Madness

Biography

Madness (formed 1976)

Madness is a British ska/pop band - they are originally from Camden Town, London. Madness originally rose to fame in the 1980s but their popularity has endured through into the 21st century.

Madness: The Early Years

The band that would become Madness originally formed as The North London Invaders. The lineup at that time consisted of Monsieur Barso (Mike Barson), Chrissy Boy (Chris Foreman) and Kix (Lee Thompson). Chas Smash (Cathal Smyth) was later recruited, as was John Hasler. They were also joined by Dikron.

The lineup of the band was in constant flux, and they were joined by Suggs (Graham McPherson), Woody (Daniel Woodgate) and Bedders (Mark Bedford).

The name of the band was changed; first to Morris and the Minors and then to Madness. They chose the name as a tribute to Prince Buster - one of their favourite ska / reggae artists, who had a song of the same name.

Madness: Music Career

Madness' debut single 'The Prince' (another tribute to Prince Buster) was written by Kix and was released on 2Tone Records. The label was owned by Jerry Dammers of The Specials. Madness performed the song on Top of the Pops.

The band's debut album One Step Beyond. was released on Stiff Records (home to Elvis Costello and Ian Dury) in 1979. As well as releasing the title track as a single, they also released 'My Girl' and the 'Work Rest and Play EP', which featured 'Night Boat To Cairo'.

In 1980, Madness' second album Absolutely was released. The album reached number two in the UK album charts and spawned some of Madness' most successful singles, including 'Baggy Trousers' and 'Embarrassment'.

1981 saw the release of Madness' third studio album, entitled 7. Three hit singles were released from the album - 'Grey Day', 'Shut Up' and 'Cardiac Arrest'. All three were Top 20 hits in the UK. At the end of the year they also released another of their biggest hits: a cover of Labi Siffre's 'It Must Be Love'.

The following year, Madness released 'House of Fun', the only number one hit of their career to date. They played the song live on the sitcom The Young Ones, which starred Rik Mayall, Ade Edmonson and Nigel Planer.

Madness' fourth studio album was entitled The Rise and Fall and was released in 1982. 'Our House' was the most prominent single to be released from the album. It was around this time that Monsieur Barso decided that he wanted to take a break from touring. The band was joined instead by James Mackie, who made his live debut with the band on an episode of the US TV show Saturday Night Live.

The next album for Madness was Keep Moving, which reached number 6 in the UK charts.

Following Monsieur Barso's formal departure from the band, Madness left Stiff Records and formed their own record label, Zarjazz Record, a subsidiary of Virgin Records. Their sixth album Mad Not Mad, was released on the label in 1985, with Steve Nieve this time replacing Barso. Critically, the album was a flop and also performed badly financially.

In 1986, Madness announced that they were going to split, because of 'musical differences'. They recorded a farewell single '(Waiting For) The Ghost Train'. Two years later, Suggs, Chas Smash, Kix and Chrissy Boy formed a new band named The Madness. They lasted for one album before splitting.

A singles compilation named Divine Madness was released in 1992 and went straight to number one in the UK charts. In August of that year, the band played two days of reunion concerts in Finsbury Park, named Madstock! A live album was released as well as a single - a cover of Jimmy Cliff's 'The Harder They Come'.

In 1999, Madness released their sixth studio album, Wonderful. The single 'Lovestruck' gave them their first Top 10 hit in 16 years.

Madness played a number of low-key gigs in 2004, using the name The Dangermen. Subsequently, they released an album entitled The Dangermen Sessions Vol.1 in 2005. Two years later, Madness released a non-album single, 'Sorry'. The single included a collaboration with Baby Blue and Sway, two young hip hop artists.

2008 saw the release of a new album, The Liberty of Norton Folgate. Alfie Allen and Jaime Winstone starred in the music video for 'Dust Devil'. In 2009, Madness performed on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.

Read More

Suggs: I'm writing songs for new Madness album

21st March 2014 -

 News

Suggs has started writing songs for a new Madness album.The 53-year-old singer has revealed the band are heading into the studio this summer to start recording their 11th studio LP.Suggs has rediscovered his passion for...

Gary Barlow Offers To Help Save Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On Gig

29th August 2013 -

 News

He may have sang about lighting up the sky with boy band Take That in their hit 'Rule The World' but Gary Barlow probably never intended to do such things literally. Now it seems The...

