Tales of Rock – Madonna Almost Made Albums With Michael Jackson And Prince

“To write songs together is a very intimate experience,”

Hey, did you know Madonna and Michael Jackson used to date?

In 1991, Michael and Madonna had been wanting to collaborate on an album for a short while, so they did what any sane performer would do and started pseudo-dating. The couple would arrange dinner dates, watch movies together, and at one point even attended the Oscars as each other’s dates. They were just “being silly,” as Madge puts it — “silly” being what famous artists think of conventional relationships.

Madonna claimed that their sort-of romance was necessary for the two artists to get to know each other before they jumped into recording an album. According to her, “To write songs together is a very intimate experience,” and apparently after you have survived the Darwinian slaughter that is early relationships you are strong enough as two people to sit in a booth together and sing into a microphone.

Ironically, it seemed that Madonna’s intensity was exactly why the whole thing fell apart. According to Jackson, Madonna was too demanding and would attempt to dictate where they would go on dates, which would lead to a debate over whether or not the couple would visit Disneyland together, which was absolutely a deal-breaker for Jackson. Then, when the collaboration had finally started, Jackson balked at Madge’s risque lyrics, preferring a love song or ballad over her traditionally sexy tunes, and ducked out of the project after a meeting with the pop star left him feeling anxious. Michael admitted that Madonna scared him, and the album was scrapped completely.

But there was another performer whose collaboration with Madonna would have arguably been just as amazing — Prince. And you can bet your ass the bendy sex-gnome wasn’t afraid of some risque lyrics. After joining forces on a couple of songs, Madonna’s manager had the brilliant idea to send the pair on a world tour. But after being approached with the idea, Prince graciously turned it down citing concern for the world’s mental health, claiming that the planet just wasn’t ready to cope with their simultaneous greatness. You may recognize this as being both Prince-Speak for “I don’t feel like doing that,” and a thing that he earnestly believed.

 

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Tales of Rock – Marianne Faithfull Ends Up Homeless

You’ve got to feel for Marianne Faithfull. At the age of 17, she was snapped up by the Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham merely for being “an angel with big tits” and shoved at the Stones. She churned out some blandly alluring pop records but was most famously Mick Jagger’s girlfriend and muse. When the police raided Keith Richards’ Redlands mansion in 1967 as its occupants concluded an epic acid trip, they claimed they found Faithfull wrapped in nothing but a rug with a candy bar inserted in her vagina (Richards debunked this myth in his 2010 book Life).

She co-wrote the tellingly titled “Sister Morphine,” only to see the Stones wrest control of the song and release it, without crediting her, on their 1971 album Sticky Fingers. By the end of the ’70s she was homeless, living in an abandoned building in London. It was a fate once unthinkable for a woman so beautiful and sexual that still images of her alone created a media sensation and who directly influenced one of the most significant bands of her generation and place.

But Faithfull got the last laugh.

Given the opportunity to cut another album, she turned in the raw, confessional Broken English; an unflinching narrative of what it was like for a glamour model and pop star to find herself an addict living on the street, all backed by understated yet fashionable musical accompaniment. The Stones of this era were singing about “Some Girls,” and this was first person reporting from one they’d cast off.

 

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