dirty martini

old music for new people

madonna should have retired in the 80s July 23, 2008

i’m updating this post as the download link expired.

i’m not even going to pretend or aspire to a real appreciation of anything that madonna did after 1989.

at the start of her career, madonna represented a backlash against society. it was punk for people who didn’t like punk music. madonna swore, acted stupid and girly, married a bad boy and wore what the hell she liked.

for me, things started to go downhill when she tried to morph into marilyn monroe for her true blue album in 1986. by the end of the decade she was making good music but the controversy she incited was planned, not accidental. the religion baiting ‘like a prayer’ was pepsi endorsed , ‘justify my love’ had a full length video by jean baptiste-mondino. there was none of the grit left of a girl who worked in dunkin’ donuts to support herself while she recorded a demo.

we loved the electric, synthesised beats, raw vocals and a unique style. we don’t need to see madonna in jean paul gaultier or d&g, anyone with money can wear those labels. messy dirty blonde hair, stretch lace, ripped tshirts and leggings – all of these were her signature style but after desperately seeking susan she seemed to distance herself from the very image that made her.

if madonna had retired almost twenty years ago in 1989, and lets face it she could afford to have done, would her legacy be greater? the erotica phase was an embarrassment, the little girls who had idolised her were rapidly growing into young adults and didn’t need to see their childhood inspiration acting like a depraved teenager. the whole kabbalah thing is a joke, and the marriage to guy ritche makes her seem more likeable, which was never the point of madonna.

the only songs i have really liked from madonna post-dick tracy have been ‘deeper and deeper’, ‘take a bow’ and ‘don’t tell me’. but i could have lived without them. and then – i contradicted myself by listing ten songs by madonna post-gambler that i don’t hate

download madonna originals here

get up

very early 80s pop, almost post-disco soul with a blondie inspired copycat rap at the end. possibly penned as an ode to her time in new york pre-fame. its a long way from this to abba-sampling on ‘hung up’. now that was something i never expected…

crimes of passion

could have fitted easily into ‘like a virgin’ but wasn’t really dancey enough for her debut i suppose. if this had been leaked in 1985 we’d have been in raptures.

don’t you know

this song, recorded in 1981 along with ‘stay’ amongst others, was eventually incorporated into the version of ‘stay’ on the ‘like a virgin’ album. i like this demo, it’s bouncier and has nice zaps and bleeps.

ain’t no big deal

recorded to be madonna’s first single, but left off the album entirely due to a dispute with ex-boyfriend stephen bray, but later rerecorded and used as a b-side.

lucky star – original 12″ mix

posted in its full glory as you can’t have too much ‘lucky star’. one of my favourites and deceptively child friendly which is probably why my parents let me buy it. i wasn’t allowed to dress like she did in the video though. 

spotlight

we didn’t hear this until the ‘you can dance’ remix album in 1987, but it was recorded for the ‘true blue’ album. of course these days it would leak along with the album. makes you wonder what else exists. back then we literally only heard what artists wanted us to.

burning up – original uk version

when i bought ‘the first album’ on cd i was confused. i thought i remembered ‘burning up’ being better, and dancier, than this. it seems in the US and rest of the world, they used a guitar driven mix that I’d never heard. on the UK tape version, we had what was apparently used on only early vinyl copies. its so much better. but the demo version, which i recently discovered, is nice and sparkly, rather than grungey, as well.

physical attraction

i love the bleepy almost aquatic sound to this track. or maybe its because i got back from swimming on the day i was bought ‘the first album’ as an early birthday present and that’s just the association i’m making…this is the full album version cos i love the spoken bit in the middle. i was too young to understand or appreciate the sentiment.

borderline – first album version

again, the version those of us in the UK will be most familiar with as it was on our version of ‘the first album’. i really love this song, more so now.

gambler – dance remix

many people seem to forget about this track as unless you were going to buy the ‘vision quest’ soundtrack, and let’s face it no one was, you could only get this on vinyl. but it’s madonna at her best, the exact reason why we loved her and parents didn’t. at the point this was released, madonna could have sneezed and gone top 10.

