June 17, 2012

RXolondon: #SavingPop [updated!]



Last Friday night I got a bee in my bonnet and started tweeting ideas for saving pop music. Here are ten... please give me some more in the comments and I'll post them.

Saving Pop Idea #1: Massive Attack returns in August with a 6 minute single sung by... Tina Turner.

Saving Pop Idea #2: Imogen Heap ditches the electro fingerpads bla bla bla (Ted Talk!) and records a new Frou Frou album with Guy Sigsworth

Saving Pop Idea #3: Dan Merriweather records an album that will be as big as 21 and takes his rightful place next to Adele on the the throne.

Saving Pop Idea #4: Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn reunite as Everything But The Girl. 10 songs, 50 minutes. From slamming dance to quiet piano.

Saving Pop Idea #5: Janet Jackson goes back to Jimmy and Terry. 10 songs, 50 minutes, no interludes. Jermaine Dupree locked in a closet.

Saving Pop Idea #6: Lily Allen vs Greg Kurstin one more time. Silly to serious. ONE. MORE. TIME. [ed: this one IS happening]

Saving Pop Idea #7: 2013, Madonna records an album with Paul Epworth producing. Includes the largest orchestra ever recorded for pop song.

Saving Pop #8: Remaster and re-release Grace Jones' Slave To The Rhythm LP, Vanity 6 and all of Prince 1979 - 1992

Saving Pop Idea #9: Do I need to say it? Just two words needed: Roisin Murphy

Saving Pop Idea #10: (last one, unlikely) God realizes His mistake with Michael Hutchence, Jeff Buckley and Kirsty MacColl. And dear old Amy.

UPDATED below with ideas from Countpopula (he posted in the comments). I LOVE THESE:

Saving Pop Idea #11: George Michael with Groove Armada: I think they would have just the right amount of hip soul, beats, and textures as their last record suggests. [XO says: at least work with Andy Cato of Groove. He did amazing work with Roisin and Will Young.]

Saving Pop Idea #12: Annie Lennox with William Orbit: She would definitely bring more soul power to his textures, and might just be nicer to work with than Lady M. [XO says: LOL the Madonna dig, but for sure a good pairing. Those songs on her Hits LP were shit].

Saving Pop Idea #13: La Roux with Stuart Price seems like a marriage made in electro heaven. [XO says: This is not bad, but I think LaRoux is going to pull it off on their own. We should know by the end of the year!]

Saving Pop Idea #14: Dido with Greg Kurstin: He would bring enough umph to her sound to give her a current update and temper her more sleepy side. His production techniques would mesh nicely with her voice.

Saving Pop Idea #15: Hurts with Trevor Horn: Epic epic epic. Let's start a campaign! [XO says: a sly nod to their mentors, Pet Shop Boys!]

Saving Pop Idea #16: Florence with Xenomania: While Paul Epworth has done an admirable job, I think Xeno could make her sound more fun and less bombastic--see the new Gossip LP.

Saving Pop Idea #17: Siouxsie Sioux with Richard X: He could bring enough dark and sinister tones to her edgier stuff while popping up the more accessible material (and the entire Siouxsie catalog finally remastered. This is supposedly happening in a box set; we shall see).

Saving Pop Idea #18: Sia with Emile Haynie. This seems like the perfect marriage, matching her incredible soulful voice to Lana del Rey's producer/arranger. It would bring back some of her serious side.

Saving Pop Idea #19: In a perfect world, I would also love to see Alan Wilder rejoin Depeche Mode and get Flood producing the next record (already being done by Ben Hillier again)

Saving Pop Idea #20: And Bjork reunite with Mark Bell and Nellee Hooper

18 comments:

countpopula said...

There are some AMAZING ideas here! My faves: Massive & Tina, EBTG back on track, Roisin returns, Prince remasters, and one that won't happen unfortunately, Kirsty (God rest her soul). The Madonna is a VERY interesting idea, but would Epworth go for it? That's a load of pressure! Janet w/J&L would be nice too, and while I think Slave to the Rhythm is overrated as an album, it is too important to be left to the dumpbins of 80's history.

