Friday, February 28, 2014

Aaaa-choooo...



I have been battling a dreadful flu over the past couple of days, with no end in sight it seems. So I'm staying at home from work today -  finger crossed that the weekend won't be spent in bed, trying to feel better.

But, as an inspiration, I have called on Dame Shirley Bassey, who has gracefully agreed to enter the Galaxy and sing a selection of her greatest hits exclusively for moi in order to cheer me up. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Love Will Lead 'Em Back...



Taylor Dayne is about to have two of her early albums released as deluxe editions.

File:Taylor Dayne – Can't Fight Fate (album cover).jpg

Can’t Fight Fate, the second album from powerhouse vocalist and perennial pop icon Taylor Dayne, receives a Deluxe Edition double CD reissue on Cherry Pop on April 21.

Originally released in 1989, "Can’t Fight Fate" built on the success of Taylor’s debut, Tell It To My Heart, with a more diverse and mature collection of songs reflecting the wide range of her musical influences, resulting in a double platinum certification in the US.

Can’t Fight Fate includes the classic ballad, "Love Will Lead You Back", Taylor’s first US #1, and three further international hits - the perennial anthem "I’ll Be Your Shelter", "With Every Beat Of My Heart" and "Heart Of Stone". Produced by Taylor's longtime collaborator Ric Wake, the album features Taylor's first self-penned tracks and contributions from legendary songwriters Diane Warren and Marvin Hamlisch.

Digitally remastered direct from the master tapes, this Deluxe Edition also features comprehensive bonus material, much of it on CD for the first time. Every mix which appeared on the original single releases is included, together with two rare 12" club remixes of "Up All Night" – originally intended as a fifth single in late 1990 - and the B-side "All I Ever Wanted".

With personal input from Taylor herself, the extensive booklet also features additional photos, a fully illustrated discography and recording data, lyrics and brand new sleeve notes.

Track List:

DISC ONE:
1.    WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART
2.    I’LL BE YOUR SHELTER
3.    LOVE WILL LEAD YOU BACK
4.    HEART OF STONE
5.    YOU CAN’T FIGHT FATE
6.    UP ALL NIGHT
7.    I KNOW THE FEELING
8.    WAIT FOR ME
9.    YOU MEANT THE WORLD TO ME
10.  AIN’T NO GOOD
 BONUS TRACKS
11.  ALL I EVER WANTED
12.  WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART
    Extended Radio Remix
13.  I’LL BE YOUR SHELTER
    Extended Remix


DISC TWO:
1.   I’LL BE YOUR SHELTER
    Single Version
2.   LOVE WILL LEAD YOU BACK
    Single Version
3.   HEART OF STONE
    Single Version
4.   WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART
    Palpitashun Remix *
5.   I’LL BE YOUR SHELTER
    Groove Mix *
6.   WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART
    Mental Dub Edit +
7    UP ALL NIGHT
    The Sunrise Mix *
8.   WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART
    Make It Rock Remix
9.   UP ALL NIGHT
    Insomnia Dub *
10. WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART
    Mental Dub +

*    Previously unreleased
+    First time on CD

File:Taylor Dane - Soul Dancing - CD.jpg

Soul Dancing, the third album from powerhouse vocalist and perennial pop icon Taylor Dayne, is given a Deluxe Edition double CD reissue on Cherry Pop on April 21.

Originally released in 1993, the gold-certified Soul Dancing found Taylor developing her sound with an all-star cast including Shep Pettibone, Clivill├ęs & Cole, Humberto Gatica, Narada Michael Walden, Diane Warren, Keith Washington and Ric Wake. An irresistible cover of Barry White’s "Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love" became a Top 20 smash on both sides of the Atlantic while "Send Me A Lover" became another of Taylor's signature ballad hits. In remixed form, the subsequent singles "I’ll Wait" (UK #29) and "Say A Prayer" ignited dance floors internationally and helped to consolidate Taylor's status as one of dance music's defining divas.

