Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Greetings people, here is another entry of one of the best British band that had emerged on that part of the world. The band Madness, formed in 1976 in Camden Town, London. They were one of the most prominent bands during the late 1970's 2Tone era together with The Specials, The Beat, The Selecter and Bad Manners.

Just a quick background - The core member formed The North London Invaders in 1976, the core includes Mike Barson (KB and Vox), Chris Foreman (guitar), Lee Thompson (saxophone and vox), John Hasler (drums) and Chas Smash (bass guitar). By 1977, Graham McPherson aka Suggs took over the lead vocals but was kicked out of the band soon after because he's more interested into football than to rehearse. Chas Smash left the band after an argument with Mike Barson. Lee Thompson followed suite after Barson criticized his saxophone playing. Lee Thompson returned in 1978 and soon after Daniel Woodgate and Mark Bedford joined the band on drums and bass respectively. They remained a six piece band until 1979 when Chas Smash rejoined the band (back up vox and trumpet). They were still known as The North London Invaders then and found out that another band has the same name. They are scheduled to play their biggest gig at that time at the Music Machine in Camden. Mike said “Let’s call ourselves Morris and The Minors, because we have two Morris 1000 vans, fits right innit?" Then Chris said “Let’s try to look at the set list first before we go on stage". Then they came accross the song "Madness", a song by Prince Buster and they thought that it was brilliant. Mike said "No, it sounds a bit novelty" then Suggs blurted “No more novelty than Morris and the fucking Minors". So "Madness" it was and the rest was history.

From their first album "One Step Beyond" in '79 to "Mad Not Mad" in '85 , they were in top form although Suggs considered the last album as a polished turd. Madness parted ways in September 1986 due to "musical differences". Suggs, Chas, Lee and Chris formed "The Madness" in 1988. After a self titled album and two singles that didn't chart, the band split. Fast forward to 1991, "It must be Love" was on the charts and the compilation "Divine Madness" went no.1 on the UK charts. Madness announced that they will do a reunion concert on the coming year and will be called "Madstock!" Playdates were on August 8 and 9, 1992. The original line up played since Mike Barson left the band in 1984. The full concert was released on November 1992 and a corresponding video, but both the album and video are now out of print. I was lucky enough to get a hold of this live album because of the reasons stated and we had the video of the concert in betamax format copied from a friend and it also has "Dance Craze" included.

purchased the disc 9 or 10 years ago at Tower Records/Music One at the SM Megamall branch. I just got out of school and decided to go to the mall to watch a movie and browse the record store to see if I could find anything interesting. I went to the "sale" rack to check if there's anything nice - Lo and behold "Madstock!" is on fucking sale!. There is a yellow sticker on the front sleeve that says super super sale cd, original price is at P375 and the sale price is just P100.That's about $4.00 or less on that year's dollar exchange rate, and the good thing is that there are 3 or 4 copies of the cd on sale. I asked the sales person if the price is correct just to be sure and she said yes. I checked how much money I got and it was just enough for me to get home, so I asked the sales person to save the remaining copies for me and I'll buy them first thing in the morning or as soon as the mall opens. I have a cassette of this concert and I must tell you, it was overworked and overplayed. I woke up early and arrived at the record store at 9:30 am and bought all 4 copies of the best live album ever produced, I went home and listened to the concert in full blast! It felt like Christmas and New year at the same time. Called my friends and band mates a few hours later for our regular booze night, bought some cheap booze and a couple bottles of beer, set up our Musicmate karaoke machine and after 30 minutes we were skanking and drinking like shit in our front yard and it was awesome. Am I a fan of Madness? Hell yeah!!!

(One Step Beyond - 75,000 fans jumping and skanking in unison on this first tune resulting a slight earthquake in the surrounding neighborhood and the residents were advised to evacuate their buildings. The quake registered a magnitude 4.5 at the Richter scale)

Our House - One of the best known Madness song and this is their first song that charted and made them known in the US.

It Must Be Love - Another well loved Madness staple. It was written and performed originally by Labi Siffre in 1971.

