Sunday, August 17, 2014

Eve – The Beat Is So Crazy Ft. Madonna & Pharrell

Eve fans have something to celebrate today, unheard music from the Philly native. E-V-E has been pretty quiet musically so it’s nice to hear her on wax again even if the song is from 2007. “The Beat Is So Crazy,” was originally a Madonna track that the singer recorded and then sold to Eve. Pharrell is also featuring on the track. Listen below.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

All 16 of the Icons Name-Dropped in Madonna’s “Vogue” Are Now Gone

An odd bit of trivia about the passing of Lauren Bacall on Tuesday: As Marci Robin pointed out on Twitter, all 16 of the 20th-century stars immortalized in Madonna's “Vogue” are now dead. The famous black-and-white music video, directed by David Fincher, is an homage to the golden age of Hollywood.

The song came out in March of 1990; Greta Garbo died just a month later. (James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and others had already gone, of course.) Bacall, 24 years on, was the final one.  The song was a tribute, of course, to a certain kind of old-fashioned glamour. With Bacall gone, that flame has just about burned out. 

Greta Garbo (April 15, 1990)
Marilyn Monroe (Aug. 5, 1962)
Marlene Dietrich (May 6, 1992)
Joe DiMaggio (March 8, 1999)
Marlon Brando (July 1, 2004)
James Dean (Sept. 30, 1955)
Grace Kelly (Sept. 14, 1982)
Jean Harlow (June 7, 1937)
Gene Kelly (Feb. 2, 1996)
Fred Astaire (June 2, 1987)
Ginger Rogers (April 25, 1995)
Rita Hayworth (May 14, 1987)
Lauren Bacall (Aug. 12, 2014)
Katharine Hepburn (June 29, 2003)
Lana Turner (June 29, 1995)
Bette Davis (Oct. 6, 1989)​

Monday, August 11, 2014

Strike a Pose...1991

For the Record...Keep It Together

Released as the sixth and final single from the 'Like a Prayer' album on January 30, 1990; "Keep It Together" was initially planned to carry with it a previously unreleased b-side. The b-side in question? "Vogue." Luckily, that anthem would go on to have its own single release. Instead, "Keep It Together" set sail on its own -- without a sexy b-side to spice up sales. In the United States, "Keep It Together" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 56, on the issue dated February 3, 1990. The next week, "Keep It Together" jumped to number 41, becoming one of the greatest gaining songs. It eventually peaked at number eight on the Hot 100, on the issue dated March 31, 1990.  Its redux was reminiscent of the then-popular track "Back to Life" by Soul II Soul.  In Australia, it was released as the B-side of "Vogue", while it was not released in the United Kingdom at all, where "Dear Jessie" served as the album's final single.

Strike a pose...1995

Monday, August 4, 2014

Demo - Ariosa

Recorded by Madonna with William Orbit, this is the song from where 'Wonderland' comes. Wonderland, a 47 second song used for a short lived TV series from 1999. Orbit later posted a longer 59 second version on his website which credits Rupert Everett as a co-vocalist. Madonna is heard humming throughout the clip. The humming was later used on the Music album track, “Amazing.” The humming can be heard more prominently in the demo instrumentals. This short clip of 'Wonderland' actually comes from an unreleased song titled 'Ariosa'. Recorded during 1999 in the 'Music' Sessions.
"Everyone’s a know-it-all / But will they be there / To catch me when I fall?"
"Everyone’s a specialist
On where I’ve been
Or who I’ve kissed
Choices I should make
The lovers I should take…”

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I'll Remember...2000

Lets Hope Not!

