The Prince (song)

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"The Prince"
Single by Madness
from the album One Step Beyond...
Released10 August 1979 (1979-08-10)
Format7-inch record
StudioPathway, Highbury, England
Label2 Tone
Songwriter(s)Lee Thompson
Madness singles chronology
"The Prince"
"One Step Beyond"
Audio sample

"The Prince" is a song by British ska/pop band Madness. It was written by Lee Thompson,[1] and was the band's first single. On 10 August 1979 the single was released through 2 Tone Records and peaked at number 16 in the UK Singles Chart, spending a total of 11 weeks in the charts.[2]

"The Prince" is a tribute to Jamaican ska singer Prince Buster, who influenced Madness (the band took their name from one of his songs, "Madness", which they covered on the b-side of "The Prince").

Music video[edit]

As this was the band's first single, they were relatively unknown prior to the release. Due to this fact, no music video was filmed for the single. However, the band later bought the rights to a performance on Top of the Pops from 6 September 1979. This performance has since become associated with the single, and has featured on compilations featuring the band's music videos.

Different recordings[edit]

The song was initially recorded on 16 June 1979 at the Pathway Studios, Highbury.[2] The track was then remixed on 9 July of the same year, along with the single's B-side, "Madness".[2] The remix was in order to remove the hum from Thompson's saxophone solo. However, Mike Barson showed displeasure at the mix of "Madness".[2]

The song was re-recorded later that year for the One Step Beyond... album. As well as having a distinctively clearer sound, the song had a slight change in lyrics and Mike Barson later admitted in the 33 1/3 book One Step Beyond... that he preferred it to the single version.[2] The B-side, "Madness", was also re-recorded for the album in a more multi-layered arrangement.

Track listing[edit]

7" vinyl single[edit]

Side one

  1. "The Prince" (Lee Thompson) – 2:30

Side two

  1. "Madness" (Cecil Campbell) – 2:32

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1979) Peak
UK Singles Chart 16 11


  1. ^ Greene, Jo-Ann."" One Step Beyond... Overview"". Retrieved on 28 June 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e ""The Madness Timeline: 1979"". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved on 27 June 2007.

External links[edit]