Money Can't Buy
|Promotional concert by Kylie Minogue|
Minogue performing "Slow" during the show
|Associated album||Body Language|
|Date(s)||15 November 2003|
Money Can't Buy was a one-off concert show held on 15 November 2003 at entertainment venue Hammersmith Apollo, London, to promote Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue's ninth studio album Body Language. It was entitled so as no tickets were offered for sale publicly and only invited guests and competition winners attended the show. William Baker and Alan MacDonald served as creative and art directors, respectively, while Michael Rooney and Steve Anderson worked on the choreography and musical arrangements. Display hardware manufacturer Barco provided LED displays for showing graphics as backdrops to the performances. Minogue wore five different costumes, designed by fashion houses such as Balenciaga, Chanel, and Helmut Lang, for the 75 minutes-long show. The total cost of staging the concert was £1 million.
Minogue primarily performed tracks from Body Language during the show, although songs from her past albums were also included in the set list. It was split in four segments: "Paris by Night", "Bardello", "Electro" and "On Yer Bike". Critical reception towards the show was generally favourable, with compliments directed at the visuals and inclusion of past songs. The show was streamed live on AOL.com and broadcast on television channels ITV1 and Network Ten a few days later. It was also filmed and released as a DVD, entitled Body Language Live, on 12 July 2004. The DVD performed well commercially in Australia and United Kingdom, where it received a platinum and gold certification, respectively.
Background and development
Following the global success of her eighth studio album Fever, Minogue began working on her ninth studio album Body Language. Aiming to create a dance-pop album inspired by electronic music from the 1980s, Minogue enlisted collaborators such as Cathy Dennis, Dan Carey, Emiliana Torrini, Johnny Douglas and Mantronix. To promote Body Language, a one-off concert show was organised to be held at entertainment venue Hammersmith Apollo, London, on 15 November 2003 - two days before the release of the album.
For the show, Minogue collaborated with creative director William Baker and art director Alan MacDonald. Baker and MacDonald had previously worked with the singer on her KylieFever2002 tour. The musical arrangements were handled by Steve Anderson, while the dance routines were choreographed by Michael Rooney. Display hardware manufacturer Barco was hired to provide 100 square metres large LED displays, which were set up on the stage behind Minogue. They were used to show animations and high resolution graphics. Minogue wore five different costumes during the 75-minute long show. Fashion houses like Balenciaga, Chanel, and Helmut Lang designed these costumes. Minogue was backed by 12 dancers and a full-piece band. The seating capacity of the show was restricted to 4000 spectators and the entire staging of the show cost £1 million.
The concert was entitled "Money Can't Buy" as no tickets were made available for purchase publicly; only competition winners and guests with invitations were allowed to attend the show. Additionally, Minogue donated two tickets to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). These tickets were auctioned at a charity ball for the society's "Full Stop" campaign. The Sydney Morning Herald found it surprising that Minogue chose to perform in an "intimate" setting as she had chiefly embarked on large arena tours in the past. The newspaper felt it was similar to Madonna's decision to perform at a small show at Brixton Academy, London, in 2000. Before the show, Minogue held a media press conference and discussed the development of Money Can't Buy, saying: "It's been pretty intense. I'm trying to look pretty calm but it has been an intense few weeks leading up to this. There's going to be a few old [songs in the set list], but they're not-very-oldies. We're stepping marginally back in time. It's always difficult choosing which songs to play from the new album and then what's going to work. There's a couple of surprises in store and there's a couple of real ‘train spotter' surprises."
The concert was divided into four segments (in chronological order): "Paris By Night," "Bardello," "Electro," and "On Yer Bike." "Paris By Night" opened with the Body Language-track "Still Standing", which Minogue sang from atop an eight-metre long black beam suspended in the air. She continued singing as the beam slowly descended to the stage. The performance of "Still Standing" was followed by "Red Blooded Woman", another track from Body Language, and "On a Night Like This". The latter's performance was inspired by the 1952 musical Singin' in the Rain and featured "dancers spinning iridescent red umbrellas against LCD displays of digital drizzle." During this segment, Minogue donned a Brigitte Bardot-inspired look and was dressed in a black and white striped jersey, black corset and trousers. Images of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame de Paris were displayed on the LED screens as backdrops to the segment.
