Madness all-purpose discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Peace N. Love, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Peace N. Love

    Peace N. Love Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Having not located a general thread about Madness, I decided to start one. A home for anything you like re. the Nutty Boys.

    As a starter, I have periodically dug around to look for outtakes and unreleased stuff and have decided there really isn't a lot. There are plenty of rehearsals, demos, alternate versions and such, mostly not great quality and very little where I'm inclined to think, "Aw, they should have put that out."

    The only notable tracks, I think are "My Mum's Roses," the Madness version of "Listen to Your Father" and "Perfect Place."

    Are there any unreleased gems that I'm missing here? I know they demoed a whole album in '86 (to have included "Perfect Place," "Ghost Train," "Maybe in Another Life" and I think a few tracks that ended up on The Madness), but I'm not sure how much of it is out there.

    Any comments on this, or anything else Madness-related, are much appreciated.
  2. SquaRoots

    SquaRoots The North Star Grassman

    Laniakea Superba
    Now that you mention it.


    These Madness pins have recently resurfaced in my household.
    I wore them last week on my lapel at the Boerebroelof, our local Carnival/Mardi Gras, 3 days of madness.

    I own most Madness Stiff Records releases, 45 and 33 rpm, my fave being:

    Cheers, Sq.
  3. Peace N. Love

    Peace N. Love Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Outstanding. At some point in the mid-'80s, I'm certain I had a Madness necktie of some sort. A cheap thing, no idea if it was an authorized product or not.
    OneStepBeyond likes this.
  4. SteveRes

    SteveRes Forum Resident

    Recently read Gary Bushell's 2-Tone book and was amused to discover Chas Smash's kid brother was the inspiration behind Chipmunks Are Go!, as he would burst into their dressing rooms shouting it for no other reason than to annoy them.
    The book got me digging out those early albums and they still sound fantastic, particularly the debut. One thing that's always bugged me though, why do Smash & Barson get a writing credit for Tarzan's Nuts when it's a cover of an old Tarzan theme tune?
    OneStepBeyond and Peace N. Love like this.
  5. Peace N. Love

    Peace N. Love Forum Resident Thread Starter

    My one and only chance to see Madness was at Hartlepool Dock Rock in July 1986. At the time, we were unaware that this would be one of their last gigs (of the original era) and the last UK show. In reading a write-up of this gig, some have claimed that Suggs referenced the band's demise by proclaiming that Madness had "8 weeks to live." Possibly, however my memory from the night was that he was making fun of Boy George, who had recently claimed in a tabloid interview that he had 8 weeks to live. :)
    OneStepBeyond and rediffusion like this.
  6. Peace N. Love

    Peace N. Love Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A thought. Much as I love the Nutty Boys, the first three albums a a tiny bit patchy for me. I absolutely love 2/3 to 3/4 of the tracks on OSB, Absolutely and 7, but there are a few on each that seem weak. The next three, though, are very solid, to my ears. Even Mad Not Mad, although not as strong as the two before it, doesn't really have a dud track.
  7. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    I'm a long-time Madness fan. I think it began when I saw a video of "House Of Fun" and managed to gather a few of the songs. For me, Madness has been more of a singles group rather than an album group, with me focusing on individual songs. Among my favorite songs (ones that come immediately to mind):
    • House Of Fun
    • One Step Beyond
    • Embarrassment
    • Walking With Mr. Wheeze
    • It Must Be Love
    • Night Boat To Cairo
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  8. Peace N. Love

    Peace N. Love Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I think most people tend to regard them as a singles band - and that's understandable given the incredible run of UK hits they notched up from '79 ('78?) to '86. Each supported by a great video, too. Madness' videos are a great part of their appeal and they are still fun to watch today.

    Great list - "Walking with Mr. Wheeze" is a great instrumental. There's a vocal version of it, too (titled "Patience", I think), but it's a low-fi thing and from the couple of times I've listened, they were probably right to make it an instrumental. It's also evidence of how strong a lot of their B-sides were.
    OneStepBeyond likes this.
  9. rediffusion

    rediffusion Forum Resident

    I would have agreed with that until they released Norton Folgate. It really is a perfect album.
  10. Dr. Luther's Assistant

    Dr. Luther's Assistant dancing about architecture

    San Francisco
    The Rise & Fall is a great album.

    I had only followed them peripherally, through the singles, up to that point. I enjoyed their earlier stuff, for the most part, but never bought the albums.

    I bought The Rise & Fall upon release. (Not really sure why -- perhaps a gushing NME review, or something...)

    Anyway -- I couldn't believe how good it was. Virtually every track hit me. They made a real jump in execution and songwriting with that one, I think.

    I still enjoy it very much, to this day.
  11. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    malibu ca
    "one step beyond" was terrific. i'd always wished madness had cut the specials "ghost town" so i'd have two favorite madness tracks.