Some people I would like to hear from again:

Liz Frazier of Cocteau Twins
Scritti Politti (Green AND Gamson together--FULL ALBUM this time!)
Dubstar (supposedly in the works?)
Suede (also supposedly in the works?)
Peter Gabriel (not an orchestral record, a covers record, a hits record, a soundtrack, a live record, a live record of an old record, but NEW--if you can take the time to tour the SO album...)
David Bowie (oh where have you gone?)

I also thought of some collabs that would make my year, full albums, of course:

George Michael with Groove Armada--I think they would have just the right amount of hip soul, beats, and textures as their last record suggests.
Annie Lennox with William Orbit--she would definitely bring more soul power to his textures, and might just be nicer to work with than Lady M.
La Roux with Stuart Price--seems like a marriage made in electro heaven.
Dido with Greg Kurstin--he would bring enough umph to her sound to give her a current update and temper her more sleepy side. His production techniques would mesh nicely with her voice.
Hurts with Trevor Horn--epic epic epic. Let's start a campaign!
Florence with Xenomania--while Epworth has done an admirable job, I think Xeno could make her sound more fun and less bombastic--see the new Gossip lp.
Siouxsie Sioux with Richard X--he could bring enough dark and sinister tones to her edgier stuff while popping up the more accessible material.
Sia with Emile Haynie. This seems like the perfect marriage, matching her incredible soulful voice to Lana del Rey's producer/arranger. It would bring back some of her serious side.

In a perfect world, I would also love to see Alan Wilder rejoin Depeche Mode and get Flood producing the next record (already being done by Ben Hillier again), Bjork reunite with Mark Bell and Nellee Hooper, and the entire Siouxsie catalog finally remastered (this is supposedly happening in a box set--we shall see).

Great ideas, and so inspirational. Hopefully some of the musicians and their teams actually do some of these things.

John said...

Some of these had me cheering, but a couple had me groaning. Here's a novel idea on #7: how about Madonna works with a complete unknown and does something completely unique. She's been chasing the industry for too long. Love #3 and #5, although Jermaine did some solid work with Janet a la "Someone to Call My Lover". Most of all, I want #4. I need #4 in my life right now. You have connections, right?

Anonymous said...

#6 HAS happened, and apparently is still happening. They are working on the musical version of Bridget Jones' Diary, but apparently the workshops haven't gone well...

PopMuse said...

I LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And Countpopula's comment too!

xolondon said...

To respond:

1) Loved the recent two Scritti songs so I think that may be possible.

2) I love all of Count's matchups, ALL of them!

3) Bowie is one I believe when he says "I am through." I don't expect anything else from him. He is such an enigma. I wonder also if he feels his voice is not up to it now?

4) As for the Epworth idea, I view him as far more of an A class musician producer than anyone Madge has worked with. In fact I would argue that she needs a fearless, experience hand that is not chasing trends. Epworth is able to slide between Adele, Flor, Foster The People (he can coax some major stadium moments) and Annie. My only gripe with him is that he laid on the bombast too thick and too loud on Ceremonials. That album is a brick of sound.

5) No bullshit musicals for Lily pls, just straight up from the heart etc pop.

6) Hi PopMuse!

countpopula said...

Thanks for the compliment PopMuse and thanks SO MUCH to Xolondon for placing my ideas on his main page! I am seriously flattered, and can only hope that SOME of these ideas may kindle realities!

zen~ said...

Great ideas in there. You never know what could happen > get those ideas out into the 'universe' and they just might eventuate.

As for Tina Turner and Massive Attack. Resounding "No!!!" Did you hear how she butchered 'Unfinished Sympathy' all those years ago???

