Music News

Flashback Friday: Madness, a Soundtrack to '80s Fun Houses

Where we're going, we don't need roads; just a synthesizer, eyeliner, and a touch of androgyny. Welcome to Flashback Friday.

Seminal '80s ska revivalists Madness are probably best remembered for their kooky house-of-mirrors-style riff-raff and carnival music flair. During MTV's glory days, it was all about the cheery pop/rock sound of classic songs like, "Our House" and "It Must Be Love."

The groundwork for the beloved British band got its start in 1976 when founding members Chris Foreman, Lee Thompson, and Mike Barson teamed up for the first time as ska band The Invaders. By 1978, the final pieces of what would become Madness were in place; preluding a decade they would dominate in British music charts.

On this day in 1982, the group earned its first number-one single when "House of Fun," sat atop charts.

Their debut album, One Step Beyond, got the Camden, London, natives off to a rip-roaring start, yielding three singles including "My Girl," and the title track -- a tribute to Jamaican ska legend Prince Buster.

"Our House" is easily the group's most recognizable track. Its heavy piano, funky bass line, and bright horns bolstered the utopian lyrics about a picture-perfect household. The song resonated with anyone who could relate to whimsical childhoods: be it the one you had, or the one you yearned for.

Madness continues touring today, even making it out to the Coachella Music Festival earlier this year.

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Anthony Sandoval
Contact: Anthony Sandoval