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  1. I was talking about the sound vs the lyrical content. Hollywood has birds chirping and ... oh never mind. I was talking about a sound that would have not been out of place on US radio formats at the time. And yes, I think it’s slightly more subtle to have a song that sounds “cheery” (to quote the poster to whom I was responding) with a chorus that says “Shine your light now” and “you’ll get it right now ‘cause you’re in Hollywood” ... when the subtext of the song is the opposite. You’re an intelligent Madonna fan, so you know what her message is. But the song’s text isn’t subversive. The subtext is. “How could it hurt you when it looks so good?” is rhetorical yes, but it implies harmlessness on the surface, when we know full well Madonna is trying to warn of the dangers of fame and the entertainment industry.
  2. Right — there’s no real evidence to corroborate that rumor. The Craig McDean photo shoot for the album artwork, on the other hand, we *know* required an expensive re-working to remove the weapons. I remember reading about how expensive the shoot was — and I imagine the retouching only increased the bill. And then the M|M design, I’m sure, was another expense (using the McDean images). There were rumors the label was unhappy about that.
  3. Right — it was subversive in its message — sneaky in that regard because it felt so sunny on the surface. I always thought “Hollywood” might’ve done better at the time if it had been unencumbered by the happenings that preceded it. (And how unlucky that it faced its own “controversy” with the lawsuit from the Bourdin estate. Sigh.) Please don’t take the comparison too far — can’t recall whether Hollywood came before or after Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun,” but I always felt like if the one could do well on radio, so could the other. Maybe a stretch, but ... I remember thinking that at the time, anyway.
  4. Correct. But that director wouldn’t film the movie with Goldie and Madonna. So, yeah, she ended up filming TNBT. In either case, it’s not that she chose not to make the movie with Goldie. But, had she lobbied for the part again under Rob Marshall (as she so vocally lobbied to play Evita) she would have been filming Chicago when she was, instead, in Malta filming Swept Away. I guess I view it as the moment it finally escaped her was 2001. She was favored to be in the film version back in the 1980s, too, before Bob Fosse died. So there were many “almost” moments that, in the end, never aligned. (In some DVD extra, Harvey Weinstein — of all people, I know — talked about how many different times the film was almost made, and how many different names were attached to the project through the decades. Madonna and Goldie weren’t the only ones in contention before the ultimate casting of CZJ and RZ. So it’s difficult to believe in 1999 M and Goldie were actually on the cusp of it any more so than other times with other actresses. Would have been awesome, though.
  5. Yes. The song “American Life” was the last time I remember hearing a new Madonna single on radio — and I remember that, as the song faded out, the DJ came back on saying, “Man, she just gets weirder and weirder...” I remember feeling very sad about that — thinking it was the end of an era. It seemed sudden, given that “Die Another Day” was a top 10 hit and received good airplay from what I can recall. (I’m sure “4 Minutes” was probably played on said station, but I stopped listening to radio by then...) I think the album should have been called NOBODY KNOWS ME. “Hollywood” could have been the lead single, with NKM as a follow-up. Nothing Fails (w/ a video) as the third. I don’t think this would have been crazily more successful or anything. But I think it would have side-stepped the fiasco of the first single and retracted video (and then the lack-lustre flag video) ... I don’t know — I know it seems silly to suggest Madonna not be political and not express her opinion. She still may have done all that — but because she had to back-pedal anyway, due to family and safety concerns, it seems maybe avoiding that route might have been just as effective and mitigated the polarizing effects of that first single (sonically — because of the much-maligned rap — as much as thematically). Seriously, I don’t know that the themes of the album are any more the issues with “America” than other existential struggles she was wrestling with. “Nobody Knows Me” would have allowed her to release a single in the vein of “Impressive Instant” and still might have allowed M to feel she was being resistant to the fame-hungry culture and also resistant to the idea that because she had been famous for so long that she had no depth left to reveal. She still had layers to share, would be the implied message of “Nobody Knows Me.” (And the “... like you know me” could still be a wink to the fans or a romantic notion...) Whatever! It’s all history now. No sense rambling on about it, I suppose...
