The last couple of weeks, I’ve been on a massive Madness kick.
It started on Halloween, actually. I was wandering round town, with my MP3 player on, and just really wanted to listen to Madness. I even Tweeted about it:
*Really* wanted to listen to some Madness today, but I’ve no CDs or MP3s from Suggsy’s lot. Had to go through my vinyl and dig some out.
Had a listen to Absolutely while I was at the flat, and I found the Divine Madness compilation on a cassette, which I’m happily listening to now in the kitchen at my Mum and Dad’s.
Now, this is the thing. Growing up in the ’80s, Madness were fun. I had singles that I remember taking to the youth club – I used to play Wings Of A Dove constantly, I know that for a fact. But having spent the last couple of weeks reading Madness discographies, I realise that the 45’s I took up to the church hall would’ve been at least five years old even then. Madness’s first LP was released just a few months after I was born, and I was but three years old as Our House was rocketing up the charts.
So, my vast vinyl collection, upon inspection, bore only the band’s second album, Absolutely, a compilation LP from 1982, and three singles from 1982/3. The band split up when I was seven, which would have even been a year or so before I took the records up to the youth club!
So, why the sudden kick? I think it was a subliminal thing. We have Radio 2 on constantly in Our House, and I’d obviously heard the ads for their ‘Madness at the BBC’ show, broadcast on November 1st.
Anyway, I went and bought the new album, Oui Oui, Si Si, Ja Ja, Da Da, released at the end of October (I adore the lead track, My Girl 2), went online to buy some CDs, group-ordering the It’s…Madness and It’s…Madness Too compilations plus The Business complete singles boxset, all for a grand total of £5.88. Then I sent for a re-issue of One Step Beyond, and picked up 2009’s The Liberty of Norton Folgate in CEX yesterday for three quid. So that’s a total of nine CDs in less than two weeks, all for less than £24.
And, my God, Madness are a hell of a lot better than I remember! I just wish I hadn’t waited so long to rediscover them.
I will admit, though, that, Suggs, Chas and Mike apart, I still couldn’t tell you who’s who. :/