Total Madness is the best of all the Madness compilation albums that are currently available. This album is a re-release of the 2009 album with a slightly different cover, a small change in the order of the tracks, and the fact that this edition doesn't contain the DVD of the the promo videos.
The album consists of 23 Madness songs (21 singles/ 2 album tracks) that take you from 1979 right up to the beginning of 2008. All of the big hits are here including House of Fun, Our House, Baggy Trousers, My Girl and it Must be Love. Plus there are plenty of their forgotten hits such as Michael Caine, Cardiac Arrest and One Better Day. And then you've got the 1999 hit Lovestruck and the brilliant NW5 from their latest album.
All of the tracks (apart from NW5) have been remastered and sound better and clearer than ever, and it is nice that the running order has been completely refreshed after the chronological order seen on Divine Madness. Our House and It Must Be Love are now at the beginning, probably a reflection of their appearance at the Jubilee concert and also at the Olympic Closing Ceremony.,
My only complaint is that this album only represents part of the Madness story with the singles from the Mad Not Mad album, such as Uncle Sam and Yesterdays Men, missing. Madness's only live single 'The Harder They Come' is also missing along with Johnny the Horse and Drip Fed Fred (although these two do feature in the digital download). There is also no mention of anything from the Dangermen Session and no 'Sorry' or the latest singles 'Dust Devil' and 'Sugar and Spice' which were released this year. Maybe I'm asking to much, but hopefully we'll have a fuller singles collection at a later date once licencing issues are resolved.
The only other disappointment is the booklet which is actually more like a leaflet that lists the credits for the songs and advertises the other future Madness releases. But it is the music that counts and it certainly makes up for the lack of a booklet.
But for now this album will certainly do and it is certainly good value for money with 23 top Madness tunes, what more can you want? This is a must have collection!