NW5 is an area in North London, including Kentish Town and Tufnell Park adjacent to Camden Town where Madness hail from.
This was written by Madness saxophone player Lee Thompson and pianist Mike Barson. The duo also wrote some of the band's other hits including "House of Fun" and "Embarrassment." Thompson spoke to the Camden Gazette about this track: "It's about a friend of mine from NW5 who I used to hang about with as far back as the mid-'60s, who unfortunately passed on. I went on to become a Pop star and he got into the dark side of life. I'm no angel, I got into alcohol a bit but he got into the hard stuff, some pretty heavy drugs. It's about friendship and how life can change you."
In Gary Numan's "Cars," the message is that cars lead to a mechanical society devoid of personal interaction. This didn't stop automakers from using it in commercials. Both Nissan and Oldsmobile have used it in ads.