Today in Madonna History: September 27, 2002

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On September 27 2002, the theme and title-track for the twentieth film in the James Bond franchise, Die Another Day, received its world premiere on New York radio station Z100. The song had been due to hit the airwaves on October 10th, but when Z100 got their hands on the track ahead of schedule they immediately added it to their heavy rotation playlist. Other stations quickly followed suit, prompting an early but very strong debut at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and becoming the chart’s highest first-week entry of the year.

Die Another Day was written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais with string arrangement by the late, great Michel Colombier. After being introduced to Madonna through Mirwais, Colombier arranged strings for Madonna’s 2000 hit Don’t Tell Me, scored her film Swept Away and arranged the American Life tracks Nothing Fails and Easy Ride. Colombier sadly lost a brief battle with cancer in 2004, leaving behind a legacy of celebrated collaborations with the likes of Serge Gainsbourg, Prince and Joni Mitchell, to name only a few.

Madonna’s Bond theme was first performed during 2004’s Re-Invention Tour, where it became a visual showstopper with its ambitious and impressively executed tango-influenced choreography.

Today in Madonna History: August 4, 2002

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On August 4 2002, Madonna took delivery of a $40,000 Mini Cooper.

Workers at the Cowley car plant in Oxfordshire gave it the personal touch by signing their names on the underside of the chassis. A worker at the Mini Cooper car plant said: “We are all so proud that Madonna is such a big fan of the car. Everyone who worked on it left their signature, either inside or under the bonnet. If anyone doubted this was a classy car before, they can certainly think again now Madonna has bought one.”

A custom Mini Cooper later appeared in the American Life music video, and promotional mini versions (no pun intended) were distributed when the American Life album was released.

Today in Madonna History: May 30, 2002

On May 30, 2002, People magazine mistakenly reported that Madonna was set to record a cover version of Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind:

Madonna fans who are looking forward to seeing and hearing her on the new James Bond film, Die Another Day, will be chuffed to hear that her Madgeness will be taking a slightly bigger role in the flick than previously thought. Mrs R will record a cover of a song called If You Could Read My Mind for a spicy scene where Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, seduces Halle Berry’s character, Jade. The song was originally recorded in 1970 by Gordon Lightfoot.

In fact, an original song titled Can’t You Read My Mind, written by Madonna & Mirwais, is registered in ASCAP’s database. String arranger Michel Colombier confirmed in May of 2002 that he had recorded a string arrangement for the song, referring to it as the theme for the upcoming Bond film. This suggests that it was likely an early version of the released theme song, Die Another Day, possibly featuring alternate lyrics that were later revised to tie in with the film’s title.

Today in Madonna History: May 22, 2002

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On May 22 2002, the real-life All The Way Mae died.  Faye Dancer was a member of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s and an inspiration for the character (Mae Mordabito) Madonna played in the 1992 hit film, A League of Their Own.

 

Today in Madonna History: February 9, 2002

On February 9 2002, the GHV2 Megamixes peaked at #5 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart in the U.S.

While the Thunderpuss GHV2 Megamix was promoted to mainstream channels, alternate megamixes produced by Tracy Young and Johnny Rocks & Mac Quayle targeted club DJ’s.

Today in Madonna History: December 10, 2002

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On December 10 2002, Madonna’s West End debut in Up For Grabs at the Wyndham’s Theatre was nominated for the Planet Hollywood Theatre Event of the Year at the Theatregoers’ Choice Awards.

Today in Madonna History: November 23, 2002

On November 23 2002, Madonna’s Die Another Day single peaked at #1 on the Canadian Soundscan Singles Sales chart where it would stay for an impressive seven (non-consecutive) weeks.

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