Sheena Easton has her 1982 album, Madness, Money & Music, reissued and expanded via Cherry Red Records.
Released: 22nd September 2023
Label: Cherry Red
Format: CD+DVD / LP / Digital
Sheena Easton rocketed to overnight fame in 1980 with the BBC broadcast of The Big Time – arguably the first pop reality show. She subsequently broke records with her first two singles (Modern Girl and 9 To 5) simultaneously hitting the UK Top Ten. Within a year, she had topped the US Hot 100 with the renamed Morning Train (Nine To Five). Then there was the Bond theme For Your Eyes Only. She also released two platinum-selling albums and become an international sensation.
Madness, Money & Music is considered a fan-favourite amongst her extensive catalogue. Now, the 1982 album has been remastered from the original master tapes alongside a slew of extras.
The original album spawned several singles. Machinery has a new wave feel in its tempo and style and Are You Man Enough moves forward with a distinctly poppy groove. I Wouldn’t Beg For Water is a huge ballad that shows off Easton’s wonderful voice to its fullest. Then there is Wind Beneath My Wings; one of the earliest versions of the song, delivered with aplomb.
Whilst there are plenty of big hitting singles, there are also plenty of glorious cuts elsewhere on the album. Ice Out In The Rain is a sumptuous piece of mellow pop that is augmented with a rare 12″ mix on this set. It has some synth motifs that have a strong air of early Gary Numan. Another ‘mellow’ cut is You Do It. The twinkling intro opens up into another fine pop cut. Easton’s vocal is seductive and the music has a little of 10CC in its makeup. The bassline of the song bobs along at a chilled pace; the song is a definite highlight of an album that has many highs. There When I Needed You is a brilliant piece of yacht rock. It evokes Steely Dan with plenty of brass and a catchy as hell chorus.
On the Deluxe Edition CD fans will lap up the eight bonus tracks. It features B-sides and four previously-unreleased tracks including the unreleased ballad, Woman. and The Lonely Stay Alone. There is also DVD included that features Easton’s Emmy-winning 1982 US TV special Act One. This includes special guests Kenny Rogers and Al Jarreau. To top off this comprehensive set, there are all the promo videos from the album and a 24-page booklet. This includes rare photography and illuminating new interviews with producer Christopher Neil and songwriters Deborah Allen, Steve Thompson, Peter Vale and more by ex-Attitude editor Adam Mattera.
1982 proved another whirlwind year for Sheena – beginning with her Best New Artist win at the Grammies, followed by her first national US tour, the recording of her first TV special; Live At The Palace, Hollywood; and was capped with the release of her third album – the aptly-titled Madness, Money and Music.
This set is a brilliant collection of songs from an artist that was riding the crest of a wave at the time. It also showcases what a fine singer Sheena Easton is; you can see why many artists wanted to be involved with her. Her versatility, tone and range were distinctly appealing.
Have a listen to There When I Needed You from Sheena Easton below, and try not to get drawn in.