Great Rock Albums of 1983: Madness- The Rise and Fall

Madnesstheriseandfall

Madness are generally considered to be one hit wonders in the US. The song, “Our House,” from this album, got a good amount of airplay on radio and MTV. I always laughed at the part in the video where they are all outside and the mother comes parachuting down. While the song didn’t get me rocking, I still found it quite amusing and I liked it for its different sound. But I have to admit that Madness got sort of pushed to one side after more music that typified me came out. Though I did hear and like the song, “One Step Beyond,” which is not on the album “The Rise and Fall.”¬†Madness would gain more of my attention a few years later when I came to their home country. It also happens that my first wife was a fan of them so I got to appreciate their material more fully.

Video for Our House

Video for Our House

As I journey back more into 1983, I see that while it was the year that heavy metal burst onto the scene in flamboyant style, it was a good year for more humourous music. Maybe the music industry finally opened up and got a funny bone in this year. As I listen to “The Rise and Fall,” I sense that there is a bit of fun to it. Madness play with of tongue in cheek humour. Even in their more serious songs like “Blue Skinned Beast,” which is a political dig at Margaret Thatcher’s handling of the Falklands Conflict, does it completely go away. However, it is definitely present in the single, as well as tracks like “Sunday Morning” and the closer “Madness (Is All In the Mind.)”

Humour aside, I find that Madness are all very good musicians. Like I said, their sound is definitely unique now as it was back in 1983. I find it hard to label and since I don’t really like to pigeon hole things to much, I’ll just say it’s unique. Other standout tracks on the album for me are “Mr Speaker Gets the Word” and “New Dehli.”

Track Listing:

  1. Rise and Fall
  2. Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day)
  3. Blue Skinned Beast
  4. Primrose Hill
  5. Mr Speaker (Gets the Word
  6. Sunday Morning
  7. Our House
  8. Tiptoes
  9. New Delhi
  10. That Face
  11. Calling Cards
  12. Are You Coming (With Me)
  13. Madness (Is All in the Mind)
Madness

Madness

Suggs- vocals

Mike Barson- keyboards, harmonica

Chris Foreman- guitar

Lee Thompson- saxophone

Daniel Woodgate- drums

Mark Bedford- bass

Chas Smash- trumpet, backing vocals, lead vocal on “Madness (Is All in the Mind)”

They may be considered one hit wonders in the US but I know they were more than that in the UK. Either way, they definitely got the notice from a lot of people, myself included in 1983. Their unique sound helped a lot.

Next post: Frank Zappa- The Man From Utopia

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

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2 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1983: Madness- The Rise and Fall”

  1. Madness were incredible, my generation’s Beatles – easy!

    Like

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