It was probably The Young Ones that introduced me to Madness – and madness! And when I watched them, the first few times, I was a (very) young one and I thought it was one big long series of 12 eps, not two separate sets of six eps each. So I was impressed that Madness made it onto the show twice.
And I guess the other big songs were on the radio – and from there I really only knew Madness as a compilation band. Albums with titles like Divine Madness and Complete Madness; my bro bought one home from uni on CD, I later picked one up second hand on vinyl.
It wasn’t until the band reformed and released the covers album The Dangermen Sessions Vol. 1 that I heard an actual original Madness album.
I saw a Madness tribute band in my first year at uni.
They were pretty good. At the time. I’d think them absurd now, no doubt.
But I’ve always loved the songs. At some point I did go back to check out the band’s studio debut but that’s about it.
So here, now, I finally get to The Rise & Fall, from 1982, the band’s fourth album – and it’s got some hits. Our House might even be the band’s best song; certainly one of – and it was always a highlight of the musical interludes and acts that appeared on The Young Ones.
Great band. Lots going on – nominally a ska band. They incorporate so many things into and around and through their sound. I’ve always heard them as a band that creates top pop songs.