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Baker's Dozen

Madness Frontman Suggs' 13 Favourite Albums Of All Time
Simon Price , September 27th, 2011 11:22

Nutty Boy Suggs takes Simon Price on a guided tour through his record collection

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Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the 2 Tone movement in general, and the career of Madness in particular, won’t exactly be knocked off their feet by the news that the veteran ska septet’s frontman Graham ‘Suggs’ MacPherson was a fan of Jamaican reggae and London punk during his formative years.

After all, a combination of those two genres was the entire basis of his band’s early style, as well as that of Madness’ fellow travellers like The Specials, The Beat, The Selecter and Bad Manners. Let’s face it, it would be more of a shock if his Baker’s Dozen didn’t include a bit of The Clash and Jimmy Cliff.

If you’re a hardcore fan, you probably already knew that the seven members of Madness used to obsessively collect old soul and R&B records, and performed classic soul cover versions when they were still called The Invaders, so the inclusion of a bit of Otis and Aretha in Suggs’ thirteen favourite albums won’t be a surprise either.

But who would ever have guessed that the suedeheaded singer was a pre-teen glam rocker, having his mind blown by Roxy Music and Cockney Rebel, trying to dress like the former and ostentatiously carrying the latter’s albums around the school playground? There are eyebrow-raising selections, too, from the post-Madness years, from 90s indie-dance to contemporary pop-soul.

To coincide with the legendary band’s career-spanning box set A Guided Tour Of Madness, and ahead of their House Of Fun weekender at Minehead Butlins on 25th-28th November, the Nutty Boy in chief tells The Quietus about the sounds that shaped them in the first place. Hit the image below to see the full list.

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oscar
Sep 27, 2011 5:50pm

thanks suggs, madness is my favorite band, and I Plays sax for reason. The history of the band is very important for me, thanks, oscar

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Sep 27, 2011 6:36pm

You could pretty much figure what Suggs would more than likely have, but still very cool to see the face and Madness is always a never ending favorite of mine! Just feel a little old! LOL

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Sep 27, 2011 8:21pm

Anyone one from the two tone era are not suprised in the choice of Suggs music, why should we be? Great songs stand the test of time irrelevant of by whom.

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derek johnstone
Sep 27, 2011 9:21pm

Excellent Album choices,As a Scot im Absolutely made up to see Alex Harvey on there,I share 4 of his faves in my collection

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Stu
Sep 27, 2011 9:27pm

There's one or two songs on Absolutely [very cool album!] that reminded me of Roxy Music.

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Chris
Sep 28, 2011 7:37am

Wow if Suggs has the taste in music as me how come I’m not fronting a really successful band?. Loved them all (except possibly Beyoncé). I’m showing my age which is about the same as Suggs.

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Bob Carter
Sep 28, 2011 8:37am

Baggy Trousers all the way! Love your selection.

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raymondo
Sep 28, 2011 3:26pm

always loved (most of) madness' stuff. seen them a few times, past and present. still got a few 7" picture discs gathering dust. about time for a ska revival. off to see the specials on tour next month. 30+ years on but still gigging like its 1980!

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J M
Oct 1, 2011 6:14am

Some fantastic choices in there. I loved the inclusions of Roxy music, Primal Scream, Otis Redding and Jimmy Cliff, though I can't say it's a surprising collection. But yeah, great records.

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MICHAEL REES
Oct 1, 2011 9:54am

madness is the only band that stsys with me all my life go on other singers/bandds but allways back to madness there the music of my life good memories and bad alike MADNESS you just can't get any better,,,long may they stay making more great music love them 4eva and allways will....

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Ava
Nov 7, 2011 2:00am

Ha ha! Beyonce! That was surprising!

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Mark Paul-Clark
Nov 15, 2011 2:26pm

bang on the money suggs, higher than the sun is superb and reminds me a little of i want to take you higher by Sly and the family stone another awsome tune.

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John Hasler
Nov 16, 2011 9:23pm

Fuck me,, sometimes the internet throws up some beauties.
Bang on the button with the Madness influences. Not Beyonce or course, that's just an old man perving hahhah. Limited to 13 albums , so obviously couldn't get it all in, but a quick check fo Lou Reed, for Traffic, for the Blue Oyster Cult, to name but a few, and, on a personal note, the Who (particularly 'behind blue eyes). But the one band that was never covered by the lads, but was still a massive influence, was the Kinks. Madness were and are part of that timeless Englishness that was personified by the guvnor and carried on by Pulp and the Streets etc. Magnificent.

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John
Nov 16, 2011 9:28pm

In reply to derek johnstone:

derek, Alex has never recieved the status that he is due in the history of music. Him and Ian Dury were the dudes who layed the ground for the punk rock explosion. Vambo, comin oot tae get yea ;)

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Lola
Nov 19, 2011 6:56pm

Reminds me of home .... before I was carted away and planted in a new country .... and one of my dads mates albums is mentioned (didn't know he influenced another of my teenage idols, either ha ha ha ha) .... nice xx ....

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