All the President’s Men: For Us American Cousins

All the President’s Me

In the course of their intimate Two Mad Men and a String Quartet performance shared online June 6, Suggs and Mike Barson debuted two new Madness songs. “Theatre of the Absurd,” a Suggs composition, appears to be a spiritual sequel to his solo track “The Greatest Show on Earth” with a more somber tone. The other new tune is of particular interest to us at Stateside Madness, for reasons Barso outlined in his introduction:

“This song is about the dire straits over the pond at the moment. No, not really at the moment. It’s a song about our cousins in America, yeah. Leaders of the world. And where they’re leading us, who knows?”

Running just over 90 seconds, “All the President’s Men” is a terse meditation on social and political turmoil in recent U.S. history, mourning the current tattered state of the American dream. Barson borrows the title from the Woodward & Bernstein exposé on Watergate (and the subsequent Redford & Hoffman film adaptation), which originated as an allusion the irreparable injury following Humpty Dumpty’s fall.

The song is bracingly relevant in the context of international protests in response to the death of George Floyd. The mood and message beautifully fit the string quartet format, and an eventual studio recording could likely prove to have a similar sparse arrangement. A fantastic new piece of work to suit our troubled times.

The year was 1963
The last one for Kennedy

In ’68 the Lorraine Motel
On the balcony 
Where the Doctor fell
From a single shell

A last shot at democracy 
Shining city on a hill
Land of the free 
Seventeen agencies 
Looking out for thee
The NSA and Homeland Security 

A shot rang out 
The sound of gunfire echoes ’cross the mall
The future sucked into a dark black hole
Short-sighted small minds clamour for control

But there’s no dream no more
Psyops are now running the score
And the money trickles upwards evermore 
You’d almost think it was 1984

Madness U.S. Tour Postponed to 2021

To no surprise, the Madness U.S. tour dates scheduled for May 2020 have been pushed to next year. The newly announced 2021 dates are as follows:

5/26/2021Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY
5/28/2021House of Blues, Boston, MA
5/30/2021The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
5/31/2021Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival, Las Vegas, NV
6/2/2021
6/3/2021
The Fox Theater, Oakland, CA

Tickets booked for the 2020 dates will be honored at the rescheduled shows. The Madness Facebook page advises contacting your point of purchase if you will be unable to attend.

Everyone stay safe and stay tuned to Stateside Madness for any further updates as they become available!

UPDATE: On April 13, Madness was confirmed for the Las Vegas festival date added above.

History Lesson, Part I

Madness U.S. History

How many Madness albums have never been released on disc in the U.S.? Which states have they ever played in outside of New York and California? Where did they once share an amazing bill with David Bowie and the Go-Go’s? When were they on Saturday Night Live that one time, and what songs did they play?

Now you can find the answers to these scintillating questions and more on our new U.S. History page here on the SSM blog! We’ve pieced this archival inventory together from various online sources, including Discogs, Seven Ragged Men, Setlist.fm, Concert Archives, Fandom Concerts Wiki, and Madness on TV. It’s far from complete, and may or may not be 100% accurate, so we welcome your additions or corrections. Especially in terms of the concert calendars, there plainly must be a few gaps.

This will be an ongoing project, a living document with updates made as we get better and more comprehensive information. And let’s hope the band’s future holds plenty more U.S. history yet to be written.

Check out the Stateside Madness historical archive and comment below with your additions and corrections!

Exclusive: First Look at New U.S. Madness Hits Album

Courtesy of our friends at BMG, Stateside Madness is pleased to make the first public announcement of the forthcoming greatest hits compilation, Our House – The Very Best of Madness. The album is set for release exclusively in the U.S. on May 15, in conjunction with the band’s North American tour later that month.

Our House – The Very Best of Madness
Click to view full size

Our House will be available on CD, vinyl LP and digital bundle. See above for a first look at the album sleeve artwork, which is similar to (but slightly different from) the Full House compilation released in the UK in 2017.

The new collection consists of 12 tracks spanning the whole of Madness’s career (full list below). Of particular note to fans and collectors, this will mark the first physical release of any kind for “Bullingdon Boys,” which debuted as a digital-only single in November 2019.

Our House is clearly designed for the American market, named for and led off by the band’s biggest stateside hit, with the other familiar single “It Must Be Love” in the second slot. As a clever nod to the band’s U.S. beginnings, the track list also includes the subtly polished remix of “Night Boat to Cairo” that first appeared on the 1983 Madness album released by Geffen in the U.S. 

But this collection isn’t entirely stuck in the past – Our House is the band’s first-ever hits collection for the U.S. that encompasses their 21st century post-reunion output, making room for “NW5” and “Mr Apples” alongside the very recent “Bullingdon Boys.” Discovering these new tunes, casual American fans whose fond memories of the ’80s are rekindled by the 2020 tour will have the chance to learn that Madness is still very much alive and kicking in the present day!

Our House – The Very Best of Madness

Full track listing:

  1. Our House
  2. It Must Be Love
  3. House of Fun
  4. Baggy Trousers
  5. Embarrassment
  6. NW5
  7. One Step Beyond
  8. The Prince
  9. Wings of a Dove
  10. Mr Apples
  11. Bullingdon Boys
  12. Night Boat to Cairo (US Version)