crazy for you – soundtrack version

the perennial end-of-the-disco favourite. this song, along with ‘into the groove’ and ‘holiday’ was in the top 10 for most of the summer in 1985 and i played them incessantly. i was in my first year at junior school and madonna was like nothing else we’d seen before. this version goes on a bit longer than the single version i had, i think that’s the only difference

into the groove – original version

it took a while for me to realise that the version on the ‘immaculate collection’ is not the original. its obviously different, and utter crap, but we weren’t so finely tuned to recognise remixes back then. anyway, once i realised, i got rid, and replaced it with this far superior original. shep pettibone should be ashamed of himself.

dress you up – formal mix

this is a very 80s 12″ – ie. a bit longer, some extra beats, a few sound effects. its appeal has been tarnished somewhat by featuring in a gap ad but don’t let that put you off.

angel – 12″ mix

another very 80s 12″, but this one provides some much needed oomph, much as i loved the original.

 

when it was all just fields

 

 

i used to get really annoyed with my family when they started going on, as old people do, about how they could remember certain sites ‘when it was all just fields’. inevitably, said site would now be inhabited by something i wanted to spend money in and this would be their objection to the expense of modern life.

of course now i’m (just) over 30, i can now relate to the sinking feeling you get when you see something new has been built over part of your childhood. even since i moved to london in 1994, some things have changed. admittedly we’re talking more along the lines of lost clubs, shops and pubs, but that’s progress.

things that aren’t there anymore:

  • the bizarre little backstreets of kings cross, with warehouse clubs bagleys and the cross. i also went to countless house parties in seedy victorian housing blocks with massive communal areas crying out for someone to throw a bash.
  • hyper hyper on kensington high st – loved that shop…i bought purple satin trousers there. in 1995 obviously…
  • southampton zoo – used to go there as a kid. when it closed, people went to marwell, which is obviously better but the llamas are better behaved which is less entertaining.
  • the bits of the docklands that were used to film an exploding building in ‘full metal jacket’. someone took me there once and i was terrified.
  • taco bell – now disappeared from the uk completely. sort it!

download mix here

sabres of paradise – smokebelch ii

d*note – garden of earthly delights

mo’horizons – lovely day inside

lemon interupt – dirty

future loop foundation – 1976

fragile state – buddha beats

mystic diversions – a scent of jasmine

ibizarre – lazy living

caia – remembrance

chilled by nature – naturally chilled

manoa – jumaira drive

the orb – apple tree in my backyard

the orb – little fluffy clouds

royksopp – eple

art of noise – moments in love

ibizarre – smooth temptation

 

hello kitschy July 20, 2008

a collection of tunes that are crying out for a super kitsch cartoon video.

download here

amerie – crush

possibly just meant to sound happy, not kitsch, but this remix conjures up images of bubbles, flying candy and glitter and there’s nothing amerie can do about it…

basement jaxx – romeo

you can tell the jaxx heart kitsch by their album covers, even if you haven’t heard the music. who else would put snowflake, the albino gorilla from barcelona zoo, on a cd?

bjork – big time sensuality

more quirky than kitsch, but bjork does look a bit like a japanese cartoon.

confection – i gotta thang 4u

confection are a group who make 80s jheri soul a la loose ends. i honestly didn’t realise for a long time that they weren’t authentic 80s.

daft punk – digital love

kids of the 80s went ‘aaaah…’ when they saw the video to this tune, featuring battle of the planets style anime.

deee-lite – say ahhh

unashamedly kitsch, and psychedelic at the same time.

groove armada and mutya buena – song for mutya

whoever thought they would be describing the chavtastic mutya as kitsch? not me…

keyshia cole – superstar

hate jameila. this is the only song of hers that i could remotely stand so i was happy that keyshia covered it for the us market. clearly, bitter brummie bitches don’t go down too well across the pond, either…

mariah carey – touch my body

eternally 12 apparently…mariah is the physical embodiment of kitsch and youth obsession taken too far. and no i don’t buy the nick cannon thing, that boy just looks uncomfortable to me.

model 500 – the flow

i doubt that derrick may intended to make anything that sounded remotely kitsch. but it so does…

st etienne – who do you think you are

if all of st etienne’s video has been animated kitsch, i think their music would have been more appealing. i liked it, but the oh-look-at-us-we’re indie!-and-quirky! band members ruined things somewhat.

sub sub and melanie williams – ain’t no love

the most cartoonish club classic i can remember – shouldn’t have worked but it did.

