Amongst the chat comes talk of the possibility of the next few years being busy for the band as they ramp things up for 2019, and the band’s 40th anniversary and a potential new album.
Also this week comes a trailer for Suggs My Life Story: The movie. This is Julien Temple’s film version of the theatre show. Following our Italian film festival preview a few weeks ago and review last week of the film’s opening 15 minutes, we now know it debuts in full in the UK January 17th.
We’ve details of the nationwide screening of the premier from Koko Camden. You can check out the trailer and more here…
This week we welcome Paul Rodgers back to the bits and bytes of the MIS, we reveal the initial batch of venues due to screen Suggs’ My Life Story movie, and have much more besides. So, without further ado, let’s get the issue underway.
Full House – The New Madness Best of Album – Review
Available to order now from Madness.co.uk & Pledge music. Out now!
2 CD’s and 4 LP’s make up a house full of Madness hits as the new best of reaches it’s Pledge shipping date, to be store available later too. But my house is already full of Madness Hit’s albums! is the shout of many fans that prefer a lesser milking of the back catalogue. So apart from Complete, Utter, It’s, It’s too, Divine, Divine, Divine, Heavy Hits, The Business, Our House the original songs, The incomplete digital singles collection, Total, Ultimate, Total Olympics, A Guided Tour, The Very best of, imports, The Ska Collection, The Take It or Leave It out not again soundtrack and Chris Foreman sings the hits LP, what has Full House ever done for us?
Yes, This is the best of with added CTUN & OUI OUI. Maybe it will settle pub arguments as to what counts as the singles from those last two albums now. Maybe it will start even more arguments.
So given the truth that ” Hit’s happen ” lets leave that fact to one side now, and address the fact that this isn’t Madness the complete singles. Though it nearly is. It’s 42 tracks neatly split into 21 each CD or set of LP’s. That includes the biggest singles and songs of the FULL band era on Full House part one. Then Mike leaves home. Uncle Sam starts part two which brings us up to carl-less date with the band still making great music in a house occasionally with someone who’s not home today. In fact the CD mirrors this fact slightly, a beautiful cover bulging with multiple mad men all together in our full house of fun then opens up on the CD version to reveal just Woody inside another version of the house on the inner image, where the full band are driving away in their car, and a business man runs for the buss. The Vinyl is even more stunning, housing a black and white checkered floor and an upstanding 3D pop up design of the full house cover.
Most singles are present, mostly in chronological order, of course lets not forget to say pretty much all of this music is bloody brilliant. 42 career spanning tracks does stand up very well in quality of tuneage being consistent and delightful at least 95% of the time. As a best of it really does give a very long and satisfying listen. Certainly for the general music listener who is often the consideration with these things.
Lets nitpick this apart then, fans size-ably probably wanted a complete chronological singles collection. Where does this house fall down? Missing is “Sorry” (perhaps a blessing!) Live Harder They Come (It’s self a live oddity in the UK singles line) Sweetest Girl (Maligned not Mad) and most Scandalously perhaps Shame and Scandal being out leaves only a Girl to represent the danger covers, a shame that. These tunes feeling a little less than Full Madness be it for live, production sound or reasons of writing or reaction perhaps ultimate explains why this album is aiming to slightly distance its self from being The Full Singles Collection and instead live next door to that idea.
There are other arguments of omission like double A sides, Herbert’s or promoted tracks or pressings of various kind’s. Consider too many of those and you unbalance the album and overshoot the maximum CD or Vinyl time slots. I feel I would have possibly finished with slow trousers down as a Grand ending though, as version of me would have been propped up by another version of Baggy Pantalons echoing earlier days.
Fair enough then if because of things like all this, you don’t want to live here. I hope it sells well though and lands in many houses across the country. Firstly cus this music sounds great, secondly the album looks great. Paul agar once again achieve a great cover montage, using images that recall, One Step Beyond, Seven, Cant Touch us Now, Driving in my Car, Oui, Oui boxset, and some recent tours like Madhead & before. There are some neat art touches. My favourite is Lee Thompson, known for a nudey moment or two, depicted on the cover as Twickenham 1974 Michael OBrien, the famous England vs france Rugby streaker with policeman’s helmet cover up. Priceless scene stealing again! Bedders top hat chimney pop up is nice too and really sweet in the lucky dog looking up at the classic black and white photo on the inner sleeve of the boys during house of fun days, and the nod to the newly installed heritage plaque status of Madness.
