I just finished Tina Fey’s fun memoir, anecdote collection Bossypants. If you’re watching 30 Rock, you’re definitly going to be reminded of Liz Lemon in some parts. One of the best chapters is “Amazing, Gorgeous, Not Like That” in which Tina goes on about photo shoots for magazines and Photoshop:
“Do I think Photoshop is being used excessively? Yes. I saw Madonna’s Louis Vuitton ad and honestly, at first glance, I thought it was Gwen Stefani’s baby.
Do I worry about overly retouched photos giving women unrealistic expectations and body image issues? I do. I think that we will soon see a rise in anorexia in women over seventy. Because only people over seventy are fooled by Photoshop.”
“Why can’t we accept the human form as it is?” screams no one. I don’t know why, but we never have. That’s why people wore corsets and neck stretchers and powdered wigs.
If you’re going to expend energy being mad about Photoshop, you’ll also have to be mad about earrings. No one’s ears are that sparkly! They shouldn’t have to be!
My favourite box set of 2010 is The Chic Organisation – Vol. 1 Savoir Faire. There you have it. I find it very hard to write about Chic, the band. Where to begin? – They have been such a big part of disco, pop and hip-hop. Wouldn’t it be super boring to list the most successful production work that Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers have done outside of Chic?
Diana Ross – diana with the singles “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out”
David Bowie – Let’s Dance
Madonna – Like A Virgin
Mick Jagger – She’s The Boss
Duran Duran – The Reflex and Wild Boys singles / Notorious
Grace Jones – Inside Story
B 52’s – Cosmic Thing
I mean, you might as well just read their Wikipedia page. Of the above, the Savoir Faire set only has the Diana Ross singles, although in different mixes. Apparently, Ms Ross didn’t like the funky Chic version of the album, so she went back into the studio with one of her well-known Motown engineers and remixed the whole record. And that’s the version that we all became to know.
What is in this box set then? Of course, there are the biggest Chic hits like “Le Freak” (which was supposed to be called “Fuck Off”, written on New Years Eve 1977 after Rodgers and Edwards couldn’t get past the bouncer of Studio 54), “Good Times” (which can’t be mentioned without Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” and being the inspiration for the bass line to Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust”), “Everybody Dance” and “I Want Your Love”.
With some of the hits on the compilation I have the feeling that I can’t listen to them anymore. Not that I don’t like them, but I heard them so many times either in original, sampled or remixed form that I need little break. I know them too well. But really that’s only “Good Times”, “Le Freak” and “We Are Family”.
The box set also includes 5 new remixes by Dimitri from Paris. These new versions of the disco classics are almost worth the whole box set alone. Even if these remixes only provide a new spin on well known disco staples like Sister Sledge’s “Lost In Music”, they don’t sound tired. Au contraire, these remixes sound very 2010 to me, with so much new disco coming out anyways. Their extended intros and breakdowns are perfect for slipping them into a current dj set. My two favourite Dimitri remixes on the box are “Thinking Of You” by Sister Slegde and “Saturday” by Norma Jean Wright.
“Saturday” originally appeared on Norma Jean’s solo album from 1978 which was released shortly after the first Chic album, on which she was the lead vocalist. The song sums up the disco area with its living-for-the-party-on-Saturday and being-bleak-and-dull-during-the-week theme. But really, nothing has changed for the weekend warriors of this world. The build up to the song that Dimitri has created has to be one of the most over the top intros ever. Listen below.
I just want to explode after hearing this.
I JUST CAN’T WAIT TIL SATHHHHUUUUUURDAY.
Earlier this year, I became aware of Johnny Mathis’ unreleased “I Love My Lady” album, produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards in 1980/81, around the same time they worked with Diana Ross. Johnny’s record label, concerned with the image of the all American crooner, thought the disco set would alienate his mom and grandmother audience and shelved the Chic collaboration. They didn’t know he would come out as an homosexual one year later, only to retract his statements in 1983.
Savoir Faire features 3 of the previously unreleased songs. I can recommend to track down whole album on the interwebz: the stripped down funky sound of Chic paired with Johnny’s smooth and silky voice is a great match.
My dear friend Mary left Germany a week ago and now I make this disturbing discovery. She hadn’t told me about it, because she knows I love long hair. Always have. Now, you tell me, who rocked the Lanvin sunglasses better: Mary Messhausen with short or long hair?
Madonna und Wir. Bekenntnisse, ist zum 50. Geburtstag von Madonna bei Suhrkamp erschienen, herausgegeben von Kerstin und Sandra Grether. Für mehr Details zu dem Buch und einen kurzem Auszug aus meinem Text den kompletten Eintrag anklicken.
I’ve been doing some Madonna research lately (more on that later) and came across this short clip of Madonna performing Dress You Up at Keith Haring’s Party of Life in May 1984 at the Paradise Garage, almost 6 months before the Like A Virgin album was released.
By Keith Haring (source):
“In the spring of 1984, it’s time for my birthday, and I stage what I call my Party of Life event. I want to make this into quite a grand affair. The fact is, I’m now making a certain amount of money and I feel a certain guilt about it, and I want to share it with my friends… you know, sharing the wealth! So I plan this big party, which is for my birthday, but not on my birthday.
I ask Madonna if she could sing at the party and she agrees. As a matter of fact, she had been to my studio just days earlier to play me some cuts from her new album ‘Like A Virgin.’, at which time hadn’t come out yet. I immediately liked “Dress You Up” and “Like a Virgin”, and we decide she’ll sing these two songs at the party. While we’re hearing these songs, I do a painting on Madonna’s leather jacket which she wears to the party. Madonna decides that she wants to sing these two songs on a brass bed covered with frilly material and strewn with white roses.
I decide to hold the party at Paradise Garage, because it continues to be my clubhouse and the coolest club in New York. Although only open weekends, I persuade the owner to let me hire the club out on a Wednesday night. I now ask LAII ( and myself and other friends of Keith ) to help me decorate the place. We make these huge cotton banners, which we spray paint in fluorescent colors. We hang these around the club. We also hang fluorescent streamers everywhere, and in another room we erect these huge fluorescent pillars and vases with flowers in them. We also hang some of my huge vinyl tarps so that the event also turns into a big exhibition.” (Read the full text)
Thanks for coming out last night. Fun times.
Mary’s dress by Vanessa. Vanessa’s and my dress by Mary Messhausen.
I wish I remembered all lyrics to Gartina’s songs. Yesterday, during “Vogue For Me” she sang about how she wants to travel to Africa to adopt black African babies. At the end of the song she chanted: Madonna, we forgive you for stealing Vogue.