French trial of Madonna stage deaths finally begins

French trial of Madonna stage deaths finally begins
In this file photo taken on July 29, 2009, shows the Marseille’s Velodrom Stadium after the collapse of a stage set up for a Madonna concert. Two workers died in the accident on July 16, 2009 and eight were injured, one of whom committed suicide two years later. (AFP/Michel Gangne)

It took 11 years, but a trial stemming from the fatal collapse of a stage being set up for a Madonna concert in the southern French city of Marseille finally got underway on Wednesday.

Two workers died in the accident on July 16, 2009 and eight were injured, one of whom committed suicide two years later.

A total of eleven people and corporate entities have been charged with manslaughter, causing unintended injuries and several breaches of the labor law in connection with the accident.

Madonna herself has not spoken with an investigating magistrate because she said she had nothing to do with the technical details of her shows.

The singer did present her condolences to the victim’s families.

Three days before she was to perform at Marseille’s Velodrome football stadium, the stage’s roof collapsed, killing Charles Criscenzo, 52, and Charles Prow, 23.

Giuseppe di Silvestro, who was among those injured, killed himself two years after the accident.

After a 10-year investigation, two postponements and a suspension, the trial began with tribunal president Marie-Pierre Attali underscoring “the need to pay attention to the civil parties and their loved ones, who really need this trial to take place.”

She noted that additional delays, in particular owing to the coronavirus, must be avoided at all costs.

Among the 11 defendants are Live Nation France 2006, which organized the concert, the Edwin Shirley Group (ESG) which owned the stage, Tour Concept France which helped set it up, Mediaco, a company that owned a crane implicated in the accident, and Scott Seaton, a British national hired by ESG as a foreman.

He was present Wednesday, as were the head of Tour Concept France, Mathieu Anton, and Gerard Billia, head of Mediaco.

The others were represented by their lawyers.

The trial is expected to last until October 16.

More at The Jakarta Post

Read more

Madonna refused to make an album with David Guetta because he’s a Scorpio

David Guetta shared a shocking revelation.

The “Titanium” superstar DJ and producer made an appearance in a video by YouTubers Mcfly and Carlito, where he discussed meeting Madonna, who refused to make an album with him because of his astrological sign.

“I did a remix for Madonna a long time ago [“Revolver” in 2009] and I won a Grammy for the remix [best remix of a non-classical recording]. She calls me afterwards…she tells me that she loves this remix and she suggests that I produce her next album,” he explained during a “True or False”-type anecdote guessing game.

“I arrive for lunch. We talk about everything, the music, what she wants to do with the album. Super nice. It’s just her and me. Very relaxed, very cool. We have lunch. It’s happening. very good and you wonder when we start working together,” he continued.

“She asks me for my astrological sign. I answer her Scorpio. Suddenly, she makes a face and she says to me, ‘I’m sorry, we’re not going to be able to work together. It was a pleasure to know you. Goodbye.’”

He then confirmed that the story was true during the game!

Fans think this actress might be playing Madonna in her upcoming biopic.

More at Just Jared
Read more

MDNA discography online – 35 different items

MDNA was Madonna’s first album with Interscope Records and released in 2012. She revealed the title of her new record during the Graham Norton show where she was to promote her film W./E. 

She reunited with William Orbit to work on the record and also collaborated with Martin Solveig. To promote MDNA she sat down with Jimmy Fallon for a live interview broadcast online and performed at the Superbowl Halftime Show. She quickly took the record on the road with her groundbreaking MDNA Tour that same year.

For the discography we have 35 different pressings, check it all out HERE

Read more

The Number Ones: Madonna’s “Crazy For You”

In The Number Ones, I’m reviewing every single #1 single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, starting with the chart’s beginning, in 1958, and working my way up into the present.

 

***
Madonna – “Crazy For You”

HIT #1: May 11, 1985

STAYED AT #1: 1 week

Madonna’s film career has been one hell of a mixed bag. There have been highlights (Desperately Seeking SusanDick TracyA League Of Their Own), and there have been lowlights (just about everything else). Madonna’s presence within film has always seemed bigger than it really is, if only because Madonna has always been a pop star who carried herself as a movie star. Her videos are musical set-pieces. Her different sounds are characters that she embodies and then abandons. And her star persona — imperious, horny, slightly dangerous — could be modeled on any number of classic-film femmes fatales.