Whilst Madonna's 'MDNA' presented a ray of musical hope (Orbit pun intended), she really does need to stop chasing pop trends and chart positions (don't tell me she isn't) and just BE an artiste. Be the artiste that she claims to be. Reunite with Patrick Leonard and write some decent songs, goddamnit (and someone pleeeeeease vet her lyrics, they border on juvenile for the most part). Give the production to Guy Sigsworth or Charles Webser (is Guy S. done with Alison Moyet, yet?).

Tour-wise: I have always held out for a Massive Attack Revue. Re-unite with Shara Nelson, Tracey, Tricky (though, this collab is obviously happening), Nicolette, Sinead, Sara Jay, Hope Sandoval, Martina Topley Bird (isn't she on-board now?) and Elizabeth Fraser. Hell, drag Madonna out to do 'I Want You'! Pay her $10, 000 for one song!! Just do it.

As for the reclusive Elizabeth Fraser: why didn't her lovely single 'Moses' not set any chart on fire? Also, her 'Underwater' track from a few years back needs a new outing with remixes from Massive Attack, Kruder & Dorfmeister (are they still around?) and Richard X.

countpopula said...

Hey zen~:

I saw Massive Attack in Philadelphia back in 2006 for the greatest hits tour, and Liz Frazier was present and sang Teardrop and Black Milk. Horace Andy was also there and sang an incredible Angel among some other songs. That may be the closest we get to a revue, but it would be fantastic! And maybe a Tina song wouldn't be so bad if it weren't an established song already by Massive Attack. She did OK with Let's Stay Together. Maybe we should be campaigning for Grace Jones instead. Corporate Cannibal was practically a Massive Attack song!

Anonymous said...

Didn't Björk work with Mark Bell on Biophilia?

zen~ said...

CountP, you are right...Tina singing a new song with Le Massives might be a better deal.
Horace is always a good be live. I saw Massive Attack quite a few years ago, but obviously they had hired help, no Elizabeth Fraser, sing the female-fronted songs. I think they had a falling out with Shara. Seeing as her career is limited to being a guest on a lot of dance-type records these days, it wouldn't hurt for them to make up and tour together.

And I have to agree with the having Grace Jones on board with them.

countpopula said...

Good spot, Anonymous, you may be right. It appears as though Mark Bell might have had some input on Biophilia as a programmer, but seeing how there are so few beats on the record (albeit sporadically), I didn't register his presence. I guess what I was aiming for in my comment was something a bit more involved in shaping the songs melodically and structurally like he did on Homogenic. Although Biophilia was generally a critical success, I find it to be the album of hers I have gone back to hear less than any other, and was reminded of the day when her songs had memorable melodies, aka the Bell era. Thanks for pointing his contribution out.

xolondon said...

Not sure if y'all know Shara basically went crazy last year. Was stalking a music dude and may have been been "sectioned." Very sad!

zen~ said...

Oh, really? That's a crying shame. Still, being unhinged does not stop creativity, in any case. Some great remixes came out the year before of the Shara-voiced Presence track 'Sense of Danger', especially one by The Popular People's Front. Charles Webster is under-used as a producer for the more popular radio-friendly acts, though Ms Thorn has had the good grace to have him on board.

jcsnyder95 said...

Amen on the Prince one. Except, I'd amend your years of inclusion to stop at 1991. Love Sign was crap, in my opinion (except for "7"). I'd also include "The Family", "Jill Jones" and the "Mazarati" record for remasters.

Healynyc said...

Worship the idea of Tina Turner and Massive Attack. When the Gorillas featured Bobby Womack on "Stylo" I was in heaven.

I always wonder if artists start with Tina but get denied b/c she'd rather go shopping with Armani in China than be bothered with the promotional requirements.

Ex: If Wilco went to Tina first before Mavis Staples on her gorgeous album "You Are Not Alone."

xolondon said...

Yes, I think Tina, after years of being a workhouse, wants to enjoy retirement. More power to her.

Demetrius said...

Oh delicious. And I'd be happy with some fresh (quality) Flyte Tyme even without Ms. Jackson.

madhouse said...

would add - siouxsie with simian mobile disco.