Digitally remastered direct from the master tapes, this Deluxe Edition also includes extensive bonus material. "Original Sin", a classic collaboration with Jim Steinman from the soundtrack of the 1994 film The Shadow, features alongside the hit 1995 remixes of Taylor’s debut smash "Tell It To My Heart". An entire disc of full-length club mixes, several on CD for the first time, brings together standout productions from many of the biggest names in 90s dance including David Morales, Steve "Silk” Hurley, E-Smoove, T-Empo and the late Tony De Vit.

With personal input from Taylor herself, the extensive booklet also features additional photos, a fully illustrated discography and recording data, lyrics and brand new sleeve notes.

Track Listing:

DISC ONE:
1.    I’LL WAIT
2.    SEND ME A LOVER
3.     CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF YOUR LOVE
4.    SAY A PRAYER
5.    DANCE WITH A STRANGER
6.    I COULD BE GOOD FOR YOU
7.    SOUL DANCING
8.    THE DOOR TO YOUR HEART
    Duet with Keith Washington
9.    SOMEONE LIKE YOU
10.    MEMORIES
11.    IF YOU WERE MINE
BONUS TRACKS
12.    LET’S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER
13.    ORIGINAL SIN (THEME FROM ‘THE SHADOW’)
    Radio Mix
14.    I’LL WAIT
    Hot Mix
15.    SAY A PRAYER
    Boss Edit
16.    TELL IT TO MY HEART
    T’Empo Radio Edit
17.    I’LL WAIT
    4 Minutes Of Soul

 DISC TWO:
1.    CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF YOUR LOVE
    C+C Special Edition Mix
2.    I’LL WAIT
    E-Smoove Vocal Remix +
3.    SAY A PRAYER
    Boss Club Mix
4.    TELL IT TO MY HEART
    T-Empo Extended Mix +
5.    I’LL WAIT
    7 Minutes Of Silk
6.    CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF YOUR LOVE
    C+C Bass Dub +
7.    SAY A PRAYER
    Mass Dub *
8.    TELL IT TO MY HEART
    T-Empo Blue Room Dub +
9.    I’LL WAIT
    Silky Dub Total *
10.    SAY A PRAYER
    Vission Lorimer Remix
11.    TELL IT TO MY HEART
    Tony De Vit Club Mix

*    Previously unreleased
+    First time on CD

Since Taylor Dayne made her chart-topping debut in 1987, she has sold over 75 million records, with five studio albums and over 20 hit singles to her name. Her career highlights include three Grammy nominations, songwriting for Tina Turner, Broadway acclaim for her roles in Cats and Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, and induction into her native Long Island's Musicians Hall Of Fame alongside fellow LI luminaries Billy Joel, Lou Reed and Pat Benatar. Taylor has live dates scheduled internationally throughout 2014 and also plans to release new material this year.


Taylor's debut album, Tell It To My Heart, is expected to receive a deluxe edition treatment in the near future.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kiss Talk...



Here is a fun little interview with Kylie Minogue on her upcoming album Kiss Me Once.

Kylie Minogue and Jake Shears on The Voice

Also, Jake Shears has revealed that the Scissor Sisters and Kylie Minogue have recorded enough material together to release an album.

The singer said that he is "really proud" of all the songs that he has worked on with Minogue over the years.
Speaking to Attitude, Shears said of Kylie: "I love writing with her and always have. I'm really proud of all the songs I've written with her and I think someday I'm gonna, like, put together a Scissors-Kylie record."

He added that there is enough material to release a "really cool" album. "There's a whole album's worth of music. It's from over the years," he said. "There's some really cool stuff that no-one has heard. We could definitely put together a fun little album. Someday I'm gonna be shifty and leak it."

The star has worked with Minogue on a number of released tracks, including "White Diamond" and Aphrodite album track "Too Much"Shears - who will be seen advising Minogue on this weekend's episode of The Voice UK - said that the Australian is "a lot of fun" to work with in the studio.

