On June 11 1998, Ray of Light became Madonna’s highest debuting single, peaking at number-five in its first week on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.
The title-track from her seventh studio album was present for a total of twenty weeks on the Hot 100, and placed at number seventy-five on the year-end chart. Much of its chart success was due to strong sales, receiving a boost from the inclusion of non-album track, Has To Be, on the b-side of the two-track single, as well as the commercially-released VHS video-single. On the Airplay chart, however, the song fizzled out at number twenty-six due to radio’s tepid support of the single’s unconventional sound. Meanwhile, there was nothing tepid about the response from club DJ’s, with the remixes earning Madonna another number-one on the Hot Dance/Club Play chart where it spent four weeks at the top and seven weeks in the top-five.
Outside the U.S., the Ray of Light single reached number-three in Canada, number-two in the UK, Italy and Finland, and number-one in Spain.
Ray of Light-Madonna’s breakout and breakthrough Rock Hit! Too bad it never crossed over to the Mainstream/Active Rock Stations!
Poor radio so pathetic to not be all over ray of light at the time. Madonna was the one artist you could count on at radio from 1983 through 2002 ray of light should have been a radio smash
I’m surprised that radio didn’t warm up to Ray of Light. I remember hearing it a lot on the radio back in 1998, along with Frozen. I don’t think I ever heard the other singles from the album even once on radio though.