I’ve done a couple of these 10 Of The Bests for The Guardian this year, but none presented quite such a challenge as distilling the genius of Madness into only 10 choice tracks. Madness were the first pop band I ever loved – a perfect first pop band, I think, given their joyous lunacy, but also the weird twists and subtle politics of their later work. They were the first pop band I ever saw live – Southampton Gaumont, Mad Not Mad tour; they hurled ten-foot-tall blue balloons into the audience for the encore, which is how you win over a nine-year-old. This was personal.
Selecting ten songs that encompassed the breadth of their vision, their ever-changing-moods, their unique Nutty THING was tough as nails, but I enjoyed every spin and respin of their entire catalogue under the guise of “research”. Disagree with my choices? Then get thee to the Guardian comments section…
Other 10 Of The Bests you are invited to digest and tarry with: