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.
I 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 sun and the rain
it must be love
driving in my car
bed and breakfast man
wings of a dove
night boat to cairo
house of fun
the harder they come
feed backs and comments are welcome