Should Have Been Bigger: Madonna’s “Human Nature”

 

In this franchise, we look back on songs that deserved a little more love and attention.

For a project that sold eight million copies around the world, Madonna’s Bedtime Stories still feels like one of the most underrated albums of the 1990s. Not only did it create the blueprint for the Pop Girl R&B crossover, it also contains some of the most experimental (“Bedtime Story”) and autobiographical songs in the living legend’s holy discography. “Human Nature” definitely falls into the latter category. In that it is a literal response to the backlash sparked by her Sex book and Erotica era.

“You wouldn’t let me say the words I longed to say, you didn’t want to see life through my eyes,” Madonna sings in the first verse over a sample of Main Source’s “What You Need.” “You tried to shove me back inside your narrow room and silence me with bitterness and lies.” Like so many times before and since, the Queen of Pop remained unapologetic on the chorus. “And I’m not sorry (I’m not sorry), it’s human nature (It’s human nature),” she purred. “I’m not your bitch, don’t hang your shit on me.” Take that, critics.

In addition to be a razor-sharp feminist manifesto, “Human Nature” also boasts one of the most influential video clips of the ’90s. Everyone from Rihanna to Christina Aguilera has pilfered ideas from Jean-Baptiste Mondino’s stunning, S&M-inspired visual. As usual, however, Madonna was a decade or two ahead of her time. “Human Nature” was not embraced by radio — surprise! — and the banger stalled at number 46 on the Billboard Hot 100. Revisit one of the enduring hitmaker’s most slept-on singles below.

Is this an underrated gem? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

More at IDOLATOR

Read more

Bitch I’m Madonna discography online – 7 items

The final ‘single’ from Madonna’s Rebel Heart album was the notorious ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’, a song she performed in spectacular way at The Tonight Show with Jimmy Felon. 

By this time selected tracks of the Rebel Heart abum had been sent to radio as ‘singles’ in various countries. It became unclear which song was a single in which country, but we will get more into later. 

Madonna filmed a video for Bitch I’m Madonna featuring many surprise guests and becoming her most viewed music video on YouTube. Universal Music NL decided not to release the song as a ‘single’ to Dutch radio, they opted to see first what it would do abroad. In the end it never was a single here so if you see any promotional CD’s for this track with the Dutch Universal Music design, they are all fake. 

For the collectors there was very little to collect as there was no commerical physical single released. A 10 track promotional EP was sent out to all partners by the record company. 

For the discography we managed to collect 7 (promo) pressings, including a ‘for your consideration’ sampler by DIPLO that includes the track.

Check it all out HERE

Read more

Who’s That Girl Tour original press pack (WEA Records Holland)

We just managed to lay a hand on this original Dutch press pack to promote Madonna’s Who’s That Girl Tour in Rotterdam (1987). The press pack contains the following

  • WEA Records folder (advertises the first Dutch show on the front)
  • 3 x Dutch press pictures (2 different images)
  • Original Dutch announcement of Dutch Who’s That Girl Tour shows (persnieuws)
  • Dutch bio with latest Who’s That Girl film info
  • ‘Who’s That Girl revealed: Madonna’s U.S. Tour Dates announced’ original press release
  • stapled pack of various US articles and reviews (5 pages)
  • Copied Cosmopolitan (July 1987) article

The item has been added to our Who’s That Girl Tour and Who’s That Girl film page.

Read more

I’m Going To Tell You A Secret London premiere 15 years ago today – a personal live report

Fifteen years ago I arrived in the early morning hours in a quiet London. This particular November had completely taken over my wallet and my budget was as low as it could be. No fancy train to London for me, nope I had to settle for the Eurolines bus instead. It was really all I could afford. I mean, November HAD been a crazy month thus far. From going to Mannheim to attend Wetten Dass to the Dutch Confessions on a Dance Floor release party, being interviewed on live Dutch TV show ‘Pulse’, to KOKO, Children in Need and G-A-Y in London. If you believe it or not, I still had to work a fulltime job in between Madonna events.

I had only been back for a few days at work when I received a call from Warner Bros offices in London inviting me to the UK premiere of Madonna’s I’m Going To Tell You A Secret film. I was expecting the call after we had been informed about it while waiting for our holy wristbands at KOKO earlier this month. The 200 fans who all queued up outside KOKO received the same call, so we had another Madonna event to look forward to. Looking back on November 2005 I can easily say it was the craziest Madonna-month ever, but probably also the most rewarding.

We took the bus to London late in the evening of November 28 and tried to make it through the next couple of hours. I wasn’t feeling well and thought I was coming down with the flu (when we still only had the common one.) I remember trying to sleep while on the bus, but failing. Seeing bended old ladies with baskets on the side of the road, while actually they were traffic signs. Told you I was coming down with something.

