The Glorious Corner: Madonna, Neil Young, Roger Waters, Debbie Gibson and More!

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Madonna’s “Madame X”
By G.H. Harding

MADGE FIZZ — Via SHOWBIZ 411: Madonna had a big build up for “Medellin” single this past Wednesday. She premiered it at noon with Zane Lowe on Apple’s Beats 1 Radio like it was the second coming.

The song turned out to be a snooze, written and sung with Colombian Reggaeton star Maluma.

But 1, 2, cha cha cha, “Medellin” failed to catch on. It rose to number 9 on iTunes briefly. and now sits at number 24 32.

On Spotify, “Medellin” has yet to chart on any of the US charts. It’s parked at around number 3o on streaming chart from Colombia.

“Medellin” was supposed to the big lead in for Madonna’s “Madame X” album coming on June 14th. The lack of interest in “Medellin” should be worrying.

Madonna’s last several albums of new songs were all flops. She gave some of them away with concert tickets to inflate sales figures. I have to say, I was surprised “Medellin” was so bad. It was as if she was trying to do Camilla Cabello with “Havana” but wound up on a cruise playing shuffleboard. “Medellin” has no life to it. I can’t imagine that she thought young people were going to be singing along to “1 , 2, cha cha cha.” If she’s smart, she’ll get an upbeat remix out right away.

Meantime, Beyonce’s “Homecoming” album, released the same day, has sold or streamed a total of 43,000 copies in 48 hours.

As we opined last column, Madonna should a full-out dance-album with Shep Pettibone.

Roger Waters and Nick Mason

WATERS & MASON — Roger Waters joined former Pink Floyd colleague Nick Mason for a rendition of the band’s classic track “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” in New York City last Thursday night.

The surprise guest spot took place at the Beacon Theater during the first North American tour of Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, the band he recently formed to play early Floyd material. Waters also played Mason’s gong at one point and then returned at the end of the show to take a bow with the band.

Last December, Mason said it was possible that Waters might make such a guest appearance. “I’m not holding my breath on that,” he said. “We can worry about guest stars when we are a bit further down the line.”

The drummer added that he’d spoken to both Waters and David Gilmour before launching the band. “I thought that would be good manners,” he explained. “I don’t think it was a matter of getting permission or anything, but what was great was that they were really encouraging.”

The current tour, which runs until April 22, marks the first time Mason has performed in North America since the tour in support of Floyd’s 1994 album The Division Bell.

“With the help of some like-minded friends, I have embarked on a voyage of discovery of the music that was the launch pad of Pink Floyd and my working life,” he said in a press release announcing the road trip. “It seems too early to retire, and I missed the interaction with other musicians.”

YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE — Neil Young & Crazy Horse have reunited in the studio to create their first album since 2012’s Psychedelic Pill.

Young announced at that “At least 11 new songs, all written recently, are going to be recorded starting this week.”

It continued, “Crazy Horse’s last studio album – Psychedelic Pill, was released in 2012 and this newest ‘Crazy Horse’ album should be released in 2019. Nils Lofgren is an original member of the Horse dating back to ‘After the Goldrush’ and ‘Tonight’s the Night’. Nils will be with Ralph Molina, Billy Talbot and I, making our new CRAZY HORSE music high in the Rockies.”

Frank Sanpedro, a Crazy Horse-member for eons is suspiciously missing. Hope he’s OK.

Young also says he is working on compiling left-overs that didn’t make albums or get released into a compilation Greatest Misses Volume 1. “There are more than enough of them to create an album called Greatest Misses. I think I am going to put that together,” he says. “These are studio tracks, finished records that did not become part of an album, yet are really cool records. Then there are the unreleased albums. Somewhere between ten and fifteen of those are ‘in the can’ or under construction. They all need to be reviewed. John Hanlon, John Hausmann, Tim Mulligan and myself are doing that all the time.”

In February Young announced that from the archives he was readying Odeon/Budokan and Tuscaloosa as the next releases from the archive series. Tuscaloosa recorded in 1973 was meant to be next. Then Odeon/Budokan will follow a few months later.

 Elton John , Bernie Taupin, Debbie Gibson and David Salidor 
May Pang; Tom Cuddy; Robert Funaro; and, Mark Bego
Shep Pettibone 

SHORT TAKES — As a fan of Fox’s Gotham, I have to say I am mightily impressed with how they’re winding down five seasons. The penultimate episode ran last Thursday and tied up a bunch of loose ends. Sure, the TV-history is not in alignment with the comic-book history … but, so what. Kudos to Ben McKenzie (as Commissioner James Gordon) for his deft work. The last episode flashes forward ten years to when Bruce Wayne, who exited Gotham at the end of Thursday’s EP, returns. Bruno Heller, who worked so much magic with The Mentalist, is to be congratulated here … Keith Girard’s Improper ran an interview on Debbie Gibson, penned by her original PR-man David Salidor. Here it is: … Salidor gifted us one more pic that the magazine didn’t run. With Elton John and Bernie Taupin (in Cincinnati and in black-and-white) … Our-erstwhile colleague Tom Cuddy (WOR) is hosting a WPLJparty at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room next month to commemorate the station. First, WABC-FM, then WPLJ; the station ownership has changed hands and they will be transitioning to K-LOVE, a Christian-oriented station very shortly. Expect to see the likes of Scott Shannon and Race Taylor there. Should be a bittersweet night for sure, but one that will go down in radio-history … I saw Disney’s Dumbo last night, with Colin Farrel, Danny DeVito, Eva Green and Michael Keaton and just loved it. It’s a Tim Burton movie and  does not disappoint. There was a flurry of worry from Disney, when some negative reviews came forth and it was immediately chalked up as a dud. Do not believe them. The two children, who essay Farrel’s children in the movie (Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins) are spot on. Burton’s magic is astounding. One review said Keaton was hardly there … not even sure what that means, but he’s great. Worth it for sure … As the TV season comes to a crashing halt next month, let’s reflect on some really great shows that began last September. NBC’s New Amsterdam and The Enemy Within were bona fide hits; NBC’s The Blacklist took a much-needed turn for the best last month; and, CBS’ FBI a solid-choice; but, Seth McFarlane’s The Orville – a canny, yet serious take-off on the original Star Trek-series might just be the winner of them all. McFarlane, who’s work did not impress me at all, has woven together a serious piece of work here, with astonishing special effects and some great scripts. They’ve dealt with some heavy subjects, but always manage to wiggle out some humor. If you haven’t seen this show, on Fox, check it out. A very, very solid choice.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Barry Zellman; Julia Machover; Steve Walter; Bruno Ganz; Roger Friedman; Mark Bego; Efrem Harkham; Sarah Clarke; Jack Cunningham; Jacqueline Boyd; Jodi Ritzen; DJ Glenn Friscia; and, CHIP.

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