Madonna Teases Miley Cyrus Collaboration?
In the latest teaser for the project, Madge posted some lyrics on Tuesday for a song that might be titled Rebel Heart and in the post she tagged both Mi-Cy and another rumoured collaborator, Cyrus-affilated songwriter MoZella. That’s a pretty strong hint that they’re working together but the twerkin’ 21-year-old basically confirmed it by replying to the post with a cheeky selfie.
Brace yourself for another intergenerational duet on Madonna‘s new album. 
The unlikely duo joined forces for Miley’s MTV Unplugged special earlier this year, so it’s not that surprising that they would work together again. Particularly given Madonna’s penchant for collaborating with much younger artists to remain relevant. (In her defense, everyone in the game is much younger at this stage). See the Queen of pop’s lyrics and her potential duet partner’s reply after the jump.
Smart or desperate? You be the judge in the comments below.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Madonna's new album: What we know so far

It's been two years since Madonna's chart-topping 12th studio album MDNA, but if you've been following the Queen of Pop on Instagram, you will be more than aware that she is currently working on the follow-up.

There's always been an air rife with anticipation when it comes to a new Madonna album. During her 31-year career she has kept her multi-generational fanbase second guessing what she's going to do next.

Let's take a look at some of the hints we have so far for album number 13, which include biblical references, numerous super producers and the prospect of some truly pop-tastic collaborations.

What's it going to sound like?
Since Madonna discovered Instagram, we've been teased with a multitude of 15-second clips from the studio. We know that she has recorded with a full orchestra, as well as the London Community Gospel Choir. Madonna has always put the orchestral side of pop to good use (see 'Like A Prayer' and the intro to 'Sorry'), so we could be in for some more rolling-around-in-a-church moments on the next record.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Test your knowledge of Madonna’s music with our ‘Guess which lyric comes next’ quiz

Madonna. Icon. Superstar. Material Girl.
She has worked with some of the biggest names in pop, and has 12 studio albums to her name.
Sure, most people can sing along to Like A Prayer if it came on the radio, but be honest, not many people know the lyrics further than the first chorus. Go on, try and sing the first verse now (in your head obviously – don’t embarrass yourself). Hard to recall the words, right?
If you managed to get the lyrics word-for-word then well done you, but what about some of Madge’s later tracks? Hung Up? Turn Up The Radio? Give It To Me?
Reckon you know them all? Then this quiz is for you.
The rules are simple: guess which lyric comes next. Good luck!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Madonna Re-Records An '80s Classic for Diplo


In news that's sure to make all of Madonna's past producers jealous, Diplo just revealed he got Madonna to re-record the vocals to one of her '80s classics in the midst of working on her upcoming album. Even cooler? She changed the lyrics to sing about him. Yes, Diplo is one of the luckiest people on the planet.

Madge sang new vocals for the "True Blue" single "La Isla Bonita," changing the lyrics to, "Last night I dreamt of Major Lazer" (which is one of Diplo's side projects). Diplo showed off the recording on an episode of the British series "Superstar DJs," which premieres tomorrow on BBC's Channel 4.
When he plays the track for host Annie Mac, she understandably loses it. Apparently being a "slave driver" while working on her new album is the best way to win her respect. 
Diplo isn't the only one manning the boards on Madge's latest. She also hit the studio with Avicii back in March, which means her brand of dance-pop might be taking an EDM turn on her upcoming record.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lourdes Dishes on Life After High School

In many ways, Lourdes Leon isn't your typical 18-year-old. Her mom is Madonna, after all. 
But the Material Girl designer and recent high school graduate still has time in her busy schedule to hang with friends. Lourdes, who goes by Lola, recently posted on her blog about graduation, prom and how she's been spending her last summer before college. 

"HEY to all the readers. I don't know if u heard (sarcasm) but I GRADUATED. GRAAAAAD. UATED. From High School. Its very difficult to wrap my head around because I feel like its something I've been talking about FOR EVER and it finally happened," she wrote. "There also isn't the ominous presence of another year of high school and test taking up ahead like there usually is when you're about mid way into the beautiful summer." 
"A week before graduation I attended the classic party every American teenager goes to despite the really bad music – this is known as prom. What can I say? Those of you who have been probably know exactly what I'm talking about. Of course I had a beautiful time but I'll attribute that to the fact that I partied with my awesome friends all night," she wrote. 

