From the minute that I read Lisa Marie’s review of The Island two weeks ago, I knew that I wanted to highlight this video from Madness.
As you can tell from the title, the song is a tribute to Michael Caine and his status as a British cultural icon. The video is based on The IPCRESS File, the best known of the five films in which Caine played Harry Palmer. Harry was the working class equivalent of James Bond. Bond was a glamorous bachelor who slept with beautiful women and traveled the world. Harry, on the other hand, lived alone in a shabby flat, wore glasses, and never got paid what he deserved.
That actually is Michael Caine repeating his name for the song’s hook. When the band first approached him, Caine turned them down because he had never heard of them. Only after his daughter told him how popular Madness was did Caine change his mind. The sample of Caine repeating his own name was meant as a tribute to a scene in The IPCRESS File, in which Harry Palmer resisted a brainwashing attempt by repeating his own name.
Michael Caine spent 8 weeks on the British charts, peaking at number 11.