Shana Tova! #rebelheart #livingforlove
How did you approach working with someone the stature of Madonna when you collaborated on What It Feels Like for a Girl?
“That song was quite an unusual situation. I sent Madonna a backing track, which already had the spoken word bit in and then she wrote a vocal to it. At the start of our meeting together she sang me her guide vocal, which I thought was great. There was just one thing, in that it worked perfectly against the chorus but it was a little odd against the verse.
“Madonna said she wanted the music adjusted to better fit her melody so I moved a bar to bring it in line with the verse and she said she thought was too simple. She wanted to use the sounds that were already there so there was no question of overdubbing things so what I did was to create the arrangement by basically just chopping up and re-positioning sounds that were already in the mix in different positions around her vocal to create the verse.
“That was a wonderful challenge because I stuck with what I’d brought on the demo, obviously Spike (*co-producer Mark ‘Spike’ Stent) made sure it sounded even better but we never went into opening up a load of new synths or samplers to find new sounds. It was just ‘where do we place the sounds we have to make the verse work?’ It was a problem but in a way it was brilliant in the way she imposed a restriction on it that made us be more creative.”
We go Hard or we go Home we Gon Do this all night long! #werk
MNEK has described Madonna’s new material as “wicked”.
The British singer-songwriter has been in the studio with the US icon to work on a track for her forthcoming new album, which is due out in 2015.
“I almost get quite scared talking about it,” MNEK told Digital Spy at the MOBO Awards launch. “It’s happened, obviously. I did meet Madonna and I did work with her.
“It was great and amazing. The song sounds wicked – I’m really proud of it. Diplo’s dope, Madonna’s dope, her people are great and that side of things is working out great.”
Despite rumors of a split, Madonna stepped out with boy toy Timor Steffens Sunday night.
They were with an entourage seeing “Sleep No More” at the McKittrick Hotel before heading to the Gallow Green rooftop, where they “snuggled” over dinner.
As Madge left, she happened to run into Rihanna, who was taking a studio break.
“They smiled and laughed, then went their separate ways,” a spy said.
Goin to werk #b*tchimmadonna
…and don’t get her started about Madonna and age.
She adds: “People talk about Madonna, saying she should stop wearing all that stuff, she’s too old for that kind of thing now.
“But why? She’s been doing it all along. She’s entitled to wear that but at the same time, it was important for her to do that, back in the day.”
Nothing can stop the Sex Boyzzzzzz! Aka Dahi and Blood Diamonds. #iconic #Sex #trustnob*tch
71. Jellybean, “Sidewalk Talk”
Hot 100 Peak: Number 18
Madonna penned the first single to be credited to her then-boyfriend, New York DJ John “Jellybean” Benitez, and handled vocal duties on its chorus. (The breathy Catharine Buchanan, who passed away in 2001, sang the verses.) Similar in style to the ramped-up club music that made tracks like the Benitez-produced “Holiday” early-Eighties radio staples, “Sidewalk Talk” distills the essence of New York — full of fast-moving possibility and flash, but to be handled with caution in order to be survived. M.J.
67. Madonna, “Like a Virgin”
Hot 100 Peak: Number One
If the hits from Madonna’s 1983 debut established her as a star, it was the title track from 1984’s Like a Virgin that vaulted her into icon status, rocketing to the top of the Hot 100 in its sixth week on the chart. Madonna has played up the ambiguity of the lyric, which has been interpreted in many ways (most famously and explicitly in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs), but the song was originally conceived by songwriter Billy Steinberg as a tender ballad inspired by a new love after a depressing heartbreak. It was Madonna herself, however, who suggested the title of the parody “Weird Al” Yankovic later recorded, “Like a Surgeon.” A.S.
2. Madonna, “Borderline”
Hot 100 Peak: Number 10
“I dared to believe this was going to be huge beyond belief, the biggest thing I’d ever had, after I heard ‘Borderline,'” Seymour Stein, the record man who signed Madonna, recalled. “The passion that she put into that song, I thought, there’s no stopping this girl.” His gut was right on target: The fifth and final single from Madonna’s 1983 debut album was her first to hit the Top 10. The melodic synth-a-palooza with the plunky low end was one of two on the LP penned by Reggie Lucas, who used a drum machine instead of a live drummer for the first time on the tune, doubling a synth bass with Anthony Jackson on electric bass guitar (“They’re playing so tight you can’t tell the difference,” Lucas said). Madonna turned in a sweetly-sung, restrained but emotional vocal (her voice wavers just so when she gets to “Feels like I’m going to lose my mind”) about a beau who has her heart twisted. The radio remix, which trims nearly three minutes from the tune, boasts one of Madge’s most iconic fade-outs, standing by as she “la la la”s into the void. C.G.
PLAYBOY: You directed some of Madonna’s most stylish videos, such as “Vogue” and “Bad Girl,” the latter depicting the singer as a film noir femme fatale who gets strangled with panty hose. Why do you think that Madonna never translated to the big screen?
FINCHER: Madonna is very crafty. She’s street-smart. The video directors who did the best work with her—romantic, amazing stuff like what Jean-Baptiste Mondino did—were the ones she allowed to take risks and the ones who made videos she would throw herself into. I made commercials to make money, but I did music videos as a kind of film school. I learned that the way to be with Madonna was to follow her impetus, because the artist in a music video is not only the star but also the studio. I could say to Madonna, “I need you to do it again. I need you to stop blinking. I need you to get your f*cking chin down. And I need you to be better.” Whether it was Madonna, Brad Pitt or Ben Affleck, I’m well aware that the work got financed because of them. But they needed to know I had to get them off their mark, get them to a place where it might get warm, because there might be friction.