In the video for her 1985 single “Material Girl,” Madonna essentially re-staged one of Marilyn Monroe’s musical sequences from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. That moment is an early sign that Madonna understood her own iconography right away. She was willing to make those connections to past screen legends explicit, to present herself as being part of the grand American sexpot continuum. When “Material Girl” reached its chart apex in the early days of 1985, Madonna had already made her way into the mutliplexes of America. (“Material Girl” peaked at #2. It’s an 8.)

A pre-fame Madonna actually made her film debut way back in 1979, when she starred in a cheap and notoriously shitty exploitation flick called A Certain Sacrifice. That movie went unreleased until 1985, when whoever owned the rights attempted to cash in on Madonna’s newfound fame. But Madonna’s first real film appearance is a quick scene in Vision Quest, one of many variations on the Rocky formula that came out in the ’80s. Vision Quest isn’t a huge movie, and Madonna’s appearance in it amounts to a one-scene cameo with no dialogue. But that one scene might still be the most famous thing about the movie.

In Vision Quest, human Labrador Matthew Modine plays Louden Swain, a high-school wrestler in Spokane. Louden spends the movie desperately trying to cut weight so that he can take on an undefeated mythic figure named Brian Shute. Along the way, he gets into an affair with an older woman, an art student who’s renting a room in his father’s house. (That woman is Linda Fiorentino, who looks like she will eat Modine alive.) Somewhere along the way, Louden wanders into a bar, and Madonna is just up there, singing for an apparently-disinterested clientele — something that seems just as implausible as Louden’s eventual victory over Shute.

Full article at STEREOGUM

 
Read more

The Guardian re-reviews ‘American Life’

Madonna – American Life

Then A heavy-handed, “wake up sheeple!” political awakening
Now A brilliantly odd peek behind fame’s velvet rope

Madonna’s ninth album, a dissection of the American dream in light of 9/11 and the buildup to the Iraq war, was hard to love upon its 2003 release. The title track and lead single was hampered by that rap, in which coffee enemas mingled with shoutouts to her Mini Cooper. But beneath the “money and fame don’t make you happy, guys” sloganeering, American Life offers us a tantalising glimpse at the “real”, unadorned Madonna. The gospel-tinged Nothing Fails and the guitar-led Intervention are glorious, unabashed love songs, while the bonkers Mother and Father lays her childhood trauma bare over splintering electro-pop. Her best album? Maybe.
Michael Cragg

Full article at The Guardian

Read more

Madonna & More To Feature On ‘The Best Of Bond…James Bond’

Set for release on November 20, the new collection also includes classic Bond themes from Paul McCartney and Wings, Shirley Bassey and others.

Billie-Eilish-Best-Of-Bond-James-Bond

On November 20, UMe will release an updated version of The Best Of Bond…James Bond, a digital, 2CD and 3LP black vinyl compilation featuring celebrated theme songs from the longest-running film franchise.

In addition, a limited-edition gold vinyl edition will be available exclusively via uDiscover Music and Sound of Vinyl. The new collection will include “No Time To Die” by Billie Eilish from No Time To Diethe 25th film in the series. Also now included will be Adele’s “Skyfall” from Skyfall, the highest-grossing Bond film to date, and Sam Smith’s Spectre theme, “Writing’s On the Wall,” – Oscar winners for Best Song in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

In addition to Billie Eilish, Adele and Sam Smith, included on The Best Of Bond… is the signature instrumental “James Bond Theme” by The John Barry Orchestra, which remains one of the most recognizable themes from film. The collection also includes Dame Shirley Bassey (“Goldfinger,” “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Moonraker”).

With “Goldfinger,” Bassey achieved her first Top 10 hit, reaching No. 8 on The Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Bassey made her Oscars debut at the 85th Academy Awards, where she performed a spectacular rendition of “Goldfinger” as part of the telecast’s James Bond 50th Anniversary tribute, which was celebrated by UMe with vinyl reissues of long-out-of-print soundtracks to Dr. No, Goldfinger and Live And Let Die.

