12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2003
This album contains all of Madness' gratest hits, which makes it the best in the world! seriously, i love madness, and if you do, well, you'd already have this! There's also a DVD of all the re-mastered videos of these songs. check it out!
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Superficially, Madness seemed to be a lightweight pop group who had a lot of fun, but some of their songs had a lot of depth. I've seen them compared to the Kinks - both groups having (in their different eras) offered interesting insights into London life. This is high praise indeed so although I wouldn't quite put Madness on the same level as the Kinks, their music has far more to offer than you might think.
Between 1979 and 1983, Madness had fifteen UK top ten hits and two UK top twenty hits. Taking their group name from a Prince Buster song, their first hit (The Prince) was a tribute to him and their second hit (One step beyond) was a cover of one of Prince Buster's songs. They later had another cover hit with It must be love (Labi Siffre) but wrote most of their own material.
Their biggest UK hits were House of fun (UK number one) and Wings of a dove (UK number two - an original song, not a cover of the old gospel standard), but they also made the UK top five with My girl, Baggy trousers, Embarrassment, Grey day, It must be love, Driving in my car, Our house and The sun and the rain.
After one of their members quit in 1983, the hits generally became smaller although Madness continued to make great music. They disbanded in 1986 but have re-formed intermittently since then. One such reunion (with the original line-up) recorded a new album in 1999, which yielded the UK top ten hit Lovestruck and another great song, Johnny the horse, both featured here.
Their first hits compilation was titled Complete Madness and their second was called Utter Madness. Between them, these two volumes (both available on CD) contain every UK hit of the eighties, however minor, but do not cover their 1999 comeback. This compilation covers their whole career and contains all the essentials and some of the minor hits. If you just want one Madness CD, make it this one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2000
For a group in the mid-ninteen eighties, Madness gave a new zany and fun style to music. To this day, they are all still fun songs and the band remain great. They even made a small comeback last year with a brand new album but what can it show now? Divine Madness remains a brilliant collection of Madness songs. Highlights include the oh-so-famous Our House, the great Baggy Trousers and and other greats such as Waiting for the Train that Never Comes and Driving in My Car. If your a newcomer to Madness, I'm not sure if I suggest their new works bacause the old stuff shows what they're really made of. A great CD of mid-1980s songs by a brilliant group that still deserve to be going strong today. Fantastic.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2000
The 80's. Not that long ago, was it? It's all coming back now..shoulder pads, big hair, silly make up. 70's parties? How last century! The 80's are the new novelty item we can laugh about and thank god we got through alive. And at your 80's party, what tunes will you have your guests shaking their Miami Vice-style behins to? Wham!, Spandeu Ballet, Dexy's Midnight Runners? How about something to get them all moving like it's 1982 again? Bang on Divine Madness and bring tears to their eyes as they remember dancing to "House of Fun", "Driving in my car" "Our House" and snogging to "It must be love"! Song after song is a encapsulated memory of those heady days 20 years ago. And now it's digitally remastered to bring the tunes into the new millenium (or something) and as a special treat, they've banged on "Lovestruck" and "Johnny the Horse" from their latest album "Wonderful". so you can keep well up to date. Go on! Dig out your puffball skirt or your Armarni Yuppie suit and braces and have your 80's party...and buy Divine Madness to complete the look. You'd be mad not to...ho ho.
on 28 March 2008
With Suggs and co on the verge of releasing an album of new material there has never been a better time to revisted the bands best bits form the 80's. Alongside the likes of Squeeze, The Police and The Jam, Madness were the kings of the intelligent 3 minute pop single - but often overlooked as being the comedy clowns to their more serious peers.
This compilation, still the finest and most comprehensive there is, highlights admirably the groups evolution from 'Nutty Boys' - 'Baggy Trousers' & 'Night Boat To Cairo' to the sophisticated, erudite Kinks - like pop of 'Our House' and 'Yesterday's Men'.
Delights are many - the better than the original cover of 'It Must Be Love', the Squeeze like 'My Girls Mad At Me', 'Cardiac Arrests' astute lyrics, the dark 'Grey Day' and the joyous gospel inflected 'Wings Of A Dove'. Even later less successful songs 'Uncle Sam' and 'Ghost Train' are a lot better than their lowly chart positons indicate.
Time has been very kind to Madness. They effortlessly balanced tongue in cheek and pathos whilst wrapping their songs around original and beautifully realised arrangements. Suggs was a stylish and extremely visual frontman and the band had the sense to re-invent themselves on a regualr basis. From 1979 - 84 Madness were the most succesful singles act in the UK. They are ripe for reappraisal. Not so Nutty after all.
on 11 May 2001
This is one album that should be at the forefront of every Madness fans collection. Charting the bands progress through the years we hear one of the widest varieties of music ever produced by a single band. There's stomping rhythms (One Step Beyond), the familiar nutty sound (Baggy Trousers, House of Fun), pop (Our House), Lilting melodies (it must be Love, Yesterday's men), music to make you laugh (Shut Up), music to make you cry (One Better Day, yesterday's men) and then there's just plain weirdness (Waiting for the Ghost Train), and I haven't even covered it all. This album has something for everyone, but most importantly, it's got everything we've come to know and love from the nutty boys from Camden Town. This gem is perfect on any format and I can't say one word against it. In a word... DIVINE Love it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2001
Well what can I say! This is one of the best albums I have ever heard, and that's a fine achievement. A whole bunch of hits gathered together from various albums, all of similar quality. One which does stand out from the rest is the brilliant "Embarrassment", which depicts the bands "meathead" following which lowered their estimations from some people in the early 80's. And the inclusion of two songs from the new album "Wonderful" is a great idea, and both are of great quality. They should, however, included "The Communicator" from that album, as it is a real throwback to true Ska. This, and "Wonderful", are must buys for any real music fan.
on 1 April 2008
This edition is a combined version of the Greatest Hits packages that were available a few years back. Divine Madness was originally released almost 15 years ago but a few years ago it was updated with re-mastered sound and two extra tracks, Love Struck and Johnny the Horse from their come-back album in 1999.
A Madness collection really could hardly be any more complete. All the hits are here and sounding remarkably fresh, being more than 20 years old. The sound of the CD is much better than the original version of Divine Madness.
Only the most die hard Madness fans need any more than this collection, with the possible exception of their brilliant (but commercial flop) Mad Not Mad. This is classic Madness in one perfect package.
on 15 March 2014
This is a excellent cd. great memorable tracks on this great cd. Madness were a great group that made many people happy with there music compared that most of these tracks were released from during the 1980's when Britain was ruled by "Thatcher's" government and the misery we all underwent by that government it was great to have Madness around who gave us so much to cheer us all up. great music from a band of great merriment. the music never dates and will still be as popular as years go on. we got a lot to thank Madness for a true great band of musicians and terrific great music so please enjoy Madness....
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2001
Once upon a time there was music. And then there was Madness! Of all the events of the twentieth century the release of divine madness will go down in folklore as one of those moments beyond words. People will ask 'where were you when Divine Madness was released?'. The CD quite rightly, was praised by the institute of dieting horses due to its kilo-cutting powers. Who would forget those hazy nights dancing the nutty dance into the early hours of the morning? I alone have shed pounds in the last few minutes. I earge you, nay demand you, the people of the world to go out and purchase this disk. Heck, you could even buy three.