Today in Madonna History: May 6, 1998

M25.hr madonna-ray-of-light-mario-testino 550 1998 - Ray of Light by Mario Testino 550 1998 - Ray of Light by Mario Testino 550 3

On May 6 1998, Ray of Light was released by Maverick Records. The title track from her seventh studio album was issued internationally as the album’s second single.

Ray Of Light is based on a track called Sepheryn by Curtiss Maldoon, and was included on their 1971 self-titled album. In 1996, Christine Leach, Maldoon’s niece, recorded her version of the track with William Orbit. Leach said she had always loved Dave Curtiss and Clive Maldoon’s work and noted that Sepheryn had a dream-like quality. Leach revised the chorus melody while Orbit provided new music for the song. After Madonna heard Leach’s version of the track, she immediately took to it and began reworking its lyrics.

Maldoon said he “couldn’t believe it” after he heard it, and was pleased with what Madonna had done with his original composition. Madonna said about the song: “It’s totally out of control. The original version is well over 10 minutes long. It was completely indulgent, but I loved it. It was heartbreaking to cut it down to a manageable length.”

Madonna’s original unedited version was set to be included on a remix album titled Veronica Electronica that was initially discussed as a follow-up to Ray Of Light, but plans for the collection apparently never made it past the drawing board.

Today in Madonna History: April 2, 2012

masterpiece-promo-2

masterpiece-promo-1masterpiece-promo-3

On April 2 2012, the third single from Madonna’s MDNA album, Masterpiece, was released in the United Kingdom.

Masterpiece was composed by Madonna, Julie Frost and Jimmy Harry and produced by Madonna and William Orbit.

When Madonna was directing her film W.E., her manager Guy Oseary persuaded her to compose a song for the soundtrack. Frost was living in Los Angeles at that time and was assessing her priorities in the music world, and wanted to collaborate with a number of artists, Madonna being the first. “She is an icon”, Frost said, “But most importantly she has some of the best Pop songs in the history of music… so yeah it’s always a dream to work with people like her.” Orbit, who was working with Frost and Harry on an assignment, contacted them for collaborating with Madonna on Masterpiece. He had heard Frost’s initial composition of the song and knew that Madonna would love it. According to Frost the theme explained to them was about bittersweet love and the hardships felt being in a relationship. Madonna, Frost and Harry sat together with this idea and brainstormed and came up with the lyrics and the melody. Over time, Madonna changed the structure of the song and the final version was ready for recording.

Madonna recalled:

“Guy harangued me for the entire time I was filming and editing my movie to write a song. And I said, ‘Please, Guy, I’m trying to focus on being a director and I want people to pay attention to the film and I don’t have time.’ So then I finished the film and I started making my record and somehow magically and miraculously the song emerged, ‘Masterpiece,’ so thank you, Guy Oseary, for being so irritating.”

Today in Madonna History: June 20, 1998

rayoflight_single1

On June 20, 1998, Madonna’s “Ray of Light” became the #1 dance single on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.  The hit single remained #1 for 4 weeks!

Ray of Light” was written by Madonna, William Orbit, Clive Muldoon, Dave Curtiss, Christine Leach, and produced by Madonna and Orbit.  “Ray of Light” is based on Curtiss Maldoon’s “Sepheryn“.

“It took a long time to do the album, months. And it wasn’t like we were slacking. We actually did have to work fast, and there were many times when we had to move on. One of Madonna’s favorite phrases was: ‘Don’t gild the lily.’ In other words, keep it rough, and don’t perfect it too much. It’s a natural urge for computer buffs to perfect everything because they can, and we were very wary of that.”

—William Orbit on working with Madonna; Keyboard magazine

 

Today In Madonna History: March 8, 1994

madonna-ill-remember-usa-uk-1 madonna-ill-remember-usa-uk-2 madonna-ill-remember-usa-uk-3 madonna-ill-remember-usa-uk-4 madonna-ill-remember-usa-uk-5 madonna-ill-remember-usa-uk-6

On March 8 1994, Madonna’s I’ll Remember (Theme From The Motion Picture With Honors) single was released.

I’ll Remember was written by Madonna, Patrick Leonard, and Richard Page.

I’ll Rememeber later appeared on Madonna’s ballads collection, Something to Remember.

Lyrics:

Say good-bye
To not knowing when
The truth in my whole life began
Say good-bye
To not knowing how to cry
You taught me that

And I’ll remember
The strength that you gave me
Now that I’m standing on my own
I’ll remember
The way that you saved me
I’ll remember

Inside
I was a child
That could not mend a broken wing
Outside
I looked for a way
To teach my heart to sing

And I’ll remember
The love that you gave me
Now that I’m standing on my own
I’ll remember
The way that you changed me
I’ll remember

I learned
To let go
Of the illusion that we can possess
I learned
To let go
I travel in stillness

And I’ll remember
Happiness
I’ll remember
(I’ll remember)
(I’ll remember)

And I’ll remember
The love that you gave me
Now that I’m standing on my own
I’ll remember
The way that you changed me
I’ll remember (I’ll remember)

No I’ve never been afraid to cry
Now I finally have a reason why
I’ll remember (I’ll remember)
No I’ve never been afraid to cry
And I finally have a reason why
I’ll remember (I’ll remember)

No I’ve never been afraid to cry
And I finally have a reason why
I’ll remember (I’ll remember)
No I’ve never been afraid to cry
And I finally have a reason why
I’ll remember (I’ll remember)