Completely beat we went to our hotel somewhere in Paddington. We got the key to our hotel room but upon entering we stumbled upon unmade beds, clothes and dirty laundry everywhere……the lady at the reception admitted she made a mistake and the room was actually already occupied. We got a new key to a new room and then made our way to Warner offices to pick up our ticket and wristband to tonight’s event. Inside the office they checked our passports with their guestlist and then we received our envelope with our name on it. Staff put the silver wristband on our arms, all the while I was hungrily gazing at the I’m Going To Tell You A Secret posters there.

We met up with friends at the Chelsea Cinema and yup we got to walk the red carpet. I do remember press taking our photo, out of sympathy perhaps. Fans were showing pictures they had taken at either KOKO or G-A-Y to each other and it was such a good feeling to kinda be ‘back home’ (at least that what it felt like.) Inside the cinema more of those glorious posters! When entering the cinema I was asked for my wristband and when the guy saw the silver colour, he directed me to the first three rows. Usually people wouldn’t be happy sitting in the very front rows while watching a movie, but when Madonna would be there, the first rows became the hot seats.

Our seats were decorated with a complimentary I’m Going To Tell You A Secret bag that included Fiji water, crisps and candy. I felt so spoiled, poor old bugger who couldn’t even afford a decent trip to London…..

Gwyneth Paltrow, Stella McCartney, Mel C, kaballah people…..there were a lot of people there, it was packed! A microphone was set up and….all behold the applause exploded because Madonna and Guy Ritchie had just entered the room. Guy Ritchie went up to his seat while Madonna was escorted down the stairs to her faithful followers. I was surprised by the outfit and not too sure if I liked it, it kinda fell flat on her figure. Madonna was joined by director Jonas Akerlund and she got ready to speech. We managed to film a bit of the speech (see video, sorry for the shaky hands) but she spoke of how many hours of film they shot, ending up telling several stories, what the movie was about and that the European title to Truth or Dare ‘In Bed With Madonna’ wasn’t her idea. Madonna was then escorted to her seat so she could watch the movie with us.

I can tell everyone now that I got to see a movie with Madonna y’all!

It was a great little speech and we were so excited to see the full film on a big screen. However in true Madonna style, the film started but had some audio issues. I could just feel her impatience radiating…….thankfully this was quickly fixed and from there we delved into the world of the Re-Invention Tour and kaballah. We laughed, cried, danced, sang along (sorry) and clapped until our hands were raw (not our sugar.) It was amazing seeing this film in full in a cinema with the star present in the same room as us. Amazing experience.

 

When the movie ended (we were treated to the longer version with the Israel bit in it) we gave a standing ovation while Madonna and Guy (Ritchie) exited the room. I was surprised that she actually had stayed for the entire film. Coughing my brains out I went back to Amsterdam the very next day. It was the end of our crazy Madonna month, thinking it would be a while before we would see her again. If only we’d known the insanely notorious Confessions Tour was upon us…..oh what a time!!

Read more

Club Future Nostalgia limited edition vinyl is here! 14 images added

Club Future Nostalgia has finally been released on limited edition 2LP + 2CD by Warner Records. Initially Warner Records had no plans for a physical release of Club Future Nostalgia, but due to high demand we thankfully have a physical copy!

The set includes

  • 2 x 12″ Vinyl LP
  • Club Future Nostalgia CD
  • Future Nostalgia CD
  • 3 x photographic prints
  • credit sheet

Check out the full scans of the limited release HERE

ORDER HERE

Read more

‘Ghosttown’ discography online – 9 items

Ghosttown was the second single from Madonna’s Rebel Heart album. 

The single received little airplay and unfortunately failed to become a commercial hit, completely undeserved for what surely is a very good track. Ghosttown did end up at the top position of Rolling Stone’s Reader’s Poll: The 10 Best Songs of 2015.

Madonna performed the track during the Rebel Heart promotional era in Le Grand Journal (France), Jonathan Ross (UK), Che Tempo Che Fa (Italy), iHeart Radio Awards with Taylor Swift and at The Ellen Show. She performed it on selected dates throughout her Rebel Heart Tour. 

For the discography we have 9 officially released pressings. Ghosttown was only ever commercially released on CD single in Europe (made in Germany) but there were a few promotional discs to collect (and the odd cardsleeve from Ukraine.)

