MADONNA, REBA McENTIRE, KATHLEEN EDWARDS, T'PAU, NINA SIMONE, PRETENDERS, JONI MITCHELL
Listening to ‘Madame X - Music From The Theater Xperience (Live)’ this week, I was expecting to like it (because Madonna), but I was not prepared for the strong emotional reaction that came with it. I saw the Madame X tour at the London Palladium in February 2020 and it was the last big gig I went to before the world changed. Leaving that show with a warm glow and a group hug photo (once we got our phones back), little did any of us know what awaited in the weeks and months that followed. Most of all, listening to this was a stark reminder of the in-person connections that have been missing for eighteen months and the friends I used to see so often for years that I haven’t seen face-to-face since (not least due to post-covid caution on my part). For anyone reading this far and waiting for me to get to the point about what the live album is actually like, as the name suggests, songs from the album Madame X are dominant - my personal favourites are ‘I Don’t Search, I Find’ and ‘Come Alive’. And it’s peppered with mega-hits from her catalogue, including ‘Like A Prayer’, ‘Vogue’ and ‘Frozen’, with uncredited snippets like 'Express Yourself' and 'Rescue Me' also turning up. Stating the obvious perhaps, but I always think a live album is “better” when you have seen the tour in question so I’ve been playing it a lot. I missed the live broadcast of the accompanying concert film on MTV the other night, but I'm very keen to check it out if I can find it on demand as the show was so visually captivating (and I have no photos to remind me other than those taken outside the show!).