On June 2 2003, Madonna began filming the Hollywood music video in Los Angeles, California. The music video was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, and portrays Madonna highlighting the highs and lows of Hollywood.
Jean-Baptiste Mondino said this about the concept of the video:
“Some kind of artifice that Hollywood can provide, that is so wide and has a graphic story-line about it as well as some humour about it, and to show the beauty, the scariness, the sexiness and the loneliness that one’s success can be, ’cause everybody’s dreaming about Hollywood, no matter what. The expectation can be very dangerous, and maybe for somebody like Madonna, who might be at a point, to realize that to be on the top is maybe not that important. That’s what I feel about the video.”
On April 26 2003, Madonna’s American Life single spent the first of two weeks at #1 on the Soundscan Canadian Singles chart.
American Life was the last physical Madonna two-track single issued by Warner Music Canada, while production of CD maxi-singles would continue domestically until the 2006 release of Jump.
On March 12 2003, Warner Bros. issued a press release for Madonna’s American Life album:
A new Madonna album, American Life, has been set for a worldwide release on April 22nd.
The enduring icon’s first new collection of original material since 2000’s multi-platinum smash Music, American Life is being hailed as Madonna’s most accomplished, original and intensely personal album to date; a resonant and revealing emotional journey that marks a new highpoint in a career that has for all time redefined the expressive potential of contemporary music.
Recorded over a full year in London and Los Angeles, American Life, the artist’s tenth studio album, features eleven new Madonna compositions, including the title track and debut single, which ships to radio March 25th.
“All of these songs reflect my current state of mind. I feel like I have just woken up out of a dream. They range from dismay and anger to joy and certainty. Hopefully, I have taken the personal and made it universal,” stated Madonna regarding her new album which she wrote and produced with Mirwais Ahmadzai with whom she also collaborated on her previous release Music.
The American Life CD includes the title track, as well as the following songs: Hollywood, I’m So Stupid, Love Profusion, Nobody Knows Me, Nothing Fails, Intervention, X-Static Process, Mother & Father, Easy Ride, and Die Another Day, the hit theme song from the James Bond film of the same name.
The American Life single is also the subject of a brilliant new video from the pioneering multi-media visionary, an artist who single handedly invented the short music film medium. In a stunning collaboration with director Jonas Akerlund, American Life expresses a panoramic view of our culture and looming war through the view of a female superhero portrayed by Madonna set against a backdrop of current cultural obsessions. It’s a penetrating examination of our national psyche. The video is scheduled to air the first week in April.
Remixes of the American Life single by, among others, mega-hot hip hop diva Missy Elliott, Peter Rauhofer, Felix da Housecat and Maverick Records artist Paul Oakenfold will be available in various configurations over the next several months.
An extensive schedule of appearances, performances and special events has been set in conjunction with the release of American Life including an appearance on an episode of the hit NBC-TV comedy Will And Grace.
One of the most original and innovative artists of the modern era, Madonna has sold hundreds of millions of albums, topped charts across two decades, created an enormously influential body of work in video and film and stood at the forefront of socially conscious artists worldwide. With American Life, Madonna has once again reached deeply into her own life as the source and substance of her extraordinary artistry.
On January 3 2003, Madonna.com announced: “Madonna’s next album is scheduled to be released in April, and there is no title as of yet. The video for the first single will be shot in February and will be directed by Jonas Akerlund. The album cover will be shot next week by Craig McDean (he also did the Vanity Fair Madonna cover).”
On December 20, 20 2003, Madonna had three titles on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the USA: Me Against The Music, Nobody Knows Me and Nothing Fails.
Madonna was the second artist in 18 years to achieve 3 simultaneous entries on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart (previously achieved by Bronski Beat in 1985).
On November 29 2003, Britney Spears’ Me Against The Music (featuring Madonna) peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA.
Me Against The Music was recorded by Britney Spears and Madonna for Spears’ fourth studio album, In The Zone. It was written by Spears, Madonna, Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, Thabiso Nikhereanye, Penelope Magnet, Terius Nash and Gary O’Brien.
I always forget this song. Even when it came out I listened to it a few times and then the CD single started to collect dust. When was the last time you listened to Me Against The Music? Do you consider it to be a “hit” for Madonna – or do you pretend it never happened like me? – Jay