[Madness] -- I don't know about you, but I find myself using "mad" or "madness" as a descriptor often these days. And I don't mean a pleasant kind of off-kilter oddness as exemplified by the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. No, I mean, "Aaaaaah! The world is off its godsdamned rocker and we're spiraling downward to oblivion!" In times like this (have we ever been in times like this before?), I like to turn to some of the odder tunes from my staple of 80s artists. Well, odd but yet upbeat. So, this week we'll feature three songs from across Madness' career. I've chosen two you might not have heard (or at least not remember hearing), and one song that I'm fairly sure you will recall. I have not, however, included what is likely their best known song. Post your guess as to what that song might be in the comments, which you can access with this week's playlist ... after the jump.
Flashback #1: "I hear them saying | Tomorrow's just another day | I hear them saying | And it gets better every day."
Let's kick things off with an under-appreciated gem from the Madness catalog: "Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)." This first appeared on the band's fourth studio album, The Rise & Fall (1982). It was released with "Madness (Is All in the Mind)," which is a snazzy jazzy bit of true fun. "Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)" showcases Madness' true talent of setting dour lyrics to a fairly upbeat tune. It's a great dichotomy, and really works for this subject matter. Funny thing ... it still works well today. Maybe too well.
Flashback #2: "He'll never get there at this rate | He's caught up in a jam. | There's a meeting this morning | It's just his luck oh damn!"
"Cardiac Arrest" appeared on the band's third studio album, 7 (1981), and several of their compilation records. It hit the charts in February of 1982, and it peaked at #14 on the UK charts. This was their first single that failed to crack the top 10. Was this due to its subject matter? I mean, I suppose it's hard to make a heart attack palatable in pop culture. But they way Madness sings about it here, and with the music video featuring fellow bus riders advising the heart attack victim to not to work so hard, any resistance to enjoying the tune should have melted away.
Flashback #3: "Nothing more, nothing less | Love is the best."
"It Must Be Love" was originally recorded by Labi Siffre in 1971. Ten years later, Madness recorded and released it as a standalone single. It also appears on the band's UK compilation album, Complete Madness (1982). The 1981 cover hit #4 on the UK singles chart, and peaked at #33 in the US Billboard.
Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!