Even thinking about ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ takes me back to a magical time in my life. 24 years of age and living my own version of ‘The Simple Life: Interns’ in NYC this album just fitted with my mindset at that time; even my MySpace page in a cringe-worthy fashion featured lyrics from “I Love New York” (presented without irony). My only real concerns were clubbing and making the most of the beautiful city I was blessed to call home; thinking back it’s hard to recognise that carefree person as it seems far removed from the person I am a decade later.
This was (for me) before the time of MP3s and iTunes and the morning of release I did my favo(u)rite trick as the PA to a prominent architect of announcing in an authoritative tone that I was going out on “errands”. Very rarely were there actual work related errands to be found and not once did anyone question me. My office was based in Soho and it was my mission to get my hands on a copy of this yet to be heard album and as soon as possible. This turned out to be a trickier task that planned as I marched the crisp streets of downtown Manhattan; none of the independent record stores in Soho or Greenwich or the West Village had received their deliveries yet. Eventually I reached the now defunct Union Square branch of Tower Records and handed over what was a sizeable chunk of my disposable income for Madge’s latest work of art. With a shaky hand I placed the disc into my Sony Discman and as I marched back downtown I instantly fell in love with Madonna’s return to disco music. THIS was what I’d been looking for. By this point I’d lived in my favourite city in the world for ten months and fallen in love with the likes of Le Tigre but finally I had a whole record that understood how I felt.
The buildup to its release had been intense; with no leaks the only indication of how the album would sound came from the lead single ‘Hung Up’ which seemed to send the clubs that I frequented wild. ‘Hung Up’ almost clashed with Halloween and I have brilliant memories of accidentally stumbling across a Madonna night at the Pyramid night club after the Motherfucker Party I had planned to attend had been shut down by police. I remember dancing on the stage whilst dressed as the bride of Dracula and tossing my bouquet over and over into the crowd as the Abba sample pulsated around the legendary club.
My most favourite place to go out dancing in the whole of New York was the weekly Saturday night dance party held at Luke+Leroys known as Misshapes. I was such a frequent attendee that I could swan in straight past the heaving crowds with the doorbitch Tomas just saying “hello English” as each week my head swelled bigger and bigger. The Saturday prior to the release of ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ I had two of my best friends visiting from the UK; and I had planned to take them to visit. However the night before had turned messy and when faced with the choice of another night out or staying in and eating chinese food and watching a horror film starring Freddy Krueger as a killer clothes press (you couldn’t make this up) we plumped for the latter. I was dead to the world at 1am when the text messages started rolling in. “WHERE ARE YOU JAZ?”. “MADONNA IS DJING AT MISSHAPES”…. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from the disappointment though at least in this pre-selfie simpler time I probably wouldn’t have had any evidence to show for it even if I had have hauled my arse off the sofa.
There is not a dud on this album, and the Stuart Price format of a continuously segued album with each track running into the next seemed perfect for the time. I listened to it on repeat on my portable CD player; in this day and age I only seem to listen to it on shuffle on my iPod which just is not the same *makes mental note to listen to it properly tomorrow*.
It’s not even my favourite Madonna album; without a doubt that accolade goes to ‘Like A Prayer’; but whenever I listen to this one it transports me back in time. Is there any better place to be than 24 and living out all of your dreams? I’ll forever be grateful to Madge for providing me with my own time machine!