The Vinyl Brew: Madness - One Step Beyond...

The Vinyl Brew: Madness - One Step Beyond...

Good Morning Brewers,


This week finds us in a strange position; those who’ve been along for our journey so far will know that I usually enjoy our Sunday listen while relaxing in a comfy chair with a cup of tea. While the tea is in abundance there is no comfy chair this week as I’m having to put together some Ikea shelves. So, as the frustration mounts, I figured I should have something upbeat and fun to get me through. I’ve found the perfect album in the debut from a two-tone, ska rocksteady group who have become legends. The band is of course Madness, and the album is One Step Beyond…

Forming in 1976, it wasn’t until 1979 that they finally morphed into their final form as a seven piece. If you have any doubt of the popularity of the band it’s worth noting that they still perform to this day with most of the original line-up. With their line-up set in place the band would become popular as a live act and would tour with The Specials and Selecter. They would also taste their first chart success with a track titled “The Prince” which paid homage to their idol Prince Buster. Jerry Dammer of The Specials had started his own record label ‘2-tone Records’ and it was through 2-tone that Madness recorded and released “The Prince”.

Black and white group shot of Madness

After the surprise hit the band would go on to record their debut album. One Step Beyond… was released through Stiff Records in 1979 after a quick 3 week recording process. The albums cover features the now iconic image of the band doing the Nutty Train, an image inspired by a picture on the back cover of the album ‘Handsome’ by the band Kilburn and the High Roads. The band were such huge fans of Prince Buster that the opening lines, now probably one of the most famous openings to an album, “Don’t watch that, watch this…” was taken from another one of his songs, ‘The Scorcher’.

Madness group picture with yellow background
Speaking to the working class about everyday worries all with the humour and fun times that Madness bring, “One Step Beyond…” is everything good about the Ska movement. A definite piece of the Ska genre, the band had claimed the Jamaican sound with a London feel as their own and produced it in full force on this album. If you are looking for a good time and something that you will listen to on heavy rotation for the rest of your life then One Step Beyond… is the album for you.

The Final Word

Once this plays through on you record player you won’t want to take it off. As always, we have to choose a final play and as I finish this shelf I’m going to pop ‘My Girl’ on again. Let us know what your favourite track from the album is over at our Twitter @Vinyl8Records and as always have a great day.

“My girl's mad at me
Been on the telephone for an hour
We hardly said a word
I tried and tried but I could not be heard”

Till next time,

Next Week's Brew

Next Sunday's brew is Otis Redding's Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul. Why not add this gem to your collection so we can listen together next week!

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