Madness - One Step Beyond

With this song from Prince Buster, Madness's single became a huge hit, and launched the Ska & 2 tones madness over Europe. But beyond the success, this image captured perfectly an incredible joy and desire to have fun together. After the aggressive poses of punk and with the coming serious romanticism of New Wave, this was a welcome burst of lightness for the year 1979. The design was from Eddie & Jules, and the photography  from Cameron McVey.
This one is not only a classic, but it has found its way into the vernacular. This "Nutty Walk" pose not only defined them. It has been imitated countlessly, and just like the track still gives an irresistible urge to dance like mad, the design still remains brilliant and untouched by the passing of time. 

The simplicity of the typography perhaps helps here : not really special or interesting, but ok. And nothing gets old quicker than an up-to-date type setting ;-)

A final note on the origin of the Nutty Walk : it took inspiration from the opening sequence of the famous "The Monkee's" TV Show,  that was telling the story of an aspiring Pop band. This fake band, became very famous, and then decided to become a real one, enjoying a strings of big popular hits in the late sixties. Ten years later, they were surprisingly reverred by many punk bands in the late 70', as an anti-establishment example.
And then, Madness transformed the idea into an iconic visual, and brought back the fun in a period of excessive seriousness.

7 inch (Back)
 Please note the band symbol on the back cover. Here again, ahead of its time.


LP (Front)
As you can see, the sleeve of the LP was slightly different : Larger framing, black & White, with a different pose. Yet the same fun!

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