MADNESS - A Guided Tour of Madness (2011)
Widely regarded as one of the greatest singles bands of the '80s, the four-disc anthology A Guided Tour of Madness is a chance to hear the U.K.'s biggest-ever Two-Tone band in all their glory, with 70 tracks plucked from their roller coaster, 30-year career. With the exception of "Sweetest Girl," "Sorry," and "The Harder They Come," every one of their 34 singles make the cut, from their 1979 homage to reggae legend Prince Buster, "The Prince," to 2009's "Forever Young" which, compiled in chronological order, allows fans to chart their journey from cheeky teenage "nutty boys" to elder statesmen of British ska-pop. Of course, their most familiar material, from their sole U.K. chart-topper "House of Fun" to their cover of Labi Siffre's "It Must Be Love," to their biggest U.S. hit, "Our House," is likely to inspire mass singalongs from casual fans. But as its lengthy track list sests, this comprehensive collection also showcases what else they had to offer. Indeed, the band might not have looked as though they were taking themselves too seriously, but with songs which sensitively tackled issues such as the IRA ("Michael Caine"), the Falklands War ("Blue Skinned Beast"), and immigration ("Prospects"), they offered a lot more substance than they were given credit for, while 1999 comeback single "Lovestruck" (their first Top Ten hit in 16 years), their 2000s covers of the Kinks' "Lola" and the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hanging On," and the four tracks from 2009's well-received The Liberty of Norton Folgate prove that the band haven't been resting on their laurels. While most Madness fans will already own the majority of tracks here, there are also a few obscurities thrown into the mix, from early B-sides such as "All I Knew" and "Mistakes" (apparently the first song the band ever wrote) to "Sarah's Song," a number from their Our House musical, and the previously unreleased "Le Grand Pantalon," and the playful, Gallic waltz-tinged rendition of their signature hit "Baggy Trousers," which shows their tongue-in-cheek humor remains firmly intact. A cut above most hastily assembled retrospectives, A Guided Tour of Madness is a cleverly selected affair which should satisfy anyone wishing to investigate more than their more ubiquitous commercial hits. - allmusic.com
DISC 1: 01. The Prince 02. Madness 03. Mistakes 04. Bed & Breakfast Man 05. One Step Beyond 06. The Young & The Old 07. Deceives The Eye 08. My Girl 09. Believe Me 10. In The Middle Of The Night 11. Night Boat To Cairo 12. On The Beat Pete 13. Not Home Today 14. Baggy Trousers 15. Disappear 16. You Said 17. Embarrassment 18. Take It Or Leave It 19. The Return Of The Los Palmas 7 20. Grey Day 21. Tomorrow s Dream 22. Mrs. Hutchinson 23. Shut Up 24. Sign Of The Times 25. It Must Be Love 26. In The City 27. Cardiac Arrest
DISC 2: 01. House Of Fun 02. Don t Look Back 03. Primrose Hill 04. Driving In My Car 05. Calling Cards 06. Blue Skinned Beast 07. Our House 08. Madness (Is All In The Mind) 09. Tomorrow's (Just Another Day) 10. Wings Of A Dove 11. March Of The Gherkins 12. Keep Moving 13. The Sun & The Rain 14. Samantha 15. Prospects 16. One Better Day 17. Michael Caine 18. Victoria Gardens 19. Yesterday's Men 20. All I Knew 21. I'll Compete 22. Uncle Sam
DISC 3: 01. Waiting For The Ghost Train 02. The Wizard 03. The Communicator 04. Lovestruck 05. Elysium 06. Drip Fed Fred 07. Saturday Night, Sunday Morning 08. Johnny The Horse 09. Sarah's Song 10. Girl Why Don't You?
11. Lola 12. I Chase The Devil Aka Ironshirt 13. Shame & Scandal 14. You Keep Me Hanging On 15. NW5 16. Forever Young 17. That Close 18. Dust Devil 19. On The Town 20. Sugar And Spice 21. Le Grand Pantalon - previously unreleased on cd
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