He said: "It feels like play, not work. It's just a nice time for us to hang out and be creative with each other."

And finally: it seems that Miss Minogue will be releasing a "teaser" video soon for fan favorite "Les Sex" from her upcoming album. It is however not going to be the next single, it seems...

Monday, February 24, 2014

Clubbing Again...

image002

Grace Jones‘ 1981 album Nightclubbing will be issued as a two-CD deluxe edition on April 28th 2014. The release was supposed to come out in 2006 but was then postponed to 2009 - but nothing happened (well, it is Grace Jones after all).

The album was the second in Jones’ so-called Compass Point Trilogy, produced by Chris Blackwell and Alex SadkinWidely regarded as her best studio work, the record spawned the hits "Pull Up To The Bumper", "Demolition Man" and "I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango)". This deluxe reissue sees Nightclubbing remastered for the first time with the bonus CD bringing together a large number of remixes, as well as offering two previously unreleased tracks (including a cover of the Gary Numan/Tubeway Army track "Me! I Disconnect From You". 

Grace Jones / "Nightclubbing" remastered double vinyl

A two-LP gatefold heavyweight vinyl record will also be issued, with the second LP including six remixes (as well as the two unreleased tracks) and a digital download. There will also be a Pure Audio blu-ray audio edition that contains all 23 tracks found on the two-CD deluxe version.

Grace Jones / "Nightclubbing" Pure Audio Blu-ray Audio

CD Tracklist:

Disc 1

1 Walking In The Rain 4.18
2 Pull Up To The Bumper 4.41
3 Use Me 5.04
4 Nightclubbing 5.06
5 Art Groupie 2.39
6 I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango) 4.30
7 Feel Up 4.03
8 Demolition Man 4.03
9 I’ve Done It Again 3.51

Disc 2

1 Demolition Man (12” Version) 4.58
Issued as A-side of 12” single 12 WIP 6673, Feb 1981.

2 Pull Up To The Bumper (Long Version) 5.45
Issued as A-side of 12” single 12 WIP 6696, June 1981

3 Feel Up (Long Version) 6.14
Issued as B-side of 12” single 12 WIP 6696, June 1981

4 I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango) (12” Version) 5.32
Issued as A-side of Dutch 12” single 600.366, July 1981

5 Walking In The Rain (12” Version) 7.25
Issued as A-side of 12” single 12 WIP 6739, Oct 1981

6 Pull Up To The Bumper (Remixed Version) 7.15
Issued as B-side of 12” single 12 WIP 6739, Oct 1981

7 Use Me (Long Version) 6.10
First issued on Private Life: The Compass Point Sessions

8 Pull Up To The Bumper (US Party Version) 5.00
Issued as A-side of US promotional 12” single PRO-A-936

9 Feel Up (Extended Version) 6.15
Issued as A-side of US promotional 12” single PRO-A-985

10 Pull Up To The Bumper (1985 Remix) 6.24
Issued as A-side of cassette single CIS 240

11 Peanut Butter (Pull Up To The Bumper Instrumental) 5.10
Issued as B-side of cassette single CIS 240

12 If You Wanna Be My Lover (previously unreleased) 8.00 approx

13 Me! I Disconnect From You (previously unreleased) 5.30 approx

14 Esta Cara Me Es Conocida (I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango) 4.32

Issued as A-side of Spanish 7” single B-102.587

LP Tracklist:

Disc 1 - Standard Album

Disc 2:

1 Demolition Man (12” Version) 4.58
Issued as A-side of 12” single 12 WIP 6673, Feb 1981.

2 I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango) (12” Version) 5.32
Issued as A-side of Dutch 12” single // 600.366, July 1981

3 Walking In The Rain (12” Version) 7.25
Issued as A-side of 12” single 12 // WIP 6739, Oct 1981

4 Use Me (Long Version) 6.10
First issued on Private Life: The Compass Point Sessions

5 Pull Up To The Bumper (US Party Version) 5.00
Issued as A-side of US promotional 12” single // PRO-A-936

6 Feel Up (Extended Version) 6.15
Issued as A-side of US promotional 12” single // PRO-A-985

7 If You Wanna Be My Lover (previously unreleased) 8.00 approx

8 Me! I Disconnect From You (previously unreleased) 5.30 approx


Better late then never - looking forward to this, I am obviously getting the CD version and probably the vinyl too. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Can I Get An Amen...



