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Madness: I Like Driving in My Car

Pop group Madness dominated the charts in the 1980s, releasing a clutch of top ten hits such as Driving in My Car. Here's the lowdown on the nutty boys and the origins of this particular song.

Madness

© Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo

 

How Madness formed

Although the group Madness was created in 1978, the band members had been together in a different guise before then. Originally naming themselves the Invaders in 1976, the band consisted of pals Mike Barson, Lee Thompson and Chris Foreman. Just a couple of years later, they decided to go by the name of Morris and the Minors, adding several new faces to the line-up, including Graham McPherson (Suggs), Mark Bedford, Dan Woodgate and Chas Smith.

Taking inspiration from a Prince Buster song, the Camden Town-based group finally settled on calling themselves Madness.

Bringing a unique ska vibe to the British music scene, Madness soon stormed the charts. The band's first couple of single releases were tributes to Prince Buster, and their first album, One Step Beyond, reached number two in the UK charts, maintaining a place within the charts for over a year.

By 1980, further hits followed for Madness including My Girl, Baggy Trousers, It Must Be Love and House of Fun. During a three-year period, they amassed an impressive string of 13 top ten hits.

 

Driving in My Car

During this time, Madness released one of their most memorable tracks to date - Driving in My Car. This catchy ditty was released on 24 July, 1982. It enjoyed eight weeks in the UK charts, peaking at number four for three of those weeks. It also reached number three in Ireland and made the top 20 in Australia.

Written by Mike Barson and produced by Alan Winstanley and Clive Langer, Driving in My Car was the seventh of ten singles by Madness to make it to the UK top five. It was also the group's 13th consecutive hit (out of 20) to reach the top 20.

Driving in My Car was released as a stand-alone single, although it later featured on the 1986 album, Utter Madness. It was also included on the 2010 re-release of the 1982 album, The Rise and Fall. The song's B-side was Animal Farm - a mainly instrumental track offering a fresh take on the song, Tomorrow's Dream. On the 12" version, another song was also included that reworded the main hit, entitled Riding on My Bike, as sung by Lee Thompson.

 

Video

Alongside the wacky lyrics of Driving in My Car is an equally light-hearted video.

The group members take on the role of mechanics as they prance around in a workshop wearing white overalls. Lead singer, Suggs, dressed in a white shirt, bow tie and straw boater hat, is sat in a white 1959 Morris Minor called Maddiemobile. As Suggs drives around the streets in the car, he's joined by the mechanics, who are now also dressed in a similar style. The video switches between driving scenes and the studio, where the band are playing instruments.

About half-way through the video, a trio of hitchhikers can be seen with a 'Coventry or bust' sign. You might recognise them as 80s band, Fun Boy Three.

With 37 singles, 12 studio albums, nine compilation albums and an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection, it's fair to say Madness enjoyed massive success. Although the group split up in 1986, they have reunited several times over the years, with their last album released in 2016.

 

Do you like driving in your car?

Whether you own a vintage car like the one in the Madness song, or something more modern, keeping it in tip-top condition is crucial. Available in variety of shapes and sizes, the wide range of protective rubber matting for cars available from Coruba will ensure you really do get to enjoy driving your car.



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