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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first - the best!
By 1976, rock music had become so saturated with pretentiousness that people started to react and a whole mass of styles developed. The British Ska revival was one, led by the Specials and Madness, adopting an authentic attitude and philosophy that echoed the ska bands of the 60s. This is encapsulated in Madness early albums; "One Step Beyond" (1979) included. Their style...
Published on 6 Oct 2005 by KPA Lowe

versus
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic album from a wonderful band but a very disappointing overly compressed sound.
Well the new reissues start here and being a long time madness fan i thought i'd try this new release to see how it fared.
The first madness album one step beyond was the beginning of the nutty boys and the building block for the classic madness sound,and it's great that the bands back catalogue is being released again after the end of the virgin deal.
Overall...
Published on 30 Oct 2009 by The Lost Golfer


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first - the best!, 6 Oct 2005
By 
KPA Lowe (Nottingham) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One Step Beyond... (Audio CD)
By 1976, rock music had become so saturated with pretentiousness that people started to react and a whole mass of styles developed. The British Ska revival was one, led by the Specials and Madness, adopting an authentic attitude and philosophy that echoed the ska bands of the 60s. This is encapsulated in Madness early albums; "One Step Beyond" (1979) included. Their style was sometimes accused of not being truly reflective of traditional Ska, and their lyrics lacked the sense of protest projected by some other bands. There may be some truth in this, but they seemed to do so with an attractive sense of innocence i.e., they said 'hey, this is just music, music to enjoy... there are no politics here!!! In terms of song writing, Madness were probably one step beyond most of their colleagues anyway. Lyrically, their song tend to be influenced by observations of working class Londoners and their experience of life and relationships, with many references to specific characters, local newspapers, tube stations, etc, mixed with more exotic locations i.e., Cairo, the jungle etc.
"One Step Beyond" opens with the title track- and Chas Smash demanding attention: 'hey you! Don't watch that, watch this!' He refers to Prince Buster: 'Well listen Buster........' who is obviously Madness' main hero. There are two covers of Buster songs: 'One Step Beyond' and 'Madness', a song which, of course, they eventually named themselves after. Also, 'The Prince' is obviously a tribute. Madness soon introduce their very skilful song-writing ability with 'My Girl', 'Believe Me', and 'In the Middle of the Night'. 'Night Boat to Cairo' (a regular concert encore to this date) even attempts to break the traditional pop format, with its one single verse in the middle of the track before a modulation from C-F. With this track, Madness also show-off their ability to musically depict the lyrical content of their songs, with the small-ranged chromatic melodies from voice and instruments and the 'Lawrence of Arabia' style harmonic sequences. We are led into a military camp in 'Land of Hope and Glory', which is echoed at the end in 'Chipmunks Are Go' with its army-style call and response chanting. There is a fabulous Ska rendition of the main theme from Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake', which urinates all over anything the prog rockers attempted to do with classical tracks in earlier years.
There are some weaker tracks towards the end and this, unfortunately, became a bit of a Madness trait. However, on "One Step Beyond" it really doesn't matter. From the moment Chas shouts those words and the band kicks in, the energy will overtake you for the next forty minutes, and there's no stopping it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 Years On And Still Fantastic, 20 Sep 2009
By 
Hot on the heels of the "Total Madness" greatest hits package and 30 years on from it's original release, as part of a deal agreed with Union Square Music, the fantastic first album from the much underated Madness is re-released for your listening (and watching) pleasure in a sumptuous two disc package bulging with extras. This is the album that spawned the "nutty dance" across many a school disco and taught lads how to dance.

The first CD is a direct reproduction of the first album in it's entirety and includes singles The Prince, One Step Beyond, My Girl, and Night Boat To Cairo and classic album track and almost single The Bed & Breakfast Man - then you come to the other album tracks that hint at what was to come from the Madnificent Seven over their fantastic 30 year career. From the tongue in cheek saucy postcard tale of "In The Middle Of The Night" telling of a local newsagents raids on ladies washing lines, to the teenage angst tale of young love in "Believe Me", we stop off at militaristic tales of time spent in borstal "Land Of Hope & Glory, and even pay homage to Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" in a way that only Madness can. Then there is the sheer lunacy of Tarzans Nuts and the eponymous "Madness" - another tribute to Prince Buster who had such an influence on the band.

If all that wasn't enough there are 5 video tracks included in the package (The Prince, One Step Beyond, My Girl Night Boat To Cairo and Bed & Breakfast Man) and a second CD crammed full of B-sides and rarities (One Step Beyond in Italian AND Spanish!!) that make this package excellent value for money for any die hard fan or someone trying to get beyond just knowing the greatest hits.

