dirty martini

old music for new people

ten post-gambler madonna songs i don’t hate April 20, 2008

ok – about six months ago i wrote a post saying that madonna should have retired in the 80s, before the true blue phase, leaving our memories intact.

now, witnessing the desperation of hard candy, i can concede that she was at least still relevant until about 2002. i just hate the ‘producer of the moment’, ‘collaboration of the moment’ and ‘fad of the moment’ bandwagon-jumping – william orbit, justin, mylo, ali g…

she is one of few artists to make it to their second greatest hits album. i’ll laugh if there’s a third…

so. my original post dealt with everything up to gambler. whilst i preferred the ragdoll who stuck two fingers up to the world, i did love her late 80s songs at the time, and even a few past then.

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white heat

in the summer of 1986, the arrival of true blue did give madonna fans something new to make up dances to. just hearing the intro to this song transports me back to my old bedroom, with the sun streaming in.

la isla bonita

mainstay of junior school assemblies and talent shows the country wide, if you didn’t love this, and dirty dancing, in 1987, you weren’t a real girl. how annoying were all those people who insisted the title was ‘last night i dreamt of san pedro’ because they didn’t know how to pronounce ‘isla’…joey!

causing a commotion

i remember the cartoon video for this being very cute. madonna’s acting in the film was of course, atrocious, and she had the most annoying squeaky voice. i liked the cougar better.

express yourself

you can’t argue with the sentiment here and it’s probably one of her best songs. lots of remixes…i remember a housey version from top of the pops that i haven’t heard since.

til death do us part

written about her marriage to sean penn, i found it interesting at the time but didn’t understand it. now it makes me cry. she always says sean was the one…

like a prayer

this is the original version, not the horrible immaculate collection butchering. that entire album was a disgrace. if madonna ever actually needed the cash, she could just release a proper greatest hits with all the original unmixed 80s songs.

cherish

well i did love this song at the time, as did everyone else. it was just so happy. not liking ‘cherish’ would be like not liking kittens.

deeper and deeper

ok, i proper loved this one. but madonna should never get more housey than this, and vogue. madonna, for me, inhabits a time before house music.

take a bow

her only decent ballad other than crazy for you. this was from the ‘secrets’ phase, post-erotica. although she didn’t really hit rock-bottom until about 1996 and that junior vasquez track – ‘if madonna calls, i’m not home…’. still, where’s junior?

don’t tell me

the one and only 00s madonna song i like. music, hung up…just nothing to me. way too obvious. this isn’t amazing, it just kind of works.

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let’s get physical October 10, 2007

one of my first memories is watching ‘the kids from fame’. i don’t think i really understood that the ‘kids’ (most of whom looked well into their 20s, as per hollywood convention) were  just training to be stars. i thought they just liked to leap about in legwarmers and leotards, like me.

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photographic evidence exists of me in my little grey marl fame sweatshirt with matching burgundy skirt, circa 1982. the aerobic craze carried through to the mid 80s, with fame the movie, flashdance and a teenage sarah jessica parker in girls just wanna have fun. any colour pastel with grey marl and you were good to go. to date, these remain my favourite colour combinations.

the arrival of tv-am in the uk in 1983 meant that bored housewives no longer needed to warm up for the day unaided. lizzy, in her curly slightly unbalanced glory would encourage you to shake it, not sit in front of jeremy kyle sneering at those less fortunate. in the 80s, those less fortunate could dance their way to a better life, in any case.

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bucks fizz – making your mind up

yes, despite the drugs and sex scandals of the 60s and 70s, a dance routine in which long skirts were pulled off to reveal – gasp – shorter skirts, was the controversy of the 1981 eurovision song contest. and cheryl baker is living proof that the phenonenom of carving an entire career from the simple act of wearing a particular outfit on one occasion was not created by the parasitical liz hurley.

bardo – one step further

like bucks fizz, but a boy-girl duo who wore even shorter skirts. don’t worry, i mean the girl…although if gaydars had been invented in 1982 then they would have been on red alert for the other half of this cheesy pop act.

cyndi lauper – girls just wanna have fun

pop punk cyndi looked a bit too out of shape to be the poster girl and soundtrack provider to one of the 80s most prominent legwarmer movies. like most of the hen night casualties who now kill this on karoake down their local yates.

deniece williams – let’s hear it for the boy

footloose was the ultimate good over evil movie. what? a town where dancing is banned. did they know it was 1984? well, seeing as the town in question was in utah, probably not.

michael sembello – she’s a maniac

memories of flashdance have now been replaced by two skinny men with taches in jogging gear…and a very memorable ad campaign for a directory enquiry service of all things.

irene cara – fame/flashdance

its not clear whether irene had a career outside the realm of soundtracks to high energy dance movies. i don’t think she did. what a strange way to get pigeonholed.

kids from fame – hi fidelity

the kids had several successful albums and i was so tempted to post the schmaltzy ‘starmaker’. that’ll be in ‘songs you turn down on your ipod’ the sequel, i suppose…

maria vidal – body rock

grabbed the crown from irene cara – who must have been v pissed off – with this big 1985 hit. never seen the movie, much the same as no one has ever seen vision quest but has ‘crazy for you’.

pointer sisters – jump

everyone must have been forced to jump around to this during school PE lessons at some point. you could tell our PE tarts loved the 80s, they still looked like extras from fame well into the 90s.

toni basil – mickey

35 year old cheerleader toni had a huge hit with this when i was little. what is it with america and cheerleaders anyway? uk girls are more likely to hold their boyfriends fags while he has a kickabout with his mates…and thats about as far as it goes.

whitney houston – how will i know

whitney apparently hates this video, and finds it embarrassing to watch herself prances about in pastel jumpers and headbands. yes, i can see why that would be infinitely more cringeworthy than all of those clips from ‘being bobby brown’ doing the rounds on youtube…