My Legends of Pop Music – Part Forty-Seven – Madness

If get this right, there will be many cover versions by future bands.  I shall try and link live versions if they exist from the tellybox or a film, the sound quality may not be the best, but there is nothing like watching a real talent live.

This week it is Madness.  I do like happy songs and this band always makes me smile.

Courtesy of Wiki: Madness

Madness are an English ska band from Camden Town, North London, who formed in 1976. One of the most prominent bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s two-tone ska revival, they continue to perform with six of the seven members of their original line-up. Madness’s most successful period was from 1980 to 1986, when the band’s songs spent a total of 214 weeks on the UK Singles Chart. (UB40 shared the same number of weeks, the largest for any British group in the decade, but over a longer period.

Madness have had 15 singles reach the UK top ten, including “One Step Beyond“, “Baggy Trousers” and “It Must Be Love“, one UK number-one single “House of Fun” and two number ones in Ireland, “House of Fun” and “Wings of a Dove“. “Our House” was their biggest US hit, reaching number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2000, the band received the Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for Outstanding Song Collection.

The core of the band formed as the North London Invaders in 1976, and included Mike Barson (Monsieur Barso) on keyboards and vocals, Chris Foreman (Chrissy Boy) on guitar and Lee Thompson (Kix) on saxophone and vocals. They later recruited John Hasler on drums and Cathal Smyth (better known as Chas Smash) on bass guitar. Later in the year, they were joined by lead vocalist Dikron Tulane

This six-piece line-up lasted until part-way through 1977, when Graham McPherson (better known as Suggs) took over the lead vocals after seeing the band perform in a friend’s garden. Tulane went on to be an actor under the name Dikran Tulaine. Smyth, who left after an argument with Barson, was replaced by Gavin Rodgers, Barson’s girlfriend’s brother. McPherson was kicked out of the band for too often choosing to watch Chelsea instead of rehearsing. Thompson left the band after Barson criticised his saxophone playing.

By 1978, the band had allowed McPherson to return as a vocalist after he had filled in temporarily for Hasler (who had taken over vocals when McPherson was removed). Thompson returned after patching things up with Barson. Drummer Dan Woodgate (Woody) and bass player Mark Bedford (Bedders) also joined the band, replacing Garry Dovey and Rodgers, respectively. After briefly changing their name to Morris and the Minors, the band renamed itself as Madness in 1979, paying homage to one of their favourite songs by ska/reggae artist Prince Buster. The band remained a sextet until late 1979 when Chas Smash re-joined and officially became the seventh member of Madness as a backing vocalist and dancer.

Discography: Madness

The Prince – 1979, possibly ToTP.  I remember me and my mates dancing to this.  Happy days indeed!

One Step Beyond Live at Madstock 1998.  Makes me want to run round dancing this.

My Girl 1980 Top of The Pops Jan 1980.  The boys all in white suit and bow tie.

Night Boat to Cairo –  Live 1980.

Embarrassment – Later with Jools Holland Live. Great tune, great musicians.

The Return of The Los Palmas 7 (Official HD Video), 1981 instrumental, but shows how good they are, plus some iconic images of the time.

Grey Day (Madstock, Finsbury Park) 1992, I think.

Shut Up (Official Video), there are live versions, but I do like this official video/.

It Must Be Love Glastonbury 2009.  Great cover of this Labi Siffre tune which he did in 1971.  Madness version is much better in my view though.

Driving in My Car – Top of the Pops 1982

Our House – Reading Festival 2011.  I suspect many of the audience were not even born when this was a hit in 1982, yet they singalong and enjoying themselves.

Wings of a Dove – Live at Manchester Apollo 2010

The Sun & The Rain Live at the iTunes Festival 2012

My other most favourite Madness tune is this:  House of Fun This is from a BBC show in the early 80’s.

Thank you for the fun and happy memories Madness.

Singalong, enjoy and be happy!

Links to previous Legend articles:

1-Buddy Holly 2-Elvis Presley 3-Everly brothers 4-Cliff Richard 5-Joe Brown
6-Gerry and the Pacemakers 7-Roy Orbison 8-The Seekers 9-The Hollies 10-The Rolling Stones
11-Beach Boys 12-The Monkees 13-Rod Stewart 14-T-Rex 15-Slade
16-10CC 17-Pussycat 18-The Kinks 19-Blondie 20-Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music
21-David Bowie 22-Meatloaf 23-The Temptations 24-Dusty Springfield 25-Fleetwood Mac
26-Gilbert O’Sullivan 27-The Four Tops 28-Chas ‘n’ Dave 29-Diana Ross and The Supremes 30-Status Quo
31-Jim Reeves 32-The Small Faces 33-The Doobie Brothers 34-Manfred Mann 35-Creedence Clearwater Revival
36-Otis Redding 37-Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons 38-Squeeze 39-Duran Duran 40-Dire Straits
41-Chuck Berry 42-Thin Lizzy 43-ABBA 44-Carole King 45-Queen
46-Rod Stewart 47-Madness

Featured image: “Madness Inspiration” by Kraftwerk Endless is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

© Phil the ex test manager 2022