Madness – The Singles Box Vol 1

First dozen replica 45s from "The Prince" to "Cardiac Arrest"

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Self-styled jokers of the 2-Tone crop, Madness’ “nutty boys” facade often belied the arch pop intellect working underneath. Take 1980’s “Embarrassment”?a Top Five hit about the social bigotry surrounding a mixed-race pregnancy, or 1982’s grim satire of executive stress, “Cardiac Arrest”. These, along with their more rambunctious early hits (“Baggy Trousers”, Prince Buster’s “One Step Beyond”) rank alongside those of The Kinks, The Jam and even The Smiths as English working-class pop at its most ingenious.

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