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The Rise & Fall is a 1982 album by Madness, generally seen as one of their best albums. It is most noted for their hit song "Our House".

The record started out as a Concept Album about nostalgia for childhood and a few songs ("The Rise & Fall" and "Our House") still remind of the original idea. However the concept was later dropped. The album was noted for being more experimental than their other albums, trying out new styles such as Jazz, Music Hall and Eastern influences. They even wrote a Protest Song with "Blue Skinned Beast", targeting British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her handling of the Falklands War (1982). The band had never been political before, but from this album on they became more politically and socially conscious.

The Rise & Fall is also a notable example of No Export for You, seeing that it was never released in the USA. Though several tracks later ended up on the compilation "Madness", which did make it over to the States.

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Tracklist

Side One

  1. "Rise and Fall" (3:16)
  2. "Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)" (3:10)
  3. "Blue Skinned Beast" (3:22)
  4. "Primrose Hill" (3:36)
  5. "Mr. Speaker (Gets The Word)" (2:59)
  6. "Sunday Morning" (4:01)

Side Two

  1. "Our House" (3:23)
  2. "Tiptoes" (3:29)
  3. "New Delhi" (3:40)
  4. "That Face" (3:39)
  5. "Calling Cards" (2:19)
  6. "Are You Coming (With Me)?" (3:17)
  7. "Madness (Is All in the Mind)" (2:53)

Our tropes... in the middle of the street:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "Our House"
    Sister is singing in her sleep
  • Album Title Drop: "The Rise and Fall".
    Being here again
    I can recall
    Forgotten moments
    The rise and fall.
  • Alliterative Title: "Calling Cards"
  • All Just a Dream: The protagonist in "New Delhi" merely dreamt he was in this city.
  • Circling Vultures: "New Delhi", where the protagonist's car breaks down.
    A vulture circled high above in the air
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  • Concept Album: The album was intended to feature songs about different aspects of the various band members childhoods. It didn't quite work out and only about three or four songs really fit the concept.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The cover photo has one of London's most famous buildings, the BT Tower (then known as the Post Office Tower), clearly visible on the skyline.
  • Face on the Cover: The band is featured on the album cover, near a river.
  • Juke Box Musical: "Our House".
  • Location Song:
    • "New Delhi", set in the eponymous city in India, where a traveller arrives by plane. He has a car crash while being and Circling Vultures appear while being lost. Then it turns out to have been All Just a Dream.
    • "Our House", a melancholic Nostalgia Filter song about childhood and living at their parents' house when they were young.
  • Motor Mouth: "Our House".
    I remember way back then when / Everything was true and when / We would have such a very good time / Such a fine time / Such a happy time / And I remember how we'd play / Simply waste the day away / Then we'd say / Nothing would come between us / Two dreamers.
  • National Stereotypes: "New Delhi" imitates Indian music. Near the end of the song a stereotypical Indian accent is imitated.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The band tried out different musical styles on this album, including Jazz, music hall and Eastern influences ("New Delhi").
  • Nostalgia Filter: "Our House" is a melancholic song about childhood and living at their parents' house when they were young.
  • One-Word Title: "Tiptoes".
  • Product Placement: "New Delhi"
    Just a ride by KLM
  • Protest Song: "Blue Skinned Beast" is a satire of Margaret Thatcher's Falklands War.
  • Questioning Title?: "Are You Coming With Me?"
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Mr. Speaker (Gets the Word)" is a reference to a common phrase used in the British House Of Commons.
    • The band performs "Our House" in The Young Ones episode "Sick".
    • Spitting Image spoofed the song in an episode, where they satirized the collapse of the real estate market.
    • The 2002 musical "Our House", comprised of Madness songs, was titled after the hit of the same name.
  • Stealing from the Till: "Calling Cards" is about a gang of criminals who take jobs with the Post Office precisely for this, uh, "perk".
  • Singer Namedrop: "Madness (Is All In The Mind)" namedrops the band's name.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: "Our House"
    Sister is singing in her sleep

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