Suggs and co., seen here doing their trademark too-close-together walk, are one of those bands whose songs you’ll instantly recognise whenever you here one. They have been variously categorised as a Punk or Ska band, but according to Wikipedia they are neither of these, but instead something called 2 Tone, which is a fusion of the two aforementioned musical styles. So there you are fact fans! Now you know!
Anyway, the band formed in 1976, but during the 80’s they had no less than 13 top ten singles, and are the record holder when it comes to most weeks spent in the UK singles chart during that decade – 214 weeks no less! They had a number 1 with House of Fun, whose lyrics went completely over my head as a 9 year old, but didn’t stop me singing along. This was in 1982, which also saw the release of Driving in my Car and Our House, two more of their best known songs. I think one of the reasons I liked their songs as a child must have been that they were about normal things, so you could relate to them as a pre-teenage boy much more easily than most pop songs that generally revolve around the concept of love.
That said, Madness did have their share of love songs too, of a sort. One of their first hits was My Girl, which is kind of a love song, and they also had success with It Must Be Love.
Madness still perform as a band today, after having reformed in 2004 as The Dangermen, playing mostly covers of classic Reggae and Ska songs, although they are now playing again under their original title. They also have a completely bonkers website, containing lyrics, album information and much more.