Universal Madness

Universal Madness

by Madness


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Universal Madness

Spurred by the late-'90s ska explosion in America, most of Madness re-formed in 1998 to play a brief tour. Their sole Top 40 smash in the States had been 1984's "Our House," but thanks to acclaim from a cult audience and musicians like No Doubt's Gwen Stefani, Madness always had an influential presence on U.S. shores. Universal Madness is a live document from Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheater. While it doesn't disappoint too greatly, it rarely captures the giddy glee Madness can pull off. Assembling most of their U.K. singles -- which, by coincidence, means most of their best songs -- Universal Madness ultimately serves as mere nostalgia: not quite a hollow experience, but not an epiphany either. The band sounds fine in a workmanlike way, but listening to this you'd never guess that Suggs McPherson was one of new wave's most intriguing and likable lead singers; you'd have to replay the "Our House" video to glean a sense of his charm. The most spine-chilling moment on this album, not unexpectedly, is the opening "One Step Beyond" and Chas Smash's famous spoken intro ("Hey, you! Don't watch dat! Watch dis!"), with every audience member chanting along. It's a validating experience for anyone who loved Madness in their original incarnation: 15 years after fading into the background, they're finally the most loved band in America. For that one moment, anyway.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/02/1999
UPC: 0669434440228
catalogNumber: 44402

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Madness   Primary Artist
Mark Bedford   Bass Guitar
Chris Foreman   Guitar
Graham "Suggs" McPherson   Vocals
Lee Thompson   Saxophone,Vocals
Dan Woodgate   Drums

Technical Credits

Smokey Robinson   Composer
Cecil Campbell   Composer
Mike Barson   Composer
Guy Charbonneau   Engineer
Chris Foreman   Composer
Graham "Suggs" McPherson   Composer
Lee Thompson   Composer
Carl "Chas Smash" Smyth   Composer
Ronald White   Composer
Cedric Singleton   Executive Producer
Chuck Sperry   Artwork
Chris Foreman   Composer
C. Campbell   Composer
Traditional   Composer

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