Baggy Trousers
Baggy Trousers
Single by Madness from the album Absolutely
Released September 5 1980
Recorded 1980
Length 2:46
Format 7"
Genre Ska/Pop
Label Stiff Records
Writer Graham McPherson
Chris Foreman
Musicians Madness
Producer Clive Langer
Alan Winstanley
B Side The Business
Baggy Trousers/Lyrics
Madness Single Chronology
Last single Work Rest and Play EP (1980)
This single Baggy Trousers (1980)
Next single Embarrassment (1980)
Absolutely Album Chronology
Last track N/A
This track Baggy Trousers
Next track E.R.N.I.E.

"Baggy Trousers" is a song by Madness from their 1980 album Absolutely. It was written by lead singer Suggs and reminisces on school days. Mike Barson and Chris Foreman also received writing credits (though Barson was credited in error, the correct McPherson/Foreman credit being used for subsequent releases).

The band first began performing the song at live shows in April of 1980. It was released as a single on September 5, 1980 and spent 20 weeks in UK charts, reaching a high of #3.

Music videoEdit

The music video of this song was shot in a school and park of Kentish Town. The band's saxophone player, Lee Thompson, decided he wanted to fly through the air for his solo, with the use of wires hanging from a crane. The resulting shot is one of the most popular of any Madness music videos. Thompson recreated the moment live at the band's reunion concert in 1992, Madstock!

The video was met with a great critical response from the public, and was particularly important as it now allowed television shows such as Top of the Pops to show the band's music video, taking strain off the band. Following the release of "Baggy Trousers," the public began to anticipate future Madness music videos.

Usage in popular cultureEdit

The song was featured in the 2001 film "Mean Machine", and was included in the accompanying soundtrack. Colgate used a slightly different version of the song with different lyrics to sell their Blue Minty Gel toothpaste and Colgate Pump container for a television advertisement. It is also used continually throughout the play "The History Boys"

A popular joke concerning the song is "Baggy trousers are the first sign of Madness."


In addition to its single release and appearance on the album Absolutely, Baggy Trousers also appears on the Madness collections Divine Madness (a.k.a. The Heavy Heavy Hits), Complete Madness, It's... Madness, Total Madness, The Business and Our House: the Best of Madness. Its only appearance on a US Madness compilation is on Ultimate Collection.