Hold on to your wigs! RuPaul has climbed off his bedazzled throne to put some sass (and ass) back into pop music with new LP Born Naked (available February 24). The much-loved drag diva’s sixth album — seventh if you include Christmas classic Ho, Ho, Ho — is a high-camp blockbuster featuring the who’s who of underground-pop deities.

The concise ten-song set (Ru doesn’t fuck with long tracklists) includes collaborations with former Weather Girl/dance legend Martha Wash, Australian soul singer Clairy Browne and My Crazy Girlfriend vocalist Myah Marie. There’s even a cover — I assume — of Shannon‘s freestyle classic “Let The Music Play” with Michelle Visage. The first single will be "Geronimo".

Tracklist:

1. Freaky Money (feat. Big Freedia)
2. Sissy Dat Walk
3. Geronimo (feat. Lucian Piane)
4. Dance With U
5. Adrenaline (feat. Myah Marie)
6. Can I Get An Amen (feat. Martha Wash)
7. Fly Tonight (feat. Frankmusik)
8. Modern Love
9. Let The Music Play (feat. Michelle Visage)
10. Born Naked (feat. Clairy Browne)

Sadly, RuPaul has only released his albums and singles on CDR lately via Amazon.com. Still, they come with complete artwork so it's better then nothing. But it seems that the new one will not even be available that way on CD. A shame, since I really wanted to buy this album...

UPDATE:

Born Naked will be made available on vinyl, so I just might get an actual physical release of this album after all... Here is the video for "Geronimo".

Pics...



Some new Kylie pics. Just because.







Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Geraldines...



Tori Amos has revealed the artwork for her upcoming album.

Unrepentant Geraldines is her 14th studio album. It is is scheduled for release on May 13th by Mercury Classics as a standard CD/digital download, a limited edition CD+DVD, and vinyl LP.

Tracklist has not been made available yet.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Love One Another"?...



Oh my! The faux lesbians of the Russian duo t.A.T.u were on the verge of making a comeback, about to release a new single and going on tour. A music video for the song "Love In Every Moment" was supposed to be released within the next couple of months. But, it seems that we have another Army Of Lovers type-of-drama on our hands! Singer Lena (the red haired one) and her management team released the following statements yesterday:

"Hi guys! Unfortunately, we have some bad news for you.
You probably had heard about t.A.T.u. promo tour in Slovakia and Czech Republic. Today all the t.A.T.u. events we cancelled. Including t.A.T.u.'s concerts in Minsk (Belarus) and Moscow. All the collaborations between Julia and Lena were terminated because of pressure of Julia and her team on Lena.

Hello guys,
For the reason of incorrect behavior from Julia’s side concerning me, I must announce that our future collaboration has become absolutely impossible. Aside from many crude and hurtful statements made about me, Julia gave me an ultimatum: she declined to participate with me in t.A.T.u. if I do not comply with her and her team in all aspects regarding the creative direction of t.A.T.u.. Otherwise she will find a different red-headed, curly-haired girl to replace me.
Besides that, I was threatened with the fact that Julia, using her close ties to the heads of Channel 1 Russia, will shut down my solo project in Russia. In this instance I consider our future collaboration to be impossible as well as communication between us.

I am sad that our fans’ hopes of a t.A.T.u. reunion will not come true. I hope you understand and I want to say thank you for loving and supporting me always. Thank you.”

