“7” by Madness - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1981Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s

TJR says

In October, 1981, the nutty seven got another long-player in the shops for the third consecutive Autumn. It was preceded by another two hit 45s - “Grey Day” (#4) and “Shut Up” (#7) - whilst a third single, “Cardiac Arrest” (#14), would be a hit early in the new year. Depression, crime and death - and these were the showcase choices! By now, they were incorporating a healthy dose of grey British miserablism which only served to make their underlying nuttiness all the more endearing. Reasoned thinkers would have to conclude that the British Ska revival of the late 70s and early 80s would be a passing fad, and Madness were one group who would not be left behind when the dust had settled. With “7”, they continued to subtly reinvent themselves as they had done on every LP so far. Whilst reggae flavours are never too distant, a sophisticated brand of pop with occasional flourishes from the jazz and classical worlds is the main play. Remarkably, they never lose the essense of Madness, which is key to their success. The storytelling nature of Suggs delivery remains interesting, thought-provoking and never too far away from a humourous line, even in the greyest of moments, of which there are many. With the delivery of “7” there was a sense that Madness could be in it for the long haul; they were well on their way to becoming a national institution to love and cherish.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:52] 9.7.png Madness - Cardiac Arrest (Cathal Smyth, Chris Foreman) Ska / Rocksteady
A2 [04:07] 9.0.png Madness - Shut Up (Graham McPherson, Chris Foreman) Pop
A3 [02:43] 8.7.png Madness - Sign Of The Times (Graham McPherson, Mike Barson) Pop
A4 [02:32] 8.9.png Madness - Missing You (Graham McPherson, Mike Barson) Cerebral Pop
A5 [02:17] 8.9.png Madness - Mrs. Hutchinson (Mike Barson) Caribbean
A6 [03:54] 7.7.png Madness - Tomorrow’s Dream (Lee Thompson, Mike Barson) Reggae
B1 [03:40] 10.0.png Madness - Grey Day (Mike Barson) Reggae
B2 [02:37] 7.9.png Madness - Pac-A-Mac (Lee Thompson, Mike Barson) Pop
B3 [02:52] 9.5.png Madness - Promises Promises (Lee Thompson, Mike Barson) Ska / Rocksteady
B4 [01:51] 7.5.png Madness - Benny Bullfrog (Lee Thompson, Chris Foreman) Pop
B5 [02:43] 8.3.png Madness - When Dawn Arrives (Lee Thompson, Mike Barson) Jazz
B6 [03:03] 7.3.png Madness - The Opium Eaters (Mike Barson) Cerebral Pop
B7 [03:24] 7.9.png Madness - Day On The Town (Graham McPherson, Chris Foreman) Reggae

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