Madness: “One Step Beyond” (1979)

Get ready for the heavy, heavy monster sound of Madness, the nutsiest sound around.

Kronomyth 1.1: One great leap for madnesskind.

One Step Beyond got my attention, but it was “Baggy Trousers” that won my affection. The band’s strident and supercharged version of the Prince Buster song never seemed sure if it wanted to start a revolution or a party. Of course, that was just my impression, no doubt tinctured by the punk uprising of the times. These days, I’m more likely to see Madness as a pythonesque ska fan club than social agitators.

The flip side, Mistakes, is the only Madness song to my knowledge credited to their previous lead singer/drummer/manager, John Hasler (who would go on to inspire “Bed & Breakfast Man”). It’s one of those wonderfully tuneful Madness songs that gets under your skin quickly, and far better than you’d expect from a nonalbum B side. I don’t think Mike Barson gets nearly enough credit for being a remarkable tunesmith.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. One Step Beyond (Cecil Campbell) (2:33)
B1. Mistakes (John Hasler/Mike Barson) (2:52)

7-inch single reissue (1981)
A1. One Step Beyond (Cecil Campbell) (3:00)
B1. My Girl (Mike Barson) (3:00)

The Players

Produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley.

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single on October 26, 1979 in the UK (Stiff, BUY 56), Portugal (Stuff, BUY 56 NPE) and Spain (Stiff, MO 1922) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #7 on the UK charts.

  1. Re-released with “My Girl” on 7-inch single in 1981 in Mexico (Musart/Stiff, MI 30733) with picture sleeve.
  2. Re-released on orange vinyl 7-inch single in the UK (Stiff, 640 177) with picture sleeve.
  3. Re-issued on 7-inch single in 1988 in France (Virgin, 90378) with picture sleeve.

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