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.

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the tarantino soundtrack that never was September 5, 2007

blaxploitation-3.jpg

as clever as tarantino’s movies are, the best thing about them are definitely the soundtracks. i had the pulp fiction and reservoir dogs soundtracks before i’d even seen the films. i wish i could say the same about kill bill – I spent the entire movie trying not to look at the screen.

he clearly loves the blaxploitation genre and attempts to recreate these films for a more mainstream audience. a difficult task – the 70s were cool, much cooler than the 90s. you could be forgiven for thinking that everyone was cool in the 70s, but you would be wrong. but the music, the artwork, the fashion all suggest a time when people had confidence, took care over their appearance and knew they looked good.

quentin tarantino himself is enjoyably nuts. i loved him on american idol, he is to that show what ricky gervais is to the x factor. you just don’t expect them to be such huge fans – surely they have better things to do – but they clearly love it. my newfound likihng for quentin was in jeopardy though, with that whole shar jackson affair – one degree of separation from kevin federline is definitely five too few. 

its hard not to visualise a potential tarantino scene when you hear most 70s soul and funk now, they’ve become so synonymous. but here are some tunes that for me conjure up images of samuel l jackson, ‘fro and gun intact, and make me want to go buy a clapped out orange ford capri.

download here

archie bell and the drells – soul city walk

the musical representation of an afro.

bill withers – the same love that made me laugh

bill is a soundtrack favourite, but i can’t remember this one being used yet. can imagine this in a scene where someone is tied up in the boot of the car.

bobby bland – ain’t no love in the heart of the city

intro credits theme?

bobby byrd – hot pants

for the obligatory dance scene set in smoky underground drinking den with pool tables.

james brown – the boss

i think this has already been used in a cockney gangster movie, but guy ritchie is no tarantino, as enjoyable as lock, stock and two smoking barrels may have been.

jerry butler – don’t rip me off

ideal for the scene where everyone is too stoned to realise their gun/cash/car is beiong lifted by somene they thought was on their side…

lyn collins – put it on the line

much sampled and a departure from lyn’s usual northern soul thumpers.

o’jays – 992 arguments

‘backstabbers’ would have been an obvious choice. too obvious. if you have even a passing interest in 70s soul then you should have it already.

philip mitchell – i’ll see you in hell first

no not that phil mitchell. although wouldn’t steve mcfadden would be great in a tarantino movie? with a touch of green corrective foundation perhaps. i suppose the whole ‘who shot phil?’ thing was an attempt at tarantino style. i really wanted one of those ‘i shot phil mitchell’ t-shirts.

rasputin’s stash – middle man

any one of rasputin stash’s tunes could fit a tarantino soundtrack, but middle men play a vital role in most of his plots, so…

swamp dogg – that ain’t my wife

more soulful than the artist name and title suggests.

willie hutch – pimps players and private eyes

willie actually contributed to a lot of blaxpolitation soundracks, including foxy brown, which is where this track comes from. but not many people will remember that so maybe its time it was recycled!