Madness

Johnny the Horse

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This edition of the "Johnny the Horse" single includes an enhanced video which can be viewed on a computer. "Johnny" was the second single to be released from Madness' 20th anniversary comeback album Wonderful. Coming on the heels of the irresistible "Lovestruck," "Johnny" gave fans reason to think that the nutty boys might have regained their machine-like ability to crank out British pop hits. Like the first single, it is a return to the hook-laden orchestrated pop sound of early '80s albums Keep Moving and The Rise and Fall. The video is more technically advanced than the low-budget videos made by the band in the '80s, at one point using snazzy digital special effects to morph back and forth between shots of different band member's heads. But the style is very much consistent with their earlier videos. While it's not as nutty as, say, "House of Fun" or "Cardiac Arrest," it's very much in the vein of storytelling videos like "One Better Day," "Michael Caine," and "Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)." The visual quality of the video is excellent, and it includes several interactive features that the videos on the box set The Lot lack. This single also includes "You're Wonderful (remix)," which seems a little odd; the original is not available on any CD since it was cut from the album Wonderful, for which it was to be the title track. Musically the song would have fit in very well with the album. It features the same sweepingly orchestrated pop sound that dominates Mad Not Mad. The band had been playing the song in concerts for some time before Wonderful was released, and it seems to have been designed for live performance. Lines like "I cry a salty tear for those who are not here on this day. You're wonderful, it's great to be here" indicate that the song is intended as a thank you to their audiences. Perhaps that's why they cut it from the album. In any case, it's a good sight better than several of the tracks that did make it.