UPDATE:


And then there's this:




It seems that the song/video will be released after all - Lena said this in a new interview:


"I do not know why Julia and her team continue to mislead the fans and organizers of concerts, for example in Slovakia, and saying on a TV show that I missed the plane and therefore had not arrived. Of course, this is not true! I will not change my mind about the group or communicate with Yulia Volkova. In Krakow I’m going to shoot the film and the clip. This is not a song of t.A.T.u., it’s a joint creative project of Elena Kiper, consisting of four people, including Volkova, Legalize and Mike Tompkins, on which I still have contractual obligations and that I must fulfill. The only condition was that I would never meet with Yulia Volkova - on the set and in the studio, so we’re going different flights have different times on the set. I hold no grudge against Julia, but at some point it comes a time to say "I’ve had enough."







This comes after several reports about the girls having massive problems with working together in the past - in fact, they had announced in 2011 that the group was disbanded for good after selling around 13 million copies of their albums. They did however do a couple of live performances in 2013, as well as this month - including a performance before the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Sochi.

Media reports expressed surprise at this performance, given the lack of LGBT rights in Russia, especially the Russian law banning gay "propaganda" aimed at minors that is being used to discriminate against gays. Their early act, including lesbian kissing, and showing homosexuality and bisexuality to minors, would be illegal under current Russian law.The ceremony's director, Konstantin Ernst, said t.A.T.u.'s "Not Gonna Get Us" was chosen because it's one of the few Russian pop songs that international viewers might recognize.

While the girls clearly have a lot of issues (both in general and towards each other), I have enjoyed most of their output and it would have been fun to get some new material from them. But for now, here are some of their best singles:

Surprise!...



Now, what could possibly make a boring routine at the gym super fun? Why, a visit from the princess of pop of course!

kylie minogue

Kylie Minogue's #PricelessSurprise for superfan Adam Milner, in which she serenaded him with a rendition of her new single "Into the Blue", was organised by Mastercard ahead of this week's Brit Awards and the release of her new album Kiss Me Once next month.

Speaking about the surprsie, Kylie said: “I’ve never performed in a gym before, so it was a crazy and exciting experience for both me and my fan, Adam. When MasterCard told me I would be surprising him at the gym, I knew I absolutely had to have glitter cannons.

"I loved Adam’s reaction when I walked in and even in his shocked state he still managed to sing along to all the words to "Into the Blue". It was fabulous for both of us.”

Oh For Crying Out Loud...



Radio 1's head of music, George Ergatroudis, has confirmed data from streaming services such as Spotify will soon count towards the official UK chart placement.

Ergatroudis was speaking at the Radio Academy Playlists: What Makes A Hit? event last night (February 17), when he revealed that plays on Spotify and a variety of other music streaming services will soon be incorporated into the UK charts. It means weekly plays from services such as Spotify, Deezer, Rdio and Blinkbox are likely to contribute towards final chart placings.

The Official Charts Company launched an Official Streaming Chart back in 2012, but previously denied plans to incorporate the data into the Official Chart countdown. In the US, Billboard started including online streams for its Hot 100 countdown at the start of 2013, which also counts YouTube and VEVO plays. It remains to be seen if the UK charts will also start to count those plays.

Oh, and to top it all: The Radio Academy - which describe themselves as "a registered charity dedicated to the encouragement, recognition and promotion of excellence in UK radio broadcasting and audio production" - has made a short statement on their @radioacademy Twitter page to explain the lack of presence - or shall we say - the ban - of the Queen of Pop on Radio 1.

"R1 has moved on from Madonna now. Vast majority of her fans over 30, not R1 audience."

Ah yes - because someone's age always defines what kind of music (or artists) they like!

