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Madison - Best in Show (Reissue)

Best in Show (Reissue)
by David Ballesteros at 28 November 2018, 3:25 PM

What a gem we have here. MADISON's “Best in Show” originally released in 1986 and reissued November 16, 2018 via Pride and Joy Music. Based out of Hudiksvall, Sweden, MADISON have crafted perfect blend of 80’s glam metal with a heavier twist. Previously only releasing their debut album “Diamond Mistress” in 1984. While all band members are on point and clearly talented, it is the vocals of Goran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) that truly propel this album and make it something special.  Rounded out by guitarists Anders Kalson and Mikael Myllynen, Conny Sundqvist on bass, and Peter Fredrickson on drums.

Album opener “Oh Rendez Vous” sets the tone and upon listening to it you understand that this is heavier than L.A. glam metal. Goran's vocals are exceptional almost reminiscent of Geoff Tate. “Carry On” is a head bang worthy track. The second the solo comes in we are met with a heavy driving rhythm section led by Conny on bass and Peter on drums. There is still that 80’s glam vibe, however with Goran's amazing vocals, it teeters on old school traditional metal. “Hotel Party” is a standout with heavy ACCEPT-like riffage. Although MADISON lyrically hit upon partying, they also delve into war, love, and political themes. “Shine” is the obligatory power ballad and it’s a nice one. While it is a slow burn, there is nice shredding throughout and picks up on the chorus.

The second half of “Best in Show” is clearly the meat and potatoes of the album. “The Look in Your Eyes” is a great way to follow up a ballad, and somewhat picks up vibes from DOKKEN. Upbeat drums and crunchy guitars attack the listener, but it’s the solo that really stands out! “Give it Back” is another headbanger with a nice use of keyboards throughout. The Bass and Drums are absolutely the backbone to this tune. “Out of the Bunker” is more of a traditional heavy metal rocker with a hint of middle eastern vibes. While it is a stand out track, it could have helped to be a tad shorter.

World Wide Man” is a heavy and upbeat track with double bass and even taking a page from the SCORPIONS. “Can’t Take It” is easily the heaviest song on the album. Here, MADISON channel their inner TWISTED SISTER and DEEP PURPLE, and man, does it ever work. Very memorable riffs and chorus, this is sure to be a favorite. “The Tale” is another heavy guitar driven song that has hints of MOTLEY CRUE's “Shout at the Devil”. Also of course, contains a killer chorus to boot.

Clearly, MADISON had the potential to create heavier music. Judging “Best in Show”, they had the means and talent to progress into dare I say, power metal because clearly they had all the ingredients. For fans of: EUROPE, 80’s glam, DOKKEN, and Geoff Tate. The album is limited to 1000 copies and includes two bonus tracks, “The Tale”, and “The Look in your Eyes”.

Songwriting- 8
Memorability- 7
Originality- 7


3 Star Rating

1. Oh Rendez-vous
2. Carry On
3. Can't Take It
4. Drama
5. Shine
6. Look In Your Eyes (Bonus Track)
7. Give It Back (Remix Version)
8. Out Of The Bunker
9. World Wide Men
10. Hotel Party
11. Mental Masturbation
Goran Edman - Vocals
Anders Karlsson - Guitar
Mikael Myllynen - Guitar
Conny Sundqvist - Bass
Peter Fredricksson - Drums
Debbie Cameron - Backing Vocals
Mia Martinez - Backing Vocals
Magnus Stromberg - Keyboards
Record Label: Pride and Joy Music


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Edited 21 March 2023

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