Thursday, March 8, 2012

Madness - "It Must Be Love"

It Must Be Love - Madness: Ultimate Collection

(Debuted August 20, 1983, Peaked #33, 12 Weeks on the Chart)

Madness are best-known here in the U.S. for their hit single "Our House," a #7 hit in the Summer of 1983. Since they often get labeled as One-Hit Wonders, it's safe to say that many have forgotten that they did score a follow-up Top 40 hit in America that same year with "It Must Be Love." What even fewer realize is that the song had been a hit two years earlier in the band's native U.K.

Madness had been part of the Ska scene that followed the fury of Punk in Great Britain. From 1979-'86 they were the best-selling group in the country, racking up several hit singles. In the States, however, they weren't known at all outside of those who followed the U.K. music scene. When their music was introduced to the U.S., their record company chose to put out a compliation LP that drew from several of the band's English recordings instead of simply issuing a version of their latest LP. As a result, "It Must Be Love" (a single-only release from '81) was one of the songs on the LP Madness.

Ironically, the group's U.S. breakthrough came just as their success at home began flagging. The Top 10 hits stopped arriving in 1984, and internal strife caused them to split for the first time in 1986.

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