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Ultimate Collection

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 14, 2000
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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

If you live in the U.S., you've never been able to find Geffen, Sire and Two-Tone tracks by Madness all in one place-until now! So this really is the ultimate collection for these beloved British ska revivalists, including their U.S hits Our House; It Must Be Love , and The Sun and the Rain ; their UK hits House of Fun; Baggy Trousers; Wings of a Dove; Grey Day; Shut Up , and more!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 14, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hip-O
  • ASIN: B000051Y0T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,983 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Madness Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Brown on April 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This really is a pretty decent dose of Madness, and it was good to see they picked a generous selection from the first two albums.
The only downer is: the first two Madness albums were fantastic, and, in my opinion, they lost much of their pizazz on future releases. It's hard to picture a Madness "Best of" without tunes like "Bed and Breakfast Man," "Middle of the Night," "You Said" and "E.R.N.I.E," especially when they include mediocre songs like "Michael Caine."
This is a good ---but not great--- Madness collection. But if you want an excellent selection of Madness tunes, search for their first album and "Absolutely."
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Format: Audio CD
This collection brings you what someone considered to be the best of the British Ska group Madness.
First off, every song on this CD is good, great even. The major draw back is, as if with every "best of" album, it's only worth buying if you're not a huge fan. If you are a fan than you should already own every Madness CD in which case there is no reason to buy this CD.
If you're new to Madness, or you just want their major US hits like Our House, It Must Be Love, House of Fun, and One Step Beyond than this will be great for you.
The other draw back to this album is that it features nothing from "Wonderful," which is a 'wonderful' album but never realesed here in the states.
All that said it's still a great album featuring many great songs.
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Format: Audio CD
I defy you to listen to track 4 ("Baggy Trousers") without doing that ridiculous SKA dance; you know, the one where you lose all flexibility in the knees and your head bobs back and forth like a chicken! This fab compilation successfully manages to maintain a sense of chronology without reverting to the 'this is all we've done with our lives' sense of decline which other 80s bands have resorted to in their "Best Of" albums. It's hardly up to the standard of Duran's "Decade", and is noticably lacking one excellent Nutty track "Cardiac Arrest" (perhaps this track wasn't released in the USA?) but other gems are there, notably the glorious scalic piano introduction in "Shut Up", the inimitable 'Michael Caine", everybody's fave "Our House", and the ultimate sing-a-long finale in "Wings of Dove". Well worth its exceptional bargain price.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is not just a slapped together copy of old work, some effort has gone into the mastering and the result is a very representative album that sounds like it was recorded this century. It brought back memories of a misspent youth and my kids don't hate it so it gets played in the car a lot.
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Format: Audio CD
The "Ultimate Collection" of Madness goes a long way towards proving that these "nutty boys" were a terrific singles band. From the opening bellow of "One Step Beyond" to the inspirational "Wings of a Dove," there really isn't a dud in the bunch, and the CD clocks in at over 70 minutes. Even with these little nuggets of radio gems (sadly, hardly any of them US charters), it is easy to underestimate the influence of Madness. I recall one Saturday morning in college as the dorm TV was on, and a cereal commercial had a bunch of little kids doing that "One Step Beyond" dance/walk during the Saturday cartoons.

Which meant that, despite meager American success for "Absolutely" and "One Step Beyond..." (enough so that Sire dropped them and the next two albums came out on Stiff as imports), there were a lot of eyes on these seven young Brits. Their mix of pop, R'n'B, goofy personalities and - of course - ska made them irresistible to those exposed. But once you scratch the surface, darker themes flowed beneath the shiny surfaces. "Embarrassment" dealt with a real life family reaction to an out-of-wedlock pregnancy from an interracial relationship and their not-so-enlightened response. Both "Tomorrow's Just Another Day" and "Grey Day" deal with people who discover their dreams have run aground.

However, it was a peppy piece of nostalgia that finally broke Madness stateside. "Our House," with memories of growing up, caught the fancy of American ears and went top ten.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
MADNESS-ULTIMATE COLLECTION: Along with THE ENGLISH BEAT and THE SPECIALS, MADNESS spearheaded a rollicking late seventies ska revival by mixing pre-reggae vibes with fresh blasts of punk and RNB for a rocksteady house party. There was no mistaking this visually arresting, MTV-ready ensemble for the rest of the pack, with their brush cuts, baggy trousers and shades, not to mention their quirky-jerky vocals, zig-zaggy rhythms and proudly flaunted Brit accents. Big pop charters included the funk-laden masterpiece OUR HOUSE, sparkling ballad IT MUST BE LOVE and instrumental pressure cooker ONE STEP BEYOND, although their non hits were every bit as much fun. THE PRINCE proved a spry, funky tribute to Jamaican music pioneer PRINCE BUSTER, while MICHAEL CAINE contained soundbites from the eloquent actor himself; such was the fun-loving attitude that fueled MADNESS' stylish vision. Righteous retro label HIP-O does its usual bang up job cherry-picking the very best MADNESS moments, presenting a tight, slinky nineteen track sampler that busts out some of the funkiest, hardest to resist dance grooves of the early eighties.

RATING: FOUR BRUSH CUTS
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