Sunday, September 18, 2016

Song of the Week: "Madness"

10 days ago, ska pioneer Prince Buster (born Cecil Bustamente Campbell in Kingston) died at the age of 78. Like a lot of white boys my age, I first heard of Prince Buster because I was a fan of Madness (one of my favorite bands ever), who were so influenced by the Prince's pioneering fusion of calypso and jazz (ska was a precursor to reggae, although people often report it the other way) that their first single, "The Prince," was a tribute to him, and they covered a few of his songs (including this one). The Specials were also influenced by Prince Buster. Apparently he had had a few strokes over the past seven years, and died after suffering heart complications. It makes me sad because his music is so fun and so laid back, and this song just makes me feel really relaxed and froody. I'm going to try to just rock steady today, Prince. Thanks for helping create this sound.

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