Sunday, May 31, 2015

In A Bunch...

For the very first time, this lavish 33 CD box set brings together every single released by the iconic girl group during their London Records tenure, from their 1981 debut Aie A Mwana to 1993's More, More, More. With perennial pop classics such as Cruel Summer, Venus, Robert De Niro's Waiting and Love In The First Degree all present and correct alongside fan favourites A Trick Of The Night, Only Your Love, Cheers Then and Love, Truth & Honesty and sought-after overseas releases He's Got Tact, King Of The Jungle and The Wild Life, this is undoubtedly the definitive Bananarama collection. 

Each remastered CD single is presented in an individual card sleeve replicating the classic original vinyl artwork, painstakingly compiled to include absolutely every B-side and remix originally issued around the world, as well as many previously unavailable instrumentals and other rarities. Including over a hundred tracks not included on our hugely successful album reissues and recent Megarama remix anthology, In A Bunch is a must-have for all Bananarama fans and self-respecting pop aficionados alike. 

Housed in an heirloom-quality outer box, the set also includes a 48-page booklet featuring full lyrics, discography and new sleeve notes, plus an exclusive fold-out double-sided mini poster, sticker sheet and postcard set. Released with the co-operation of Sara and Keren, In A Bunch is compiled and annotated by acknowledged expert Tom Parker.

Released July 31 2015.

It is simply amazing how well the back catalog of Bananarama has been treated. Every album they released has received a deluxe 2CD+DVD treatment, there was a 3CD remix album and a greatest hits CD, complete with a DVD with all their music videos - and now this! 

A dream come true for every fan/collector - I couldn't pre-order this fast enough! I already have almost all of their original CD singles, but this box includes loads of releases that never came out on CD, including some rare Japanese ones. Now to wait for the track list (and hope that other artists will follow suit with a complete singles sets).

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


In what has become the longest time between posts since Barbarella's Galaxy started, it seems overdue to post one - and it's another selection of tracks that I am loving these days.

This lot includes two of the best music videos I have seen in a while - the latest ones from Madonna and Stromae.

Friday, February 27, 2015


It's been ages since my last collection of tracks (actually, it's been ages since my last post!). I have been extremely busy and really haven't had the extra time to maintain the blog.

But here are some recent tracks I have been blasting. As always, the good, the tacky and everything in between. Enjoy :)

Monday, January 19, 2015


Rebel Heart tracklist:

1 Living For Love 3:38
2 Devil Pray 4:05
3 Ghosttown 4:09
4 Unapologetic Bitch 3:51 [Explicit]
5 Illuminati 3:44
6 Bitch I’m Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj) 3:47 [Explicit]
7 Hold Tight 3:37
8 Joan of Arc 4:01
9 Iconic (feat. Chance The Rapper & Mike Tyson) 4:33
10 HeartBreakCity 3:33 [Explicit]
11 Body Shop 3:39 [Explicit]
12 Holy Water 4:09 [Explicit]
13 Inside Out 4:23
14 Wash All Over Me 4:00
15 Best Night 3:33
16 Veni Vedi Vici (feat. Nas) 4:39 [Explicit]
17 S.E.X. 4:11
18 Messiah 3:22

19 Rebel Heart 3:21

Friday, January 9, 2015

Inside Story...

The Inside Story of How Madonna Turned Her ‘Rebel Heart’ Leak Into a Global Hit

On December 16, Madonna was in her New York apartment when she received word that more than a dozen unfinished demos for her forthcoming album had leaked. Her manager, Guy Oseary, was just returning to his Beverly Hills estate when he got the news. The album, Rebel Heart, was set for a late-April release, and thanks to a meticulous marketing plan and an inspired group of collaborators (including Diplo, Kanye West and Avicii), buzz was strong on the singer’s 13th studio full-length.

But now, all bets were off. Madonna shot off a fiery post on her Instagram account lambasting the leak as “artistic rape,” Oseary got on the phone, and both sprung into action. “I don’t recall that phone coming off my ear from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m.,” he says.

High-profile leaks and other security breaches have been a scourge of the entertainment industry for the past 15 years: from Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in 2001 and Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III in 2007 to Madonna’s own “Give Me All Your Luvin'” in 2011 – which resulted in an unidentified fan’s arrest in Spain, although he was later released – not to mention the hacker group Anonymous’ threats to rapper Iggy Azalea in 2014’s final weeks. But this Madonna leak was unusually severe, including images and videos as well as music. However, the singer and her team’s quick response may have set a new precedent for how the industry can mobilize in an effort to combat them.

On the morning of December 17, Steve Berman, vice chairman of Madonna’s label distributor Interscope, was on the phone with her and Oseary. “She was in a very angry, upset, emotional place,” Berman recalls. He had visited her in New York the week prior to hear some of the album’s first finished songs with label president/CEO John Janick. “She told me, ‘Steve, I care about my music. I can’t have the songs being heard the wrong way.’ ”

Berman was confident that Apple’s iTunes could be engaged to turn around an official release of finished Rebel Heart tracks on a dime, even though the digital retailer’s servers would effectively shut down for the year on Dec. 19, just two days later. But he faced two major hurdles: pushback from the upper rafters at Universal Music Group (“Should we just wait and do it all at the top of the year?” was the response from one executive) and the availability of iTunes vp content Robert Kondrk, who was already on vacation with his family in Mexico.

During the next 48 hours, Kondrk was able to help Apple greenlight a Rebel Heart preorder that would include six instant-gratification songs for download by midnight ET on December 20 – including “Living for Love,” the set’s first single, which was initially intended for a Valentine’s Day release (and will now be promoted to radio on February 10). However, Madonna had to make sure the six songs were in finished form, so she holed up in her New York studio working on the final mixes into the wee hours of the morning of December 18. “There was no time to call any of the producers — nothing,” says Oseary. “Just her final mastering sessions.”

The result of Rebel Heart’s 48-hour turnaround? The album preorder topped the iTunes charts in more than 40 countries — including the United States, where three of the six released tracks entered Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart dated Jan. 3, despite just two days of eligibility. To date, the six tracks have sold a combined 131,000 downloads, according to Nielsen Music, with preorders for Rebel Heart at a robust (considering the situation) 50,000 to 60,000, according to industry estimates. “We know that in today’s world, having a top 10 album with no promotion is really hard,” Oseary says. “It’s pretty… exciting isn’t the right word, but it’s rewarding to see it so well-received.”

Still, Madonna’s work is far from over. There’s still at least one more preview track from Rebel Heart on its way before the album’s March 10 release (likely due February 8, the night of the Grammy Awards, Oseary says), and an official video for Living for Love, to be filmed in late January. Plus, there’s an ongoing investigation into the source of the leaks (another 14 tracks hit the Internet on Dec. 24), which, given their volume, seem too far-reaching to emanate from a usual suspect like a studio staffer or a backing musician. Neither Oseary nor a UMG representative would confirm that the investigation has resulted in a police report. Oseary’s only comment on the matter was, “We are working really hard to solve this crime.”

This article first appeared in the January 17 issue of Billboard.
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