Yesterday's Men

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"Yesterday's Men"
Yesterdays Men.jpg
Single by Madness
from the album Mad Not Mad
Released19 August 1985
Format7" vinyl
Songwriter(s)Graham McPherson (lyrics)
Chris Foreman (music)
Producer(s)Clive Langer
Alan Winstanley
Madness singles chronology
"One Better Day"
"Yesterday's Men"
"Uncle Sam"

"Yesterday's Men" is a song by British band Madness, released in 1985 from their sixth studio album Mad Not Mad. It was written by Graham McPherson and Chris Foreman, and produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. The song spent 7 weeks on the UK Singles Chart peaking at number 18.[1] The song was edited for release as a single, the album version being some thirty seconds longer. A music video was filmed to promote the single, directed by Chris Gabrin.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Upon release, Paul Bursche of Number One stated: "A grim portrait of a land without hope. A real grower this that finally emerges into one of the best songs the group have ever done. Very Sade-ish but even the orchestration can't disguise a new lush Madness sound."[3] Ian Cranna of Smash Hits wrote: "This mournful little exhortation to hang on in there with gentle percussion and varied instrumental weaving must be quite satisfying to record after being so nutty for so long, but it's hardly soul-stirring stuff."[4] The song was ranked number 7 among the "Tracks of the Year" for 1985 by NME.[5]

In a retrospective review of Mad Not Mad, Darryl Cater of AllMusic described the song as "dwell[ing] on themes of transience and aging".[6] Terry Staunton of Record Collector noted: "The wacky humour of old, already on the wane in their previous outing, Keep Moving, was almost totally eclipsed by sombre tones of resignation, best exemplified on the single "Yesterday's Men"."[7]

7" Track listing[edit]

  1. "Yesterday's Men" - 4:07
  2. "All I Knew" - 3:07

12" Track listing[edit]

  1. "Yesterday's Men" (Extended Version) - 8:05
  2. "All I Knew" - 3:07
  3. "Yesterday's Men" (Demo Version) - 3:33

7" 'Picture Disc & Extra Disc' Track Listing[edit]

  1. "Yesterday's Men" 4:07
  2. "All I Knew" 3:07
  3. "Yesterday's Men" (Harmonica Version) 4:37
  4. "It Must Be Love" (live) 3:35

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
UK Singles Chart[1] 18


  1. ^ a b "Madness | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  2. ^ "House of Fun: The Story of Madness - John Reed - Google Books". Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  3. ^ Bursche, Paul (24 August 1985). "Singles". Number One magazine.
  4. ^ Cranna, Ian (14 August 1985). "Review: Singles". Smash Hits magazine.
  5. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  6. ^ AllMusic Review by Darryl Cater. "Mad Not Mad - Madness | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  7. ^ "Mad Not Mad - Record Collector Magazine". Retrieved 2018-07-29.