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Our House by Madness

Updated on November 7, 2014

Madness Biography and Background

Just about everyone is familiar with the first lines of this great song from Madness right?

Our House In The Middle Of Our Street
Our House In The Middle Of Our Street

Our House is one of the many hit singles from Madness, who are an English pop/ska band who formed in Camden Town in Northwest London.

Madness formed in 1976 and were one of the most prominent bands of the late 1970s "2 Tone" ska revival, achieving most of their success in the 1980s with some fun lively dance songs, backed by equally fun music videos.

Song Lyrics: Our House by Madness

Our House - Madness from the album "The Rise And Fall" (UK) and "Madness" (USA) 1983

Father wears his Sunday best
Mother's tired she needs a rest
The kids are playing up downstairs

Sister's sighing in her sleep
Brother's got a date to keep
He can't hang around

Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our

Our house it has a crowd
There's always something happening
And it's usually quite loud

Our mum she's so house-proud
Nothing ever slows her down
And a mess is not allowed

Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our
Our house, in the middle of our street

(Something tells you)
(That you've got to get away from it)

Our house, in the middle of our

Father gets up late for work
Mother has to iron his shirt
Then she sends the kids to school

Sees them off with a small kiss
She's the one they're going to miss
In lots of ways

[Instrumental Interlude]

Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our

I remember way back then when
Everything was true and when
We would have such a very good time

Such a fine time
Such a happy time
And I remember how we'd play

Simply waste the day away
Then we'd say
Nothing would come between us
Two dreamers

Father wears his Sunday best
Mother's tired she needs a rest
The kids are playing up downstairs

Sister's sighing in her sleep
Brother's got a date to keep
He can't hang around

Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our street

Our house, in the middle of our
Our house, was our castle and our keep

Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, that was where we used to sleep

Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our street


Madness Biography And Background

How much do you know about Madness?

The core members of the band Madness got together in 1976, and included Mike Barson on keyboards and vocals, Chris Foreman on guitar and Lee Thompson on saxophone and vocals. They later recruited John Hasler on drums and Cathal Smyth on bass guitar. They were joined later that year by lead vocalist "Dikron".

This six-piece lineup lasted until part way through 1977, when Graham McPherson (better known as Suggs) took over the lead vocals after seeing the band perform in a friend's garden. The lineup further changed when they dropped Smyth, who was poor on bass guitar, replacing him with Gavin Rogers, an acquaintance of Barson. Next, McPherson was kicked out of the band for too often choosing to watch football instead of rehearsing, and finally, Thompson left the band after Barson criticised his saxophone playing.

After changing their name briefly to Morris and the Minors (a play on words of the famous English car the "Morris Minor"), the band renamed itself as Madness, paying homage to one of their favourite songs by ska/reggae artist Prince Buster.

In 1979 their debut album One Step Beyond was released by Stiff Records, and gave rise to the hit singles One Step Beyond and My Girl. One Step Beyond stayed in the British charts for 37 weeks and reached #2. The band didn't want to release any more singles from the album, feeling that they had already released the best material, however they were persuaded to release more tracks on an EP. The result was the Work Rest and Play EP, which was headlined by the song Night Boat to Cairo. The EP reached #6 in the UK singles chart.

The band's second album, Absolutely, released in 1980, reached #2 in the UK album charts. Absolutely generated some of the band's biggest hits, including Baggy Trousers, which reached #3 in the UK singles chart, Embarrassment which reached #4, and the instrumental Return of the Los Palmas 7 which climbed to #7.

In 1981, the band's third studio album, 7 reached number 5 in the UK album charts and contained three hit singles, Grey Day, Shut Up and Cardiac Arrest. This album was a change in direction from the past. Suggs' vocal performance changed significantly, and his strong Cockney accent from the previous albums had been watered down. The album strayed from the ska-influenced sound of One Step Beyond and Absolutely, and moved towards a more conventional and mature pop sound.

Near the end of 1981, Madness released one of their most recognised songs; a remake of Labi Siffre's 1971 hit It Must Be Love". The song climbed to #4 in the UK, and in 1983, the song peaked at #33 in the US charts. In 1982, Madness released their only number 1 hit to date, House of Fun which they played live on the '80s series The Young Ones. The compilation album Complete Madness also reached #1.

In November '82, Madness released their 4th studio album, The Rise & Fall. The album did well in the UK, but didn't get an American release. Instead, many of the albums songs were included on the US compilation Madness, including Our House, which was their most internationally successful single to date. Our House reached #5 in the UK music charts and #7 in the US charts.

In 1983, their single Wings of a Dove reached #2 in the UK charts, followed by The Sun & The Rain. Their following album, Keep Moving reached #6 in the UK album charts, and two singles from that album reached the top 20 in the UK music charts. The album received some good reviews, with Rolling Stone Magazine giving the album four out of five stars.

In early 1992, It Must Be Love was re-released and reached #6 in the UK singles chart. Following that, the singles compilation Divine Madness was released and rechaed #1 in the album charts.

Madness then announced plans for a reunion concert, Madstock, which was held at Finsbury Park, London in August that year. The original Madness lineup reunited, performing together for the first time since Mike Barson left the band in 1984. Over 75,000 fans attended the weekend festival, and during One Step Beyond, the vibrations of the crowd jumping up and down in time to the music caused an earth tremor which measured over 4.5 on the Richter scale.

A subsequent live album was released, and the associated single, The Harder They Come got to #44 in the UK, with the album reaching #22. The band continued to reunite for annual UK Christmas season tours and held three more Madstock festivals; in 1994, 1996 and 1998.

The band are still performing in 2008, with their most recognised lineup of seven members, although their lineup has varied slightly over the years.

This song, Our House by Madness is also the theme song for the new ABC primetime show Opportunity Knocks. It's great to see this song revived and I hope it helps bring the music of Madness to a whole new generation.

Madness Live At The Queen's Diamond Jubilee - Madness played "Our House" on the roof of Buckingham Palace with an amazing projection show on the front of the pa

Madness Music Compilations from Amazon

How does a Greatest Hits CD from Madness sound? Amazon have a good selection for you to pick from. Or how about a Madness DVD. Half the fun of Madness is watching the videos.

Madness Merchandise on eBay

See what rare Madness items eBay has on sale right now. T-shirts and other memorabilia, new and used CD's and DVD's and more.

Listen To Some Great Madness Songs - Preview and download these great tracks

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    • profile image

      julieannbrady 3 years ago

      "Nothing ever slows her down ... And a mess is not allowed!" That strikes a chord!

    • profile image

      glutenallergy 5 years ago

      I have a lot of fond memories from my teenage years of listening to Madness. I love them, and wish people knew more than just 'Our House,' which was just one of many great songs by this ska band.

    • TonyPayne profile image
      Author

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      @anonymous: This is the best excerpt I have found so far on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8Ka17LIIfU - excellent light projection on the Palace.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I read this on FaceBook "The highlight of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert tonight will be Madness playing their hit "Our House" on the roof of Buckingham Palace." If I may quote you, Tony. What a great song choice. ~ Cheers!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Ha I remember the song Our House. I like it and I am hoping that your house is super duper happy this Easter weekend. Wishing you a happy bunny day :)

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