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The Rise & Fall Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
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Union Square Music s 30th Anniversary Madness reissue campaign continues with The Rise & Fall, the band s fourth album and, arguably, their magnum opus. Following the magnificent ska-pop of their debut, One Step Beyond, and the developmental pop majesty of Absolutely and 7, The Rise & Fall shows a band at the very height of their songwriting powers; their maturity and depth of subject matter second to none among their peers. Containing the brilliant smash hit single Our House - a fantastically poignant and uplifting anthem about Chas Smash s childhood home - and the simultaneously melancholic and upbeat Tomorrow s (Just Another Day) , this expanded version also features the non-album singles and promo videos for House Of Fun and Driving In My Car . Both of these classic Madness tracks prove that the boys even as fully fledged, grown-up superstars had lost none of the nuttiness that first captured the public s imagination and made them a national institution.
Top Customer Reviews
It isn't all dark stuff, the massive hit single 'Our House' is as chirpy as they ever were, 'Madness (it's all in the mind)' although at a very slow tempo still extremely nutty. But overall this is a real surprise, 'New Delhi' and the title track would have confused many a listener, but there's something special about this album - there's nothing worse than hearing an artist being forced to do an album they don't want to make, you get the feeling Madness themselves did that later on, but this was the album they wanted to record and you can't doubt it's quality or imagination.
To listen to this album you can't approach it as a 'Madness fan', you have to listen to it as a 'Music fan', and then you too can discover their superior song writing. This is the last great Madness album.
A new bench-mark.
Blur did it with Parklife, Pink Floyd with Dark Side of the Moon, Bowie with Ziggy Stardust and Madness with The Rise and Fall.
The standard of musicianship, lyrical gymnastics and crystal clear observation on The Rise in Fall is the product of a band at full inspirational throttle. Every song overflows with technicolour imagery, from the comfortable boredom of a Sunday morning to the pompousness of those who overvalue their own opinions. Thatcher gets a kicking in the Blue Skinned Beast and we feel the sweat on our backs along with Suggs in the plastic seat of a New Delhi taxi.
That Madness were able to carry this off and still knock out a couple of great pop tunes in Our House and Tommorow's Just Another Day with such humour shows what a seriously under-rated talent Madness were.
Even the cover, more easily appreciated on the LP version, seems to reveal more in-jokes every time you look at it.
The album was, at the time, generally recieved poorly by an audience more in tune with Baggy Trousers and House of Fun and, unwilling to return to the Nutty Sound, keyboard player Mike Barson escaped to Switzerland. The band limped on and eventually split, leaving the down-sized The Madness to try to keep the sound alive before Suggs left to front a Karaoke TV show and Chas Smash got a desk job with Chrysalis.
This album made the band artistically and broke it apart at the same time.
Forget the annual reunions, listen to this and wonder at what might have been.
As a fan who has been there since receiving the début album as a Christmas present, when aged 11 in 1979 I'd certainly agree with the first two, but I never really paid much attention to Rise And Fall, giving it a few listens when it came out and then moving on. You see by then I was a teenager and I had choices. In 1982 going into 1983 I was presented with three brilliant albums by bands spawned by the 2Tone craze that first really awakened my interest in music. Unfortunately for Madness this meant I was wrapped up with The Beat's final album Special Beat Service (a phenomenal album to this day), and The Fun Boy Three's Waiting. Both clicked more than The Rise And Fall did, and of course I was still listening to Complete Madness (which makes four!).
This is not to say I didn't like The Rise And Fall, just that it was competing at a very high level for my attentions.
Today I can consider the album again, with only the simultaneous release of Madness's next album Keep Moving for competition. In that respect I can now fully appreciate just how good an album this was and is.
The original 13 tracks have been packaged with videos for four of their singles (Our House and Tomorrow's (Just Another Day) from this album and House Of Fun and Driving In My Car, which preceded it) as well as a 17 track bonus disc containing the good and the bad and the downright brilliant radio sessions, remixes and b sides that those 4 singles generated.
I'll go with the bonus material first.Read more ›
So, no point in changing a magic formula then, is there? Business as usual for the next album? A One Step Beyond or Absolutely mk 2? Er, no. Not by a long way. If Madness had wanted to wrong foot everyone with House of Fun and (especially) Driving in My Car, they couldn't have done it better. Towards the end of the year they presented us with The Rise and Fall. On first listen it was rich, gritty and dark, and apart from 3 or 4 tracks, not an album packed with obvious singles.
But it was also one other thing: an absolute masterpiece of an album.
Really, we should not have been that surprised. Over their 3 previous albums they had showed a continuing maturity in their songwriting abilities and there had been a number of tracks on those albums with slightly darker undertones. On their previous album, Seven, we had Tomorrow's Dream, When Dawn Arrives and Grey Day. And even Absolutely had the odd track that seemed to come from a different place to their other songs (Not Home Today, Take It Or Leave It and Overdone).
From the first bars of the opening track, Rise and Fall, you know this album is going to be different. No intro, Suggs comes straight in singing nostalgically about his childhood neighbourhood. It is a brilliant opener to the album and sets the scene for what follows.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This particular madness albumStill evokes fond child hood memories this was played to death on my little am stradrecord player back in 1982and will be again for all the time to... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mark Bryson
Classic Madness. Not much more to say than that and I am glad to see their career has taken a lift. They deserve the recognition.Published on 31 July 2013 by atempleton