So, to zoom it up: now the UK chart is going to shit just like the US one! Lets examine:

*People can stream whatever they want, hate it and never listen to it again. Yet it counts towards the charts!
*People can watch the same music videos on YouTube hundreds of times, or just leave them on loop for hours to count as plays! Don't think for a second that megafans of artists like Lady Gaga and One Direction haven't been doing this in the States - and it costs them nothing!
*Same goes for those damn social media campaigns to get some ridiculous songs back in the charts (such as "Killing In The Name Of" not too long ago). Now you don't even have to bother to buy the thing - just loop it on some streaming service!
*We will have even more music videos with half naked skanks shaking whatever they can shake in front of a camera, to make sure that horny teen boys watch the videos on repeat to give them a higher chart placing ("Blurred Lines", "Wrecking Ball" etc).
*Last year, there were 28 different number one songs in the UK. In the US: only 11! The reason: sales have very little to do with the US singles chart, it's all about radio play and streams. Therefore, the same bloody songs hang around for months, making the US charts boring beyond belief. 

The Billboard charts changed about 15 years ago, making sales only count for 10-20 percent - the rest was airplay. Songs that topped the sales charts suddenly found themselves barely cracking the Hot 100, because some DJ's decided that the song didn't "fit in" to their "criteria" for their "target" audience! The same thing has been happening in the UK, with the controversial decisions over at Radio 1 for example (like the one above). The singles chart has so far been based purely on sales (not airplay etc). But with the introduction of streams into the chart, I fear it won't be long until radio play starts to be included as well (for all those five songs the playlist can take each time!).

There is a big difference in actually buying a song, sampling something out of curiosity or clicking on a YouTube link to check out the naked girl in some music video - a big difference! If the charts are supposed to reflect the type of music people actually like, they should monitor what people are BUYING!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sampler...



Album sampler for Kylie's "Kiss Me Once":



Review from The Guardian

Kiss Me Once Limited Edition Vinyl Box Set

The limited box set of Kiss Me Once has been slightly revised - see above:

The original:



Apparently Kylie starts her new tour in May and she has stepped up as creative director. She is promising a "leaner, less frills more feminine" show. And here is a new interview with the princess.

Alarmingly, Kylie has said that she did do tracks with the god awful Will. I.Am but they didn't have the time to finish them (thank god!). She "hopes" to release at least one of them at a later date. Barf! An expanded version of the album coming out later perhaps? 


Kylie Minogue For Sunday Times Style UK February 2014
Kylie Minogue For Sunday Times Style UK February 2014

BTW: if you are wondering which version to get of Kiss Me Once, it's this one. Japan get's FOUR bonus tracks on the deluxe edition: "Voodoo", "Golden Boy", "Mr President" and a fourth one, most likely a song called "Sleeping With The Enemy" - bringing the album to 15 tracks!

UPDATE 28.02:

Erm, it seems that the Japanese edition will NOT include "Voodoo" and "Golden Boy" after all. The standard edition and the deluxe will include "Sparks" as a bonus track (the B-side from the "Into The Blue" 7" releases), and the standard version will also include an exclusive mix of "Into The Blue". So, it seems that the best way to buy the album is just to go for the deluxe version from the UK and then pick up the standard version from Japan.

I wonder what happened to the other two songs - hopefully they will surface later...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tracks...



Time for a new batch of tracks that I am loving at the moment. This lot includes the return of two female singers that I adore - Miss Kylie Minogue and Miss Lisa Stansfield, who released her first album in 10 years this week. Seven charted at 13# in both the UK and Germany to excellent reviews - I'm waiting very impatiently for my Amazon order to arrive...

The rest is a mix of pop/dance music from all over the world, as usual. Hopefully there is something in there for everyone. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Beautiful?...



Well... the next Kylie Minogue single has premiered. It's a duet with Enrique Iglesias (whose latest video is so very, very bad it has to seen to be believed - I gave up after a minute!). I haven't listened to "Beautiful" yet, but it seems to be getting rather bad/mixed reviews...

The song is supposed to be the second single from Kylie's Kiss Me Once album and the sixth or seventh (or something) intro single into the latest album from Enrique.


But, then there is this:



Yes, the princess made a surprise apperance this week at a London pub, singing three songs - including new album track "Les Sex". The album is only a month away now - and I don't really care all that much if it may not be her best one ever - I'm just thrilled she's releasing new stuff (OK, as long as it sounds nothing like "Timebomb" or "Skirt"!).