Along with Louis Armstrong (“We Have All The Time In The World”), Nancy Sinatra (“You Only Live Twice”), Lulu (“The Man With The Golden Gun”), The Best Of Bond…James Bond also includes Paul McCartney & Wings (“Live And Let Die”). Written by Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, performed by Paul McCartney & Wings and produced by former Beatles producer George Martin, the title theme song hit No. 2 on the chart, and it was nominated for both a Grammy Award, for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)/Best Background Arrangement, and an Academy Award, for Best Original Song. The single “Live And Let Die” became the first Bond theme song to win a Grammy award (Best Pop Vocal Performance, 1973), and the song continues to be a highlight in McCartney’s live performances.

The Best Of Bond…James Bond also features Carly Simon (“Nobody Does It Better”), Tina Turner (“GoldenEye”), Duran Duran (“A View To A Kill”), Sheryl Crow (“Tomorrow Never Dies”), Madonna (“Die Another Day”), Garbage (“The World Is Not Enough”). With the release of “Skyfall,” Rolling Stone compiled its Top 10 James Bond Theme Songs, all 10 of which, of course, appear on this set, including Tom Jones (“Thunderball”) and Matt Monro (“From Russia With Love”).

The Best Of Bond…James Bond is out on November 20. Scroll down to read the full tracklisting and pre-order it here.

DISC 1:
“James Bond Theme” – The John Barry Orchestra
“From Russia With Love” – Matt Monro
“Goldfinger” – Shirley Bassey
“Thunderball” – Tom Jones
“You Only Live Twice” – Nancy Sinatra
“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – The John Barry Orchestra
“We Have All The Time In The World” – Louis Armstrong
“Diamonds Are Forever” – Shirley Bassey
“Live And Let Die” – Paul McCartney & Wings
“The Man With The Golden Gun” – Lulu
“Nobody Does It Better” – Carly Simon
“Moonraker” – Shirley Bassey
“For Your Eyes Only” – Sheena Easton
“All Time High” – Rita Coolidge

DISC 2:

“A View To A Kill” – Duran Duran
“The Living Daylights” – A-Ha
“License To Kill” – Gladys Knight
“GoldenEye” – Tina Turner
“Tomorrow Never Dies” – Sheryl Crow
“The World Is Not Enough” – Garbage
“Die Another Day” – Madonna
“You Know My Name” – Chris Cornell
“Another Way To Die” – Jack White & Alicia Keys
“Skyfall” – Adele
“Writing’s On The Wall” – Sam Smith
“No Time To Die” – Billie Eilish

More at UDISCOVERMUSIC

Read more

A London drive-in is replaying epic ’80s concerts by Madonna, Bowie and Prince

If 2020 is all getting a bit much for you, now’s your chance to go back in time a few decades.

An ’80s-themed drive-in show is coming to London where you can watch concerts from Madonna, David Bowie, Stevie Nicks and Prince.

Deezer’s ’80s Drive In will be popping up for one day only on Wednesday October 7 at The Drive In at Troubadour Meridian Water in Edmonton. 

The concert footage is straight out of the ’80s archives and includes Madonna’s 1985 ‘The Virgin Tour’, Prince’s 1987 ‘Sign o’ the Times’, Stevie Nicks’s 1987 ‘Live at Red Rocks’ and David Bowie’s 1988 ‘Glass Spider’.

Obviously, to get the true drive-in experience you’ll need a car, but if you don’t have one, you can book a car-free bay and set up camp in a group of five friends – you’ll just need to bring your own chairs, an FM radio to tune in and, er, maybe a blanket?

There will be food on offer too, at ’80s prices, which includes popcorn and a soft drink for 90p and a burger and a soft drink for 70p.

Tickets are £15 per car or car-free bay and all profits from the event will go to Help Musicians, a charity which offers financial and mental health support for struggling artists.

Fancy dress is optional, but encouraged. Better start backcombing your hair now – or drive there with the windows down.

Deezer’s ’80s Drive In is on Oct 7. £15. Book tickets here.

