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.
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.
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.
The Take That star wants to perform in exchange for a charity donation.
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 X Factor judge is one step closer to that goal after he offered to perform at the Blackpool Illuminations switch-on ceremony on Friday (30th Aug).
Will Gary & The Take That Boys Be Able To Illuminate Blackpool?
The Script had originally been scheduled to perform alongside Eliza Doolittle and Madness but Danny Donoghue's band were forced to pull out due to a "serious family illness." Upon the news that The Script could no longer play at the event, Take That's Gary offered to step in, offering his band's services via Twitter. "I hear Blackpool are looking for someone to switch the lights on this year? If they'd write a cheque to Children in need I'd do it?," he wrote.
Continue reading: Gary Barlow Offers To Help Save Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On Gig
Madness chosen to celebrate over 50 years of broadcasting history
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 feature the band playing new material alongside some of their old classics, to mark the closure of BBC’s Television Centre in London, in nine days’ time. The band told the press that they have fond memories of appearing there in the past and are honoured to have been chosen to mark the occasion.
“We've played at some exciting places in London lately but the closing of BBC TV Centre,” said the band. “Well, that is close to our hearts, as a band we grew up there, those walls have plenty of Madness tales to tell, a sad day, the end of an era, oh, but what a celebration! We're honoured to be the band the Beeb have chosen for this fond farewell.”
The controller of BBC 4, Richard Klein, revealed the decision making process behind getting Madness to play the event. “I can think of no better band than Madness to help celebrate a golden age of television coming out of the BBC's Television Centre, and I am really pleased that one of Britain's finest groups has agreed to come along and help BBC4 celebrate in fine style. Madness, as always, are one step beyond!"
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 in 2003. As with many of Young’s latter-day releases, the quality is less than consistent. Reviews from The Guardian and the Independent suggest that Psychedelic Pill contains “moments of majesty,” (The Independent) as well as some less impressive tracks. It’s unlikely that any of this week’s releases are going to shake Taylor Swift from her throne at the top of the UK album chart but with reassuring reviews in the mainstream press, Psychedelic Pill should prove popular amongst Young’s considerable fanbase.
Also released today is the interestingly-titled Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da, by veteran ska-pop band Madness. It’s the tenth studio album from Madness and contains 14 new tracks, as well as cover art from the ever popular pop-art legend Peter Blake (he designed the cover for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band). The Guardian gave the album an impressive 3 stars out of 5 but can Madness really recapture the youthful exuberance of their glory days, with this latest album? It seems unlikely that they’ll continue to enjoy the success that they experienced in years gone by.
Review of Madness' album The Liberty of Norton Folgate.
Continue reading: Madness, The Liberty of Norton Folgate Album Review
2nd September, 1976