March 22nd, 2011
It’s March, which means that the sports world, in the U.S. at least, is engrossed in “March Madness”. That is, the NCAA Basketball Tournament. As such, I thought it fitting to inject a bit of CD madness into keithhirsch.com. Enter the famous English ska band of the ’70s and ’80s, making their first appearance on keithhirsch.com — Madness!
Madness enjoyed great success in England, with several charting singles, including “Night Boat to Cairo”, “My Girl”, and “One Step Beyond”. In 1983, the band gained widespread popularity and broke through to the U.S. market with the hit “Our House”, which was featured in a humorous video aired frequently on MTV.
Despite the success of “Our House”, Madness remained primarily an English phenomenon. As a result, most of the early Madness CDs were released in the U.K. on the Virgin label. Featured here is a compilation CD released by Virgin in 1985 entitled Complete Madness. Although the CD was released in 1985, the 16-track compilation was originally released in 1982 and does not include “Our House”.
The Complete Madness CD was released under Virgin catalog number HITCD 1 and was pressed in West Germany by Sonopress. Shown below are pictures of the cover, back insert, and West German pressing for this early issue. This CD is difficult to find in my experience, though not impossible. It serves as an excellent compilation of the band’s early hits and is a fun listen.
The cover for the original CD issue of Madness Complete Madness (Virgin, catalog number HITCD 1). This CD was released in the U.K. in 1985.
The back insert for the original CD issue of Madness Complete Madness (Virgin, catalog number HITCD 1). The catalog number is printed in the top right corner in yellow. As noted below the Virgin logo and CD format symbol, the album was first released in 1982 (Phonogram date) and first appeared on CD in 1985 (copyright date).
The original West German pressing of Madness Complete Madness (Virgin, catalog number HITCD 1). Note that “Manufactured in W. Germany” is printed at 3 o’clock. The disc was pressed by Sonopress, as evidenced by “SONOPRESS” being stamped in the mirror band. The matrix code is “C-0603/HITCD1 A”.