 

true school July 19, 2008

you went to junior school in the 80s if:

  • you had a jelly bag to match your jelly shoes – basically a bag full of holes. practical, no?
  • you wore scrunchies without irony
  • every time grease was on tv it restarted a major craze…
  • …until dirty dancing
  • you wore furry earmuffs for fashion reasons, not to please your mum
  • you spent your cash on smash hits stickers, not alcopops
  • you wanted to go to degrassi junior high, but didn’t understand the us school system
  • your parents thought madonna was a bad influence, and back then she actually was
  • you tried to get your mum to buy your clothes from chelsea girl, snob and tammy girl
  • you didn’t need to do retro, you did 80s

download here

air – high school lover

average white band – schoolboy crush

dazz band – straight out of school

funn – school daze

john david lewis – high school lady

maelstrom and napz – soul school

musical youth – schoolgirl

prince and 94 east – you can be my teacher

raydio – goin’ through school and love

rosie gaines – skool ology

sister nancy – gwan a school

sylvers – high school dance

 

i’ll house you July 18, 2008

i can’t believe house music has been in the charts for 20 years now. in that respect, it has lasted much longer than so many other genres.

when it first arrived in the mainstream, circa 87/88, scenes of loved up club kids dancing in warehouses were completely alien, especially to those of us who weren’t old enough even to have experienced sticky carpet clubs of the 80s and view the contrast.

i love how so much of the music can be played today in any club, and clubbers of all ages seem to know it. a lot of it sounds even better now that it did back in the day. but is that because back then it was a dodgy three minute version on a deep heat tape?

download 80s acid house mix

wee papa girl rappers – heat it up

krush – house arrest

tyree – hip house is the style

black riot – a day in the life

nightwriters – let the music use you

tyree – i fear the night

tyree – turn up the bass

petra and co – just let go

ralphi rosario vs richie rich – you used to salsa

reese and santonio – the sound

deskee – let there be house

bam bam – give it to me

minute men – ok alright

turntable hype – i’ll bass you

landlord –  i like it

voodoo doll – women beat their men

28th street crew – i need a rhythm

jungle brothers – i’ll house you

lnr – work it to the bone

de-lite and oscar child – wild times

 

who influenced prince? July 13, 2008

we always talk about artists who we believe are inspired by prince, but less so on who originally inspired his purpleness.

prince has pretty much created a recognisable sound of his own but there are elements of many artists of the 60s and 70s.

we don’t need an excuse to post about prince here at dirtymartini:

a post of prince duets, featuring beyonce, angie stone, madonna to name a few

a post of 2007/8 tracks that sounds some suspiciously like prince

the perfect prince set list, inspired by the o2 tour

some more tracks that bit off a huge chunk of purple greatness

recent and not so recent examples of how a little purple goes a long way

some rare prince tracks that everyone should own

the many artists who owe some success to prince

my first ever post was a homage to the vault of unreleased prince tracks

 

download here

chaka khan – sweet thing

curtis mayfield – tripping out

david bowie – life on mars

delfonics – what’s your sign

earth wind and fire – would you mind

george clinton – atomic dog

graham central station – mirror

james brown – get up offa that thing

jimi hendrix – foxy lady

joni mitchell – big yellow taxi

mavis staples – chocolate city

ohio players – sweet sticky thing

rick james – mary jane

santana – evil ways

sly and the family stone – if it were left up to me

 

life on mars July 11, 2008

i’ve never really been a fan of space. not keen on red dwarf, and the closest i ever came to star wars or star trek was being forced to play princess leia during countless ‘wet playtimes’ at infant school. if they let us outside i would head straight for the fence…anyway, i have no idea which one princess leia originates from and i don’t care.

i liked pigs in space though.  and button moon rocked ‘home lunchtimes’ once a week, with its blatant product placement for heinz and fairy liquid. you would have thought they could have stumped up a couple of quid in return. that would have boosted the budget to about £7.50 per series.

jay kay, by contrast, clearly had a space fetish as a child.

download here

bill – space lady

earth wind and fire – jupiter

houseband – hey what planet is this

jamiroquai – emergency on planet earth

jamiroquai – cosmic girl

jamiroquai – space cowboy

kelis – shooting stars

maxwell – gravity

midnight star – body snatchers

rah band – clouds across the moon

sheila and b devotion – spacer

stevie wonder – rocket love