The concert became a biennial event being held again in 1994, 1996, and 1998 (this last Madstock is available on DVD). In December 2008 the band announced that they would be staging a 5th Madstock concert in 2009 to celebrate their 30th anniversary, this time the event is to be held in Victoria Park.

(Poster for Madstock 5 to be held this July 2009. Its possible that The Specials may be the special guest)

There were two official live releases by Madness, other one is "Universal Madness" recorded at the Universal Amphitheater on April 26, 1998. It was their first to perform in the US since 1984, but in my honest opinion "Madstock '92" is the best live album that they have released. Nuff said. You know the drill ladies and gents. I suggest you play this loud and enjoy the nutty sound of the Nutty Boys.

one step beyond

the prince


my girl

the sun and the rain

grey day

it must be love

shut up

driving in my car

bed and breakfast man

close escape

wings of a dove

our house

night boat to cairo


house of fun

baggy trousers

the harder they come


feed backs and comments are welcome

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Re-posted links

As promised, we are re-posting the links on our earlier post. you know the drill ladies and gents!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Good day friends, it's such a nice day today. Weather is good although its a little bit hot outside. This week ,we give you the original "Voice of the People" - Cecil Bustamente Campbell aka Prince Buster (born May 28, 1938). I only found out a couple of months ago that The Prince is also a Muslim by faith and goes by the name of Muhammed Yusef Ali. There is a picture of the prince and Muhammad Ali included on the sleeve of the cd when the Ali visited Jamaica during the sixties. The Prince joined The Nation of Islam after meeting Ali while on tour in England in '64. Prince Buster is one of the prominent figures in the history of Ska and Rocksteady together with Duke Reid, Coxsone Dodd and the Jamaican superband The Skatalites.

He was recruited by Coxsone Dodd as a security and bouncer against "dancehall crashers" for his fledging musical business during the early years of the sound system wars in Kingston. Riots by loyal fans of a particular sound system usually erupts or parties could become rough. Prince was a successful amateur boxer in his teens and his boxing skills were quite handy in controlling the crowd of dancers. In 1960 ,he produced a record for the Folkes Brothers' "Oh Carolina" and was an instant hit in Jamaica. Buster's Early recording were released in the UK through Bluebeat and helped in developing the sound of Ska. During that time also were the birth of the British Mods, together with Modern Jazz and R&b there were also a healthy doze of Jamaican imports circulating in the underground Mod scene thus making Prince Buster popular among the original mods. Buster was active in the Jamaican music scene throughout the ska and rocksteady years but when reggae took a turn to Rasatafarianism, he distanced himself from the new music because of his religion and gracefully bowed out of the Jamaican Music scene.

Prince Buster was once again in the limelight through the British Ska Movement known as 2 Tone in 1979. The North London Invaders was one of the bands that was influenced by Buster. They were trying to change their name because another band has the same name. One of them suggested "Madness" since it is one of the title of the song in their set. Everyone agreed and the name stuck since then. Madness recorded their first single "The Prince" as a tribute to "the man who set the beat". Another Buster single that they've recorded is "One step Beyond" and released their first full lenght album with the same title in 1979. Buster was also a guest performer on Madness' first reunion concert "Madstock" held at Finsbury Park in 1992.

Prince Buster now lives in Miami, Florida. He has performed in a couple of festivals and a few shows over the past few years including The Legends of Ska, Boss Sounds Reggae festival and The Jools Holland Show.

The featured cd is a compilation of Prince Busters' greatest hits. I remember that I heard this album when "Neighbors" was just starting. We used to hang out on a friends burger joint called "Mc Tintoys" and every time we go there, ska was always blasting in his stereo.

I have also included a video of Prince Buster and Suggs of Madness performing the finale on one episode of The Jools Holland Show.

The compilation includes 24 tacks of scorching ska and rocksteady. You will also notice the development of ska from the more R&B sounding "Madness" to the definitive ska drop and sound of "Al Capone", rocksteady in the form of the Rudeboy bashing "Judge Dread" and sexual innuendos in "Rough Rider" and "Big Five". The Brownbeat All Stars has also taken cues from The Prince. The Myra Ruaro composition "Lampungan" was inspired by "Rough Rider", the words are taken on a woman's point of view regarding foreplay and sex.

