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The Liberty Of Norton Folgate

4.7 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Aug. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Union Square Music Limited
  • ASIN: B00DB51OTM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,811 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Overture
  2. We Are London
  3. Sugar And Spice
  4. Forever Young
  5. Dust Devil
  6. Rainbows
  7. That Close
  8. MKII
  9. On The Town
  10. Bingo
  11. Idiot Child
  12. Africa
  13. NW5
  14. Clerkenwell Polka
  15. The Liberty Of Norton Folgate

Product Description

Product Description

The Liberty Of Norton Folgate is Madness's tenth studio album. Its release, in 2009, ushered in a new golden period for a group who first enjoyed immense success in the 1980s as the UK's biggest selling singles band. They remain the 18th best-selling band in the UK and have become even more of a national treasure with appearances at two of the most important events of last year: The Queen's Golden Jubilee Concert (where they played on top of Buckingham Palace and stole the show) and the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. Not bad for seven nutty boys from Camden Town. Norton Folgate is a powerhouse of a record, not to mention an incredible return to form for a band whose last album, Wonderful, had been released back in 1999. A veritable loveletter to London, The Liberty Of Norton Folgate (named after a peculiar, formerly autonomous, part of East London, near Spitalfields) features its subject city heavily, capturing it in all its seedy, triumphant glory. This is the album Madness were born to make and it has been hailed as their masterpiece.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As a huge Madness fan from the beginning, I always felt their best period of writing music came just after their huge run of Top 10 hits, from Rise & Fall to Mad Not Mad. Since then they released a solid album of new tracks in Wonderful and covers with The Dangermen and I have to say I thought perhaps it was time for them to call it a day.

When reading the media reviews for TLONF, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well received this album has been. Now that I've heard it myself I'm absolutely delighted to see how contemporary and fresh Madness sound.

I give it a 5-star as there are only a couple of slightly weaker tracks, whilst the high points are incredible. Madness sound crisp and optimistic throughout. Lyrics and stories are sharper than ever. Highlights for me are We are London, a glorious appreciation of the ecclectic mix of cultures that make up the Capital. Fabulous harmony on this one. Forever Young has the most catchy ska brass section, reminiscent of the Two-Tone bands. Dust Devil is a ska rooted track that might not capture you first time and then gets a bit infectious after you've heard it a few times. Written by Lee Thompson and Dan Woodgate, it reminds me a lot of the best work Lee did with Chris Foreman with spin off group Crunch. That Close is very much like the style Madness had with The Sun & The Rain in tempo, with tones of Embarrassment and the chromatic scales from Shut Up. MKII provides a break with a more laid back and slower tempo. On the Town has the most delightful chorus and is the only example I know of where Madness are supported by a female vocalist. The album version's vocals are performed by Rhoda Dakar, a favourite artist admired by many during the Two-Tone era.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This review can be read in conjunction with the many which have already been left for the standard single music CD edition of Madness's 2009 album The Liberty of Norton Folgate. During the recording process for the album, Madness played 3 specially filmed concerts previewing much of the album at London's Hackney Empire. The new songs were met with almost unanimous praise from the Madness fans lucky enough to be present. Now you can find out why we were so impressed with the show and the songs.

The album is repackaged here with a DVD of the same title directed by legendary film maker Julien Temple. For the filming the theatre was turned into one complete film set. Character performers mingled with audience members, as did the camera crew. Madness were joined by a live string section (in the pit as is fitting for such a venue) and had a stage set enhanced by evocative back projection of images, landscapes, animations and films which illustrated the spirit of the songs.

Between songs we have a character narrative followed by Suggs and Chas Smash, out and about in shady London, taking us back to some of the periods in the history of the title track and masterpiece that is The Liberty Of Norton Folgate.

Add to that an assured performance of songs, many of which were getting their public début and you have yourself over two hours of fantastic entertainment.

If you have the music, you will enjoy the concert DVD. If you don't have the album yet, but have heard some of the glowing praise for it, buy this and put the DVD in first.
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Format: Audio CD
Most bands produce their best work on their first couple of albums, when they are young, creative, full of energy and youthfull exuberance. For thirty years. Madness, for those that truely listened, bucked that trend, although One Step Beyond, Absolutley and the associated singles could suggest otherwise. The Rise and Fall, suggested what they could offer in years to come, but in the main, like many other bands with an eye on longevity, they created good, worthy and mature pieces of work, but inevitably lost that spark. Live, Madness always produced the goods, childish, witty and energetic, appealing to a wide audience. I saw them last December at the O2 with my girlfriend,(who was more used to seeing Take That and Kylie)and she remarked that it was like a Friday night down the Dog And Duck. She was absolutely right. Looking around, it wasn't an arena filled with thirty-something Mums with their daughters and no-one else. It wasn't filled with said mother and daughters with lots of well-groomed men in tight t-shirts thrown in to the mix either. It was Friday night, pub night. There was old and young, Pearly Kings and Queens, men in suits and bowlers, students, emos', ladies that lunch (my girlfriend) old skinheads and a couple of German tourists standing behind us. This is the appeal of Madness, a broad-reaching, every-man style that no other band has. "The Liberty of Norton Folgate" encapsulates everything that Madness profess to be.
Listening to this album, you can almost pick out the 30 years of infuences. Ian Dury, The Kinks, The Specials, but it would be unfair to listen to this and attribute the sound to other bands. This is Madness, pure and simple and their greatest influence is themselves.
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