More at TIME OUT

Read more

Smells Like Madonna Spirit: Madame X Perfume On The Way

If you’ve run out of your bottle of Truth or Dare, good news. Madonna is prepping a new eau de parfum inspired by her Madame X album/character. A year after the singer released Madame X, Madonna announced on Thursday morning (Sept. 24) that the fragrance is “coming soon.”

No other information was available on the perfume at press time, so for now all we know is that it comes in a square bottle and that it has Madame X in bold font on the front. One person who does know a bit more about it, though, is screenwriter Diablo Cody, who got a sneak peek at the “sexy, minimalist” bottle in an unboxing video Madonna shared from the pair’s ongoing writing sessions for her upcoming biopic.

“I think personally that it’s a little strong when you first put it on, but then 30 minutes into exchanging chemistry with you skin it evaporates, the heaviness of it, and it’s quite nice,” Madonna explains as Cody takes three big shots of the perfume and dubs it “amazing!”

The pair then digress into a conversation about tattoos, with Cody asking Madonna if she has any or would ever get one. “I just never thought of anything I wanted so badly to have it written on me forever,” she says. And then, for no apparent reason, Madonna belts just a bit of the Human League’s 1981 hit “Don’t You Want Me” after trying to figure out if 13 hot tamales is too many to hold in one hand.

Madonna has been holed up during the pandemic working on the screenplay for her life story with Oscar-winning Juno writer Cody, with the pair teasing out glimpses of their sessions, with the singer recently confirming that they’ve written 107 pages so far for what will likely be a two-hour film.

“It’s kind of like a form of therapy. And sometimes I get confused and forget that I’m writing about me, and I start to refer to me as ‘she.’ That’s a bit weird,” Madonna, 62 said during a recent hour-long IG Live about the writing marathon. “The focus is really about my struggle as an artist trying to survive in a man’s world as a woman, and really just the journey, which has been happy, sad, mad, crazy, good, bad and ugly.”

Check out the announcement below.

More at Billboard
Read more

Nile Rodgers Tells Apple Music About Working With Madonna…

Nile: She was wonderful. Man, it’s so interesting for me to look at the Madonna that we see in today’s world and compare her to the Madonna that I met in my world, because the Madonna from my world was playing what we used to call electro modern, it was called the same style of music had three names. It was called Latin hip hop or electro, like when she did things like everybody dancing, singing, and it was like Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam kind of vibe, where you dance the waybill. And so that was Madonna’s thing. And when she came to me with her original demos and they were all electronic, they were … I said to her, I said, “Madonna.” This is word for word, the conversation. She said to me, “Nile, these are the songs that are going to be on my next album, and if you don’t love them, you can’t produce me.” So I listened to all the songs down and I said, “Well, Madonna, I don’t love them all, but here’s the truth. By the time I finish with them, I will love them.” And I guess I didn’t get fired, so she went along with it…

Full article at eurweb

Read more

10 Of the Most Expensive Music Videos Ever Made (& How Much They Cost)

5) Bedtime Story By Madonna Production Cost: $5,000,000

Madonna entered the limelight in the early 80s and by the mid-80s she had already started causing waves for being sassy and confident. Well, her sassiness paid off as she is popularly referred to as the queen of pop.

Madonna has never been average and she proved that by having one of the most expensive music videos in the 90s. With a production cost of $5,000,000, the video acted as promotional for her album which eventually paid off

4) Express Yourself By Madonna Production Cost: $5,000,000

Thirty years later after its production, this music video is one of the most talked-about music videos in the industry. At the time,1989, the world had not yet embraced the freedom of expression and this contributed to Madonna’s music being heavily criticized due to its provocative nature.

Despite the heavy criticism from conservative Americans, Madonna was highly praised for flipping gender norms and being a voice for female empowerment

2) Die Another Day By Madonna Production Cost: $6,000,000

Madonna has always been extra which contributes to her unending charm and it’s no surprise that she spent a whopping $6,000,000 in one of her music videos. Madonna never spares any expense when producing any of her music videos but with the Die Another Day music video she went all out.

The song was inspired by the James Bond franchise and special effects had to be used in the music video to convey realism.

