Category Archives: Madonna

The Curious Absence of Credits in the Liner Noters of Madonna’s REBEL HEART

I buy CD albums. Sometimes I listen to the full album on Spotify first, but in the case of my favourite artists I buy the CD without listening to the album online first.

Madonna is one of those favourite artists, and I’m a completist. I bought the Deluxe CD of Rebel Heart on release day, via JB Hi-Fi Online. Then, when I found out Amazon had an exclusive Super Deluxe edition, I bought that, too.

I received the regular Deluxe edition first (since I bought it from Australia), and found it curious that NO CREDITS are in the liner notes. Really, the liner notes only consist of photos and song titles.

Which is strange, considering that Madonna recently signed with Tidal, a music streaming subscription service supposedly devoted to fully supporting artists. I haven’t tried out the free trial, and I won’t be subscribing. But that’s kind of beside the point.

So I received the Amazon-exclusive Super Deluxe edition of Rebel Heart, and opened it up to find…NO CREDITS. There’s not even a booklet of liner notes; the photos and song titles are part of the folding packaging.

Frankly, I’m confused. OK, so Tidal and CDs are totally different media run by different people. The common factors are the music and the artists. But I’m concerned about Tidal and the involved big names’ commitment to “art”.

I simply have never come across a CD album before without credits. Maybe I’m weird in that I like to know who wrote which songs, who were the producers, who played the instruments, which songs contain samples, etc? Sure, I can look everything up online, but I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BECAUSE I ACTUALLY BOUGHT THE PHYSICAL CD ALBUM.

I’m guessing the credits are on Madonna’s website. (I looked them up on Wikipedia, anyway.) But I feel it’s a terrible oversight to exclude credits.

This leads me to be suspicious that maybe Tidal isn’t about the “artists” – it’s about the PERFORMERS. The ones who receive all the attention for the songs they perform, anyway. I care about writers. I care about producers. I care about instrumentalists, engineers, mixers, and everyone else involved who makes an album possible. Yes, I also care about the performers, but I care about everyone else, too.

Maybe there was a deadline for CD production, so liner notes and credits weren’t possible. I would’ve been happy to wait longer, so they could be included.

I do not pirate. I do not illegally download. I buy CD albums – and buy them NEW, not used – and I respect the work that goes into making them. But if you don’t even include credits in your CD packaging…where’s the respect in that?

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen
13 Songs I’ve Enjoyed Lately (in no particular order)
(Edition #18)
1. The Ting Tings’ “Shut Up and Let Me Go”
2. Gabriella Cilmi’s “Save the Lies”
3. Coldplay’s “Lost!”
4. The Presets’ “Yippyo-Ay”
5. Madonna’s “Miles Away”
6. Rihanna’s “Rehab”
7. Lady GaGa’s “Just Dance”
8. Sam Sparro’s “21st Century Life”
9. The Ting Tings’ “That’s Not My Name”
10. The Ting Tings’ “Great DJ”
11. Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris’ “Dance wiv Me”
12. The Presets’ “Talk Like That”
13. Rihanna’s “Disturbia”

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen
Songs I’m Enjoying Now in No Particular Order
(Edition #11)
1. Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris: “Dance wiv Me”
2. The Presets: “Talk Like That”
3. Rihanna: “Disturbia”
4. Carolina Liar: “I’m Not Over”
5. Coldplay: “Yes”
6. Gabriella Cilmi: “Don’t Want to Go to Bed Now”
7. The Vines: “He’s a Rocker”
8. Flight of the Conchords: “Bret, You Got It Going On”
9. Madonna: “She’s Not Me”
10. Gnarls Barkley: “Run (I’m a Natural Disaster)”
11. Sam Sparro: “Black and Gold”
12. Madonna & Justin Timberlake: “4 Minutes”
13. Sneaky Sound System: “Kansas City”

Those are the people who did not amount to much at all

Since this laptop (and PC monitor) doesn’t have a proper sound card, I can only hear stuff via headphones. This means my ears get sore after awhile – mostly because I’ve taken up the habit of listening to the radio online.

You know how in Madonna’s “Give It 2 Me”, Pharrell sings to the left, to the right? And the lyrics go with what ear you’re supposed to hear it through?

