Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ska Week: Madness

The second single ever to grace the 2 Tone logo was the recording debut of Madness. "The Prince" b/w "Madness" peaked at No. 16 on the UK chart in the fall of 1979 and, like the English Beat, they abruptly left the label for greener pastures. They signed with Stiff Records and became huge stars. The band's first five full-length albums all charted in the top 10 in their homeland. This makes them the runaway most successful ska band of all time.

Madness even had some success here in America. In 1983, "Our House" cracked the top 10, and "It Must Be Love" briefly graced the top 40 at No. 33. By then, however, Madness wasn't so much a ska outfit as brilliant pop band. With that in mind, my top 5 will focus on those early hardcore ska singles from their first two albums. "One Step Beyond" should be here, but I didn't include it since I already posted a live version earlier in the week. Enjoy the "nuttiest sound around."

The band called it quits in the mid-'80s but, as I mentioned last summer, it's interesting to note the band reunited in 2009 to critical and commercial acclaim in the UK. Check out a music video from 'The Liberty of Norton Folgate' here.

Madness Top 5
Madness - The Prince (mp3)
Madness - My Girl (mp3)
Madness - Madness (mp3)
Madness - Baggy Trousers (mp3)
Madness - Embarrassment (mp3)

No comments: