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Customer Reviews

Absolutely…Buy It!

This album came along in the waning years of the ska revival that swept England in the late seventies (and the U.S. shortly thereafter). What Madness managed to do, however, was to move beyond simple rehashing of a decades-old Jamaican music scene and infuse their music with a flair for the absurd and a fairground joyousness, thanks in part to the emphasis on the Farfisa organ, rather than simply horns and syncopated guitar riffs. Their witty twist on the twisted underbelly of working-class English life is nowhere more apparent than on this, their second studio release. Clever character studies like "Not Home Today" and "Close Escape" are balanced by social commentary in "Baggy Trousers" and "Embarrassment," a claim that could be made for their self-titled debut. However, stylistically and content-wise, this collection branches out to include introspective numbers like "You Said" and lovelorn laments like "In The Rain." In short, it reveals the band to have much more depth than their lighthearted approach might suggest. For the ska enthusiast or the fan of "Our House" who wondered if they were anything but one-hit wonders, this album responds with an emphatic yes, and grounds the band firmly in the pantheon of spot-on ska, English witty pop, and pure, unadulterated fun.

Tight & Loose? Yes!

Can a band be tight and play loose? Oh yeah, that's Madness and I love this album! Every single tune! Thanks I-tunes for putting it out there. Wow, a ska classic!


Formed: 1978 in Camden, London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Along with the Specials, Madness were one of the leading bands of the ska revival of the late '70s and early '80s. As their career progressed, Madness branched away from their trademark "nutty sound" and incorporated large elements of Motown, soul, and British pop. Although the band managed one crossover American hit in 1983, they remained a British phenomenon, influencing several successive generations of musicians and becoming one of the most beloved groups the country produced during the '80s....
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