Title - 'The Rise & Fall: Remastered' (Salvo)
Artist - Madness
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.
We begin with the (lackluster) title song first, before heading into the much better 'Tomorrow's (Just Another Day') and 'Blue Skinned Beast.' 'Primrose Hill' trots out next, before a German-voiced into starts 'Mr. Speaker (Gets The Word).' Then comes the wish-I-was-back-home 'Sunday Morning,' before the classic bass line strum introduces the brilliant 'Our House' to the disc.
The album fillers 'Tiptoes,' 'New Delhi' and 'That Face' are next, before quick-fire songs such as both 'Calling Cards' and 'Are You Coming (With Me)' allow side one to end, poetically, on 'Madness (Is All In The Mind).'
The promo videos included on side one are: 'House Of Fun' (where the banging of garbage cans suddenly reveals two horn players re: the intro and then simply turns into the best Madness video ever made!), 'Driving In My Car' (where a kid sells a 7" record of the song in question to a member of Madness for just 50p and they don't stop to pick up Fun Boy Three looking to go to Coventry!), 'Our House' (which begins with one of the boys asking many high street folks if they've 'seen our house' and features the best slide/slap bass intro to a song ever!), and 'Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day)' - with its intro of two of the guys bumping into each other in a wet high street: one with a sign that the world will end Wednesday, the other proclaiming Thursday, and Suggs' infamous one eye one way, the other stuck still look!
Side two kicks off with 4 recordings from The Kid Jensen Session: 'Rise And Fall,' a subdued 'Tomorrow's (Just Another Day),' a weird-ass 'Calling Cards,' and 'Are You (Coming With Me). Then, the bonus tracks start with 7" single version of 'House Of Fun,' and is followed by 'Don't Look Back' (the original B-Side of 'House Of Fun'), the highly under-appreciated 'Driving In My Car' (7" single), and a near-instrumental, 'Animal Farm' (Tomorrow's Dream Warp Mix); and the original B-Side to 'Driving In My Car.'
The interestingly-named 'Riding On My Bike,' the original B-Side to 'Driving In My Car' 12" is quite easily the most wonderful track on this second disc! It has the exact same backing to it that 'Car' does, but ALL the words are about riding a bike! Incredible, quite incredible. An 'Our House' 12" Extended Version is next, blended with snippets of all their other hit songs, before 'Walking With Mr. Wheeze,' the original B-Side to 'Our House' comes forth.
The instrumental 'Mad House,' the original B-Side to 'Our House' Instrumental Mix - USA 12" is next, with 'Tomorrow's (Just Another Day),' the Warped 12" Single next. 'Blue Beast' (Warp Mix), the original B-Side to the 'Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)' 12" is up next, before 'Our House' (Stretch Mix, Promo Single), the ultra-sultry 'Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)' - sung with Elvis Costello (from the original 12") - and 'The National Anthem' (performed live with, by the sounds of it, nothing more than a comb and some paper pressed to the lips!) closes the collection out.
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