Here's how this works: Each week, I listen to the entire discography of a single one-hit wonder artist. Then, I let you know if their other songs are worth listening to or not. This week: Madness.
When I first moved into my current apartment two years ago, the first thing my roommate and I did was look up at our new, humble abode from our stoop, turn to each other, and sing, "Our house! In the middle of our street! Our house! In the middle of our—" OK, so our house is technically a little off-center, but whatever; it's in the middle enough. Since then, my (ex)roommate has run off to Canada, but our house—well, my house—is still in the middle(ish) of the street. And that song—even 30 years after its release—still holds up as pop music’s greatest domestic anthem. (Side note: I now have a new roommate who is, like, totally in love with Madness and dancing madly to "Our House" whenever it comes on has become a sort of ceremonial thing we do. It happens a lot more often than you would think.)
Before any of you UK readers fire at me with "What are you, American?" again—which, by the way, no, I'm not—I do realize that Madness had tons of successful singles in the United Kingdom and I'll tell you up front, the success was well-deserved. They were so popular in the UK that in the seven-year period between 1979 and 1986, they had 21 top 20 hits. Over here in the US of A, however, "Our House" overshadowed all other Madness songs (with a #7 chart spot), and the only other one that made it into the charts was their cover track "It Must Be Love," which only grazed top 40 at #33. So, I guess what I'm saying is, on our side of the pond, Madness is often brushed off as a silly band who is just really gung-ho about their place of residence. But SURPRISE—these guys sing about a lot more than just their crib.
Read the rest over at Noisey.