Now, ladies and gentlemen we bring you "the man who set the beat", "the rough rider from Orange St." - Prince Buster!

Al Capone
Wash Wash
It's Burkes Law
10 Commandments
Blackhead Chineman
30 Pieces of Silver
Hard Man Fe Dead
Judge Dread
Ghost Dance
Take It Easy
Too Hot
My Girl
This is a Hold up
Shaking Up Orange Street
Big Five
Rough Rider
Wreck a Pumpum
Julie on my Mind
Phaoroah's House Crash
Tie the Donkey's Tail
24 Finger


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sucker Punch

As promised, we're bringing you some reggae dedicated to boxing. We are all witness to one of the greatest moments in boxing when Manny "The Pacman" Pacquiao delivered a straight left to the jaw of the British champ Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton that sent him flat to the canvas on the last 9 seconds of the 2nd round. His annihilation of Hatton was incredible and almost shocking because the Hitman was supposed to be a more competitive opponent than De la Hoya. When the fight ended with Hatton flat on his back, Roach proved his point and Mayweather looked like shit. Worse of all, instead of taking the loss like a man, Mayweather did the ultimate by blaming Hatton and absolving himself. He said Hatton didn’t follow his instructions to feint, make Pacquiao think twice before unloading and hold up his right to protect his face from the left.
We have to give some credit and respect to Hatton. He is a world champion, he will not be one champion if he is not good. He is not a trash talker unlike his trainer floyd Mayweather Sr. who talks garbage and shit. You could see Hatton's respect for Manny especially after the fight and Manny feels the same way. Hatton accepted his defeat like a man and didn't made any excuses. And for that, I give my respect to Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton. Cheers mate!

Well, this is not a lash or tirade or anything against Mayweather Sr. or anyone. As I said its about reggae songs dedicated to boxing. This week we will feature a Trojan Records release called "Sucker Punch: Jamaican Boxing Tributes" containing 19 tracks of reggae, DJ shoutouts and early dancehall cuts. You will notice that most tracks are tributes to Muhammad Ali and other cuts for his celebrated opponents like Joe Frazier and George Foreman. Songs by Bacca, Harry J All stars, Big Youth, King Tubby - you can never go wrong on this album. Tracks that I like are Harry J's "George Foreman" (version), Big Youth's "Joe Frazier", The Upsetters "Sunshine Showdown", "The Great Musical Battle" by Derrick Morgan, The Dynamites instrumental "Joe Lewis" and Trinity's chipmunk like cut "Muhammad Ali". Drums, Bass, echoes and DJs toasting dominate this record. It somehow contradicts the fast paced and brutal sport of boxing but I'm not complaining. This record is heavy. If you can - turn the bass level up, pump up the volume and smoke weed while listening to this because it will hit you like what "The Pacman" did to "The Hitman", your back flat on the canvas. Nuff said.

Bacca - George Foreman

The Harry J All Stars - George Foreman Version

Big Youth - Big Fight (Aka Joe Frazier)

Big Youth - Foreman Versus Frazier

The Upsetters - Sunshine Showdown

Big Youth - (Foreman Versus Frazier) Round Two

Dennis Alcapone - Joe Frazier Round Two

Charlie Ace - Superchamp

Derrick Morgan - Black Superman (Muhammad Ali)
The Aggrovators - Black Superman (Muhammad Ali) Version
Dennis Alcapone - Cassius Clay
Trinity - Muhammad Ali (Blackbeard Version)
King Tubby & The Aggrovators - Knock Out Punch
Dennis Alcapone - Muhammad Ali
Clancy Eccles - Fight
Derrick Morgan - The Great Musical Battle
Prince Far I - Natty Champion
The Dynamites - Joe Louis
Trinity - Muhammad Ali

[Posted by Joneighbors]

Monday, May 4, 2009


Folks, we will refresh the links on earlier post within the coming days. So please standby and also we will be giving you some reggae tunes dedicated to boxing this week ,as the whole Philippines is celebrating Manny Pacquiao's win over the British boxing champion Ricky Hatton last Sunday by way of a 2nd round KO. Watch out for that!!!