Blending ska and pop with a distinctly English sense of humor, the band Madness created a “nutty sound” that made them UK superstars in the early ’80s.
• Originally called The North London Invaders, the group changed its name to Madness in reference to a song by the pioneering Jamaican ska musician Prince Buster, a major influence.
• Madness released their debut single, 1979’s Prince Buster tribute “The Prince,” on the ska-revival label 2 Tone. While Madness soon signed with Stiff Records, they remain closely associated with the 2 Tone movement.
• The group’s 1979 debut, One Step Beyond…, reached No. 2 on the UK charts and produced a pair of Top 10 hits: “My Girl” and the title track, a cover of an old Prince Buster tune.
• Before splitting up in 1986, Madness notched 15 Top 10 UK hits, including the No. 1 smash “House of Fun.”
• Despite their massive UK success, Madness only managed one Top 10 hit in America, as 1982’s “Our House” reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.
• Since reforming in 1992, Madness have released five studio albums, three of which went Top 10 in the UK.
• In 2012, Madness performed on the roof of Buckingham Palace during Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Concert.
ORIGINCamden, London, England