Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Madness - Total Madness



This is an extremely comprehensive compilation of the sublime run of hit singles that Madness had mainly from 1979-1984 (it also includes "Lovestruck" from 1999 and "NW5" from 2009). I have all their wonderful albums and they were actually more than just a "singles band", but sometimes I just want to play all their hits and this provides the opportunity to do just that.

The sound quality is excellent and although I would have preferred the songs to be in chronological order this is a small gripe (easily remedied if you are playing the songs digitally).

Madness were more than just good-time "nutty boys". Yes, their infectious brand of ska is something you can't keep still to, but they also specialised in wry, witty observational lyrics, often concerning "ordinary" London characters. Their subject matter was not always happy either - heart attacks, depression, petty crime and miserable humdrum days spent under grey skies are all on the menu. Their songwriting is much under-rated as indeed was their musicianship, which is top notch throughout. If you are looking for the very best of Madness's singles from their glory days then you can't go far wrong with this. Highly recommended. If it is a more detailed compilation you are after then "Full House - The Very Best Of Madness" includes all the tracks on here plus many more from the 1999-2016 period.

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