1992–2003: Reunion and Our House Musical

Towards the end of 1991, “It Must Be Love” was re-released and eventually reached number 6 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1992.[35] Following that, the singles compilation Divine Madness was released and peaked at number 1 in the album charts.[36] Madness then announced plans for a reunion concert, Madstock!, which was held at Finsbury Park, London on 8 and 9 August of that year.[37] The original line-up reunited, performing together for the first time since Barson left the band in 1984. Over 75,000 fans attended the weekend festival, and the dancing of the crowd caused some nearby tower blocks to shake perceptibly as they resonated with the frequency of the music.[5][38][39][40][41]

After the Finsbury Park comeback, a live album was released, and the associated single, “The Harder They Come” (a cover of Jimmy Cliff’s 1973 song) reached number 44 in the UK, with the album reaching number 22.[42]

The band continued to reunite for annual UK Christmas season tours and held three more Madstock! festivals; in 1994, 1996 and 1998. Also in 1998, Madness returned to America for their first tour there since 1984. The live album Universal Madness was recorded at the Universal Amphitheatre in L.A. and released the following year. In 1999, Madness released their first studio album since 1986, entitled Wonderful. The album reached number 17 in the UK Albums Chart, and the lead single, “Lovestruck”, gave the band their first top 10 hit in the UK since 1983. Neither of the two subsequent singles from the album, “Johnny The Horse” and “Drip Fed Fred”, entered the top 40 of the UK chart.[44][45]

From 28 October 2002 to 16 August 2003, a musical based on Madness songs, Our House, ran at the Cambridge Theatre in London. Madness played a role in the executive production of the show, and Suggs played a role in the production for a period, playing the central character’s father.[46] It won an Olivier Award for best new musical of 2003,[47] and the performance was released on DVD on 1 November 2004.[48] There was also a previous musical based on Madness songs, One Step Beyond!, written by Alan Gilbey.[49][50] The musical had a brief run at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1993[49][50] and a run at Putney Arts Theatre, London in 2012.



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