7 Nov 12 | Re: Song structure surprises | Link-U-Post
Madness were the quintessential English pop group of the 1980s, right? And what’s pop music about? Big, catchy choruses, right? Then it may surprise you when you realise, like I’ve just done, that Madness’s relationship with the chorus is rather skittish.
If you listen to their first album (and you should – in fact, there’s a case to be made for never stopping listening to it) then you’ll get from start to finish without hearing a single chorus anywhere. Move on to the second and they do start to appear here and there, but they still don’t follow the Timelords’ golden rule about making the song title the chorus’s first line; as often as not the titles are oblique and allusive, and the choruses aren’t the memorable bit of the song.
Let’s run down the first fourteen Madness singles (which I’m happy to say I don’t have to look up):
So. It takes no fewer than twelve singles (three albums plus) to get to an original song with a big chorus with the title in. It’s probably not a coincidence that that single was also the one that got to number one. And no coincidence that Our House, the other box-ticker on the list, was their biggest international hit. And no coincidence either that It Must Be Love is probably their other best-known song. Once again, it’s proved that the Timelords do know what they’re talking about.
Posted by JOHNNY THE HORSE at 18:40