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6 posts from February 2013

Feb 26 2013
Immaculate Perception: Every Madonna Song, Best To Worst—My Personal List Comments (49)

Into-the-GrooveMany times over, I've proved my love to her...

UPDATED GRAF: Added some missing songs, tweaked a couple of rankings that I think were inspired by list fatigue.

I haven't done such an elaborate Madonna list since completing Encyclopedia Madonnica in 1994, but I wanted to do a sort of ultimate, ranked list of all of Madonna's 221 officially released songs.

I think I have them all, but I am very open to receiving your corrections and input.

Rain madonna-rainI am including songs only once, so no remixes. Different versions don't count either, so "Erotica" is "Erotic" is "You Thrill Me" and counts once. A live performance only counts when it was professionally recorded and made available officially. A live cover only counts if it's fairly complete; no snippets like "Billie Jean" or "Just My Imagination". A live TV performance doesn't count, again, unless it was then made available officially.

Musical performances in films are included (such as "I Surrender Dear"), but not if they are less a song than an acting performance set to music (the Blue in the Face singing telegram).

Madonna-holiday-sire-6Where it got tricky: I'm including Wonderland's theme because it was a studio-recorded song released for consumption on television. I did not include spoken-word recordings, unless they were set to music. I'm including the songs from Pre-Madonna as they were commercially available, albeit not through Madonna. I am not including any of the Otto von Wernherr, um, "songs" or "If Madonna Calls", as those all seemed to songs created as afterthoughts by others.

UPDATED GRAF: I can see the point of questioning "The Beast Within"—which is called a remix of "Justify My Love" in its original form—but I think it is incredibly, significantly different, with different lyrics and a whole different feel (if the same sound). Madonna performed it as "The Beast Within" on tour, not as "Justify My Love (The Beast Within Mix)." I have to count "Did You Do It?" as a Madonna track; it was included as a unique song on Erotica, has a unique title and has a lengthy rap that was added. Her contribution is minimal, true, but I think its existence as a bona fide track on one of her studio albums argues in its favor as a stand-alone (or fall-flat-alone). I think the most interesting question is if "Up Down Suite" is really different from "Goodbye to Innocence." I really think it is. "Erotica" and "Erotic" are essentially the same song, tweaked, and "You Thrill Me," while sounding quite unique, fits right in there. But let me know what you think. And yes, I think "Up Down Suite" is way better than "Goodbye to Innocence," if only because in the latter, Madonna embarrassingly mispronounces "anonymity."

When it came to duets, no question. When it came to songs that featured Madonna, it really depended for me on just how prominent her contribution was. I don't feel she's a strong presence on "Sing" by Annie Lennox, I didn't think her backing vocal on Peter Cetera's "Scheherazade" was enough to warrant inclusion, and yet it would seem ridiculous not to include "Queen's English" by José & Luis, which is all but constructed around her vocal.

I look forward to your comments on what I included and didn't include, and of course your reactions to my ranking. To each his own, but in general I factored in how much I love a song personally, how important it is in her oeuvre, how interesting it is (including music and lyrics) and also how unique it was at the time of its release.

Ultimately, it's going to be about my favorites vs. yours!

Feel free to cut-and-paste my list and submit your own.

And...oh, yeah: Enjoy...

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Feb 24 2013
A Movie Star Still Alive 90 Years After Her Debut Comments (1)

Continuing on my kick of reaching out to living performers who ever appeared in a silent movie (in recent times, I've "gotten" Carla Laemmle, Lupita Tovar, Michael D. Moore, Diana Serra Cary aka Vintage-Mary-Carlisle"Baby Peggy," Mickey Rooney and Dickie Moore), I asked my good buddy Bryan to see if he could get me a signature from Mary Carlisle. Carlisle, the third oldest living person to have appeared in a silent-era silent film, is 101 as of less than two weeks ago. Carlisle started acting as a child, so her first screen appearance was 90 (!) years ago, opposite Jackie Coogan in the silent Long Live the King. She is the last surviving WAMPAS Baby Star; her 1932 class included Gloria Stuart and Ginger Rogers.

Retired from film, where she had a solid career as a B-movie bombshell,  for over 70 years, this one-time glamourpuss is also retired from a high-profile job as the manager of the Elizabeth Arden Salon in Beverly Hills. She was married to Jim Blakely, an actor who wound up as an executive producer at 20th Century-Fox. Blakely lived into his nineties, so I'm thinking this couple, married for 65 years, might have been either doing some seriously healthy living or were freaks of nature who happened to find each other.

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Feb 22 2013
Signature Move: The Hollywood Show Switches It Up Comments (11)


Above, the then-and-now gallery

I've let almost two months (!) go by since the most recent Hollywood Show, which actually moved spaces to the L.A. Westin. Regulars were wondering if the site change would gut attendance, but people definitely showed up. To make sure I get this out there, I'm going to do a somewhat shortened (but still ridiculously expansive) review.

Be sure to check out the gallery above for then-and-now pix of (in order): Robert Conrad, Tony Dow, Adrian Zmed, Debbie Gibson, Greg Evigan, Donna Douglas, Max Baer Jr., David Mandel, Erin Murphy, Ann Robinson, Christopher McDonald, Coleen Gray, Francine York, Jimmy McNichol, Kay Lenz, Lori Petty, Lynn Holly Johnson, Parker Stevenson, Paul LeMat, Renee Taylor, Richard Kiel, Ron Masak, Ryan Guzman (then = now) and Sam Harris.

Keep reading for notes and photos on the show...

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Feb 21 2013
Striking Posers: History's Hottest 100 Male Models Comments (52)

Hot-Tyson-Beckford-Chad-White-Jeff-AquilonWanted men

Continuing on my gonzo-list kick, I enlisted the aid of my good buddy Jeff, a model-industry insider and a man of great taste, for help in compiling this tally of the most incredible-looking male models from throughout history. (The cavemen didn't have much call for male models, so I think we went as far back as the 1970s.)


Some of these guys are icons, some supermodels, some mere posers with faces only a mother superior couldn't looove. The common denominator is that they're stunning and that the history of modeling—runway, print, fitness or even neo-Web entrepreneurial—would not be the same without them. Purists be damned!

Here they are, in alphabetical order by first name (I know, but it saves so much time), with  my Top 20 indicated at the end...

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Feb 07 2013
20 7" Single Sleeves From The '80s That Belong In A Gallery Comments (8)


I've got over 700 45s, mostly from the 1980s. They represent my being; they represent the time I decided to start buying each week's Top 10, they represent my obsessions with certain artists (Madonna, Eurythmics, Blondie, Pet Shop Boys) and they represent my addiction to imagery.

For fun, I pulled out a few that I think are bona fide pieces of art. Maybe next time I'll choose the tackiest ones...

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Feb 04 2013
50 Superhot Hosts, Newsmen & Presenters Comments (31)

800px-SennMicrophoneMagic mic

Anchorman-Sequel-1333031817I'm certain I'm forgetting some, so rather than put a set-in-stone ranking out there, I thought I'd do this list of superhot TV hosts/newsmen/presenters alphabetically. They're all sexy in their own way, no?

Please feel free to post names that belong on this list, especially locals I might otherwise never get to ogle...

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