Also, Warner Australia are releasing an exclusive blue vinyl 7" single of "Into The Blue"!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Baby's Got A Secret...


Madonna is everywhere these days! Yesterday, she attended the grand opening of the Hard Candy Fitness Center in Toronto and also taught her signature Addicted to Sweat cardio-based dance class with the Hard Candy Fitness Performance Team.

She arrived without her cane, but her foot is still healing.


Madonna fans can expect to hear some new tunes in the future from the music icon with plans for a new album — but she's keeping a tight lid on the details.

"Yes, plans are in the works already. Don't ask me with who, it's a secret, top secret," Madonna said coyly in a red carpet interview Tuesday night at Hard Candy Fitness club in Toronto. So are there any Canadian artists on Madonna's workout playlist? When asked, she responded: "Drake." And would she like to collaborate with the homegrown hip-hop star in the future? "If he'll have me," Madonna replied.

In the meantime, fitness was top of mind for the pop superstar who paid a visit north of the border for the official launch of her luxury fitness brand in Canada. The Hard Candy Fitness Toronto club opened for business in October, joining international locations in Berlin, Rome, Sydney, Santiago, Mexico City, Moscow and St. Petersburg.

In addition to the large-scale images of the Material Girl emblazoned on the walls throughout the facility, Madonna also has a hand in shaping the fitness routines with classes based on her daily workouts. Madonna said dance has always been a big part of her shows and she can't imagine not having movement, dance and fitness being part of her work — a philosophy she's applied to her burgeoning fitness brand.

"I have fun working out and I don't think working out should be boring. And I think dance is an important part of a workout," said Madonna, looking elegant in a sleek black blazer and skirt designed by famed Canadian duo DSquared2, accessorized with black and gold gloves. "I used to run when I stopped dancing. I used to run and I thought it was so boring. So dance is fun because you can play music, you can move your body in every direction."

A select few got to see Madonna in action as she led the cardio-based Addicted to Sweat class, which combines elements of high-impact aerobics with choreography. The session was closed to the media, but among the participants were 30 people who earned the chance to dance alongside the pop diva following several auditions.

"Just to have a window into that world, it's a once in a lifetime incredible opportunity. It's like being in a dream," said class participant Blair Boudreau prior to taking part in the session. Nicole Winhoffer, Madonna's personal trainer, said the star averages between 1 1/2 and two hours for workouts six days a week, a rigorous routine that involves fully body conditioning with multiple repetitions, ab and arm work and use of jump rope or basketballs.

"She's actually really consistent, really easy. She gives such good direction. There's no guessing. I know what she's going to like, what she's not going to like. She gives us very clear feedback and we move very fast. It's so amazing to work with her."



She's come a long way, baby
On Tuesday night, Madonna was greeted by hundreds of screaming fans who braved the sub-zero weather on Yonge and Gerrard Sts. to greet the Material Girl as she swept into the Toronto branch of her international Hard Candy Fitness chain, to shake her butt for the press, lead 30 hand-picked gym members in a class and declare the facility officially open.

"But what am I doing here anyway?" she asked the Star during an interview following her red carpet walk. "Didn't they try to arrest me here?"

She was referring to the infamous moment on her Blond Ambition tour, immortalized in the 1991 documentary Madonna: Truth or Dare, when she's told the Toronto police are going to stop the show and take her into custody if she simulates sex acts while singing "Like a Virgin."

But on those nights in May 1990, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone called authority's bluff and her show went on without any interruption.

"I'm not going to be masturbating during my workout tonight," she grinned slyly, "or simulating masturbation, so I guess it's cool. Yeah. "I think Toronto's finally learned to accept me."

The 55-year-old superstar looked glam, if a bit weary around the edges, in a slinky black blazer-skirt ensemble from the Canadian design team of Dean and Dan Caten, known more prominently as DSquared2.

