Just days after the Spice Girls reunited to announce the debut of a musical inspired by their music, the setlist for the show has been revealed. Viva Forever, written by Jennifer Saunders (!) and produced by Judy Craymer is lined up to be a tour-de-force, hiliting most of their best releases. As one girl rockets to stardom, she sees the effects it has on her mother and the friends she thought were with her till the end.
From London to Spain and back again, as the world judges you, it’s all about who you really are and who you want to be, whatever the cost.
Peep the setlist below. Viva Forever debuts at the Piccadilly Theatre in London on Nov 27. Tickets are already available for purchase here.
Look At Me
Spice Up Your Life
Let Love Lead The Way
Who Do You Think You Are
I Turn To You
Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)
Say You’ll Be There
2 Become 1
Time Goes By
Tell Me Why
It’s a shame they didn’t include Goodbye, one of their best ballads. Oh well, enjoy the video for it below.
p.s. – would hate to be the person who had to clean up all those broken plates! What do you think of the setlist? What would your dream list have been?
The Best of Kylie Minogue is the latest back catalogue release from Kylie Minogue‘s label EMI. The 21 track set was chosen by fans through ‘extensive market research’ from EMI last year. For video lovers, a CD/DVD special edition will also be released with the accompanying videos for each hit single. Artwork is pictured below!
On July 28th, Minogue’s debut single The Loco-Motion will turn 25 years old, having been released all the way back in 1987. It’s been a big year for Kylie so far, and next month she’ll be performing for the Queen’s Jubilee at Buckingham Palace. Shortly thereafter, she’ll headline Prom In The Park.
Surprise appearances are planned worldwide, so U.S. fans will probably get the chance to see her in 2012!
Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
I Should Be So Lucky
Love At First Sight
In Your Eyes
Kids (with Robbie Williams)
Better The Devil You Know
All The Lovers
Give Me Just A Little More Time
Red Blooded Woman
I Believe In You
On A Night Like This
Confide In Me
Get Outta My Way
Tears On My Pillow
In My Arms
Never Too Late
What do you think of the set-list? What would your track listing be and what would you have chosen as the artwork?
The legendary Patti Smith has announced that she is set to release Banga, her first album of new material in eight years, on June 5th. Today we’ve been treated to the first single April Fool, that boasts gorgeous vocals and stunning guitar work, and is now available for digital download.
Smiths’s 11th studio album was recorded at the famed Electric Lady Studio in New York City, and produced by Patti Smith and band, it features collaborations Tom Verlaine, Jack Petruzzelli, and Smith’s son Jackson and daughter Jesse Paris.
Inspired by Smith’s unique dreams and observations, Banga’s poetic lyrics are a reflection of our complex world – a world that is rife with chaos and beauty. Praised for her storytelling abilities, Smith has crafted an album that captures a wide range of human experience.
I’m thrilled that she’s returned and eager to hear he rest of this album, particularly ‘This Is The Girl’ which is a tribute to Amy Winehouse. Roll on June 5th!
We heard it was being planned, now the official Word Is Out! Kylie Minogue will indeed be hiiting the road this year on The Anti Tour, a tour comprised of b-sides, demos & rarities – the stuff hardcore fans dreams are made of!
Kylie kicks of the tour in her native Australia in just a couple of weeks and tickets will be on sale on March 7th for you Aussies and those of you planning to make the trip! We hope she brings it to New York or we have to seriously consider buying tickets for London!
Kudos to Kylie for making her K25 celebrations truly special for fans!
TOUR DATES Sunday 18th March 2012 The Palace, 20-30 Bourke St., Melbourne
Tuesday 20th March 2012 The Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney
What would you like to see Kylie do on the Anti-Tour? and who would you like to see to their own Anti-Tour? Obviously we’d love to see Madonna do it!
We’d like to welcome Alex Nagorski to the Hard Candy family!
In January, Epic Records chairman and CEO L.A. Reid confirmed via Twitter that a new album from prolific singer/songwriter Fiona Apple would be released in 2012. In the following weeks, Apple released dates for a mini-spring tour that sold out nearly immediately.
While official details about Apple’s upcoming fourth album have yet to be released, the confirmation of the record’s pending release and the jumpstart of what’s sure to be a larger touring year for the singer seem to promise a comeback of epic proportions.