Even if it’s far too standard for fans not completist enough to give a home to the hits yet yet yet yet yet yet yet yet yet again, this album’s biggest plus points (beyond looking and sounding good) is its chance to get some of the second part of Madness’s career into the homes of people only likely to listen to Divine or Total in the past.
This will bring the rare overlooked Sarah’s song and Simple Equation into the ears of even people who never saw a version of the musical and are unlikely to buy wonderful. Promote interest in Cant Touch us Now, Oui, Oui and Folgate even further, and most criminally the single Drip Fed Fred brings this Ian Dury featuring tune to the most prominent position it’s ever had. It seems crazy that despite listing so many hits albums, it’s only the poor selling Guided Tour that has ever hosted this track in a hits collection before despite being released 17 years ago. Here is a chance to get that track across again to the masses and then please bring it back for the Full house tour 2018 Christmas? You are a bonafide two CD’s hits album band now Madness. Quality 21 song sets, in two eras of Madness for the masses, music from the very best band, no wonder at gigs the house is always full.
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Paul Rodgers’ Madness, Stats, Facts and Figures
Reading, as I Was, last week’s MIS email The Penny dropped that I’d forgotten to write an article for all you avid chart followers. Technological and consciousness problems have kept me from reporting on Madness’ chart action of late. Specifically I fell asleep in my chair last Sunday when I should have been writing about the new best of (?)/greatest hits (?)/compilation (yep that’s it) Full House The Very Best Of Madness. As such I apologise for keeping you on tentedhoops for the last 8 days. Had Jon Young successfully copied and pasted my full Facebook update on the Friday night you’d already had more of this. But he did so before I added the all important sales figures.No refunds.
On week one (chart dated 30 November 2017, published on 24 November) it entered the official album chart at number 23; the sales chart (no streaming) at 22; the physical chart at 22; the vinyl album chart at 27; the download chart at 56 and the indie chart at number 2.Internationally it entered the Scottish chart at 24 and the Welsh one at 21. Its first week sales were 7,072 according the Official Chart Company figures quoted by Music Week.
That’s a steady start outperforming the debut positions of similar retrospectives such as Utter Madness (29), Heavy Heavy Hits (24), Divine Madness (2000 remaster) (59), Our House (45), Divine Madness Sight and Sound 2005 reissue (80), Complete Madness USM reissue (192), Ultimate Madness (48), A Guided Tour Of Madness (181) and Forever Young (99). Only Complete Madness (2), Divine Madness (2) and Total Madness (11) in their original guises have started better.
Clearly there is still room in the market for Madness compilations, not least as vinyl’s comeback shows no sign of slowing down. It’s perhaps disappointing that there hasn’t been a cassette issue. In the same week as Full House entered the charts the number one album on vinyl and cassette sold 6,766 and 309 (honest) on those respective formats. The 1.2% of sales those cassettes contributed are roughly equivalent to where vinyl was a couple of years back, but may have been irrelevant in terms of the Chuffing artist getting out of bed. Incidentally similar cassette sales for Full House would have seen Madness enter the chart at 22 rather than 23.
Week two has seen Full House take a dip in the mainland UK, but fare better overseas: It drops in the album chart (42); indie chart (3); sales (39); physical (37) and Scotland (43). In America it debuts at number 1 as was only to be expected after the multi platinum success of Can’t Touch Us Now there. It also picks up new entries in the Isle Of Wight (16) and the Earldom of Harbledown (8). Wales has yet to declare. Only time will tell whether Madness’ recent European Vacation tour (and a continent wide release) will see the band pick up additional sales and chart positions in mainland Europe.
Speaking of Europe, I’m sure most fans will be as interested as I am to learn that Italian radio stations are still supporting Madness’ last two studio albums with airplay. Never Knew Your Name was last played there a week ago (27 November 2017), receiving its 2,513th play, whilst Mr Apples was played yesterday (2 December 2017) for its 936th broadcast. Both songs are still picking up a play every 3 days or so on average. They may not have been sales hits in Italy, but the radio plays are a handy consolation or Runner Up prize if you like?
Meanwhile the other Very Best Of Madness, The Very Best Of Madness has continued its run in the budget chart and has now spent 66 weeks in that rundown (up to and including 30 November 2017).
