Absolutely is the second album by British Ska band Madness, released in 1980. Less beloved than One Step Beyond (1979) and The Rise & Fall (1984) it is best known for the hits "Baggy Trousers", "Embarrassment" and "The Return Of The Los Palmas 7".
- "Baggy Trousers" (2:45)
- "Embarrassment" (3:13)
- "E.R.N.I.E." (2:45)
- "Close Escape" (3:29)
- "Not Home Today" (2:30)
- "On The Beat Pete" (3:05)
- "Solid Gone" (2:22)
- "Take It Or Leave It" (3:26)
- "Shadow Of Fear" (1:58)
- "Disappear" (2:58)
- "Overdone" (3:45)
- "In the Rain" (2:42)
- "You Said" (2:35)
- "The Return Of The Los Palmas 7" (2:01)
- Answer Song: Lead singer Suggs has claimed that the band's hit song "Baggy Trousers" from Absolutely (which is about fond memories of school) was a response to "Another Brick In the Wall" from The Wall by Pink Floyd.
- Especially sarcastic, since the Pink Floyd song is about kids being indoctrinated as conformist drones, while the Madness song's "fond memories" of school are all about pranking, fighting and vandalism.
- Anti-Police Song: Unexpectedly reversed in "On the Beat, Pete" from Absolutely by Madness, which is a song from the point of view of a kindly Old-Fashioned Copper who helps the disabled and lost tourists, banters with criminals, and is compassionate to tramps and prostitutes.
- Face on the Cover: The band members posing near the The London Underground.
- The Good Old British Comp: Subject of "Baggy Trousers", and the song is often used as a stock piece to indicate 'nostalgia for schooldays' in British media.
- Harassing Phone Call: "Close Escape" from Absolutely is a black comedy number from the PoV of an obscene phone caller.
- I Believe I Can Fly: The music video of "Baggy Trousers" has their saxophonist Lee Thompson starting to float in the air, out of nowhere. The effect was done with wires hanging from a crane.
- I Have No Daughter!: "Embarrassment" sees the protagonist get rejected by every member of their family one by one, all for the monstrous crime... of being pregnant with a half-caste baby.
- Long Pants: "Baggy Trousers". One band member also shows them off on the album cover.
- Nostalgia Filter: "Baggy Trousers" is a nostalgic song about the days of youth, especially in British schools.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: "Baggy Trousers" is sung with an accent that omits certain letters from words.
- One-Word Title: "Disappear", "Overdone".
- Real Life Writes the Plot: The album title was inspired by a Verbal Tic of their tour manager and sound man Tony Duffield. "Embarrassment" was inspired by the shame Lee Thompson felt when his family was outraged when his sister got pregnant by her black lover. Once the baby was born the tensions disappeared and they were accepted.
- Rhymes on a Dime: "On The Beat, Pete".
- In The Young Ones episode "Boring" Vyvvyan says: "Madness! It's an embarrassment", referencing the song "Embarrassment".
- The music video of "The Return of the Los Palmas 7" shows footage from A New Hope, tennis player Björn Borg, Morecambe and Wise, Harold Wilson, a poster of the film Law And Order with Ronald Reagan, The British Royal Family, Charlie Chaplin, footballer Bobby Moore, Garry Sobers and Ray Illingworth, Mick Jagger, Margaret Thatcher, footballer Frank McLintock, Richard Nixon, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, French president Georges Pompidou, Edward Heath, Jeremy Thorpe, Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, Jimmy Carter and James Callaghan, Peter Sellers, Jane Fonda, Haile Selassie, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips. The title of the song itself is a parody of the 1980 Cult Classic Return Of The Secaucus Seven. Footage from the music video in turn was also featured in the music video of Bob Marley's "One Love", which also has guest appearances by Madness band members Suggs and Chas Smash.
- Spelling Song: Inverted for "E.R.N.I.E." as the title spells the word out note but the song itself does not.
- Take That!: "Embarrassment" is one against Lee Thompson's own family for rejecting his sister when she got pregnant by a black lover. note
- Through the Eyes of Madness: "Shadow of Fear" (what appears to be religious paranoia), "Primrose Hill" (probably about severe agoraphobia).
- Unintentional Period Piece: "Baggy Trousers" mentions caning as a school punishment, which was outlawed in 1987.