Flashback Video: 'Our House' by Madness
Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.
This issue we will cover "Our House" by Madness. "Our House" was released in November of 1982 as the lead single from the band's fourth studio album. This became their 11th Top 10 hit in the UK, but it became their first and biggest hit in the U.S. peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July of 1983. "Our House" reached the Top 10 in at least seven other countries as well. I remember it getting regular radio airplay at the time and it stood out to me as really sounding different than most of the other pop songs at the time. I also remember the music video very well from those early years of the artform.
The music video for "Our House" was directed by Dave Robinson who had done most all of the Madness videos previous (dating back to 1979) and after. Robinson also went on to direct videos for Tracey Ullman including her 1983 hit "They Don't Know". They came up with a fun concept which featured quite a bit of silliness and slapstick humor. The video was filmed near the Willesden Junction rail station in north-west London and you can see the train running by at the start.
In the video, the band members portray a working-class family living in an old Victorian terraced house. The house is loosely based on the bass/trumpet player and song's co-writer Chas Smash's childhood home. Madness perform with their instruments crammed tightly in the living room (including strings and horns) with some scenes taking place elsewhere. Towards the end, the video also includes exterior shots of other houses including the Playboy Mansion, Stocks House in Aldbury, Hertfordshire and even Buckingham Palace. Here is the music video for "Our House" by Madness...
I am not exactly sure why the video and song connected with me so strongly, but it has always remained one of my favorites from that year.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!