very well, proving why Corbijn is one of my favorite photographers.)