Monday, 25 July 2011

Remembrance Monday: Leilani - Madness Thing

"In 1999", you tell your grandkids, "there was a singer called Leilani who wore goggles on her head, a bit like the Crazy Frog." Your grandchildren are looking at you disdainfully. "And I remember she had this song where she said something like 'When your boyfriend comes home early; to find you sucking on a Curly Wurly; don’t you just hate the madness of it all?'" By now they look worried. "She was on all the kids programmes, CD:UK, Top Of The Pops; she did quite well for herself for a while." Your grandchildren haven't even heard of Top of The Pops, never mind CD:UK. The men in white coats are on their way. God knows why you're even telling them this, it's not like they asked to be lectured on obscure 90s popstars.

So basically you're a bit odd, but you've raised an interesting topic: Leilani. Leilani was this woman:

Leilani was briefly signed to Trevor Horn's ZTT at the end of the 90s and during her time as a popstar delivered one of the most incredible Top 20 singles of all time, the appropriately titled 'Madness Thing'.

The song, as you correctly remembered, contained the line "And when your boyfriend comes home early; to find you sucking on a Curly Wurly; don’t you just hate the madness of it all?" Which is mental. This being 1999, Leilani was presented as a jolly, colourful kiddiepop singer in the same mold as Lolly. Here she is on TOTP, performing on CD:UK and on 'Hype' (?).Where Lolly performed anodyne covers of 'Mickey' and the like, though, Leilani was pushing pop's boundaries. In a way. Another sample lyric from 'Madness Thing': "When your baby’s just been born; when the nun has just been shorn; don’t you just love the madness of it all?" These are rather outlandish lyrics for a time when beige, desecrative monstrosities like this could go Top 5. They might not make any sense, but they are definitely outlandish and nonetheless Leilani should be celebrated for it. As she would say herself, "When your boobies are too small; and when your boyfriend is too tall; don’t you just hate the madness of it all?"

                                       Forward to about 2:15 to see the video

Sadly, despite her position as a children's TV staple, 'Madness Thing' entered and peaked at only Number 19 and follow up 'Do You Want Me' only managed to reach Number 40. On the plus side, she did go on tour with Boyzone, if this interview with a slightly camp Ben Shephard is anything to go by. Another revelation from that interview is that she managed to complete her album, which, although seemingly in the possession of some people on the internet, was never officially released.

So what's she doing now? These people don't seem to know and this person doesn't know much either. She's either a very nomadic celebrity or, perhaps, as this person suggests, she's back working at the Happy Shopper that employed her before her success :(.


  1. Can u please help me find a lossless version of the song madness thing?

    1. To be honest I think I'd struggle, sorry. Maybe try ZTT Records, in whatever form they currently exist.