"Dog Eat Dog" is an informal expression which means ruthlessly acquisitive or competitive. The lyrics of this song are about bands in competition with each other. It finishes with Adam Ant saying how proud he is of his fans.
In his autobiography, Adam Ant said "Dog Eat Dog" was inspired by a quote by Margaret Thatcher from a newspaper. This was far from a new phrase, of course; Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister on May 4, 1979 and served until November 1990 when she was forced to resign by a Cabinet revolt.
This was Adam and the Ants' first Top 20 hit in the UK. It introduced the band's tribal drums (they had two drummers) and spaghetti western guitar sound, which made them one of the most popular acts in the early '80s in the UK. With lyrics like "leapfrog the dog and brush me daddio," it certainly wasn't the words that carried the tune.
"Dog Eat Dog" was released on the CBS label October 3, 1980 and reached #37, Adam Ant's first top 40 song. It was co-written by Ant and Marco Pirroni, produced by by Chris Hughes, and backed by "Physical (You're So)".
Alexander Baron - London, England
In a 2001 interview on the Adam Ant website, Adam Ant's co-writer and lead guitarist Marco Pirroni was asked what Adam Ant's favorite track was. He replied, "I think he's like me, we have often talked about this. His is probably Dog Eat Dog, it isn't always Dog Eat Dog, but if you were to ask him he would skip explaining like I did and just say Dog Eat Dog."
Kings Of The Wild Frontier was named Best Album at the inaugural Brit Awards of 1982.
The song got a big boost when the band performed it on the show Top Of The Pops, which gave audiences a look at the group's striking lead singer dressed in tribal gear and modified war paint.
Adam Ant recalled to Mojo magazine March 2013 regarding the recording of the song: "We did all kinds of things to make the sound right. We did a 20 foot loop of quarter inch tape all held on pencils round the room, and there was a lot of speeding up, and the gang vocals going 'Aaaah', and (crunch noise), I had that in my head."