On March 6 1998, Madonna spent the day in Toronto, Canada conducting a press conference and various print interviews to promote her new album, Ray Of Light, released earlier that week. She ended the day with a live, hour-long interview on Much Music hosted by VJ’s Master T (personally selected by Madonna herself after viewing reels of the station’s on-air personalities) and Geneviève Borne (a self-proclaimed Madonna fan and VJ from Much Music’s French-language sister station, Musique Plus).
The much-hyped event, which marked Madonna’s first and only visit to the Much Music studios, was prefaced by the Canadian music video channel’s second Madonnathon – a day of all-Madonna programming. The first, which featured her 1992 interview with Jonathan Ross and a then-recent press junket interview with The New Music’s Jana Lynne White (and all of her music videos), aired in January of 1993 at the height of the Sex/Erotica/Body Of Evidence backlash.
After the appearance was announced, fans seeking a limited hot spot inside the studio for the interview were asked to call in and were queried a series of Madonna-related trivia questions to prove their worthiness, while others who didn’t make it inside lined the streets of the Queen St W studios on the day of the event to welcome the Queen of Pop to Toronto.
On March 1 1998, Madonna’s Ray Of Light album was featured in an episode MTV’s Ultrasound.
Kurt Loder visited Madonna in the studio during the recording of the Ray Of Light album in late 1997 for an exclusive chat and behind-the-scenes look into her recording process. He later joined her on the set of the Frozen video to conduct an additional interview for the episode. Madonna chatted about motherhood, her recent spiritual awakening, and the inspiration behind the album. Kurt also conducted interviews with collaborator William Ørbit, Guy Oseary and the director of the Frozen video, Chris Cunningham.
On February 16 1998, the music video for Frozen premiered on MTV at 4 p.m. Directed by Chris Cunningham, the video was filmed in the Mojave Desert in California from January 7th to 10th.
Initially Madonna had considered filming the video in Iceland but decided that a barren desert would create a similarly desolate backdrop, without the added difficulty of filming in extreme cold temperatures. As it turned out, filming in the desert at dusk in January was far from the warm location she had envisioned; low temperatures and an accompanying rainstorm left much of the crew under the weather.
In an interview with MTV News, Cunningham stated that Madonna became interested to work with him after seeing his Aphex Twin-directed music video, “Come to Daddy” (1997). The black goth gown outfit Madonna wears in the video was designed by Olivier Theyskens, and provided by then-new collaborator, designer Arianne Phillips.
On January 24 1998, Madonna performed Frozen for the very first time. It was at the Sanremo Music Festival, in Sanremo, Italy, that she first promoted the song, and the forthcoming album, Ray of Light.
The following month, on February 21, she performed the song on the BBC 1’s The National Lottery Show. Additionally, that same month, she appeared and performed the song on the German TV show Wetten dass..?
You only see what your eyes want to see
How can life be what you want it to be
When your heart’s not open
On January 7 1998, Madonna traveled to the Indian Wells Valley of the Mojave Desert in California to film the Frozen music video. Shooting lasted from January 7 to January 10, directed by Chris Cunningham.
Madonna thought of filming the video in Iceland (or somewhere with snow), but decided against the idea. She thought:
‘You know what, I’m going to be freezing. I’m going to be miserable, I’ll be complaining all day, I’ll be sorry that I ever chose a cold place. So I said, ‘Let’s do it in the desert, it’ll be warm,’ and it would be sort of the opposite, because even though you think of deserts as being hot, they’re still sort of frozen in terms of there’s no vegetation and they’re very desolate. I thought that that would still work as a visual, but then we got there and it was like 20 degrees below zero, it was bitterly cold, and I was barefoot. I was barefoot for the entire video, and then it started pouring rain and everyone got really sick, and it just actually turned out to be a really miserable experience.
On November 15 1998, Madonna performed The Power Of Good-Bye and was interviewed by Luuk TV in Stockholm, Sweden.
Though the song was mimed, Madonna still had plenty to showcase in a performance that was both distinctly European – and distinctly Madonna!
On November 14 1998, Madonna was the subject of a press conference at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden – her first visit to Sweden in 8 years.