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4.7 out of 5 stars
Total Madness
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is a great CD of all of your favourite Madness tracks, and some that I hadn't heard before. The full range of the fun music that is Ska is here.

You know that buying this, you won't be disappointed and it is great value getting all of these tracks for, what feels like, a knock-down price.

Also buying the CD from Amazon meant that I could also, immediately, download the MP3, so opting for free delivery wasn't a problem (in fact I haven't bothered to take the physical CD out of its wrapping as the MP3 was already on the 'phone and in the car before the physical CD arrived). Also, in the case of this CD, the physical CD with immediate MP3 download was cheaper than just buying the MP3 - now that is Total Madness :-)
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2012
Right the first thing that needs saying is that this is a reissue of Madness' 2009 compilation. Back then it was a CD and DVD package, which contained nearly all the hits, a B side and an album track as well as nearly all the original hit videos from the 80s as well as those for Lovestruck and NW5 the introductory hits from comeback studio albums Wonderful and The Liberty Of Norton Folgate respectively.

Fast forward three years and Madness are, if anything, having a more successful year than 2009 had been. As well as recording a new, as yet unreleased, album (the first fruits of which `Death Of A Rude Boy' have appeared online this very weekend) they've had time for crowd pleasing festival performances, a jaunt to America, a one man autobiographical show from Suggs, their biggest ever arena tour starts in November immediately after their second annual House Of Fun weekender at Butlins and ends with two nights at the o2 Arena and they've performed for The Queen on top of Buckingham Palace for the Diamond Jubilee and for the World from the back of a flat bed truck in the Olympic Stadium to close the London Olympics 2012.

You'll forgive then, their record company putting out this revised version of their best of CD. Whole new generations of fans are out there for this to be bought by and for. No-one should quibble that this collection simply gives them a Photoshopped version of the original cover (the bus didn't originally have a union jack livery and it wasn't driven by Queen Victoria the last time I looked) a new catalogue number and running order and removes the disc of videos. That is because this album is only for newer or returning fans, some of the reputed many billions who will have seen Madness on the telly this year. No-one who had 2009's version needs this one.

The tracklist is exactly the same as the 2009 version, with the exception of It Must Be Love and Our House (the tracks performed to the largest audiences this year) being moved up front to grab the attention early doors.
Total Madness does not have a chronological track list, being paced to some extent to match their live set. The introductory two songs are followed by a massively uptempo string of hits with One Step Beyond..., Baggy Trousers, House Of Fun, Embarrassment and My Girl following in swift fashion. That staggering opening seven hits, which plenty of bands would kill to have in their cannon, are chased by the sheer ebullience of the frenetic Wings Of A Dove followed by the sombre singalong of The Sun And The Rain (the only instance of successive tracks mirroring their original release order), before the pace lets up slightly with Grey Day. Thematically these two songs very much belong together. Next up is NW5, from the last album. Not Madness's biggest hit single, but certainly one of the best melodies Mike Barson has written and a big live favourite since its 2006 debut. In this company it proves itself more than equal to Madness's wonderful original run of hits.

Mid (original) career Madness rears its successful head with the trio of Cardiac Arrest, Tomorrow's Just Another Day and Driving In My Car. Believe it or not we reach track 12 before finding a track that hasn't been a staple of Madness' live shows. With a new album to be promoted to the masses it would seem that Cardiac Arrest will not get its live reappraisal for some time yet... Bed And Breakfast Man was never a single, but judging by its popularity live it probably should have been. Its inclusion in this set is no surprise. Neither is 1999's comeback hit Lovestruck, which was Madness's first top 10 single since 1983's The Sun And The Rain. Lovestruck was an instant classic and fits perfectly with the next two tracks, the gorgeous One Better Day (Madness's best ever single in my humble opinion) and Michael Caine. Both came from Keep Moving, a brilliant, but transitional album made under the shadow of fear cast by the knowledge that founder member Mike Barson was leaving the band. It was a brilliant send off and was my favourite original Madness album, when released in the Olympic year of 1984... Wonder what made me think of that?

The catchy cha cha cha of The Return Of The Los Palmas 7 sets us up perfectly for the encores, sorry, last 4 tracks. We storm through The Prince, Shut Up, Madness and then Night Boat To Cairo brings the album and show to a glorious end. We want more and that's a good thing with a new album to come later in 2012.

This is a cracking compilation album and Madness are a cracking band. Do yourself a favour, if you're new to this band as a result of the jubilympics buy this, buy yourself some of their back catalogue and keep your eyes and ears open for the release of their brand new album.

This best of is but the tip of one incredibly big iceberg...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 30 September 2012
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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2014
If you like the Nutty boys,for fans. Got it as played a load of madness at a mates wedding and if you want people to dance, what superb music and harking back to when this was all the rage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2013
Really enjoyed this CD, good value for money, all the brilliant songs that Madness sang. Always end up singing along to it when I put it on.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2012
WELL WELL WELL I BOUGHT THIS ALBUM IN 2009 WHICH INCLUDED A DVD OF THE SAID HITS.I KNOW THIS IS A REISSUE BUT HEY MADNESS CAN DO NO WRONG WITH THEIR PERFORMANCE AT THE QUEENS JUBILEE & AT THE OLYMPICS A FEW NIGHTS AGO,MADNESS HAVE
BEEN IN THE PUBLIC EYE & LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT.
ONTO THE ALBUM THE COVER HAS BEEN REVAMPED WITH A UNION JACK IS THAT QUEEN VICTORIA DRIVING?(I KNOW IT IS).
IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME TRACK LISTING AS THE 2009 VERSION WITH OUR HOUSE & IT MUST BE LOVE MOVED TO THE TOP OF THE TREE.(THE 2 SONGS PLAYED AT THE JUBILEE).
I FOR ONE HAD TO BUY THIS ALBUM AS I AM FIRST OF ALL A DIE HARD MADNESS FAN & SECONDLY I'M A COLLECTOR OF ALL THINGS MADNESS.
IF YOU HAVE JUST DISCOVERED MADNESS THROUGH THE POWER OF TELEVISION & THEIR RECENT ABOVE SAID PERFORMANCES YOU WON'T
BE DISAPPOINTED IN THIS ALBUM CRAMMED FULL OF HITS FOR YOU TO DISCOVER WHAT A GREAT BAND MADNESS ARE.
I HAVE BEEN A MADNESS FAN SINCE 1979 & JUST LOVE THE BAND BUT DON'T LET ME INFLUENCE YOU BUY THIS ALBUM FOR YOURSELF
& DISCOVER THE NUTTY SOUND OF MADNESS.
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on 26 May 2014
If you're an armchair fan looking for a 'greatest hits' collection, this is the one for you. It's representative of the whole Madness canon up to 2012, from early ska and rocksteady through pop into (slightly) more serious social comment. One minor gripe would be the lack of real liner notes with the CD, but it's still wonderful value, and the nuttiest sound around.
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on 31 July 2014
Madness, who else ;) Excellent album which brings back fond memories of the past. The music itself is not sad when playing in public with may of the younger generation either knowing the group or wanting to know who they are to purchase the cd. Well recommended.
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on 30 May 2014
I have always like Madness and I am old enough to remember them form their early days in the 1980s. I have not been fortunate nough to see them live but getting this CD will still bring back the happy memories of their brilliant videos and records.
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on 27 November 2013
Couldn't help dancing around the kitchen to this album,all quality tracks,recommend it to youngsters and oldies alike !! If your late forties,early fifties,Total Madness will take you back down memory lane
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