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The Dangermen Sessions, Vol. 1

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Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Not all that long after announcing that they were back, these skank-happy Brits have served notice that they're going back -- to their roots, that is. This collection of covers similar to the sets that UB40 have parceled out over the years allows the second-wave ska kingpins to pay loving homage to the first wave, with a few digressions, such as a thoroughly charming ska-ification of the Kinks' classic "Lola." The concept might seem a bit thin on paper, but the rude boys make the most of it, digging greedily into material like Desmond Dekker's "Israelites," which emerges with a fresh coat of good-natured giddiness thanks to the bouncy rhythms applied here. On occasion,...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Not all that long after announcing that they were back, these skank-happy Brits have served notice that they're going back -- to their roots, that is. This collection of covers similar to the sets that UB40 have parceled out over the years allows the second-wave ska kingpins to pay loving homage to the first wave, with a few digressions, such as a thoroughly charming ska-ification of the Kinks' classic "Lola." The concept might seem a bit thin on paper, but the rude boys make the most of it, digging greedily into material like Desmond Dekker's "Israelites," which emerges with a fresh coat of good-natured giddiness thanks to the bouncy rhythms applied here. On occasion, the band overreach -- giving Bob Marley's "So Much Trouble in the World" an incongruous Monkees-like sheen -- but when they take care to stay within their limits, The Dangermen Sessions is thoroughly engaging. That's particularly true when boys go so to speak one step beyond the island canon, good-naturedly putting their imprint on tunes like the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On." By the time the disc draws to a close, it's hard to avoid shouting out to get 'em in there to get Volume Two underway.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
What does a veteran band do when it's some 25 years into its career and wants to record a new album but doesn't have any new original songs? Why, record a covers album of course! And that's exactly what Madness, the kings of British ska revival, have done for their ninth studio album, 2005's The Dangermen Sessions, Vol. 1. It's their first new album since 1999's Wonderful, but they've been active in the interim, playing gigs on a regular basis. This means that the group sounds supple and professional, even if the lack of new songs in six years does suggest that the band doesn't really have anything to say at this point, and would just rather play, relax, and have a good time while encouraging others to have a good time. And that's fine -- The Dangermen Sessions, Vol. 1 is pleasantly laid-back, a good soundtrack to a lazy summer afternoon. Madness demonstrate a stronger reggae bent than they ever have, which does mean that album can be reminiscent of UB40's similar venture, Labour of Love, but Dangermen never sounds too sleepy or refined, as UB40's sequels to their 1983 commercial breakthrough did. In other words, it still has that nutty Madness sound, only it's not nearly as frenetic as it was 25 years ago -- it's mellow and relaxed, and rather charming because of it. That doesn't mean that The Dangermen Sessions, Vol. 1 is something that even hardcore fans will play all that often, but anybody who has liked Madness in the past will find it hard not to enjoy this CD as it plays.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/16/2005
  • Label: V2 North America
  • UPC: 638812726926
  • Catalog Number: 27269

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Madness Primary Artist
David Bedford Musical Direction
Dennis Bovell Timbales
Mike Barson Keyboards
Mark Bedford Bass
Chris Foreman Guitar
Janet Kay Background Vocals
Graham "Suggs" McPherson Vocals
Kix Thompson Saxophone
Gavyn Wright Violin
Patrick Kiernan Violin
Boguslaw Kostecki Violin
Jackie Shave Violin
Steve Dub Synthesizer, Drums, Background Vocals
Julian Leaper Violin
Perry Mason Violin
Warren Zielinski Violin
Simon Wilcox Trumpet
Joe Auckland Brass
Ellie Hajee Background Vocals
Christopher Tombling Violin
Technical Credits
Desmond Dekker Composer
Max Romeo Composer
David Bedford String Arrangements, Music Direction
Dennis Bovell Producer, Engineer
Ray Davies Composer
Mike Barson Composer
Mark Bedford Composer
Isobel Griffiths String Contractor
Leslie Kong Composer
Graham "Suggs" McPherson Composer
Ingo Vauk Programming
Steve Dub Programming, Producer, Engineer
Hilda Feliciano Composer
Steve Masters Engineer
Ben Thackeray Engineer
Joe Auckland Engineer
Steve Turner Engineer
Peter Rudge Management
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