For The Record – ‘The Prince’

Madness burst onto the scene on this day in 1979 with their first single, ‘The Prince’. It was released on 2 Tone Records and paid tribute to the Jamaican Ska singer Prince Buster, who was one of their major influences. In fact, the group took their name from one of his songs.

The band had formed three years earlier but went through several personnel changes before settling on six members (later seven), including Graham McPherson (aka Suggs) on vocals.

‘The Prince’ was recorded for a mere 200 pounds and released on The Specials’ founder/keyboardist Jerry Dammers’ label. The single was a surprise hit because the band were completely unknown at the time. However, an appearance on Top Of The Pops quickly spread the word and they soon found themselves touring with The Specials and The Selector.

Later that same year, the band recorded their debut album, ‘One Step Beyond’, which remained in the charts for over a year and eventually made them one of the prominent bands of the Ska revival.

“With a rock-steady beat, an earthquake is erupting”…

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