The Dangermen Sessions Vol. 1

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The Dangermen Sessions, Vol. 1
The Dangermen Sessions.jpg
Studio album by
Released16 August 2005
GenreSka, reggae, 2 tone
LabelLive and Intensified (an imprint of V2 Records)
ProducerDennis Bovell, Steve Dub, Segs, Madness
Madness chronology
Our House: the Original Songs
The Dangermen Sessions, Vol. 1
Madness Live: To the Edge of the Universe and Beyond
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[2]

The Dangermen Sessions, Vol. 1 is a cover album by the British ska band Madness. It was released in 2005. The album reached No. 11 in the UK which at the time was their highest chart position in the UK since 1984's Keep Moving.

The Dangermen[edit]

Prior to recording the album, Madness played a series of low-key gigs under the alias The Dangermen, performing mostly cover versions which they had performed in their early days as The Invaders. A selection from the set list was then chosen to be recorded for the album. Some songs which were played live but not included on the album included "Skylarking" and "Dreader Than Dread" (both released as B sides on the "Shame and Scandal" single), "Wonderful World, Beautiful People", "Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag" and "It Miek", as well as the Prince Buster numbers "One Step Beyond" and "Madness", both of which the group had already released in 1979. The live concerts also included Dangermen "covers" of a few of Madness' more ska-influenced original compositions, such as "Night Boat to Cairo" and "The Prince".

Although Chris Foreman appeared on the record, he left the group after the sessions and was therefore not a member of the group at the time of the album's release and did not take part in promotion for the album. He would later re-join the group.

The album booklet contains both serious sleeve notes in which the various members of the group discuss their choice of songs, and fictional notes concerning the history of the group "The Dangermen", who are claimed to have been an influential reggae group formed in Havana in the 1960s, and who have reformed after 35 years to record the album.

Each member of Madness has an alter ego in The Dangermen:

  • Mark Bedford – Lester Bernham, born at sea and washed-up on the shores of Cuba with a bass guitar made of driftwood.
  • Chas Smash – Jimmy Oooh, an itinerant singer.
  • Daniel Woodgate – Daniel Descartes, experimental percussionist born in Paris and leader of touring band, the Daniel Descartes Collective.
  • Mike Barson – Professor Psykoticus, an Hungarian-born musician (his supposed birthplace being the small town of Mezőhegyes) who worked in sonic weapons research in the USSR before being introduced to the music of the Daniel Descartes Collective, which led to the formation of The Dangermen.
  • Suggs – Robert Chaos "The Poet", found in a Gladstone bag at the feet of Miles Davis by Dexter Gordon, and a founding member of The Dangermen.
  • Chris Foreman – Christofos Formantos, of whom nothing is known.
  • Lee Jay Thompson – "Unnamed", atmospheric scientist and part-time sax player.

Track listing[edit]

1."This Is Where"Cathal Smyth, Mike Barson, Mark Bedford, Graham McPhersonMadness, Steve Dub,
Segs, Dennis Bovell
2."Girl Why Don't You?" (originally performed by Prince Buster)Cecil CampbellBovell3:05
3."Shame & Scandal" (originally performed by Sir Lancelot as "Scandal in the Family")Lord, PinardBovell2:52
4."I Chase the Devil A.K.A. Ironshirt" (originally performed by Max Romeo)Max Romeo, Lee PerryBovell3:20
5."Taller Than You Are" (originally performed by Lord Tanamo)AbrahamBovell2:27
6."You Keep Me Hanging On" (originally performed by The Supremes)Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie HollandBovell3:08
7."Dangerman A.K.A. High Wire" (originally performed by Edwin Astley & His Orchestra)Edwin AstleyBovell2:42
8."Israelites" (originally performed by Desmond Dekker & The Aces)Desmond Dekker, Leslie KongMadness3:03
9."John Jones" (originally performed by Rudy Mills)Derrick HerriotBovell3:28
10."Lola" (originally performed by The Kinks)Ray DaviesDub, Segs 
11."You'll Lose a Good Thing" (originally performed by Barbara Lynn)Huey P. Meaux, Barbara Lynn OzenBovell2:42
12."Rain" (originally performed by José Feliciano)José FelicianoDub, Segs2:56
13."So Much Trouble in the World" (originally performed by Bob Marley & The Wailers)Bob MarleyBovell3:44

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2005) Peak
Belgian Albums Chart (Vl)[3] 93 1
Belgian Albums Chart (Wa)[4] 39 8
Dutch Albums Chart[5] 59 3
European Hot 100 Albums Chart[6] ? 3
French Albums Chart[7] 17 15
German Albums Chart[8] 81 2
Swiss Albums Chart[9] 67 4
UK Albums Chart[10] 11 4


Additional personnel
  • Steve Turner – Saxophone
  • Joe Auckland – Trumpet
  • Mike Kearsey – Trombone
  • Steve Dub – Synthesizer, Programming, Backing Vocals, Production, Mixing, Engineer
  • Simon Wilcox – Trumpet
  • Dennis Bovell – Timbales, Production
  • Patrick Kiernan – Violin
  • Boguslaw Kostecki – Violin
  • Julian Leaper – Violin
  • Perry Mason – Violin
  • Jackie Shave – Violin
  • Chris Tombling – Violin
  • Gavyn Wright – Violin
  • Warren Zielinski – Violin
  • Ellie Hajee – Backing Vocals
  • Janet Kay – Backing Vocals
  • Jamie, Timothy and Joey Barson - Backing Vocals
  • David Bedford – String Arrangements, Musical Director
  • Isobel Griffiths – String Contraction
  • Ingo Vauk – Programming
  • Steve Masters – Engineering
  • Jason Olliffe – Engineering
  • Ben Thackeray – Engineering


  1. ^ Metacritic
  2. ^ The Dangermen Sessions Vol. 1 at AllMusic
  3. ^ "Ultratop". Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Ultratop". Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  5. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dutch charts portal". Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Music News, Reviews, Articles, Information, News Online & Free Music". Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  7. ^ Steffen Hung. "Les charts français". Archived from the original on 1 April 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche" (in German). Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  9. ^ Steffen Hung. "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  10. ^ "UK Singles & Albums Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 February 2012.

External links[edit]