Thanks to the heyday of punk rock and new wave, the birth of “Madness” occurred in 1978 in London. At the root of the ska phenomenon were Suggs McPherson (Graham McPherson), Mark Bedford, Mike Barson, Chris Foreman, Lee Thompson, Chas Smash (Cathal Smythe), and Dan Woodgate. But the original founders were Barson, Foreman and Thompson, who created the group “Invaders”, which in 1978 was renamed to “Morris and The Minors” and finally get the composition to the above sextet, adapting the name of “Madness” borrowed from a song of their idol, Prince Buster.
Climbing the Everest of popularity
Their first single “Madness” was dedicated to him and they called it “The Prince”. Amazingly, but the song turned out to be in the UK Top 20. Immediately, they signed a contract with the first punk record label Britain Stiff Records, and the next single “One Step Beyond” (Buster'a song) reached the 7th position. Their debut album was called in the same way, which was full of fun and carefree, almost childish ska songs, both their own and classical ones, e.g. “Swan Lake”. After that, “Madness” were among the most successful British bands due to the fact that they were able to create a series of thirteen consecutive singles that hit the first British Top 10!
Popularity within the Britain
At the end of 1980, they released their second “Absolutely” disk, and unlike the first, for unclear reasons, it was not published in the US. So for many years to come, the popularity of “Madness” stuck in their native UK. Fortunately, in the mother continent they had real success, and the third album “7” occupied the fifth line of the national chart. But of course, the collection of the best tracks “Complete Madness” had the greatest triumph – the first place.
After releasing the album “Rise And Fair Madness”, they finally took the side of pop music, ignoring their post-punk past. The single “Our House” was finally released in the US on Geffen Records and went on MTV. The old video of “Madness” got to the rotation too. Since the group has become famous across the ocean, and apparently, it was that very ska-seed thrown in the American soil, which in five years gave birth to the ska-core in the face of “Operation Ivy” and “Mighty Mighty Bosstones”.