The Rise And Fall

12" Vinyl (33 1/3 RPM)

Stiff Records


United Kingdom


The Rise & Fall, the fourth studio album by Madness, stands out for its bold experimentation with a diverse range of musical styles. Released on 8 October 1982 by Stiff Records, it showcases a fusion of jazz, English music hall, and Eastern influences. This musical diversity, coupled with its conceptual depth, led NME to hail it as ‘the best Madness record’ upon its release, a sentiment echoed in its retrospective recognition as a concept album.

While The Rise & Fall didn’t make it to the US market, its influence was undeniable. Several tracks from the album, including the iconic ‘Our House ‘, were later featured on the 1983 Madness compilation, which became the band’s only top 10 hit in America.

Initially conceived as a concept album about nostalgia for childhood, the concept was eventually dropped. However, the original theme is still evident, particularly in the title track and the album’s major hit, “Our House”. This theme was also mentioned recently when interviewed as part of “T in the Park” music festival highlights, where their lead vocalist Suggs claimed that all the band members were told to write about their childhood memories for The Rise & Fall (although he did say that their keyboardist Mike Barson got the wrong idea, and went off and wrote about New Delhi).

Madness, known for their apolitical stance, took a bold step with the track ‘Blue Skinned Beast’. This song was a direct satire on then-UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her handling of the Falklands War. This marked a significant shift in the band’s approach, paving the way for more political commentary on their subsequent albums. The impact of this shift cannot be overstated, as it challenged the band’s previous stance and set the stage for their future musical direction.

The album cover photo was shot just west of Camden Town at the Primrose Hill viewpoint. It looks southeast towards central London, with the BT Tower on the horizon; interestingly, a mushroom cloud was added to the photograph; you can find it on the right side of the back cover, on the horizon.


Territory: United Kingdom

Release Date: November 5, 1982
Format: 12" Vinyl (33 1/3 RPM)
Limited Edition: No

Label: Stiff Records

Catalogue Number: SEEZ 46

Manufactured: United Kingdom

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


Peak Position: 10
First Chart Date: 13/11/1982
Weeks in Chart: 22
Position DatePosition
13/11/1982 13
20/11/1982 10
27/11/1982 19
04/12/1982 25
11/12/1982 18
18/12/1982 10
25/12/1982 11
01/01/1983 11
08/01/1983 11
15/01/1983 23



1 A1 Rise And Fall 3:17
1 A2 Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day) 3:11
1 A3 Blue Skinned Beast 3:23
1 A4 Primrose Hill 3:36
1 A5 Mr. Speaker (Gets The Word) 3:01
1 A6 Sunday Morning 4:03
1 B1 Our House 3:23
1 B2 Tiptoes 3:30
1 B3 New Delhi 3:41
1 B4 That Face 3:40
1 B5 Calling Cards 2:20
1 B6 Are You Coming (With Me) 3:17
1 B7 Madness (Is All in the Mind) 2:53


Mike Barson Keyboards Band
Chris Foreman Guitar Band
Lee Thompson Vocals, Tenor Saxophone Band
Mark Bedford Bass Band
Daniel Woodgate Drums Band
Graham McPherson Vocals Band
Cathal Smyth Vocals, Trumpet Band
Geraldo D'Arbilly Percussion Band


Producer Clive Langer
Producer Alan Winstanley
Engineer David Woolley
Engineer Jeremy Allom
Recording Studio Air Studios
Mixing Facility Rushent's Mansion Genetic Studios
Orchestrator David Bedford Brass Band, Strings
Photographer Laurie Lewis Front Cover Photo
Photographer Virginia Turbett
Graphic Design Stiff Art Department Original Graphic Design


Copyright © Stiff Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ Stiff Records


Record Label Stiff Records
Publisher Nutty Sounds Ltd.
Publisher Warner Chappell Music 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