Full list at The Things

Read more

Madonna’s ‘Music’: Looking Back At The Classic Album 20 Years On

Credit: Maverick/Warner Music

 

It’s been 20 years since Madonna released her ‘Music’ album. Decked as a cowgirl on the album cover, ‘Music’ is an eclectic group of tracks that gave us electro-clash, funky r&b, trippy dub and a cover of Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ bolted on to the end.

Coming two years after her critically acclaimed ‘Ray of Light’ album, Madonna launched the ‘Music’ era with the title track of the album. A tribute to music bringing everyone together, the track itself mixes funk, R&B and electro to make an irresistible dancefloor classic. It sounded fresh, yet familiar at the same time. Madonna even got outrageous comedian Sacha Baron Cohen to bring his controversial Ali G character as her limo driver in the video. Let’s remind ourselves of the video below:

The track shot straight to the top of the Official UK Singles Chart giving her an amazing 10th No.1 (she remains the female artist with the most UK Number 1 singles today with 13). Madonna co-wrote the track with French record producer and songwriter Mirwais who also worked on several other tracks on the album. It was the start of a winning partnership and she has gone on to work with Mirwais on further studio albums ‘American Life’, ‘Confessions on a Dancefloor’ and her latest masterpiece ‘Madame X’. His unique vocal-chopping and effects played strongly into created the electroclash sound of the album. Perhaps this is most apparent on track two of the Music album, Impressive Instant. This track is definitely a highlight for me and contains the hooky lyric ‘I like to singy, singy, singy. Like a bird on a wingy, wingy, wingy.’ Not many artists could get away with that but Madonna and Mirwais pull that off with aplomb.

The album followed the title track to Number 1 on the UK charts at the end of September 2000, spending two weeks at the summit and staying in the Top 100 for a whole year (in total it’s had 73 non-consecutive weeks in the Top 100). A second official single was released in the form of the more mellow ‘Don’t Tell Me’, in December 2000.

Read full article at EntertainmentFocus

Read more

Some material, girl: the iconic Madonna moments that deserve a spot in her biopic

From the legendary Blonde Ambition tour, to her infamous dislike of hydrangeas and the colour orange – here’s what should make the cut

Where on earth do you begin with a pop icon like Madonna – a star who has repeatedly reinvented herself, and changed the shape of music in the process? It’s a task that the Queen of Pop herself has taken on: she’s set to direct a new biopic about her life, with screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno, Jennifer’s Body) also on board.

Her direct involvement may not be the most terrible idea: Madonna is an artist who maintains fierce and uncompromising control over her image, and plus, she’s not afraid of painting herself in a less flattering light. Her 1991 documentary Truth or Dare shows her making gagging gestures at Kevin Costner, and when playing London at the start of this year, Madonna showed that she’s more than capable of taking the piss out of herself.

Still, with four decades of boundary-pushing to draw from – rich with scandal and hilarity – which chapters of the Madonna story deserve a look-in? Here are a few suggestions.

The Dunkin’ Doughnuts days

Legend has it that, pre-fame, Madonna headed to the hazy lights of New York City with $35 in her pocket – after a taxi driver dropped her off in the centre of town, she nabbed a job at the Times Square branch of coffee and doughnut chain Dunkin’ Donuts to pay her way. Madonna’s first gig didn’t last long; she was reportedly fired for squirting jam all over a customer. After a stint working in the cloakrooms at swanky restaurant The Russian Tea Room, she soon traded it all in for drumming in The Breakfast Club, playing infamous punk dive CBGB, and fronting a scrappy punk band called Emmy and the Emmys. Soon, she began frequenting the city’s disco destination Studio 54 – and Madonna the solo artist was born.

The Blonde Ambition carry-on

Few artists have angered entire religions and nations with their provocative work – but touring her fourth studio album ‘Like A Prayer’, Madge was singled out by Conservative Pepsi drinkers, Canadian police and the Catholic pope. The latter declared that her concert was “one of the most satanic shows in the history of humanity”. Presumably he wasn’t all too fond of the artist’s taste for crotch-grabbing and Jean Paul Gaultier-designed conical bras.

