Complete Madness

12" Vinyl (33 1/3 RPM)

Stiff Records


United Kingdom


Complete Madness, the first greatest hits album, was a monumental success that resonated across the UK. Issued on April 23, 1982, it featured Madness‘s biggest hits from their first three studio albums and stand-alone singles. The album’s popularity was not just a passing trend but a testament to its quality, spending a staggering 109 weeks on the UK charts and reaching the pinnacle at number 1.

This compilation is a collection of hits and a unique presentation of Madness‘s music. It includes most tracks’ original 7-inch single mixes, with House of Fun being the only exception. The vinyl has shortened fade-outs for many tracks, and reducing the running time of each side of the original LP version was a creative decision.

Dave Robinson‘s marketing strategy for “Complete Madness” was nothing short of a masterstroke. Despite the LP only featuring 12 singles, Robinson insisted on placing the banner “16 Hit Tracks” on the cover, which undoubtedly helped to boost its popularity. The tracks were skillfully merged through crude editing, with some recordings top and tailed to remove specific sounds, such as the reverb echo at the end of ‘The Prince‘. The opening crowd noises and closing ‘Goodnight’ were also intentionally removed from ‘The Return Of The Los Palmas 7‘, and Cathal‘s introduction to ‘One Step Beyond‘ was significantly shortened.

Robinson, the mastermind behind the album, understood the true power of their songs. Fueled by an ambitious TV marketing campaign, centring on an advert with a voiceover from actor George Cole (most famous for playing the character Arthur Daley in Minder), the album didn’t just make a splash; it made waves. It spent three weeks at number one and 88 weeks on the charts in all, outstripping sales for any previous Madness record. It’s even been argued that it cast a shadow over the sales of the band’s subsequent album.

Eric Watson, a photographer from Smash Hits, took the photo in the studio. The photo was designed to highlight Madness’ humorous image, which was crucial for such a widely appealing project. In fact, two earlier photo sessions, one with renowned photographer Anton Corbijn on top of the Scala Cinema, King’s Cross, and another with Eric Watson at Alexandra Palace, were deemed unsuitable.


Territory: United Kingdom

Release Date: April 23, 1982
Format: 12" Vinyl (33 1/3 RPM)
Limited Edition: No

Label: Stiff Records

Catalogue Number: HIT-TV1

Manufactured: United Kingdom

Disc Colour: Black
Pressing: Original Pressing
Release Type: Official


Peak Position: 1
First Chart Date: 01/05/1982
Weeks in Chart: 109
Position DatePosition
01/05/1982 2
08/05/1982 3
15/05/1982 2
22/05/1982 1
29/05/1982 1
05/06/1982 2
12/06/1982 1
19/06/1982 3
26/06/1982 3
03/07/1982 3


House Of Fun 05/10/1982


1 A1 Embarrassment 2:59
1 A2 Shut Up 2:48
1 A3 My Girl 2:38
1 A4 Baggy Trousers 2:26
1 A5 It Must Be Love 3:19
1 A6 The Prince 2:27
1 A7 Bed And Breakfast Man 2:29
1 A8 Night Boat To Cairo 3:13
1 B1 House of Fun Edit 2:47
1 B2 One Step Beyond... 2:17
1 B3 Cardiac Arrest 2:52
1 B4 Grey Day 3:30
1 B5 Take It or Leave It 3:17
1 B6 In the City 2:55
1 B7 Madness 2:35
1 B8 The Return of the Los Palmas 7 2:29


Mike Barson Piano, Organ, Vibraphone, Marimba, Harmonica, Tubular Bells Array
Chris Foreman Guitar, Slide Guitar Array
Lee Thompson Vocals, Saxophone Array
Mark Bedford Bass Array
Daniel Woodgate Drums, Percussion Array
Graham McPherson Vocals Array
Cathal Smyth Vocals, Trumpet Array


Producer Clive Langer
Producer Alan Winstanley tracks: A1 to A5, A7 to B6, B8


Phonographic Copyright ℗ Stiff Records
Copyright © Stiff Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ Chrysalis Records track: A5


Record Label Stiff Records
Publisher Nutty Sounds Ltd.
Publisher Warner Chappell Music Ltd.
Publisher MAM (Music Publishing) Ltd.
Publisher Melodisc Records Ltd.


Extensive efforts have been made to gather factual information and knowledge on madness from various sources and document them. These sources include publicly accessible websites, books and publications, historical artefacts, and other pertinent materials. As a result, a comprehensive index of resources has been compiled and integrated into the website. These resources, if relevant to this article, are listed below.

ReferenceSource Website Website Website




Introducing Madzine Magazine, Album by Album, Single by Single, Collection Series One – a 48-page paperback magazine focusing on the first Madness album released in 1979 and the singles released worldwide from 1979 through 1980 from One Step Beyond.... The magazine covers every aspect of the first album and single releases, making it a must-have for hardcore collectors and casual Madness fans who enjoy reading about the band’s history and catalogue.

Our Madzine Collection Series will meticulously document the Madness Discography as we curate an extensive and comprehensive collection of all things Madness. Using advanced AI search algorithms and an intuitive search function, navigating and discovering within our collection will be effortless and enjoyable. Join us on this exciting journey as we delve into the world of Madness and build the ultimate resource for fans and enthusiasts alike.