BBC Television Centre Closure: Madness Lead Tributes With Farewell Concert

22nd March 2013 -

 News

Madness will be playing an hour-long concert to mark the end of an era at the BBC tonight (March 21, The Independent reports. The concert, which will broadcast from 7:30pm on BBC 4 and will...

Madness Announce Biggest Headline Show of 2013 At Alexandra Palace 28th September

19th March 2013 -

 Press

Madness have today announced details for their biggest show of 2013, so far! The British legends will be playing London's iconic Alexandra Palace on 28th September. Tickets will be made available on Friday 22nd March....

The Henley Festival 2013 Lineup Announcement

21st February 2013 -

 Press

The glamorous Henley Festival, in partnership with BMW, is proud to announce a series of extraordinary evenings featuring exciting headline performances from an array of world class acts. The eclectic line up sees appearances from...

On The Shelves: UK Album Release Round-Up, October 29, 2012: Neil Young, Madness, Kylie Minogue, Calvin Harris, Skyfall OST

29th October 2012 -

 News

Psychedelic Pill is the 35th studio album from Neil Young and was written and recorded in collaboration with his sometime band, Crazy Horse, marking their first album of original material since Greendale...

Madness - Total Madness

19th October 2009 -

 Review

Review of Madness' album Total MadnessThe sight of Suggs dressed as a giant ice cube while eating fish fingers with children can sometimes cause you to forget what a great front man he once was....

Madness - The Liberty of Norton Folgate

11th May 2009 -

 Review

Review of Madness' album The Liberty of Norton Folgate.Maybe you have to be a diehard fan in order to appreciate this latest album and single combination from Madness, but sadly for yours truly I do...

Madness - Dust Devil

21st April 2009 -

 Video

Dust Devil video from MadnessPop/Ska legends Madness are set to release a new album and single, 'Dust Devil' has been announced as the first single and will be released on 11th May 09 one week...

Madness - Sorry featuring Sway

19th February 2007 -

 Video

Madness Sorry featuring Sway Video Fun-loving British pop legends Madness and hip-hop hero Sway unite for the first time on collaborative new single Sorry, an exuberant and joyous song devoted to the hardest word to...

Back to top

Madness Images

More Madness Pictures

Back to top

Madness Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Madness

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Surprise, Surprise: Thanks To Marvel, Robert Downey Jr. Continues His Reign As Hollywood's Richest Actor

It’s that time of the year again. With Forbes having published its...

Surprise, Surprise: Thanks To Marvel, Robert Downey Jr. Continues His Reign As Hollywood's Richest Actor

Simpsons Mania: FXX To Put Every Episode Online

American cable network FXX struck a deal last year to buy the rights to the...

Simpsons Mania: FXX To Put Every Episode Online

Beyonce Fends Off Divorce Rumours With Cute Instagram Snap

Rumours that a seperation is imminent have plagued the music power couple...

Beyonce Fends Off Divorce Rumours With Cute Instagram Snap

Justin Bieber Could Face Citizen's Arrest

After being called out six times to break up a rowdy party at his new digs in Beverely Hills, the police...

Justin Bieber Could Face Citizen's Arrest

J.J Abrams Reveals New X-Wing Fighter in New Star Wars Episode VII Video [Pictures]

J.J Abrams treated Star Wars fans to a look at a new model of the iconic...

J.J Abrams Reveals New X-Wing Fighter in New Star Wars Episode VII Video [Pictures]

'Boyhood' has 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. It Is Almost the Perfect Movie

It's no surprise that Richard Linklater's movie Boyhood was this week...

'Boyhood' has 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. It Is Almost the Perfect Movie
Advertisement

Once Upon A Time To Add Hans to Frozen Storyline

It was announced earlier this year that ABC series 'Once Upon A Time' would be...

Once Upon A Time To Add Hans to Frozen Storyline

Did Selena Gomez Dash Off To St Tropez To Bask In A New Relationship?

I don’t know about you, but she’s feeling 22… Selena Gomez just turned...

Did Selena Gomez Dash Off To St Tropez To Bask In A New Relationship?

The Sound Of Seattle: Budweiser Made In America See How Music Has Changed In The Noisy City

Seattle has one of the most legendary music scenes in America so...

The Sound Of Seattle: Budweiser Made In America See How Music Has Changed In The Noisy City


More recommendations

Comments