In anticipation of this, I looked back on the moody piano rocker’s previous releases and created a list of what I believe to be her ten best songs. So whether you’re a fan looking to revisit her older material before the new record/tour or you’ve never heard a song of Apple’s and are looking for a place to start, check out the list below.
“Apple may be pop’s leading drama queen (hell, empress),” wrote Entertainment Weekly in their review of Apple’s 2005 release, Extraordinary Machine. To understand this accusation, look no further than Better Version of Me. Lyrics like “I’m a frightened, fickle person. Fightin’, cryin’, kickin’, cursin’, what should I do?” or “can’t take a good day without a bad one, don’t feel just to smile until I had one” serve as indisputable evidence of this claim. Alas, part of what makes Fiona’s music so brilliant is that nothing remains hidden in her songwriting. Better Version of Me is a cuttingly truthful aural diary. It’s equal parts vulnerable, sad, determined and musically bouncy. And therefore a perfect entry point into Apple’s work.
It’s interesting that this song chooses to have the word “You” instead of “I” in the title, when in reality it’s all about an internal conflict that Apple has. On Fast As You Can, she sings energetically about the beginning of a new relationship. But as quickly as goes the song’s driving upbeat, Apple becomes victim to her own skepticism about love and tries to push her new lover away to protect herself. She realizes that she’s the only one who can shield herself from heartache. Fast As You Can is a rare type of pop song: self-aware, honest, neurotic and infectiously catchy.
Tim Burton’sThe Nightmare Before Christmas is a movie musical with a cult following so large that every 8 seconds, a Hot Topic employee somewhere gets a bonus commission check. Apple’s rendition of the film’s missewn ingénue’s big ballad takes the already spooky song and with it casts a new spell of longing. Her cover not only breathes new life into a classic song, but delivers a take so gorgeously haunting, I’m sure it could make even the hairs on Tim Burton’s neck stick up.
Apple is never one to shy away from pushing the boundaries of her signature dark and gloomy piano/rock sound. O’Sailor is injected with a layer of irrevocable theatricality and thereby shines a spotlight on her versatility as an artist. The desperation and disappointment in her voice is unmistakable, making for one of the most defeatist tracks in Apple’s songbook.
There’s a scene in last year’s Blockbuster smash, Bridesmaids, in which Kristen Wiig’s character bakes a masterfully decorated cupcake for herself. It’s a turning point in the film – one in which the protagonist decides to regain control of her passions and become the person she’s always wanted to be.
It’s fitting, then, that this sequence is accompanied by the midtempo rhythm of Apple’s introspective Paper Bag. “Cause I know I’m a mess he don’t wanna clean up,” Apple sings. “I got to fold ’cause these hands are too shaky to hold.”
Like the scene from Bridesmaids, Paper Bag is about that crossroads we can all relate to. That crossroads where it becomes clear that risks and change need to happen if we want to be the best possible versions of ourselves. Paper Bag constitutes Apple’s acknowledgement of this crossroads and signals her first conscious effort to step in the right personal direction.
On Shadowboxer, Apple channels her inner predator. Wronged by a lover who now only calls her a friend, Apple’s eyes are opened to the reality that the person she loves may be in fact toxic for her. Yet characteristically, she refuses to go down without a fight. As a “shadowboxer,” she trains to defend herself against the attacks on her heart.
“While her naughty, defiant edge will inspire comparisons to Alanis Morissette, Apple’s relatively literate lyrics and spare, brooding arrangements evoke more sophisticated influences,” wrote The Los Angeles Times when describing Apple’s debut album, Tidal. The biting lyrics and palatial ornamentation of its score make “Shadowboxer” a refreshingly unique track and a must for the iPod of any Apple fan.
A couple of years before Fiona Apple released Extraordinary Machine in 2005, she recorded the album’s content with renowned producer Jon Brion (Kanye West; the soundtrack to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). But when the album’s release kept getting pushed back, fans began to burn with questions. In the fall of 2004, Brion confirmed that Epic Records hadn’t released the album because they felt it wasn’t commercially viable enough. As a result, Brion’s efforts were scrapped and Apple re-entered the recording studios to re-record the album with hip-hop producer Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre; Eminem).
