5 FOR FRIDAY: WELCOME, WELCOME!

I’ll do anything to avoid real writing.

A couple of years ago, I threw up a post in response to a Triple J segment in which Megan Washington listed 5 songs she wished she’d written. While avoiding life the other night, I decided to revisit the concept, and make it a regular feature of the blog, because why not?

So: 5 for Friday. Whet your appetite: travel back in time to read the original post, 5 Songs I Wish I’d Written.

Now, let’s journey to The WOOOOORLD OF….. well, today, with a the first entry that is actually the second entry of our brand new segment!

5 for Friday: MADNESS, MADNESS, MADNESS!

To paraphrase the immortal Tom Lehrer, Madness have been my particular idols since childbirth.

I’ve been a rabid fan of the group since 1979, when One Step Beyond strode into my radio and nutted the Neil Diamond/Boston/America MOR pap right in its pasty white face. It was a moment of instant and life-long devotion.

38 years, 12 albums, and millions of sing-a-longs later, I’ve got a tiket to see them live. For the first time.

Am I thrilled? AM I FUCKING THRILLED?

So here, by way of celebration, is the first of my Friday Fives. Five Madness songs I need them to play at the concert THEY’RE HOLDING JUST FOR ME EVEN IF SOME OTHER PEOPLE TURN UP, and five songs that show just why they are the greatest band in the history of pop*.

(*Yes, they fucking are. Shut up.)

ONE STEP BEYOND

The song that started it all. The nutty boys. The lads. The Ska Gods. The heavy, heavy monster sound. The greatest introduction to a song ever.

HEY YOU! DON’T WATCH THAT. WATCH THIS!

JOHNNY THE HORSE

From my favourite Madness album, 1999’s Wonderful, which simply is. It’s filled with superbly catchy, singalong masterpieces, such as The Wizard, No Money, and the utterly superb collaboration with the legendary Ian Dury, Drip Fed Fred. But there’s something about this song of broken  dreams, and the sad descent of a promising mind into delusion and vagrancy, that strikes home, so much so that the opening stanza is the by-line to my long-running blog The Battersblog.

And it’s catchy as fuck.

IT MUST BE LOVE

The best cover song of all time? The best love song of all time? Yes, and yes.

Just yes.

WINGS OF A DOVE

Steel drums, typical Madness hi-jinks, and such a rising sense of joy that it’s impossible not to swing in your seat. This is the band at its positive peak, bouncing along for no other purpose than happiness and exultation. Almost supernaturally catchy, it’s simply a delightful slice of pop perfection.

BAGGY TROUSERS

Come on. You knew it was coming. The greatest explosion of ska nuttiness ever recorded. yes, I could have included Driving In My Car, or House of Fun, or any one of a hundred other slices of brilliance. But play the video, and tell me you’ll ever, ever, ever get this song out of your head again.

Oh what fun we had, but did it really turn out bad?

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