On February 13 1999, Madonna’s Nothing Really Matters single was reviewed by Billboard magazine.
The North American two-track single for Nothing Really Matters included the album version of To Have And Not To Hold as its b-side.
Prior to the release of the Ray Of Light album, it was reported that Madonna had fourteen tracks mastered but wanted to cut one, as she felt that thirteen was a lucky number. According to the article, Madonna’s final selection was between two songs: To Have And Not To Hold or Has To Be.
As we all know, Has To Be ended up being cut from the final track list (except in Japan, where it was included as a bonus track).
If you had to choose between including To Have And Not To Hold or Has To Be on Ray Of Light, which song would you include? Keep in mind, your selection should not simply be which individual track you prefer – Madonna would also have had to consider how her choice would affect the overall flow and emotional arc of the album, both musically and lyrically.
To Have and Not to Hold is a diamond-gem of a Madonna ballad-it’s that good!
She made the right choice
i can see madonna doing Jazz pop in the future, she has the raspy voice for it
Definitely Has To Be should have been in the place of to have and not to hold. Exactly in the same spot on the album as thanth was. It would have improved the perfection of the album, cause has to be is hands down probably one of her two or three best ballads ever
I cannot imagine ROL without “To Have And Not To Hold” on it. It fits seamlessly with the melancholy second half of ROL, and the Latin vibe aligns perfectly with the album’s overall “world music” flair. Having said that, I wish “Has To Be” had been added as the final track, after “Mer Girl.” If Madonna was insistent on limiting the album to 13 songs, then I would’ve cut what I consider to be the weakest track on the album — “Sky Fits Heaven.”