THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
801-Madness-House of Fun.
1982-Number 1 single.
Best Bit-At 2.08.I have it on very good authority from someone who should be in the know that ‘Joe’ is in fact a name check for the fictional character Joe Sugden, from the TV soap Emmerdale Farm, but he may have been fibbing to me.
Madness (see also best songs 69) were formed in Camden Town, London, England in 1976, and are still active, having released their 12th, and latest Album ‘Can’t Touch Us Now’ in 2017.Although they have had 30 top 40 singles, this song remains their only Number 1 song in the UK.
‘House of Fun’ was written by band members Lee Thompson, and Mike Barson, it was originally recorded under the title ‘Chemist Facade,’without the ‘Welcome to the house of fun chorus. Head of ‘Stiff Records’ Dave Robinson insisted that if the song was going to be a single it needed a chorus, and although unaccredited Suggs claims to have written that chorus.
The song is about coming of age,telling the story of a boy on his 16th birthday attempting to buy condoms, at a pharmacy. However the boy is misunderstood by the chemist, as he uses slang euphemisms, such as ‘box of balloons,’and ‘party hats with the coloured tips.’The chemist sends him to the house of fun, which is a joke shop down the road.
‘Well hello Joe, hello Miss Clay, many happy returns from the day.’