“Room At the Top” was released as the first single from Adam Ant’s 1990 album, Manners & Physique. The single was released in early 1990, and it peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
I was 14 years old and in the ninth grade when this single was released. While I hadn’t been terribly familiar with much of Adam Ant’s material prior to this point, “Room at the Top” grabbed me instantly. It’s a very upbeat and catchy song, and it was very memorable. Back then, I was very attracted to songs that were this catchy. I still like the song 25 years later, but maybe not quite as much as I did when I was 14.
The director for the music video seemed to use the line “An 18th century brain in a 21st century head” as an inspiration for the music video. While there’s footage of Adam Ant lip-synching the music video with a microphone, there’s also footage of women from the 18th century that Adam interacts with throughout the song. Unfortunately, there was one particular effect in the video, where a hand comes in and removes the shot to reveal another shot, that just doesn’t look good 25 years later. This might have been an impressive effect 25 years ago, but now it just looks cheesy. 25 years ago, I thought the song was stronger than its music video, and my opinion hasn’t changed since then. In the end, the music video really doesn’t stand the test of time.