Prince Buster, dead at 78
Prince Buster, Jamaican ska pioneer, died yesterday. Hugely influential in the Jamaican ska and rocksteady scenes, I knew of him due to his inspiration of a small North London band that later became Madness.
His influence did, however, resurface in the late 1970s, when his music was the key inspiration for the ska revival in Britain. In 1978 a London band called Morris and the Minors renamed themselves Madness after Buster’s classic song Madness is Gladness, and in 1978 their first single, The Prince, went straight into the top 20. The band later reached number seven with a reworking of the Buster song One Step Beyond.