You be nuts not to buy it!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Madness - Reissue of a Classic Debut Album, 19 Sep 2009
Oh what a heavenly reissue of this classic debut album from Madness. Remastered original album, Peel Session tracks, videos, demos, B sides of the early singles, live tracks from the Dance Craze album and other rarities. Also includes all the tracks from the Work Rest and Play ep (including the brilliant Don't Quote Me On That). Madness - you really are too good to us! It could not get any better than this.

This is exactly how a reissue of a classic album should be done. Other bands and record labels take note! The selection here is precisely what the fans would want, and it is clear that Madness are a band who listen to and are in tune with their massive fan base.

The album needs no introduction to Madness fans, but for those only familiar with the singles (The Prince {different version to the 2-Tone single}, One Step Beyond, My Girl and Night Boat to Cairo), there are other gems here too, notably Believe Me, In the Middle of the Night, Razor Blade Alley, Mummy's Boy and, of course, Bed and Breakfast Man.

If this first reissue of their back catalogue is anything to go by, the other reissues of Madness's classic albums are going to be superb, and I for one can't wait.

Bravo Madness, and Thank You!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Steps Further Beyond, 20 Sep 2009
By 
Hey You, Dont buy 2nd hand, buy this...

Virgin Records Management of the Madness Back Catalouge ended two years ago leaving the shelves of music stores
and online retailers mostly missing Madness seminal albums to sell as new. This even lead to some stupid prices for 2nd hand cd's as the Band returned to the mainstreme this year with the Top 5 Hit new album "The Liberty Of Norton Folgate", and gained popularity and a younger audience through TV, The Web, and a series of great concert appearances including, Camden Crawl, Shoreditch Light Bar, Glastonbury and the fifth Madstock festival.

As the 30th year of the band arrives, the re-issue schedule with new partners Union Square Music Begins a-proper now. For the General Music Fan a hit's Package "Total Madness" is the new up to date best of for 2009, but for the music fan seeking to own all of Madness's great songs in their entirity, the nutty train really starts here, with One Step Beyond becoming Two Discs now going even further Beyond.

The full original album is here, 14 songs that represent the take off of this band, honed in North London pubs,
before and during the 2tone ska craze of 1979. Ska, Punk, Rock n Roll, Pub Rock, Reggea, Motown, even a little
Classical, TV Themeing and Acapella Military chanting thrown in too, all rolled up into the now trade mark
nutty sound. The humourous songs and heart, are backed up with 5 videos from the era for hit songs, and a 24 page booklet of Lyrics, credits, photo's and 30th anniversary sleeve notes "Number Two Cuts" by celebrated street author Irvine Welsh.

The 2nd disc is the prize here, adding 18 tracks to the album. All the pre-2nd album b sides are here, including
tracks from the Work, Rest and Play ep. The full John Peel session which back in the day was the first airred unique versions of some of these songs by the band, and multiple varied version of the title track from the 7 inch
singles around Europe too. The best news for even the die hard fan base, is that "My Girl (Ballad Version) previously a very rare Flexi Disc or costly test pressing is now finally available on CD format, as are some tracks from the Live 2tone Movie Dance Craze that were equally extremely hard to find on any format, other than the LP before now. This make this the definitive version of the first Madness album, with all the artwork lovingly presented in a triple gatefold card digipack.

Start your Collection here and expect deluxe editions of Absolutely, 7, Rise and Fall, Keep Moving, The Madness, Wonderful (and hopefully Mad not Mad) and more to following in 2010 and beyond.

Why not buy the book, and the album together, and go as far beyond as is possible when going Mad for this music.

"Madness" "One Step Beyond" (33 1/3)

The Rockingest Rocksteady Beat Of Madness. The Heavy Heavy Monster Sound.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Step Beyond... and Another Step Beyond..., 17 Sep 2009
By 
This brilliant re-issue not only contains a re-master of the original album and its associated videos, it also comes with a bonus disc of all sorts of rarities. Whether it is B sides or Peel Sessions or multi language versions of the title track you are looking for, you will find them here.