One other item of compilation news that seems to have passed me by was that Total Madness was awarded a Platinum disc on 7 April this year, meaning its sales have now exceeded 300,000 in the UK. Only time will tell if Full House can come close to matching that. With my estimate of 5,000 sales in week 2 giving FullHouse a total in the region of 12,000. It took Total Madness nearly 400 weeks to clock up those 300,000 sales, averaging only 761 copies per week. That’s fewer than 5 an hour. Full House is currently averaging 7 (SEVEN) times that amount. It should go multi platinum some time next week at that rate…
Until next time…
Paul Rodgers (NTO)
I Remember Way Back When
This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby goes back in time to report on what was going on in the world of Madness 5 years, 10 and 15 years ago this week.
5 years ago…
Issue Number 708 – Sunday 2nd December – Saturday 8th December 2012
With those who attended the Madness Weekender in Minehead now just about recovered, reviews of the event were starting to surface.
We did plan to have lots of separate reviews of the event, but thankfully Jon had put together such a detailed write-up of what went on that we felt it gave those of you who were unable to go some idea of what you’d missed.
If you preferred a more visual summary of the previous weekend’s antics we pointed you in the direction of the Weekender’s Facebook photo album.
If you’d still not had your fill of all things Madness and Minehead related then you’d no doubt be pleased to know that a 2013 event was already in the works.
Due to run from the 22nd to the 25th of November, the 3rd Madness Weekender would once again take place in Minehead. Not only that, but tickets were already on sale!
Naturally, with the dust still settling on the recent Minehead weekend the majority of this week’s issue was taken up with Jonathan’s mammoth review of just what went on. It was huge and must have taken him hours and hours to put together. It’s an amazing document of just what went on at the event all those years ago.
Moving on, and it was over to Tony Stratton, who reported on his 9th Madness gig and his very first Madness matinee, when he went to see the band at Brighton on the 1st of December.
Tony told us at the time;
“The band sounded fantastic – Suggs feeling gutted, telling the crowd Chelsea got hammered by West Ham 3-1. The banter was great. Even Suggs taking the micky out of Woody`s moustache for Movember. Even Chris getting on the mic more and telling everyone how he loves it in Brighton and was on the ball throughout, including his rendition of the Beastie Boys “You gotta fight for your right to party.
The backdrop videos were impressive too, as usual, which we have become accustomed to.
The band was fantastic. The band look to be having the time of their lives at the moment and who can blame them.”
Next, it was over to Jon Young and Sharon Staite who are reporting which songs had joined and which had left the set lists of the current tour. There were plenty of songs from the new album in the set list, but naturally, the classics were also present.
Following this we moved on to Holly Barringer of Madness’ music label. She reported that the band’s new online game had been played over 3,500 times in the first week with the UK, US and Spain being the most popular parts of the world players had come from.
We were back over to gig reviews next, as subscriber Shannan Mcbride gave us the lowdown on the band’s recent gig in Dublin.
This issue came to a close with a nice review of Madness at the Brighton Centre.
10 years ago…
Issue 448 – Sunday 2nd December – Saturday 8th December 2007
We kicked off this issue with the news that the latest Madspace blog brought news of NW5 single formats, more free tickets to win, and a sneak peek of the forthcoming tour merchandise.
We also discovered that Concert Live were now taking orders on two London 2007 Christmas Tour live CDs.
Next, we went over to the Telegraph, for a full transcript of their interview with Chris, Woody and Suggs, about the band and being a celebrity.
It was over to Chris Evans and Duff Kelly next, as Duff told us what Chris had thought about the NW5 single, and what the opinions of his listeners were. Did they give it a hit or a miss?
We moved over to Suggs and a recent interview he gave to the Daily Record, where he spoke about grand ideas about a Scottish festival.
Moving on, and in the previous issue we’d brought you news of a 3 page Suggs interview in the December issue of Scootering Magazine.
Here we gave you just 4 of the 20 questions asked in the interview, which related to the tour and new album.
We brought the issue to a close with the news that Rob was back in Blighty after his two week trip to Cuba, and would be back in the editorial chair from next week.
15 years ago…
Issue 186 – Sunday 1st December – Saturday 7th December 2002
This issue started-off with news of a second volume of the Jools Holland Album, “Big band Small World” was now out in all good music shops.
Subtitled “More Friends”, this edition didn’t include Suggs, so no Madness connections. However, some of those who influenced Madness are present, with tracks featuring Jimmy Cliff, Bryan Ferry and Ray Davies.
