A must read for any fan of the band If you ve seen the film Take It Or Leave It , you will recognise some of their stolen rags to better class of rags trajectory into the public eye and pop stardom notoriety More of the same here but in much detail There s never a dull moment in here and each page has humour, honesty, dishonesty and a healthy dollop of good ol reality A reminder of simpler times perhaps, as well as the effort and commitment it took to get a band formed and off the starting blocks Excellent stuff. The first official book by MadnessInBefore We Was We Madness tell us how they became them A story of seven originals, whose collective graft, energy and talent took them from the sweaty depths of the Hope and Anchor s basement to the Top of the Pops studioIn their own words they each look back on shared adventures Playing music together, riding freight trains, spraying graffiti and stealing records Walking in one another s footsteps by day and rising up through the city s exploding pub music scene by night Before We Was We is irreverent, funny and full of character Just like them I wasn t disappointed by this book as I had no idea what to expect The clue s in the title though, the book is a series of collective memories from every member of the band of how they came to be The stories describe where and how they all came together, formed the band pretty much up to the One Step Beyond LP My Girl single It s composed in the style of a band reminiscing in conversation rather than a detailed trainspotter s manual It won t tell you much about anything after My Girl but surely that s the point isn t it During the build up to the book the band s Facebook page posted the following In case you didn t make it onto the inner sleeve of One Step Beyond , you ve got the chance to be in our new book Before We Was We.Comment below with your pictures from 1979 of yourself or of us and hashtag BeforeWeWasWe before 15th March 2019.Sure enough they published our 1979 photobooth pic on the book s endpapers Excellent book , and as you would expect from Madness,full of wit,flying through the pages as it s such an easy read.If you re a fan of the band this book is a must by.If you re not.buy it anyway ,you may learn something. This is a great read, as all the skulduggery and delinquency of their early lives reminded me of my misspent yoof Gang fights, getting beaten up, nicking, shoplifting, speed, spliffs, acid, the Chelsea Shed end, magistrates, punks, skins and the brilliant music we all grew up to The good old days of the 1970, although I don t miss them as the chaps also accurately convey a lot of the struggles of being young and rejected and having a lack of opportunities and direction Thank god they had Barso who drove them on to eventual success Brilliant read, I couldn t put it down. What I was hoping for was a properly written book outlining in detail how the band came to be Instead, what you get is a series of unstructured recollections covered in just a few sentences No flow, no structure In common with Suggs autobiography That Close there is just so much detail that has been left out regarding how the band came to be what they are today As a Madness fan of 40 years who still goes to see them at least twice a year, it is just so disappointing When will we get what everybody has been waiting for A properly written biography or autobiography covering the period from mid 70 s up to the present day An excellent book written by the band themselves It covers from their childhood and how they all met to 1980 and the My Girl single and their success All current members of the band have contributed but it s a shame some of the other important people couldn t contribute Key figures like John Hasler,Chalkey and Toks and Si Birdsall all contributed in their own way to the Madness story Even a where are they now feature would have been nice That is my only real gripe about the book I would recommend watching their film Take It Or Leave It as an excellent accompaniment to the book. Great informative book with plenty of past photographs.well worth the money for a good hardback of an iconic band.A MUST for Madness lovers Good book if you like Madness It was a gift The giftee liked it I wouldnt have as I don t like madness, but if I did I would have He liked it though I have enough madness in my life as is so didn t need to read about it too Suggs is in the book He s in madness Suggs is funny It s a funny book full of madness. The years 1970 1979 in the band s own words Excellent.