Add that to lavish packaging, including sleeve notes written by Irvine Welsh and you really are onto an album which deserves 6 stars out of 5!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first and finest offering from the inimitable Madness., 8 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: One Step Beyond (Audio CD)
A loud booming voice opens the album telling you what you are about to hear, leading into dance classic One Step Beyond. Hits My Girl and the awesome Night Boat To Cairo leave you with a huge smile on your face. A more traditional ska song, Believe Me prepares you for the fantastic bass and drum playing found on Land Of Hope And Glory (not to be confused with the brass band favourite.) 2-tone track The Prince pays tribute to Prince Buster with a song he would have been proud of. The bizarre lyrics of In The Middle Of The Night are really very amusing and crowd favourite Bed And Breakfast Man will have you rocking. Tarzan's Nuts is much like One Step Beyond in its nutty off beat rhythm. Razor Blade Alley has a strong bluesy feel and Swan Lake makes you realise why classical music was composed. Rhythm and blues numbers Rockin In Ab (a flat) and Mummy's Boy show Madness' true versitility and the album is rounded off nicely with the nutty sound of the song Madness. A true mark of genius is when, what seems like a really simple song turns out to be really complicated, and Madness have this down to an art form. The nutty sound appears to be, on the face of it, really basic and easy to listen to. But when you look carefully at the chord sequences, drum patterns, tempo changes, and unexpected key changes, you really begin to appreiciate the skill of these seven brilliant musicians. All hail Madness. Kings of pop. Long may they reign in the charts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nuttiest Sound Around!, 17 Sep 2009
By 
Craig Taylor (Scuthorpe, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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It has been a great year for Madness, sell out gigs, numerous festival appearances, the release of the top 5 album The Liberty of Norton Folgate and also the release of another hit album Total Madness. It has probably been one of the finest years of their career to be honest and the re-release of One Step Beyond is the icing on the cake.

One Step Beyond is Madness's first every album, and if you're expecting anything like the sound of the Liberty of Norton Folgate, you'l be in for a suprise, a nice suprise that is.

The songs contained within One Step Beyond are more 'raw' and 'nutty', there is a certain cheeky element to them. In this delux edition you will find the first four Madness singles, The Prince, One Step Beyond, My Girl, and Night Boat to Cairo taken from the Work, Rest and Play EP. These songs are still as popular today at gigs as they were then, and they are supported by the fabulous Bed and Breakfast Man and Madness, plus a whole host of other wonderful songs featured in the album included a couple that are sung by the sax player, Lee Thompson.

It's hard to think that this album is 30 years old now, and for this reason there is a second disc included which features the amazing b-sides to the singles, The Work, Rest and Play EP, alternative versions, The Peel sessions and the famous videos to the singles.

The booklet is also a good read too, with linear notes by Irvine Welsh.

It is a fantastic package and does the album great justice.If you own a Madness Greatest Hits albyum I'd reccomend that you buy this, this is superb!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic album from a wonderful band but a very disappointing overly compressed sound., 30 Oct 2009
Well the new reissues start here and being a long time madness fan i thought i'd try this new release to see how it fared.
The first madness album one step beyond was the beginning of the nutty boys and the building block for the classic madness sound,and it's great that the bands back catalogue is being released again after the end of the virgin deal.
Overall on paper its a well priced package with 2 cds,the first containing the album and some promo videos and the second cd with the john peel sessions and a host of bonus tracks including the work rest and play ep some demos including monsieur barso's version of my girl and other gems.
The booklet included is ok too,maybe not as good as it could have been but it's still a nice extra for the set.
So great value for money then...well yes and no.
If you are new to the band then it is a worthwhile purchase as it may well be the first time that you have been able to buy any of the back catalogue and so in this instance without spending a lot more it's a good deal,but If you are a madness fan as i am then you will have either the vinyl version or a cd version already as this was included in the box set entitled "The lot" or just the single cd and many of the bonus tracks have been released in some form or another before but having said that having them all on this set together is a great idea.
However this is probably the worst sounding version of the album to date as unfortunately just like many other bands remasters before it's just to loud.
From the moment i put the cd in and heard chas utter those imortal first lines "Hey you,dont watch that watch this" i knew it was another noisy needlessly compressed modern cd,and compared to either the vinyl,single cd release or the box set release this is nowhere near the quality of any of those.
Gone is the organic classic madness sound replaced by a very brittle and cold sounding cd,and for this reason if you are a true fan then i would not recommend this release if you have a good collection of the bands material already.
I'm not saying it isn't a great way to start your madness collection because it is a nice and very good value set but if you heard the orginals or the other releases then boy you are missing out on how the band should sound.
So for the the casual or new fan then its a good starter package,if you are a fan i wouldn't bother,and so for that it's only worth a disappointing 3 stars.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU NEED THIS ALBUM IN YOUR LIFE, 28 Nov 2004
By 
j a nutt (wilts, wiltshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: One Step Beyond... (Audio CD)
Had this album must be over 25 years ago,came accross it the other day and bought it.The first and finest album ever released by this nutty group and to be honest don't know how i've managed all these years without it.If you are between 30 and 40 you will remember this album when it was released and listening to it when you bought the old black vynal version and believe me it sounds better now than it ever did(MUST BE PLAYED LOAD).If you can only buy one album for as long as you live this is it.BUY IT - PLAY IT - YOU WON'T REGRET IT
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Madness, 26 Feb 2004
This review is from: One Step Beyond... (Audio CD)
Why didn't I own this album before this year? Am I mad? I must be, because this album is almost as revolutionary and original as the punk explosion of the 70's.
Go and buy One Step Beyond today and have part of musical history on your cd rack.
Oh yeah the songs are really good as well. (hence the 5*)
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