After originally agreeing to sponsor the Blonde Ambition tour, Pepsi pulled the deal after Madonna’s music video for ‘Like A Prayer’ sparked outrage with its subversive church imagery, and when the live run reached Toronto, police threatened to arrest the singer if she went ahead with a segment which involved simulating masturbation on a velvet bed. The controversy only pushed the boundary-pushing star further. “Do you think that I deserve to be arrested?” she asked, on stage. “I hope so”.

Her unlikely bond with Letterman

Madonna and David Letterman go way back; when Madonna injured herself in 2002 after falling from her horse, the US telly host had two sent to her home – and then the pair went for a trot around New York City to get her back out riding. It’s a bond that goes back to 1994 – when Madge gave one of the sweariest appearances of all time on the Late Show. “Why are you so obsessed with my sex life,” she challenges him within moments, before refusing to play ball, and requiring a full thirteen sweary bleeps. “You are a sick fuck! I don’t know why I get so much shit.” Shortly after this, she presented Letterman with a pair of her pants, and ordered him to smell them.

Where so many pop stars are media trained within an inch of their life, and won’t dare put a foot out of line, Madonna didn’t give a shit – calling out the media’s fascination with her, and taking the conversation in a surreal direction whenever she could. The perfect foe for Letterman.

Armani cape-gate 

As with most evenings that don’t feature Madonna, the majority of the 2015 BRIT Awards ceremony was a fairly lacklustre affair; with two predictable big prizes for Ed Sheeran, and little in the way of drama. But at the very end of the night, a demonic performance of ‘Living For Love’ (from Madge’s new-at-the-time album ‘Rebel Heart’) was derailed by a wardrobe malfunction of epic proportions. A dancer tried to deftly snatch a lace cloak away from Madonna, but instead they accidentally pulled her backwards down the stairs. The Queen of pop was back on her feet in moments with minor whiplash, and assured fans that she was fine. Her Armani cape, she posted, was just “tied too tight”.

“Madonna, as we know, is very difficult,” the designer retorted, as reported by The New York Post. “This cape had a hook and she wanted a tie, and she wasn’t able to open it with her hands. That’s all there is to it.”

“I absolutely loathe hydrangeas” 

Over the years, Madge has been vocal about her incredibly specific likes and dislikes. On the positive side, she’s really into plucking her eyebrows, and said in a Reddit AMA that the best present she’s ever received is a “penis shaped bong”. On the flipside, she apparently hates the colour orange, and accidentally revealed (thanks to a microphone which was still switched on) that she “absolutely loathe[s] hydrangeas”. Remarkably ahead of her time in that regard Madonna also hates sitting in unventilated rooms. “I have a problem with the fact that there is no air in here and I’m going to die,” she announced dramatically during one now-notorious interview. “Give me a fan!” Eventually, she accepts a journalist’s offer, and uses their sheet of questions to cool down.

All the staged snogs

In case it wasn’t clear by now, Madonna thrives when she’s courting controversy. And at the 2003 VMA awards, an unexpressed Avril Lavigne, a near-hysterical Snoop Dogg, a nonplussed Beyonce and a slightly-too-into-it Justin Timberlake looked on as she kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera onstage during a performance of ‘Hollywood’. She didn’t care for the sensationalisation that followed. “I love to fuck with people,” Madonna told The Advocate during a sprawling and candid interview just over a decade previously. “Just as people have preconceived notions about gay men, they certainly do about gay women. So if I could be some sort of a detonator to that bomb, then I was willing to do that. It was really fun.” 12 years later, an on-stage snog at Coachella with the rapper Drake didn’t go quite so smoothly.

An extended family reunion

For some reason, Madonna has a truly boggling selection of distant relatives – if the biopic doesn’t work out, she’d be ideal for an appearance on biographical telly show This Is Your Life. In the past, genealogists have claimed that she’s a distant cousin of [deep breath] Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Ryan Gosling, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani,  Justin Trudeau, Hillary Clinton, and, most bizarrely, Camilla Parker Bowles. Admittedly it sounds like the guestlist to the most chaotic dinner party of all time – and presents a few ideas for when casting time comes around.

More at NME

Read more

Music Makes The People Come Together: 20 Years Of Madonna’s ‘Music’

Read more