With the ‘Our House’ musical well underway, it was nice to see that the web site had received an update. New photos and video clips had recently been uploaded, as well as news revealing that the musical was now booking ahead as far as March 2003.
It’d been a while since we last covered North London’s MOT, so it was a stroke of luck when band member Philip McGuirk got in touch with us here at MIS Online to let us know what the band have been up to, and what they had planned for the next couple of months ahead.
With gigs at The Bull and Gate, Dublin Castle, and The Borderline, things were looking pleasantly busy for the lads.
The recent ‘Our House’ web site update had also brought with it an online store. All merchandise currently on sale before and after the show was also now available to order from the site. Little did we know that half a decade later masses of the merchandise would still remain unsold. A real shame, as it’s fantastic stuff.
With Channel Four Television readying themselves for an interview with Suggs, it was nice to see the production crew coming to the online fanbase with help supplying questions, photos and unusual memorabilia for the slot. Channel Four assured fans that Suggs would be told that he could only break items he was told he can break.
Next, we had a plea from Tour Madness editor, Jermaine. Due to various circumstances he was unable to get along to the forthcoming Christmas tour, and so asked fans who were attending to send in reviews of the shows upon their return.
Finally, with the release of the Divine Madness DVD, Record Collector magazine devoted a massive amount of space to not only giving the disc a resounding thumbs-up, but interviewing Suggs to see what he thought of it, too.
Madness, Live at the Eden Sessions
The BBC have recently aired 14 tracks from the band’s Eden sessions concert earlier this year. This includes a live performance of “Don’t Let Them Catch You Crying”.
Madness frontman Suggs has called on modern pop stars to follow in Stormzy’s footsteps and release protests songs
Madness’ Suggs says Stormzy is the man to write a “proper protest song”.
The 56-year-old musician has applauded the ‘Big For Your Boots’ rapper for producing politically-charged tracks, and called on the rest of the pop world to use their platform to bemoan issues affecting the world.
Speaking to the Daily Star newspaper, the ‘It Must Be Love’ hitmaker said: “I’d like to see someone writing a proper protest song, you don’t hear much of that these days.
“I could see Stormzy doing that – he’s already writing about that sort of thing. Not many bands are doing that.”
Meanwhile, Suggs recently revealed there’s a chance his life story could be turned into a film.
The ‘Our House’ singer has held discussions about telling the tale of how his ska/pop band – which was formed in the late 1970s – made it to the top of the charts but nothing is concrete yet.
Speaking about the biopic, he said recently: “It’s just a rumour that’s been going around, but there’s definitely a story to be told there … I couldn’t see myself in Hollywood – more like Holloway!”
Suggs is being followed around by cameras for a new project though, as he is making a documentary entitled ‘My Life Story’ which will show what life is like on the road for him and his bandmates.
He shared “It’s called ‘My Life Story’ and follows me on the road, but it’s also interspersed with some dramatised sections. It’s looking pretty good.”
And his new one man show ‘What A King Cnut… A Life in the Realm of Madness’ is set to hit theatres in January.
Suggs will be heading out around the UK for a host of dates which will see him recount tales from his incredible career including getting vertigo when he performed with Madness on the roof of Buckingham Palace and the bizarre moment he watched his underpants fall to earth on David Bowie’s driveway.
It follows Madness’ notorious annual shindig, the ‘House Of Fun Weekender’, which takes place at Butlins Minehead from November 17 to 20, and the release of a new greatest hits album, ‘Full House: The Very Best Of Madness’ which comes out on 17 November.
Welcome to the House of Fun! Suggs’ former home in Camden is up for sale
Here’s an opportunity you don’t get every day – the chance to buy the former home of one of the 1980s’ biggest pop stars. Yours for £1.95million, the Camden mews is the former home of Madness lead singer Suggs.
Situated on a pretty cobbled street just off Camden Square, the house is just a stone’s throw from Camden Town Underground Station and famous venues like the Electric Ballroom, The Roundhouse and KOKO. If you’re a big music fan, it’s pretty much the perfect location.
That’s just about it for this week’s edition of the MIS.
We’ll be back next Sunday with another issue of the weekly bulletin. In the meantime, don’t forget to take advantage of the 20% clothing discount currently available over on the official Madstore (www.madstore.co.uk).