Madness - One Step Beyond (Cover Artwork)


One Step Beyond (1979)


When someone says "Madness" what comes to mind? Most likely songs like "Our House" and "Wings of a Dove". Well this is unfortunate, becasue Madness is a group that has so much more to offer. The year is 1979 and the record is "One Step Beyond".

Like many groups, some of Madness's best work comes from this first record. the songs "One Step Beyond" and "Nightboat to Cairo" have since become second-wave ska classics, and there are many other gems on this record including "My Girl", "Believe Me" and "In The Middle of the Night". This is the record where everything just happened perfectly, using a heavy dose of ska and mixing in soul and even a little bit of punk. This is truly my favorite release of the second wave of ska.

What makes this record so much better than other Two-Tone era recordings you ask? After all, classic ska bands like The Specials, Bad Manners, The Selector, and The Beat were all playing out at the same time as Madness. Well the truth of it is, those bands' records feel like just ska records, and it doesnt go beyond that. Madness took it one step beyond (please forgive the lame pun) and made a ska record that plays like a rock record. Its a recording that can appeal to many people, whether they are a fan of ska or not. It doesn't compromise anything in the name of pop success, it simply works on many levels.

Go buy this record. Hopefully, the ska saturation of '97 hasn't turned you away from buying ska ever again. Do yourself a favor and experience this group. You wont be sorry.