"I got to spend an entire weekend kicking it with my high school homies. It was a great way to end the year." 

"A week before graduation I attended the classic party every American teenager goes to despite the really bad music – this is known as prom. What can I say? Those of you who have been probably know exactly what I'm talking about. Of course I had a beautiful time but I'll attribute that to the fact that I partied with my awesome friends all night," she wrote. 
"I got to spend an entire weekend kicking it with my high school homies. It was a great way to end the year." 

For more from Lourdes, check out her blog

Sunday, July 20, 2014

For the Record...Angel

'Angel' was released on April 10, 1985 by Sire Records as the third single from the 'Like a Virgin' album.  One of Madonna's many singles which she co-wrote with Stephen Bray, "Angel" reached No. 5 on the Hot 100 in 1985. Rather famously, "Angel's" 12" vinyl single contains one of the most famous b-sides in U.S. history: "Into the Groove." While "Into the Groove" received a proper release in other countries, in America, it was relegated to b-side status despite its enormous popularity both on the radio and on MTV.  The single also became Madonna's fifth consecutive top-five single on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top of its dance charts. It was also able to reach number-one in Australia and the top-five of the charts in Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Madonna had initially planned to release a music video for "Angel", but later decided to go against it, as at that time, there were already five Madonna music videos on-rotation in the music channels and were being broadcast continuously. Hence, Warner Bros. and Madonna felt that adding another video to the already saturated channels, might not be in her favour. A promotional video, containing scenes from the music videos of "Burning Up", "Borderline", "Lucky Star", "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl" was made by Warner Bros. Records and aired in the United Kingdom.


The saying goes time flies when you're having fun. And it seemed the hours passed by unnoticed for Madonna, whose car was spotted being given a parking ticket by a warden as she left the Chiltern Firehouse on Saturday night.  The 55-year-old Grammy Award winning singer was seen leaving the popular London nightspot, with her chic black lace dress and click of bright red lipstick, Madonna ramped up the glamour on a night out in London on Saturday.  But despite leaving the club via a back exit, there was trouble in store for Madge when her driver received a parking ticket.

Earlier in the evening, the pop icon took to Instagram to share an extremely close-up shot of her face.  Referencing a line from her 1990 hit song Vogue, she included the message: 'What are you looking at!'

Friday, July 18, 2014

Madonna Flies Charter Flight

The 10 Best Covers of Madonna Songs

The Wikipedia page for Madonna tribute albums lists over 50 different collections of covers that render her songs in three times as many different ways: bossa nova, hard core punk, industrial, and as twinkly lullabies. And that’s not even counting the many different one-off versions that have popped up on albums and singles around the music world for the length of the Material Girl’s long reign on the public consciousness. Amid this chaff, there are plenty of worthwhile homages to our favourite pop princess, many of which you are likely familiar with and some you may have yet to hear. We waded through this pile of lace, leather and sparkle to come up with our highly subjective list of the 10 best takes on Madonna.