    "our house" was "cute" but only just.
    OneStepBeyond likes this.
  12. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    The first band I ever loved, along with Adam and the Ants, when I was very young. I got all the Madness 45s and albums as a kid and they were my first records. I still love Madness and always have. The 'singles band' criticism is very unfair. They did release a run of fantastic memorable 45s but to me they have four excellent albums;

    One Step Beyond
    The Rise and Fall
    The Liberty of Norton Folgate

    Seven, Wonderful and Keep Moving are all good too. I haven't heard the post Norton Folgate albums yet, but I can't imagine they'll be bad. They've never let me down. Not many bands stay with people from when they're six years old! I've been a fan for 39 years. Long may they continue...
  13. heliocentric

    heliocentric Forum Resident

    A timely thread for me. I'm just ripping all my Ska cd's and I'm up to Madness. Always had a soft spot for them and saw them quite a few times over the years, one of my favourite gigs was a miners benefit in Liverpool Mountford Hall with TSC and Bronksi Beat. I was infatuated with TSC at the time so we got to the gig early afternoon and spent a while talking to all 3 bands, my mate has still got the £1 notes signed by Madness.

    I think it was Danny Baker who mentioned years ago that you could tell how a Madness record would sound by the colour of the sleeve i.e. all the upbeat ones had light coloured covers - OSB & KM will the downbeat ones had darker covers.

    BTW has anyone looked at the price of 2010's Mad Not Mad Reissue... eye watering !
  14. Jarra Lad

    Jarra Lad Forum Resident

    Jarrow, England
    I started off on the same path as you. The first three records I owned were
    Madness - Complete Madness LP
    Madness - Our House 7" (picture disc)
    Adam And The Ants - Prince Charming LP
    Still got them.
    Always good to hear one of the classic Madness songs on the radio.
  15. JohnQVD

    JohnQVD is adjusting to having a fully manual turntable

    Buffalo, NY
    Responses to various posts here:

    The post Norton Folgate records are fantastic.

    I’ve never heard any rehearsals/demos that I thought were any good except “Perfect Place.”

    I got to see Madness once, when they did a five day promotional tour for Universal Madness in 1999. I think the tour was they played Letterman & Conan, and in between they played shows in NYC, Philly & DC. My friend Jeff and I drove four hours from where we lived in upstate NY to see the Philly show. It was right before they recorded Wonderful, and they played the three singles. Haven’t gotten the chance to see them again, though I did get to see the late show when The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra had an album release show at the Dublin Castle for the first album in 2014.
  16. EdwinM

    EdwinM Grumpy old man

    Just bought all the deluxe reissues, one is hard to find. Any idea why "Mad not Mad" is no longer available like the other 6?

    I found it second hand, luckily far below 100 euro.
  17. octophone

    octophone fit and working again

    It was issued by Virgin rather than Union Square - they made a shorter run and didn't repress when they sold out. It was more expensive too, being 3 discs rather than 2. Glad I jumped when I did and bought it. Underrated album, even by the band.
    Peace N. Love likes this.
  18. EdwinM

    EdwinM Grumpy old man

    Thanks for the info
  19. ganma

    ganma Forum Resident

    I concur with Rise and Fall being an awesome album.
    But Keep Moving has Michael Caine on it, my favorite song of theirs ...
  20. octophone

    octophone fit and working again

    "The Rise And Fall" was the first album I ever loved. I was 9. I still love it now.
  21. myles

    myles Forum Resident

    Near Marlow, UK
    I loved Madness as a boy and still do - their finest hour is when they really push the off beat in tracks like 'Bed and Breakfast Man', 'One Step Beyond', 'The Prince' etc. I defy you not to get up and dance - especially if you are beginning to feel the heat!

    This was excellent too, in my opinion -


    ....and Norton Folgate, what more can be said that hasn't already been said....just perfect!
  22. myles

    myles Forum Resident

    Near Marlow, UK
    We must be around the same age. I bought it on cassette - bear in mind we were stoney broke so it took me a while to save my sheckles. Took it to primary school to take part in some big music debate and it was stolen!

    I have it on vinyl now, and it's going nowhere!
    octophone likes this.
  23. Peace N. Love

    Peace N. Love Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Mad Not Mad does have some real gems. "Time" is one of my very favourite Madness tracks, as well as "White Heat." It's a bit inconsistent, but there isn't really a dud track on there.
    sparkmeister and Thorpy like this.
  24. Peace N. Love

    Peace N. Love Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Classic; although I actually remember being slightly disappointed at the time that the video wasn't "wacky" like previous efforts. I was wrong. Great video and I love Lee's "air sax".
  25. Peace N. Love

    Peace N. Love Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I have said it before - and it's probably sacrilege - but I actually now prefer the Madness version of "Israelites" to the original.
    myles likes this.

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