Music Video of the Day: Baggy Trousers by Madness (1980, directed by Dave Robinson)

“I remember thinking that Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall showed a very different school experience to ours. In my school, I generally felt sorry for the teachers who were given a hard time because we were all up to no good. So I tried to redress the balance a little bit with this song. The title refers to the high-waisted Oxford bags we used to wear with Kevin Keegan perms – the worst fashion known to humankind. It became so popular with primary school kids that it resulted in us doing a matinée tour.”

— Suggs, in an interview with Daily Mirror

“‘Baggy Trousers’ was sort of an answer to Pink Floyd, even at that age I thought the line ‘teacher leave the kids, alone’ was a bit strange, sinister – though I think Floyd are a great band. It sounded self-indulgent to be going on how terrible schooldays had been; there was an inverted snobbery about it too. ‘You went to a posh public school? You wanna try going to my school.'”

— Suggs, in an interview with Uncut magazine

This is the video in which saxophonist Lee Thompson “flies” while performing a solo.  The flying, of course, was done through the use of wires and a crane.  It was one of Madness’s early trademark moments and it was also one that was frequently recreated in later performances.

This video was important in the history of Madness.  Filmed at a time when music videos were still considered to be a novelty and most band’s music videos were just clips of the band performing in concert, the video for Baggy Trousers was viewed as being something very different indeed.  It premiered on Top of the Pops and was so popular that the British public started to eagerly anticipate future videos from the band.  Madness proved themselves to be more than capable of delivering what their fans wanted.


One response to “Music Video of the Day: Baggy Trousers by Madness (1980, directed by Dave Robinson)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 2/8/21 — 2/14/21 | Through the Shattered Lens

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