10. Information Society – “Express Yourself”
Of all the covers on this list, this is the one that feels the most obvious. These cyberpunks have been culling from the same pool of inspirations as Madonna for years, but filtered it into irony-laden Macbook technopop. Released on the 1999 Madonna tribute album Virgin Voices, this version cuts out every bit of the gospel histrionics that marks the original in place of a straightforward industrialized groove and slightly creepy samples that frequently bubble up throughout.
9. Sia – “Oh Father”
One of the least successful singles from her 1989 album Like A Prayer, “Oh Father” was a testament to Madonna’s willingness to mine her turbulent life for songwriting material. Tough stuff, to be sure, but effective all the same. Sia channels her own well of internal distress in her cover of the song (found on her 2010 LP We Are Born) but surrounds it with candyfloss synths and melodic textures that counter the original’s black & white template with bold primary colors.
8. Teenage Fanclub – “Like A Virgin”
We all have beloved kitschy covers songs like this, tracks that render heavily sequenced, computerized pop as raw rock tunes. This just happens to be my favorite. It feels like it existed solely to fill up the last bit of empty space on a reel of tape, a quality that bled into the rest of The King, the album on which this cover can be found, as the LP was released and then retracted on the same day in 1991. The vocals of bassist Gerard Love elevate this song due to his charmingly flat affect, as if he was three pints in and shoved onstage at a karaoke bar.
7. Bill Frisell – “Live To Tell”
This gorgeous cover arrives in a strange place on Frisell’s 1992 LP Have A Little Faith, arriving after he and his band spend some time working over a suite of songs from Aaron Copland’s Billy The Kid and right after they swing through Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied.” The master guitarist treats the ballad with something like humble respect, urging the melody out of his instrument, and using it as a framework for a gently floating solo that will just about take your breath away.
6. Ariel Pink – “Everybody”
There are 16 other covers to be had on the 2007 tribute album Through The Wildnerness, yet the only one that finds that sweet spot of respectful and blasphemous is this demo-like version of Madonna’s 1982 debut single. Like most of Pink’s other work, it has all the sonic beauty of a 92kbps mp3 demo that has been dumped onto a shitty cassette. In that mess, though, you’ll find the same urge to follow the song’s insistent lyrics to get up, dance, and sing.
5. John Wesley Harding – “Like A Prayer”
Another hallmark of the cover song game is to take a lush pop production and reduce it all down to the barest of minimums: a singer and a guitar. Which is exactly what John Wesley Harding did with this overblown anthem on his 1989 release God Made Me Do It: The Christmas EP. There was a cheeky element to his version, poking a hole in the massive tsunami of hype that accompanied the original’s release. But as with anything Harding does, there’s a deep element of respect for the song’s religious-based metaphor and ebullient drive.
4. Eric’s Trip – “Open Your Heart”
Like the aforementioned Teenage Fanclub cover, this New Brunswick, Canada, band ratchets up the distortion and angry drums in place of the glitterbomb synths and chicken-scratch guitar moves. But imagine the group ripping into this one in the middle of an already sublime set of noise rock and imagine yourself rightfully losing your little mind at the braggadocio and winking fun to be found in each overblown chord and bit of sneer singing.
3. The Flaming Lips/Stardeth & The White Dwarfs – “Borderline”
If you’re going to let Wayne Coyne and co. fuck around as much they seem to want to these days, why not insist on some great material from them to mess with? This follows the Lips’ template with big brash moments that try to replicate the feeling of watching a sunrise while ripped to the tits on acid. But to get there you have to lean in and catch nearly three minutes of cheap drum machine pulses and bits of noise that sound like your laptop’s hard drive having a gentle seizure. And god bless Coyne for still being able to tap into his tender side as he handles the pleading opening lines of this pop classic.
2. Vita feat. Ashanti – “Justify My Love”
It would be damn near impossible to improve upon the white-hot sensuality of Madonna’s 1990 original, so R&B singer Vita doesn’t bother. She instead uses virtually the same backing track and just oozes her quiet voice on top. And she ropes in the equally powerful Ashanti to provide a little extra heat to the choruses. This tribute gets extended to the accompanying video, which aims to replicate the controversial genuine article right down to the costumes and hotel hallway lapdance.
1. Ciccone Youth – “Into The Groove(y)”
This strange and wonderful side project of Sonic Youth and Minutemen bassist Mike Watt yielded only one LP, 1988’s The Whitey Album, and will likely best be remembered for this ridiculously awesome, lovingly fucked take on this track, best known for its use in the film Desperately Seeking Susan. The gang takes a dub-like approach to the track, with Thurston Moore’s vocals disappearing and returning throughout, snippets of the original popping up like small geysers, and applies the cut-up method to its use of drum machines and sequencers.
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor toPaste. You can follow him on Twitter.