- Audio CD (28 Jun. 2010)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
- Label: Union Square Music Limited
- ASIN: B003IODNJ0
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,495 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Keep Moving Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
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Union Square Music s 30th Anniversary Madness reissue campaign continues with Keep Moving, the band s fifth and possibly most mature album. Its release, in 1984, was tinged with sadness, as it would be the band s last offering with the original line-up until 1999 s Wonderful comeback. That said, the album and the songs on it did not suffer and some consider Keep Moving to be Madness s most sophisticated album, dealing with issues of homelessness, politics and spousal abuse in typically sensitive fashion. The original album features the hit singles Michael Caine (which few knew at the time to be about the plight of IRA informants) and the fantastically melancholy One Better Day . The bonus tracks include some of Madness s best-loved songs: Wings Of A Dove and The Sun And The Rain proving that Madness, at this point in their career, were just as life-affirming as they ever were.
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One Better Day is the stand out track and is a gem of a song without a doubt. Ever reliable, ever great Madness will always be...Wonderful!
The nuttiness that made madness famous is alomost completely gone on this album, instead replaced by emotional clever songs, that are both lyrically and musically spot on. Some of the lyrics in songs such as Victoria Gardens and March of the Gherkins really make you think and reflect up on life. Musically this album is spot on, with some really great orchestral pieces amongst the songs, Give Me A Reason is a good example of this.
Don't be put off by what I've said above, as this is still a Madness record, Sugg's vocals are brilliant as ever, Mike Barson's (who left the band after this album) keyboard skills are forever present, Thommo's sax bursts through when you least expect it and even Chas gets to do lead vocals on a few tracks too. How about that!
The original album on CD1 contains the brilliant single Michael Caine, which features the great man himself and One Better Day. CD2 contains the classic stand alone singles Wings of a Dove and The Sun and The Rain. Plus you get all of the b-sides and 12inch mixes too, and a handy book with sleeve notes by Phil Jupitus.
Like the other album release, this is a well presented package and a must have album. If you liked the Liberty of Norton Folgate you'll love this and if you like Madness you'll like this, there greatest piece of work!
The lead single from Keep Moving, Michael Caine, had been released before the album, and had entered the top 20 (but just failed to make the top 10). It was a strong single, but didn't really give away too much about what the forthcoming album would be like. It also had Carl Smyth on vocals, which may have thrown a few people (even though he had already taken lead vocal duties on Madness Is All In The Mind more than a year before).
On very first listen to Keep Moving it was clear that there were 3 absolutely brilliant stand-out tracks: One Better Day, Victoria Gardens and Prospects. As soon as the album came out I remember playing these to a friend of mine (who wasn't particularly into Madness) and he thought all 3 were superb. In particular he wanted to hear One Better Day again, and again, and again! It has become, of course, one of their strongest and best liked songs.
Other tracks worthy of note are Turning Blue (a great drum part on this one), March Of The Gherkins and Give Me a Reason, which was a great closer to the album, and to part 1 of the Madness story.
The arrangements for some of the tracks are boosted by strings and lively brass sections (Keep Moving, Victoria Gardens). The final track, Give Me A Reason, seems to have everything in it but the kitchen sink!
The extras on here are pretty good too. You get the non-album singles Wings Of A Dove, The Sun And The Rain, the fantastic single mix (although it was pulled from being a single at the 11th hour) of Victoria Gardens, 12" mixes of the singles and all the b sides, one of which, If You Think There's Something, is a real cracker.
Just a quick note about these 30th Anniversary Reissues so far. I have found the remastering, on the whole, to be excellent. One Step Beyond did sound a tad on the bright side, but it was, compared to all Madness albums that followed, quite a trebly production anyway, even on vinyl (listen to the drums - they sound much different on One Step Beyond than on all subsequent albums). The presentation of all these cds and the selection of bonus material so far is outstanding and really could not be improved upon.
In summary, Keep Moving is an excellent album with some outstanding tracks (3 of which are up there with their very best), and I think it sits alongside The Rise and Fall and The Liberty of Norton Folgate as one of their most richly rewarding albums. It certainly benefits from repeat listens and has improved with age. Is it the best of their 5 Stiff label albums? For most Madness fans maybe not, but remember the other 4 albums are brilliant too, and each fan has their own favourite. Also, compared with what other bands around at that time were doing, this album was still head and shoulders above most of them, and so for that reason, it is undoubtedly a 5 star album.
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