  6. Not quite. Production the album featured “Disco Science” which was well received and licensed to quite a few projects at the time. The demo of “Disco Science” was actually how Madonna was introduced to his sound, and she thought his music was “the sound of the future” ... she wanted to work with him, and she did. He did that YAS.POP album after his last work with Madonna (post-COADF). That was the last I heard from him, although others have posted some YouTube videos of songs he has produced in the past decade or so.
  7. In the end, it was Swept Away that was filmed while Chicago was in production. Rehearsals for Chicago (with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger) were to begin (I believe in NYC, even though filming was to be in Toronto) on September 11, 2001 — obviously they were delayed because of the terrorist attacks. M was still finishing DWT, as we know, but she was so close to the end then. If the role had been hers, we know she could have still gone immediately into rehearsals for Chicago instead of into filming Swept Away. Alas...
  8. According to the “Jump” single liner notes, “History” was written and produced by Madonna and Stuart Price. It was mixed by Mark “Spike” Stent. I love Mirwais, and I do think he makes use of M’s voice in interesting ways BUT I also think — as noted previously in this thread — I think people are forgetting the phenomenal impact of Mark “Spike” Stent in mixing. I think the complaints about her voice being obscured in the mix, etc., can be attributed to the involvement of Demacio “Demo” Castellon. (Those complaining that Orbit doesn’t know how to record her — with his MDNA tracks as evidence — can refer to his comments about the recording process, where he explained that all vocals had to be run through some process by Demo. So... I wouldn’t lay all the blame at Orbit’s feet there...) Here’s hoping Spike is available! His work is pristine!
  9. I feel like I say these things every so many weeks! Every time I want to say it, I have to remind myself I’ve said it too recently. Thank you for articulating these sentiments for me @acko & @Jazzy Jan!! xo
  10. Madonna RARE

    Forever giving good face! Thank you, @Plasticlimbo!
  11. Didn’t Jimmy Fallon ask her to sing this during the MDNA Facebook interview? Can’t recall what she said, but I think she seemed open to it...? She also said she wouldn’t be able to sing songs like Material Girl or Like a Virgin (or even Vogue?!) anymore ... and she has since performed them all. And she has called other songs cheesy or dorky, and she has sung them live, too. Just because she has a negative emotional memory attached to a song doesn’t mean it will always and forever be “punished.” She performed “Nothing Fails” on the RIT. (Supposedly “Love Profusion” was rehearsed, too ... as was “I’m So Stupid.” There is evidence of the latter in IGTTYAS, so it’s likely true about LP, as well.)
  12. Loved it. (I mean, it followed that particularly HOT version of “Candy Shop,” so... ) Loved that whole section of the show, tbqh. Perfection.
  13. The rumor at the time — and I could be completely in error here, so please forgive me if someone else who is better informed shares otherwise — but Has to Be was originally supposed to be included. But M is into numerology (and was especially so at the time of ROL) and she wanted a 13-track album because the number 13 was better to her somehow. (I know it sounds a little silly, but...) Has to Be was included on the Japanese edition anyway, because, as we all know and have seen over the years, Warner Japan was always allowed to do whatever they wanted. I do not recall any story that Has to Be was replaced with another track. In fact, she talked about someone (was it Goldie or Tricky or some trip-hop artist from the UK?) who supposedly loved THANTH, and he said he wanted to remix it ... she made sure he got the necessary track components, but she never heard from him again. I believe she shared this in the SPIN interview at the time (“Can Mommy Have Her Props Now?”). This seems an unlikely story for a track that barely made the cut on the album.
  14. Agreed. The album booklet confirms it is “makes” ... whether she means that music “creates” or “forms” both the bourgeoisie and the rebel, or whether there is an unfinished rhyme/couplet (e.g. “music makes the bourgeoisie and the rebel [come together]” ) we’ll never know. Before anyone says that makes no sense — the album booklet had some weird ways of printing the lyrics (where there was some overlapping lines of type and characters overlapping - Kevin Reagan was great, but that effect did seem odd to me)... anyway, it made the lyrics read like that — inferring “come together.” Some remixes even make that more explicit (Hex Hector and Mac Quayle comes to mind). Then again, the lyrics in some booklets also say “But she’s everything I’m in / Got to have it every day” instead of “Touches everything I’m in ...” So. Yeah. Who knows.