Click HERE to check it out

Read more

The 35 Best Videos of the Last 35 Years (Madonna #1)

20. Madonna – “Justify My Love”

The Queen of Pop once ranked “Justify My Love” the best video from her own sprawling catalog — and while we don’t completely agree (see below), it’s impossible not to consider this erotic slice of voyeurism. Within, director Jean-Baptiste Mondino wanders through the halls and bedrooms of a very accommodating hotel, documenting snippets of sexual encounters heavy on the BDSM. MTV banned the clip, which only gave the singer a publicity boost. Not that she needed it. – R.R.

1. Madonna – “Like a Prayer”   

Madonna made high art out of sacrilege with her notorious “Like a Prayer” video, a molotov cocktail of melodrama, racial commentary and religious symbolism. Director Mary Lambert would release a film version of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary a month later — but for both cola brands and conservative Christians, this was the true horror project. The rapidly edited scenes — including stigmata, bleeding eyes and the spiritual laying of hands — smashed taboos with madcap zest. “I wanted to speak about ecstasy and to show the relationship between sexual and religious ecstasy,” Lambert told Rolling Stone. “I think that subconsciously a lot of people understood this and were either enthralled or outraged by it.” Maybe even both. – R.R.

Read more

Club Future Nostalgia 2CD + vinyl order links (Levitating Remix)

For the music collectors among us, Dua Lipa’s Club Future Nostalgia will also be released on a 2CD bundle with ‘Future Nostalgia’ on November 27.

If you haven’t ordered the limited edition vinyl of Club Future Nostalgia you can do so HERE

To order the 2CD bundle:

Read more

Popparadijs Nederland book review (Dutch and English) + win a copy

Popparadijs Nederland is het nieuwste boek door Tom Steenbergen, gerealiseerd door Universal Music Books (for English scroll down.)

Popparadijs Nederland verteld uitermate fascinerende verhalen over hoe pop grootheden en muzikanten hun eerste stapjes in Nederland maakten naar wereldwijde rijkdom en bekendheid. Dat het kleine Nederland zoveel impact zou kunnen hebben in een wereldwijde muziekindustrie lijkt ongekend, maar dit boek leert je anders.

Wist je dat er voor David Bowie in 1967 niemand kwam opdagen om een interview af te nemen en dat uit frustratie maar een schoolkrant opgetrommeld werd? Wat dacht je van het feit dat The Beatles speelden in een veilinghal in Blokker en dat het podium gebouwd was van houten veilingkisten, evenals de zit tribunes? Bob Marley, Queen, Diana Ross, ABBA, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana echt alles komt voorbij. De details van de bezoekjes, geïllustreerd met foto’s, namen en feitjes maken een feest van het (her)beleven van de gebeurtenis.

Madonna’s eerste bezoekje aan Nederland op 22 januari 1984 is er een voor de geschiedenisboeken. Een ster in opkomst in gezelschap van haar broer Christopher Ciccone en vriendin alsmede danseres Erika Belle, arriveert in een door sneeuw bedekt Nederland. Niemand minder dan Seymour Stein, de grote baas van Sire Records vraagt aan WEA Records dat ze goed voor Madonna moeten zorgen, ze is namelijk zijn absolute prioriteit. Madonna’s bezoekje aan Nederland verloopt met pieken en dalen. Naar aanleiding van de verstuurde persfoto’s toont vrijwel niemand interesse in haar. Ze neemt echter wel een interview op met Radio Decibel en neemt wat jingles op betreffende haar single ‘Holiday’

We zijn allemaal bekend met de geweldige fotoshoot die Madonna daar deed met Kees Tabak, die de gehele wereld is overgegaan. Maar wist je ook dat ze vlak daarvoor de auto door de sneeuw moest duwen over de Amsterdamse grachten? Het is een intrigerend stukje geschiedenis uit Madonna’s start van wereldwijde roem.

Dit boek fascineert van begin tot eind en neemt je mee terug naar een tijd waarin alle opties voor de artiest in kwestie open lagen. Een absolute aanwinst voor iedere muziek- of boekenliefhebber. Mocht je nog een boek aan je wensenlijst willen toevoegen? Zorg ervoor dat het dit boek is!

 

Wij mogen in samenwerking met Universal Music Catalogue 1 exemplaar van het boek weggeven, mail je naam en adresgegevens naar: info@madonnaunderground.com voor woensdag 25 november.

Bestel nu het boek bij Bol.com


 

Popparadijs Nederland (Popparadise Holland) is the newest boek by Tom Steenbergen, realized by Universal Music Books.

Popparadijs Nederland tells the fascinating tale on artists’ rise to stardom and worldwide fame starting in Holland. Who would have thought that the relatively small Holland could have played such a big part in the global music industry? This book tells it all. 

