This goes out to Four Dinners ... my friend from across the pond. Do me a favor and check out his site. Dinners is a huge fan of Madness, and has encouraged me to sample some of their songs. Prior to the sampling, the only Madness song I really knew was "Our House," which was popular on American pop air waves in the early-mid 1980's.
Dinners shared a handful of songs that I might enjoy. One that stood out to me after an initial listen is a diddy called "Johnny the Horse." The song was released in 1999, and was apparently based on a bum who was beaten to death whilst trying to sleep in an empty building (according to Wikipedia). To me, the song takes on a sound like a mix between Fountains of Wayne and the Traveling Wilburys (both, favorites of mine).
The song has an uppity feel, but the words are dark ... for some reason, I always enjoy that. Dinners (and this song) has inspired me to take a deeper dive with Madness. As an aside, a band this popular and good should really have more exposure in the U.S. (sadly, there are a lot of bands like this - instead, we get crap like Creed and Nickleback).
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