I’ve been wearing these damn headphones backwards all this time. And I’ve even heard the same song through the headphones before today, and I never picked up that I was wearing them incorrectly.

I can is made of slow and stoopid.

And for the record, I checked the headphones, and they have an L on the left, and an R on the right. I always check for these letters on my earbuds, but not these headphones. I’ve learned my lesson now.

Anyone else do anything stupid lately?

Never Underestimate the Value of Good Comedy
Yesterday I was in a real funk. You know something’s wrong when you find yourself watching Battle of the Choirs. I saw the last 30 minutes, and it really sucked. Kylie Minogue’s music is not made for choral groups. And they didn’t even sing her good songs, like “Confide in Me” and “2 Hearts”. Instead it was the clearly commercialised faff from Light Years and Fever. Eek.

I could’ve watched King of the Hill on another channel, but that show shites me. To me, there’s an unspoken rule that animated prime-time shows should be humorous. KOTH claims to be a comedy, but is really unfunny. Seriously, does not work for me.

But I cheered right up with Family Guy and American Dad! Love those shows; they totally make my day. I even remembered to watch Flight of the Conchords, which was also good fun. I remember back in the days of the late ’90s/early ’00s when the duo was on Stand Up! every week. They weren’t that funny then. But I think now that their songs have context, I like them much more. Because they’re no longer just musical comedians – they’re characters. I appreciated Lano & Woodley more with their TV show, and it must be the same here.

Take Smiles Where You Can Get Them
Was in the new Asian grocer today, and saw “extra fancy” rice and “power” cookies. Somehow those adjectives made them seem more appealing. Didn’t buy them, though I did smile.Those


It had to be done. The cat is Guinevere Anastasia Battis, flatmate of Jes Battis. The regal lady of the house tolerated being photographed with her flatmate’s first novel, Night Child (27th May 2008). And yes, there will be a sequel – currently titled Hextacy, but that could change. Release date unknown.

It’s been raining over the weekend here in Melbourne. Manny’s been outside and got rained on, both Saturday and Sunday. Had to be towel-dried, and then used the heating vent as a blow-dryer. Currently having naptime on the couch. During the week, though, I’ll have to perk him up so he can be photographed with a new book that arrived on Friday.

Reading schedule has changed again, due to the new book’s arrival. Conducted another interview. Am currently in the process of changing my book newsletters and blogs from my old address to my proper one. Am up to L authors.

Sore throat began on Friday night. Still here. Listened to Madonna’s Hard Candy again this morning, and I still love it.

Hard Candy – Madonna

Overall: I never used to be much for urban, but I’ve become more interested during the past few years. While I doubt it will go down as a quintessential Madonna album, for what it is Hard Candy is actually quite good. My memory’s having trouble remembering how all the songs go (I’ve only listened it twice), but I did enjoy them all while I was listening. It’s $19 at JB Hi-Fi, and well worth buying.

Candy Shop: My sugar is raw (sticky and sweet)… We’re not talking about lollies anymore, are we?

4 Minutes: Lyrics about being proactive, which seem to be her norm in recent albums. Great single.

Give It 2 Me: Can’t remember it off the top of my head, but I remember enjoying it.

Heartbeat: Ditto.

Miles Away: I’m not usually one for ballads, but the three (if you count “Voices”) on this album really are special.

She’s Not Me: Lot of fun, and I like the production, especially during the breakdown.

Incredible: Also can’t remember, but I think it’s the longest track.

Beat Goes On: Vastly different from the demo version that was leaked early this year (or late last?) and even ended up on Nova FM here in Oz. But I still like both versions.

Dance 2night: Also can’t remember.

Spanish Lesson: A fun one, and I love the Spanish guitar.

Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You: My favourite track at the moment. A really superb ballad. It reminds me of Rihanna’s “Rehab”, another brilliant ballad also co-written by Mr Timberlake. I love both songs, though I don’t know if they’ll ever be released as singles, but I highly recommend them.

Voices: Not particularly dancey, but not particularly a ballad – more reflective, I think. I love the exotic-sounding strings. Think it’s Hard Candy‘s version of Confessions on a Dance Floor‘s “Isaac”.