Tuesday 21 November 2023

Namesakes #60: Madness

You don't have to be mad to read this blog... but it helps. 

Our descent into (bands called) Madness starts here... with the obvious winners (?)


When I was at junior school, Madness were the first band I ever felt the weight of tribal peer pressure forcing me to like them or else. This would be in 1980, when I was 8 years old, and the band released perfectly suited to the 8 year old demographic: Baggy Trousers. And naturally, I hated it. I didn't want to be a schoolyard yob, pulling hair and eating dirt, and I proudly proclaimed my resistance to the cult of Madness. For which I was beaten soundly. (Not really, but there was probably the odd dead arm or Chinese burn dished out as a result.)

I'm not sure when I changed my opinion of Suggs and co., but I do remember liking their cover of Labi Siffre's It Must Be Love the following year, and that's probably when the ice began to melt... though I still resisted the charms of Baggy Trousers for many years, certainly until I was out of long pants.

Now though, I watch that video with unfettered nostalgia... how time changes us.


The Nutty Boys first got together in 1976. Three years later in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the smooth AOR sounds of another Madness began. They would soon change their name to Akasha, probably after Suggs popped round and threatened to flush their heads down the toilet. Lead singer Gary Darling would then go on to found The Verandas. 

There's some cool facial hair going on here...


Mongolian pop group from 2010. It takes all sorts... but it was either this or the Brazilian death metal Madness.

Mädness #4

Always got time for some umlauted German hip hop...

And finally, a special rule-breaking shout out to a Hungarian DJ who caught my eye... if not my ear.


Which Madness Must Be Love for you... and which do you want to Shut Up?


  1. I played #3 first, and was quite enjoying it until that peculiar vocal at about one min 40 seconds, put me right off. #2 starts off with a tediously bland groove and somehow deteriorates. #4 shades #5 in being the more annoying of the Madnesses. So it's #1 by default. Now it's time for marmite on toast.

  2. Good to hear "Let's Hear It For The Man" again after many years - what memories!

    Never heard of any of the others

  3. but have you endured the other tracks to arrive at that conclusion?

  4. Of course he has. Multiple times. That's why it took him till 10am to comment.


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