Today in Madonna History: February 4, 2003

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On February 4 2003, filming for Madonna’s music video for American Life took place in Los Angeles with director Jonas Åkerlund.

The casting call issued for the video sought the following:

Eastern European Man (30 – 60 yrs. old, Real people, THIN, interesting looking, great face, worn out looking, craggy). 4 Beautiful Models (drop dead gorgeous w. amazing legs and bodies). 10 soldiers (must have long hair and be willing to shave it for the video… good-looking, really good body). Hair stylist (male or female, any ethnicity, must be real hair stylists, think editorial type. Stylist (male or female, any ethnicity, 20’s, cool and interesting looking, think N.Y. 2 Babes (very voluptuous and buxom, bimbo types, b pin-up girls). Makeup artists (m or f, any ethnicity, a REAL makeup artist). 2 IRAQI kids (boys and girls, 4 – 7 yrs. old). African-American Male (35 – 50, THIN).

Åkerlund commented on the upcoming video to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet:

“It’s great that Madonna gives me the trust to do this video. The song is super cool and aimed for the dance floors. I especially love that she gives me the trust to do the first single from the new album. There is a special feeling and ambition around the first single and a hell of lot of secrets. I had to sign a paper even before I got to listen to the song! The shooting will take 3 days.”

3 responses

  1. MLN, I have to respectfully disagree with you! American Life is where things started going wrong for Madonna! Not only was it a commercial flop bomb it was her first failure with rock critics and it caused Warner to let go of Madonna-her life and recording career haven’t been the same since!

    • Only in the USA because if you look at the charts elsewhere all 7 singles were big hits in Europe, Asia and LatAm. The reaaon why her second single “American Life” didn’t do well her was because unlike so many pansies she was not afraid to voice her opinion on the war in Iraq, and that caused backlash amongst those who believe everyone should have the same opinion. Fortunatel, we know the truth now. Conservative owners banned her music from that album, but they all topped the dance charts except one I believe.

      Her next album Confessions was even more successful except in the USA which imo has no taste for good music. For some reason Americans can’t get into different genres of music. Hung Up (the first single from COADF charted to number one in 50+ countries while only hitting number 7 in USA.

      Back to American Life, the first single did extremely well hitting the top ten. Die Another Day was one of her most played singles from that era. AL barely hit the top 40 in usa, but in other areas was huge and she still performs it to this day. Hollywood was played a lot in LatAm, Nothing Fails was an amazing single as was Nobody Knows Me, of which Both were number 1 dance hits. Love Profusion and Mother and Father did very well too in some areas. Some of these were promo singles too.

      Warner, imo was one of the problems for her low chart singles dating back to Ray of Light because sometimes they didn’t get the maxi single out until sometimes a month later which imo is one reason she left Warner. Nothing Really Matters is a good example of this because the song went to radio in Jan. 99, but the maxi wasn’t released until April. The same thing happened with Beautiful Stranger as well, as there was Radio play, but no single was released which was stopid on WB behalf.

      Over all AL is a love or hate album. I loved it as it had more guitar than her previous albums. Some fans only like her bubble gum pop, some like the electronica, and some liked this area from 02 to 04. Had she not made that video she probably would’ve gotten adequate airplay, but unfortunately even to this day we live in a male dominated society. Luckily, that is changing as Tracy Young said when she won her Grammy for the mixes of I Rise women are getting more and more into DJing and producing great music!!

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