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Originally named The Invaders, they changed to Madness in 1979.
Their debut album, One Step Beyond (1979), stayed on the UK charts for 78 weeks, peaking at #2.
The band starred in a 1981 movie, Take It or Leave It, that portrayed their own rise to fame.
Formed their own label, Zarjazz, in 1984.
They broke up in 1986, but re-formed as a four-piece band in 1988 with the name The Madness.
The 1992 UK-only compilation album Divine Madness reached #1 in that country.
The original members all reunited in 1992 to play two open air venues in London known as "Madstock."
They released their first studio album in 14 years in 1999.
Another early name of the band's: Morris and the Minors.
They got the name Madness because that was their favorite song by Jamaican ska and reggae master Prince Buster.
They were dropped by Sire Records in the United States after their second album in 1980. They didn't have any American label representative for two years.
The Madness, from the late 1980's, the band was augmented by keyboardists Steve Nieve, Jerry Dammers, and bassist Bruce Thomas. Dammers was from the Specials. Nieve and Thomas were in the Attractions.
They influenced several ska bands of the 1990s, including No Doubt, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Reel Big Fish.
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March 14, 2010 (12:54am)
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