Work Rest and Play – Madness EP (1980)

Wikipedia – “Work Rest and Play is an EP by British ska/pop band Madness. … The EP was headlined by the song ‘Night Boat to Cairo‘, from the band’s debut album One Step Beyond. The EP’s success was largely down to ‘Night Boat to Cairo‘, which headlined the set and had an accompanying music video. The fourth song, ‘Don’t Quote Me On That’, was a commentary on press coverage which had tried to paint the band as racists who supported the National Front. Some of the band’s shows had been disrupted by skinhead violence and, in a 1979 NME interview, Madness member Chas Smash was quoted as saying ‘We don’t care if people are in the NF as long as they’re having a good time.’ This was quoted to add to the speculation that Madness was a racist band supporting the National Front, although the band members denied those allegations. …”
W – Night Boat to Cairo
YouTube: Night Boat to Cairo, Deceives the Eye, My Girl

I Just Can’t Stop It – The English Beat (1980)

I Just Can’t Stop It was a late arrival onto the checker- boarded scene, the Specials, Madness and the Selecter had all beat the (English) Beat to the punch, but luckily this wasn’t a race. Besides, the band had already primed the pump with a trio of Top 10 singles — the double A-sided ‘Tears of a Clown’/’Ranking Full Stop,’ ‘Hands Off She’s Mine’ and ‘Mirror in the Bathroom,’ their debut album followed hard on ‘Mirror”s heels, picking up the latter two songs and “Full Stop” to boot. … Their own compositions were heavily cultural in theme — the radical cries to depose the prime minister on ‘Margaret,’ the slashing anti-violence of ‘Two Swords’ and even more ominous and feverish ‘Click Click,’ through the cultural nihilism of ‘Mirror’ itself. With a few softer love and lovelorn tracks taking some of the edge off. Stop was a stunning achievement, its driving, frenetic numbers grounded in punk’s fury smashing into the loose-limbed grooves and melodies of rocksteady inspired songs, and banging head on into sweeter pop fueled pieces. The album remained on the British charts for a whopping eight months, eventually peaking at Number Three. Time has not diminished its glory, the songs remain hugely as their continued inclusion in the band’s offshoot’s repertoire have proved.”
allmusic (Audio)
W – I Just Can’t Stop It
YouTube: Mirror In The Bathroom [Official Music Video]

Ghost Town – The Specials (1981)

“‘Ghost Town’ is a song by the British two-tone band the Specials, released on 12 June 1981. The song spent three weeks at number one and 10 weeks in total in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart. Addressing themes of urban decay, deindustrialisation, unemployment and violence in inner cities, the song is remembered for being a hit at the same time as riots were occurring in British cities. Internal tensions within the band were also coming to a head when the single was being recorded, resulting in the song being the last single recorded by the original seven members of the group before splitting up. However, the song was hailed by the contemporary UK music press as a major piece of popular social commentary, and all three of the major UK music magazines of the time awarded ‘Ghost Town’ the accolade of ‘Single of the Year’ for 1981. …”
YouTube: Ghost Town (Official Music Video), Ghost Town (Extended Mix) 6:01, Why?, Friday Night, Saturday Morning, Ghost Dub 91/ Let Us Unite Medley (Rare Mix)