Madness are an English ska band from Camden Town, London, that formed in 1976. One of the most prominent bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s 2 Tone ska revival, they continue to perform with their most recognised line-up of seven members.
The core of the band formed as The North London Invaders included Mike Barson (Monsieur Barso) on keyboards and vocals, Chris Foreman (Chrissy Boy) on guitar and Lee Thompson (Kix) on saxophone and vocals. They later recruited John Hasler on drums, Cathal Smyth (better known as Chas Smash) on bass guitar and Graham McPherson (better known as Suggs).
Madness achieved most of their success in the early to mid-1980s. Both Madness and UB40 spent 214 weeks on the UK singles charts over the course of the decade, holding the record for most weeks spent by a group in the 1980s UK singles charts. However, Madness achieved this in a shorter time period (1980–1986)
Frequent themes in Madness' songs included childhood memories (e.g., "Baggy Trousers", and "Our House") and petty crime (e.g., "Shut Up", and "Deceives the Eye"). Although Madness were seen by some as somewhat of a humorous band with catchy, bouncy songs, many of their songs took a darker tone (such as the singles "Grey Day" and "Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)") and they sometimes tackled what were, at the time, controversial issues in their lyrics.