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Wonderful is an album by the British ska band Madness. It was released in 1999, and was the band's first studio album since 1984's Keep Moving to feature their classic seven-piece line-up.

Wonderful
Wonderful Madness.jpg
Studio album by
Released1 November 1999 (UK)
Recorded1999
Genre
Length41:54
LabelVirgin
ProducerClive Langer
Alan Winstanley
Madness chronology
Universal Madness
(1999)
Wonderful
(1999)
Our House: the Original Songs
(2002)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
BBC Newsfavourable[2]

Contents

Track listingEdit

  1. "Lovestruck" (Lee Thompson, Mike Barson)
  2. "Johnny the Horse" (Cathal Smyth)
  3. "The Communicator" (Graham McPherson, Smyth)
  4. "4 am" (McPherson, Barson)
  5. "The Wizard" (Smyth)
  6. "Drip Fed Fred" (Thompson, Barson)
  7. "Going to the Top" (Barson)
  8. "Elysium" (Thompson, Daniel Woodgate)
  9. "Saturday Night Sunday Morning" (McPherson)
  10. "If I Didn't Care" (Jack Lawrence)
  11. "No Money" (Thompson, Woodgate, Nick Woodgate)

2010 reissueEdit

Disc 1 contains the full album plus three "promo" videos:

  1. "Lovestruck" [promo video]
  2. "Johnny the Horse" [promo video]
  3. "Drip Fed Fred" [promo video]

Disc 2 contains the "bonus tracks":

  1. "You're Wonderful" [remix] [bonus track] (Smyth)
  2. "Round and Round" [b-side "Lovestruck"] (Thompson, Barson)
  3. "We Are Love" [b-side "Lovestruck"] (Smyth)
  4. "Johnny the Horse" [radio edit] (Smyth)
  5. "I Was the One" [b-side "Johnny the Horse"] (Barson)
  6. "Dreaming Man" [b-side "Johnny the Horse"] (Smyth, Chris Foreman)
  7. "Light of the Way" [b-side "Drip Fed Fred"] (Smyth)
  8. "We Want Freddie" [b-side "Drip Fed Fred"] (Thompson, Barson)
  9. "Drip Fed Fred" [The Conspiracy Mix] [single version] (Thompson, Barson)
  10. "Maddley" [b-side "Lovestruck" album sampler] (McPherson, Smyth, Barson, Thompson, Woodgate)
  11. "Simple Equation" ["Our House" musical] (McPherson, Foreman)
  12. "Sarah's Song" ["Our House" musical] (Thompson, Barson)
  13. "It Must Be Love" [2002 mix] ["Our House" musical] (Labi Siffre)
  14. "My Old Man" [Brand New Boots and Panties Ian Dury tribute album] (Ian Dury, Steve Nugent)


ReceptionEdit

The BBC's Chris Charles said "... Wonderful finds the boys in their best form since 1981's Madness 7."[2] Allmusic's Evan Cater gave the album 4 out of 5 stars and said "On the whole, it's a pretty successful return."[1] In a review of the 2010 re-release, Terry Staunton of Record Collector stated that although "All the essential components are in place...something doesn’t quite gel…". Staunton thought the opening single Lovestruck was well done but "elsewhere there’s a niggling feeling that the band are trying too hard to replicate the sound of yore, studiously ignoring the fact that times – and the players themselves – have changed."[3]

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1999) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[4] 17

PersonnelEdit

Additional personnel
  • Ian Dury – guest vocals on track 6
  • Michael Kearsey – trombone
  • Jason McDermid – trumpet
  • Jason Bruer – saxophone
  • Terry Edwards – saxophone, brass arrangements
  • Pablo Cook – percussion
  • The London Session Orchestra – strings
  • Gavyn Wright – orchestral and strings leader
  • Simon Hale – string arrangements, conductor
  • Steve Donnelley – dobro guitar on track 5
  • Mitch – backing vocals on track 4
  • Sarah Cracknell – backing vocals on track 8

Production personnelEdit

  • Clive Langer – production
  • Alan Winstanley – production
  • Mark Bishop – engineer
  • Martin Parr – front cover photography
  • Mark Bedford – original graphic design
  • Robert Stimpson – original graphic design
  • Dani Golfieri – assistant
  • Neil Evans – assistant
  • Nik Rose – re-jigging, fettling
  • Martin 'Cally' Callomon – art direction, design

NotesEdit

  • "4 am" is a re-recorded version of the song that appeared on Suggs' solo album The Lone Ranger.
  • "If I Didn't Care" is a cover of a song originally recorded by The Ink Spots.
  • Providing the vocals to "Drip Fed Fred" would be Ian Dury's last chart single release and final appearance on Top of the Pops before his death in March 2000.
  • Despite being the title of the album, "Wonderful" only made it as a b-side on one of the editions of the "Johnny the Horse" single. However, it is included on the Japanese version of the album, along with another song which was a b-side in the UK - "Round And Round".

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Allmusic review
  2. ^ a b BBC News | NEW MUSIC RELEASES | CD Review: Madness
  3. ^ http://recordcollectormag.com/reviews/wonderful
  4. ^ "UK Singles & Albums Chart Archive". Chart Stats. Retrieved 12 January 2012.

External linksEdit