Did you know that back in 1967 David Bowie waited for over two hours in Holland for any journalist to show up for an interview? That a schoolpaper had to be contacted for an interview out of despair? How about The Beatles performing in an auction hall in Blokker and the stage being built out of auction crates as well as the tribunes? Bob Marley, Queen, Diana Ross, ABBA, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana it’s all in here. The details of the visits illustrated with pictures, names and facts make for an unforgettable experience. 

Madonna’s first visit to Holland on January 1984 is one for the history books. A rising star arrives in a Holland covered in snow in company of brother Christopher Ciccone and friend/dancer Erika Belle. Seymour Stein, the big boss of Sire Records makes sure to tell WEA Records to take care of his baby, as she is his priority. Madonna’s visit to Holland has its ups and downs. No journalist seems to be interested in her after the press pictures WEA Records has sent out. She does record an interview and some Jingles with Radio Decibel to promote current single ‘Holiday’

We are all familiar with the famous photoshoot by Kees Tabak, what we don’t know yet is how Madonna had to push a car through the snow on the Canals of Amsterdam in order to reach his studio. It is an intriguing peek into Madonna’s history. 

This book captivates from the start up to the end and takes you back to a time when anything was possible. A definite must-have for any music or book lover. If you have only one book to add to your wants list this year, make it this one. 

 

We are giving away 1 copy of Popparadijs Nederland in collaboration with Universal Music Catalogue, mail your name and address to: info@madonnaunderground.com before Wednesday November 25.

Order the book now through Bol.com

Read more

Rebel Heart discography online – 42 items

Madonna’s Rebel Heart album was released in 3 different editions: standard, deluxe and super deluxe. While the ‘standard’ edition didn’t make any sense with its 14 tracks and leaving off the title track, the other two editions were a good addition to any music collection. 

For the discography we have collected 42 editions for you to view. Like with the previous release ‘MDNA’ there were countless pressings and editions, frustrating collectors left and right. 

Check it out HERE

Read more

Madonna performs at G-A-Y 15 years ago today – a personal report with video and gallery!

 

Just one day after being in the ‘Children in Need’ audience it was time to queue outside the G-A-Y bar for the hottest tickets in town! Madonna was going to perform another gig that night to promote her current ‘Confessions on a Dance Floor’ album. Looking back on this incredible time, we were so spoiled! An extensive promo tour and opportunities to attend it all.

We settled on the streets with multiple layers of clothes and blankets as it was still freezing cold. The queue was a bit longer than the one at KOKO but that changed quickly. Before we knew it the queue was as long as the entire street. In the days prior to queuing up, some fans were given the chance to occupy an early wristband to the event by answering G-A-Y related questions. I tried and failed, I was not a regular G-A-Y club goer and it was obvious.

After 6 hours of waiting while freezing our butts off we finally got to go inside the G-A-Y bar to get our holy wristbands. People who jumped the queue were removed by staff and rightfully so. We paid 20 British Pounds for our much wanted purple wristband, 20 pounds boys and girls, 20 freaking pounds!! Nowadays 20 pounds will get you a drink (well maybe two……) we also got a sheet with the rules of the gig and then made our way back to the hotel. As with KOKO we decided not to go queue outside G-A-Y club as the gig wouldn’t be until much later that night.

We entered G-A-Y club around 10pm and it was much bigger than I expected, much much bigger than KOKO. We bought our drinks and spent our time chatting to friends and walking up to the very front row of the right side of the stage (not the catwalk). Absolutely brilliant spot and there was little to no space in between the crowd and stage. Madonna’s band did not take the stage until 1.30am! The crowd erupted when the intro to ‘Hung Up’ started and Madonna emerged in a hot pink outfit, she looked absolutely fantastic. The crowd went wild, since there were much more people here than at KOKO people were squashed left and right. Thankfully my spot remained pretty solid and I was as close as being in the pit during the Re-Invention Tour.

If you think the gig at KOKO was high energy, than this was something else! Madonna gave even more here tonight than at the previous performance. What a difference from the woman in the glittery dress who was singing to children yesterday……Madonna performed the same set of songs and in the same order as she did at KOKO. She told the crowd that the KOKO gig was just a warm-up and asked if this show was better? Also addressed the crowd by saying she made the album for them. The crowd ate it up, every little thing she said and did (wink wink.) When she took off her shirt she asked the crowd to do the same. I think she regretted it instantly when she was thrown a stinky & sweaty shirt or two though. I did not take off my shirt, I don’t think anybody would have been pleased to see me in my bra.