A trademark black bustier kept her cleavage front and centre while a reasonably discreet crucifix nestled underneath. Her left ankle was taped due to an injury variously attributed to a mishap during dance and/or exercise, although to Madonna they're often one and the same, with her patented dance workout called "Addicted to Sweat."

"If dancing wasn't a part of Hard Candy Fitness, I wouldn't be here," she said, speaking of the chain whose Toronto opening joins the roster of locations in Berlin, Mexico City, Moscow, Rome, Santiago, St. Petersburg and Sydney.

"That's what makes my gym different from everybody else's."



"Well, I’m right now in the process of talking to various co-writers and producers and talking about where I want to go with my music."

The Queen of Pop herself talks about her new album soon in the making in a seven-minute long interview with Sarah Hampson from the Globe and Mail at the opening of the Hard Candy Fitness club in Toronto.

When asked about how she choose the venture to pay attention to:

"It depends on the day. I have to divide myself into many categories. I’m working on my philanthropic charitable ventures. I’m fighting for human rights. I’m fighting for using art for a platform to bring people together. I’m working on my own art, whether that’s music or filmmaking. I’m raising four children. I’m opening gyms around the world to encourage people to get in shape and feel good about themselves; bringing art through dance to gyms to make my gyms different from other people’s."

And about her legacy as a feminist icon:

"I hope that I inspire women to believe in themselves, no matter where they come from; no matter what education they have; what particular background they originate from. I like to think I’m a role model for women. But I also don’t like to just limit it to women. I like to think I’m a role model for human beings in general."

Asked if it annoys her when people say she’s too old at 55 to wear certain things and act young:


"You just have to keep doing what you’re doing. I think not only do we have to live in a homophobic society, but we have to live in an ageist society, too. Once you reach a certain age, you’re not supposed to do certain things. I don’t really know where that came from."

It seems that the diva will be reunited with one of her best collaborators ever - Mr Patrick Leonard!!!



Harder is Better! Post work out! Foot in the Ice Bath. A girl has to make a living!


Me and Mr. Brainwash in Toronto signing his mural at Hard Candy Fitness Opening!

Madonna new skin care brand launched Japan MDNA SKIN

And then there's this: a video to promote her MDNA skin line, which was be unveiled in Japan today.



Michelle Peck, Skin Care Artist and Madonna’s Skin Care Advisor and Brand Ambassador Introduces MDNA SKIN on February 12th.

‘MDNA SKIN’ – the new innovative and revolutionary skin care brand created by Madonna in collaboration with MTG, Japan’s leading beauty company, is scheduled to open in Omotesando for a limited time beginning Thursday, February 13th thru Sunday, February 23rd between 11:00 and 20:00. This will be the exclusive location to buy ‘MDNA SKIN’ in the world. The brand’s goal is to challenge women and their awareness about the art of beauty and skin care.
The state-of-the-art treatment system consists of three components:

The clay oil therapy inspired CHROME CLAY MASK, made with a base of clay from Montecatini Terme in Italy, which performs multiple functions that enrich the skin.

The SKIN REJUVINATOR – the specialized Magnetic Force and Deep Derma induction system devised to remove impurities and revitalizes the skin.

THE SERUM – based on an original formula that was created exclusively for Madonna, it creates a glowing effect when used alone and is further enhanced when used with the CHROME CLAY MASK and SKIN REJUVENATOR.

Using these products routinely as part of daily skin care regime creates firm, resilient and radiant skin overflowing with energy after every use.

The MDNA SKIN POP UP STORE will give customers the opportunity to see, feel and experience the products and enjoy the multiple screen projected visuals. The store will also host a VIP area and the location for special events.

MDNA SKIN will be available at selected department stores in Japan on February 26th.

More details http://www.mdnaskin.jp/

MDNA SKIN POP UP STORE

DATE: 2/13 – 2/23
OPEN TIME: 11:00 – 20:00
VENUE: BA-TSU ART GALLERY
5-11-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
5 minute walk from Omotesando Station, Exit A1

Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Chiyoda Line, Hanzomon
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