As a result, the Jon Brion-produced version of Extraordinary Machine became one of the internet’s most sought-after bootlegs. The leaked Brion-produced original versions of the album’s tracks indeed sound like a completely different record than the polished version that was ultimately released. While fans remain divided over which version they prefer, there’s no denying that these songs, no matter in what form, make for an exquisite body of work.
And while I personally find the officially released version of Extraordinary Machine to make for a more cohesive and overall more interesting listening experience, Jon Brion’s original take on Not About Love remains as one of my all-time favorite cuts from Apple.
“On ‘Not About Love’ … Brion scored Apple’s compositions no less extravagantly than his soundtracking work for the indie-film elite, applying dollops of lush orchestration to place her piano and throwback vocals in an epic frame,” wrote Pitchfork in their review of the leaked Extraordinary Machine bootleg. I couldn’t agree more.
The Brion-produced “Not About Love” is a lush track pronounced by the masterful staccato of majestic string orchestration absent from the final version. Two tracks (“Extraordinary Machine,” “Waltz (Better Than Fine)”) from the Brion sessions of Extraordinary Machine remained untouched. Had Epic chosen to release this version of “Not About Love,” they would have struck gold with a lucky third charm.
Many people I’ve met who are familiar with the name Fiona Apple but are unfamiliar with her music tend to write her off as just another Lilith Fair singer/songwriter with a bruised heart and keyboard to take it out on. Yet that opinion has never remained intact after I’ve played Limp for them.
Arguably one of the grungiest songs Apple has ever recorded, Limp serves as a threatening warning to the man abusing her. “You fondle my trigger, then you blame my gun. And when I think of it, my fingers turn to fists,” Apple sings as she channels her inner Emily Thorne for what’s surely a harrowing revenge plot.
Put Taylor Swift in a gun range after a night of heavy drinking with Miley Cyrus. Now watch her point the weapon at her targets: Joe Jonas, John Mayer and Taylor Lautner. And there you have a scenario almost as cutthroat Limp.
It’s no surprise that Criminal is still Apple’s biggest hit to date. Winning the Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, the song went on to be included in countless “best of” countdowns, including VH1’s100 Greatest Songs of the ‘90s and Blender Magazine’s The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born.
In a very Madonna-esque controversy, the music video for Criminal sparked an outcry from conservative critics. Many felt the clip glorified unhealthy expectations of how women should look by showcasing Apple looking like an “underfed Calvin Klein model.” In her acceptance speech for Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards later that year, Apple proclaimed “Everybody out there that’s watching, everybody that’s watching this world, this world is bullshit and you shouldn’t model your life about what you think that we think is cool.”
It’s this unfiltered attitude of self-assurance that makes Criminal both such a fantastic track and the defining one in Apple’s career retrospective (thus far).
In Criminal, Apple calls out her own weakness to hold onto the man she loves. She begs for redemption and a chance to start over, realizing that the error of her ways are threatening her chance at happiness. It’s a dish of despair served over a bed of steaming hot jazz-infused piano rock. And the end result is nothing short of delicious.
When she was only eighteen-years-old, Apple made an explosive entrance onto the music scene with her debut album, Tidal. Still her most acclaimed release to date, Tidal opened with Sleep To Dream, a song that clearly represented the record’s tones and themes. And perfectly exemplified all the reasons so many millions of people call themselves Fiona Apple fans.
Lyrically, the song is daring, poetic and uninhibited. Musically, it’s accompanied by soaring piano hooks, a pulsing percussion beat and swoops of eerie orchestration. And as moody and dark as the song is, it manages to be simultaneously inconspicuous and provocative.
“I got my feet on the ground and I don’t go to sleep to dream,” Apple triumphantly sings in this anthematic tale of self-empowerment. “You got your head in the clouds and you’re not at all what you seem. This mind, this body and this voice cannot be stifled by your deviant ways. So don’t forget what I told you, don’t come back. I got my own hell to raise.” Hell yeah, tell him, girl!
Not only did Sleep To Dream serve as the introductory track to Tidal, but it also introduced the world to a teenager whose deep understanding of human emotion made Apple’s music far more mature than the majority of her mainstream counterparts. After hitting play on Tidal and hearing it kick off with Sleep To Dream, critics and fans everywhere were proclaiming that Apple was a force to be reckoned with. And this year, she’ll be ready to prove that all over again.
Fiona Apple’s spring tour kicks off in Chicago on March 19th. Check here for the dates.