On November 28 2000, Madonna performed a mini-set at London’s Brixton Academy. The show was part of the Don’t Tell Me Promo Tour, which began only two months after the birth of her second child, Rocco, and consisted of a few small club dates as well as television performances and interviews to promote the second single from her Music album. Aside from the promotional aspect, Madonna also used the club shows as an opportunity to test the waters for performing live shows again following a seven-year hiatus from touring. The Brixton gig closely mirrored her set at New York’s Roseland Ballroom several weeks earlier, with one notable exception being the addition of Holiday to the UK set-list.
The full London set-list consisted of:
- Impressive Instant
- Runaway Lover
- Don’t Tell Me
- What It Feels Like For A Girl
The Brixton Academy performance was streamed live across the internet to an estimated 9 million viewers.
On November 24 2000, Madonna performed Don’t Tell Me and Music live on French television program Nulle Part Ailleurs.
On November 21 2000, the second single from Madonna’s Music album, Don’t Tell Me, was released by Maverick Records. The b-side for Don’t Tell Me was Cyber-Raga.
During an interview for Interview Magazine, in March 2001, Madonna discussed the lyrics for Don’t Tell Me:
“To me it is a romantic song. Just, you know, rip my skin off, do not tell me who I should love, or how I should love. Don’t tell me to give up. To me, in a way it’s like that Frank Sinatra song, ‘If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere’.”
The North American CD maxi-single included the following versions of Don’t Tell Me:
Don’t Tell Me – (Timo Maas Mix) – 6:55
Don’t Tell Me – (Tracy Young Club Mix) – 11:01
Don’t Tell Me – (Vission Remix) – 7:52
Don’t Tell Me – (Thunderpuss’ 2001 Hands in the Air Anthem) – 10:20
Don’t Tell Me – (Victor Calderone Sensory Mix) – 6:48
Don’t Tell Me – (Vission Radio Mix) – 3:38
Don’t Tell Me – (Thunderpuss’ 2001 Hands in the Air Radio) – 4:26
Don’t Tell Me – (Music Video)
On October 21 2000, Madonna’s Music single peaked at #3 on Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart in the USA.
Slant magazine review:
The title track, a retro hands-in-the-air club song reminiscent of Debbie Deb’s When I Hear Music and Madonna’s own Into The Groove, is the singer’s best dancefloor-beckoning track since Vogue. She sings “Music makes the people come together” like a track off of her debut album, and as an added bonus she uses words like “bourgeoisie” and “acid-rock” with equal abandon.
On October 7 2000, Madonna’s MUSIC album debuted at #1 in the USA with sales of 420,000 copies.
Dimitri Ehrlich from Vibe described the album as “a masterpiece of brilliantly arranged keyboards, futuristic drums, and electronica dressings. With folky acoustic guitars and a vaguely spiritual bend to her lyrics (like those on Ray of Light), it’s a weird and fresh-sounding album.”
On September 9 2000, Madonna’s Music single debuted at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 Single Sales Chart in the USA.
Billboard’s review of Music:
“Music is a stunning enterprise, a ballsy testament to Madonna’s insistence on being a style-setter and one of the industry’s most savvy-and now critically accountable-tunesmiths. Call this one dance, pop, even alternative…listeners will be shocked then mesmerized by this composition, showcasing yet another side of an artist, who after 20 years, continues to be a true industry artisan and the by-the-book definition of evolutionary.”