Best Of British Ska
Although I never wore the pork pie hats, wraparound sunglasses or checkered (baggy) trousers I was, and remain, a huge fan of late 70’s/early 80’s ska. Listening to the newest Madness album, The Liberty Of Norton Folgate, I am reminded of the legacy the holy trinity (The (English) Beat, The Specials and Madness) left us all in a handful of albums that somehow sound just as fresh and just as vital as the day they were released. Take out the references to Margaret Thatcher and you’re left with some of the most thrilling pop music of the last 35 years.
Unlike other supposedly past-their-prime bands from this era, Madness has created a mature yet extremely fun and thoughtful album in TLONF, and I am left breathless and excited about the future of music again. Madness were always the goofiest of the three, but they were also able to create feelings of nostalgia and melancholy in their records not heard since the Kinks Village Green Preservation Society.
So here’s my homage to the best of ska, in video form.