Madness – Live At Amsterdam Paradiso – February 2, 1980 – LiveandLoud.com- Flip Marian collection –
Madness – in concert at Amsterdam Paradiso and recorded during their European tour on February 2, 1980, presumably for NPRO in Holland but cleaned up and turbo charged by Flip Martian for his highly groovy Live And Loud website.
Madness formed in 1976 and became one of the most prominent bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s two-tone ska revival, they continue to perform with six of the seven members of their original line-up. Madness’s most successful period was from 1980 to 1986, when the band’s songs spent a total of 214 weeks on the UK Singles Chart. (UB40 shared the same number of weeks, the largest for any British group in the decade, but over a longer period.)
Madness have had 15 singles reach the UK top ten, which include “One Step Beyond”, “Baggy Trousers” and “It Must Be Love”, one UK number one single “House of Fun” and two number ones in Ireland, “House of Fun” and “Wings of a Dove”. “Our House” was their biggest US hit. In 2000 the band received the Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for Outstanding Song Collection.
Their debut album, One Step Beyond… was released by Stiff Records and coincides with the promo tour this concert comes from. The album included a re-recording of “The Prince” and its B-side “Madness”, and the band’s second and third singles: “One Step Beyond” and “My Girl”. The title song was a cover of the B-side of the 1960s Prince Buster hit “Al Capone”. One Step Beyond… stayed in the British charts for 78 weeks, peaking at number 2.
After the release of “My Girl”, the band felt that they had exhausted the material from One Step Beyond…, and did not want to release any more singles from the album. However, Dave Robinson, head of Stiff Records, disagreed. Eventually, a compromise was made, and the band decided to release an EP featuring one album track and three new tracks. The result was the Work Rest and Play EP, which was headlined by the song “Night Boat to Cairo”, from the One Step Beyond album. The EP reached number 6 in the UK Singles Chart.
In 1980, the band’s second album, Absolutely reached number 2 in the UK Albums Chart. Absolutely spawned some of the band’s biggest hits, most notably “Baggy Trousers”, which peaked at number 3 in the UK Singles Chart. “Embarrassment” reached number 4 in the charts, and the instrumental song “The Return of the Los Palmas 7” climbed to number 7. Although the album reviews were generally less enthusiastic than those of One Step Beyond…, they were mostly positive. Robert Christgau gave the album a favourable B- grade, but Rolling Stone awarded the album just one out of five stars. Rolling Stone was particularly scathing of the ska revival in general, stating that “The Specials wasn’t very good” and Madness were simply “the Blues Brothers with English accents”.
A drama-documentary film entitled Take It or Leave It was released in 1981, featuring the band members playing themselves in a re-creation of their early days to the then-current period. Live recordings of Madness performances as well as those by other 2 Tone bands were used in the 1981 documentary film and soundtrack album Dance Craze.
In case you missed them the first time around (and they were pretty sensational live, I can attest), hit the play button and get moving.