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Baker's Dozen

Access All Areas: Barbara Charone’s Baker’s Dozen
Lucy O'Brien , June 22nd, 2022 11:06

The legendary music PR talks to Lucy O’Brien about the albums and the people who have most inspired her, from the Rolling Stones to Madonna, and why artists aren’t necessarily your friends


Madonna – Confessions On A Dancefloor

I picked Confessions because Madonna is famous for reinventing herself. I still believe she does not get enough credit for the fact that she has written the book on great songs. For instance, ‘Hung Up’ is a typically robust thrust of sheer delight. And the Confessions tour was Madonna and Stuart Price at the pinnacle of their success. I remember she did GAY at the Astoria after midnight, and Chelsea played earlier that day. I have a terrible history of going to gigs on a Saturday when I’ve had a few glasses of wine at the Chelsea game. They win, and I go to a gig. We had a table right in the front of the upstairs Astoria, and they did a Madonna mega mix before she came on. And I lost my mind. On the Monday, I was ringing journalists saying, ‘Did you go to the show?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, we saw you.’ I was enjoying the moment so much I have no recollection of it.

Madonna is one of the great joys of life, and she's an incredible performer live. That's really what the spirit of music's about. She’s smart, ambitious, knows what she wants, and like any great artist she has a vision. One thing I can't say enough - people don't realise the enormity of this, but she started out playing Koko, Camden Palace with a 20 minute set and two backing dancers, and the next time she came to London she sold out two nights at Wembley Stadium. People just kind of like, ignore it, but that’s an incredible achievement.