Madonna went and sat down on the stage in front of us many times drinking water and resting up. She seemed to be quite in her element and enjoyed every second of her performance there. To our surprise she added a tiny bit of the song ‘Jump’ after singing ‘Everybody’. When she left the stage and the gig was over, we were all completely exhausted. Because at this gig we were allowed to take pictures and video, they turned out much better (finally.) Madonna truly gave a once in a lifetime performance here and I am still in doubt which of the two gigs, KOKO or G-A-Y was better. But the fact is that they were her best live promotional gigs to date.

Check out our gallery below and the video we took!

Check out my original report written in 2005 HERE

Read more

Madonna performs at Children in Need 15 years ago today – a personal live report!

Out of all the Confessions on a Dance Floor promo performances, I think I was most lucky to be able to attend the ‘Children in Need’ taping on November 18 2005.

This was the one event where tickets were not available to reserve, order or queue for. All we knew was that Madonna would be there to perform for the charity event at the BBC studio’s in London.

We decided to give it our best shot, take the tube and see where we would end up. When we arrived at the studio’s we walked up to the information desk where people were handed their tickets. We simply asked if there were any tickets left, not thinking anything of it and mostly without having any faith. I remember the girl leaning to check under her desk, grabbing a folder and saying ‘yes, I have two spare tickets left’. Wait?! That was it? We didn’t even need to try and convince her why we needed to be at the taping? I was screaming with joy inside but held it together. We were given our tickets and told where to go and wait.

We ran into Madonna’s tour manager outside whom we greeted. There was nothing but kids there with their moms, so we got some strange looks. We weren’t wearing Madonna shirts or anything, but we were basically the only kid-less couple there. A little while later we were escorted to some sort of lobby to sit out the rest of the wait until it was time to enter the studio. Once there we were escorted to our seats. I am always shocked to see how small most studio’s are, and this was no exception. We were seated in the fourth row from the stage right beneath one of the camera’s, great center spot! We knew it was going to be a very long event so we asked one of the camera crew members whether they knew when Madonna would appear. He checked his schedule and told us Madonna was actually the very first artist to perform as she had requested so. We were told that Madonna agreed to perform two songs, but only wanted to stay for a maximum of 20 minutes and then leave right after. Yes, sounded like Madonna to me.

Once taping for the show got on the way, after only a very short intro we recognized Madonna’s band walking onto the tiny stage. Suddenly without any form of introduction, or roar from the audience…Madonna walks on stage. This teeny tiny little woman dressed in a super sparkly 70’s disco inspired little number, looking down at the ground, shoulders held up high. Dare I say it? She seemed genuinly nervous. It was quite the moment. Many kids had no idea who they were staring it, but the moms were all giddy with excitement. I remember constantly getting various kids’ artworks in my face, which they were waving around like they were giving away free money. I felt like I was sitting in a circus, waiting for Pippi Longstocking to show us how incredibly strong she was. We felt so out of place…..

Suddenly the intro to ‘Get Together’ filled the studio and Madonna changed immediately. She looked up and out into the audience, started to smile and got into her groove. It was a very different audience from the one at KOKO a few days prior, so no sexy moves Madge! We all got up and danced, sang and clapped along. It was obvious that nobody was familiar with ‘Get Together’ but they seemed to like the tune anyway. Madonna pointed to us a few times when she sang the line ‘come on over here….’ and we were like oh yes please. After the song Madonna left the stage for just a minute while they shot something else on stage, and then Madonna came back. ‘Time goes by so slowly’.…she was going to perform ‘Hung Up’ right this minute. And THIS the children knew, so they all danced and jumped and got all excited. Madonna seemed to love the feedback and kept singing to the children in the first couple of rows.

When the song finished she had to tape a short talk with the host before having to read a phone number out loud people could use to donate money. The screen with the phone number was right above our heads (yes it was that camera) so we had to duck a little bit so she had a clear view. She had some trouble reading it and we pointed to it. She got it right in the end and then quietly left the stage. Quiet entrance, huge big party, modest exit. This wasn’t Madonna’s usual audience and it showed, but it was a lot of fun to have been part of it. After Madonna I remember that Liberty X came out to perform (I honestly don’t remember who they were) only to be followed by Kelly and Sharon Osbourne having a chat on stage. We felt it was time to ask the crew if we could leave the studio’s early, as we knew it was going to be a couple of hours. Fortunately for us that was no problem and so we were off. We later learned that for the broadcast they changed up Madonna’s performances in order of appearance.

We tried to take pictures from the audience with our incredible disposable camera (remember people, these were the Middle Ages) but as we did so secretly and without using flash, they turned out absolutely horrible. Yes not even Photoshop can save them, but you know here they are and just know that the glittery thing is Madonna.

Read my original full report from 2005 HERE

Photo gallery HERE

Read more