The "Bardello" act commenced with a mashup of Minogue's 1998 single "Breathe" and "Je t'aime... moi non plus", a 1969 French duet between Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. Craig McLean from the Daily Telegraph described the backup dancers during this segment as "Tour de France cyclists moonlighting as Moulin Rouge hostesses." Performances of "After Dark" and "Chocolate", two songs from Body Language, followed. "Quasi-Japanese symbols", illuminated on the LED displays, served as backdrops for the performance of "Can't Get You Out of My Head", which was the first song of the "Electro" segment. Back-up dancers dressed in bondage-inspired costumes performed "robotic push-ups" as part of the dance routine. Minogue then again performed two Body Language-tracks, "Slow" (the lead single) and "Obsession", before closing the segment with "In Your Eyes". As the "On Yer Bike" act commenced, Minogue appeared reclining on a motorbike wearing a complete white ensemble. She proceeded to sing "Secret (Take You Home)" and "Spinning Around". After a final costume-change, Minogue closed the set with the "cheery disco stomper" "Love at First Sight".
In their review of the show, The Age commented that Minogue was able to emulate Bardot's appearance well and wrote: "[Minogue] looked the spitting image of Brigitte Bardot as she turned a corner of west London into Paris for the evening." Andy Battaglia from the A.V. Club complimented the staging and performances as "sharp and kinetic," although he also felt that the "little bits of stage banter deflate[d] an aesthetic otherwise set on air-lock." Billboard critic Keith Caulfield praised the concert show as "extravagant" and opined that it should have been a part of a "mammoth" arena tour. Writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, Greg Hassall gave a favourable review of Money Can't Buy and summarised it as "lots of '80s-influenced electro-pop, with a few oldies thrown in for good measure." People magazine complimented the visuals but felt Minogue's vocals were "electronically enhanced." Craig McLean from the Daily Telegraph called Money Can't Buy a "real tour de force" and noticed that the tracks from Body Language were more low-key than songs from her previous albums, describing them as "sedate and immaculate dancefloor rhythm" and "All very stylish and considerably more affecting than the similarly nostalgic Sophie Ellis-Bextor." Mclean praised the incorporation of the past songs as they provided "the huge choruses for which the nation loves her so," and concluded of the show: "No slinky back-arching or pristine choreography here: just the giddy joy of pop music at play."
Broadcasts and live recording
|Body Language Live|
|Video by Kylie Minogue|
|Released||12 July 2004|
|Recorded||15 November 2003 (London, England)|
|Kylie Minogue chronology|
The show was streamed live on AOL.com on 15 November 2003. On 22 November, it was broadcast on ITV1, a television channel in the United Kingdom. In Australia, it was aired on Network Ten on 24 November.
Body Language Live
The concert show was filmed and released as a DVD on 12 July 2004 in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it was released on 7 September. In addition to videos of the live performances, the DVD contains behind-the-scenes footage, music videos of "Slow", "Red Blooded Woman", and "Chocolate", screen visuals for the performances of "Chocolate" and "Slow", wallpapers, and a picture gallery.
Commercially, the DVD was successful. In Australia, Body Language Live achieved shipments of 15,000 units and was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). In the United Kingdom, it was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in March 2005 for completing shipments of 25,000 units. The DVD also charted on the German Albums Chart, peaking at number 64.
Act 1: Paris By Night
- "Still Standing"
- "Red Blooded Woman"
- "On a Night Like This" (Contains elements of "Singin' in the Rain")
Act 2: Bardello
Act 3: Electro
Act 4: On Yer Bike
- "Secret (Take You Home)"
- "Spinning Around"
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