9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Sad songs? - Well I've heard too many!,
This review is from: Walking In The Sunshine - The Best Of Bad Manners (Audio CD)
An excellent release by a nearly-forgotten classic band. Bad Manners were stereotyped as the novelty act of the 2-Tone period, but if you listen to this double album you'll struggle to understand why.
Here is an album of fantastic music, of solid music, music you can dance to, music you can listen to again and again, with just that little edge of stupidity to it.
These CDs are full of classics: two top-fives, two top-tens, some top-twenties, top-forties, and a host of album tracks that demonstrate that Buster & co were more than the mere clowns they were made out to be. A quick check of their 'hayday' albums will show that they tended towards a rough 50-50 mix of originals and cover versions, much like many of the 2-Tone ska bands they were associated with, and many of those covers are included here; but take out the tracks they didn't compose and you'll still have more than a single CD's worth of true brilliance here.
If you compare this album with their only other (to date) 'genuine' singles-retrospective, "Magnetism: the Very Best of Bad Manners", you'll find some small but important differences. The first is the most obvious: this is a double CD, whereas "Magnetism" is only one disc. The second (and only real negative to this collection) is that "Magnetism" contains the brilliant single "That'll Do Nicely", and this compilation weirdly misses it out. This is easily made up for however by the next difference: on "WITS - The Best Of...", you'll find the discs packed with high quality album tracks and B-sides that you'll struggle to find elsewhere. Finally, the great Rhoda Daker's sleeve notes and a couple of pictures put it all into context and remind you what a great band Bad Manners really were. After all, for a couple of insanity-packed years, they were basically synonymous with Madness.
Kudos for including the mental "Educating Marmalade", but some lyrics would have helped tremendously. I know there's a lot of songs included here, but from time to time Buster's enunciation wasn't the clearest of any lead singer in the world.
One more thing: this is NOT a re-mix or a live album. These are the originals. Sad songs? - Well I've heard too many. Buy this album instead!