On February 23 1998, Frozen was released by Maverick records as the lead single from Madonna’s seventh studio album, Ray of Light. The song was written by Madonna & Patrick Leonard and was produced by Madonna, Leonard & William Orbit.
Madonna has mentioned that she considers Frozen as part of a thematic trilogy with The Power Of Good-Bye and To Have And Not To Hold. In an interview with Barry Walters for Spin magazine, Madonna commented on the inspiration behind the song:
“I was so obsessed with the movie The Sheltering Sky and that whole Moroccan/orchestral/super-romantic/man-carrying-the-woman-he-loves-across-the-desert vibe. So I told [Patrick Leonard] that I wanted something with a tribal feel, something really lush and romantic. When he started playing some music, I just turned the DAT on and started free-associating and came up with the melody.”
Initially unsure of which song should be released as the album’s first single, Madonna was eventually convinced by Warner Bros. executives that Frozen would be a perfect way to bridge the Adult Contemporary leanings of her most recent hits (Take A Bow, You’ll See and the singles from Evita) with the more cutting-edge, electronic sounds of Ray Of Light.
Frozen is a magnificent achievement for Madonna! Inspired by the Oscar movie novels The Sheltering Sky and The English Patient, this beautiful ballad is indeed an icebreaker to keep communication open between partners. Indeed, Madonna does cry in the coda/denouement/finale-“If I could melt your Heart…”-THAT HER VOICE had become operatic! In the X-Static Process of the Rebel Heart, Madonna left behind early pieces Borderline and Material Girl behind. Frozen-in essence is an art song in the best sense of terms! Well done Madonna!
Such a great song! I remember my hometown radio station made a big deal of the premiere of the song and it happened to be in the middle of the day so I took my WALKMAN to school to listen secretly during biology class.