Today in Madonna History: July 4, 2009

Madonna London O2 (July 4 2009) 6Madonna London O2 (July 4 2009) 4Madonna London O2 (July 4 2009) 5Madonna London O2 (July 4 2009) 1Madonna London O2 (July 4 2009) 7_2

On July 4 2009, the Sticky & Sweet Tour‘s 2009 extension began with the first of two sold out dates at London’s O2 Arena.

In January 2009, following the completion of European, North American and South American legs of the massively successful 2008 Sticky & Sweet Tour, it was confirmed that Madonna would extend the tour during the Summer of 2009 with a second European leg before concluding with two dates in Israel in September. The itinerary for the extension consisted largely of markets where Madonna either hadn’t previously performed or hadn’t visited in many years.

In a January 2009 interview with Billboard.com, Live Nation chairman Arthur Fogel commented on the extended run of the tour:

“It absolutely has not happened in the four tours I’ve been involved with, […] There has been talk [of extending] during each one, but it has never come to be. But with this one, she loves the show, she’s had a great time and she’s excited about playing new markets. […] We went to quite a few markets she has never played or hasn’t been to in 15-plus years. This [extension] is really a continuation of that in the sense of playing new and different markets. [The six-month break] is a long hiatus, but everybody was excited to continue. […] So we basically worked out the arrangements for all the performers, crew and equipment and we’ll be ready to go.”

The extension’s opening night and all subsequent dates featured three song changes to the original setlist: Holiday replaced Heartbeat, a guitar-heavy version of Dress You Up took the place of Borderline, and the non fan-favorite “rock version” of Hung Up was dropped in favour of a much more pleasing, club-ready mash-up of Frozen with I’m Not Alone by Calvin Harris (which also threw in snippets of Open Your Heart).

Madonna also included a special tribute to Michael Jackson during Holiday, as well as a quote attributed to him at the end of Frozen (the lyrics quoted from his song Man In The Mirror were in fact written by Madonna’s occasional backing singer, Siedah Garrett, if you want to get technical). At the time of his passing Jackson had been scheduled to begin a run of comeback concerts at the O2 Arena, beginning the week after Madonna’s shows at the venue.

(Thanks to Michael aka MykillICON for the video footage and pictures!)

Today in Madonna History: December 11, 2009

revolver-announcement-1

On December 11 2009, Madonna’s official website announced that Revolver would be released as the second single from the deluxe edition of her greatest hits collection, Celebration. The digital maxi-single would be released on December 29th, with the CD maxi-single hitting North American stores in late January and a vinyl 12″ following in early February 2010. This would be Madonna’s final single release under her contract with Warner Bros. Records.

revolver-announcement-2

Today in Madonna History: September 29, 2009

madonna-september-29-a madonna-september-29-b madonna-september-29-c madonna-september-29-d madonna-september-29-e madonna-september-29-f

On September 29 2009, Madonna and Warner Bros. released Celebration: The Video Collection.  The greatest videos DVD collection accompanied the Celebration greatest hits collection.

Celebration: The Video Collection continued on from Madonna’s other video compilations The Immaculate Collection and The Video Collection 93:99.

Celebration: The Video Collection debuted at the top of the Billboard Top Music Videos chart.  It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of 100,000 copies across United States.

The cover for Celebration: The Video Collection was created by street pop artist Mr. Brainwash who is best known for “throwing modern cultural icons into a blender and turning it up to eleven”.

The DVD collection was released in two different versions, both are double disc releases:

  • Keep case — DVD size packaging
  • DVD Digipak — CD size packaging

This video collection received mixed reviews from critics and fans when it was released.  While the inclusion of videos that were left off her previous retrospectives were certainly appreciated, many felt that the set’s exclusion of several notable clips (with Oh Father, Bad Girl, Drowned World/Substitute For Love & Nothing Really Matters among its most glaring omissions) kept it from being the definitive overview it was touted to be.

Another point of contention was the use of cheaper single-layer versus double-layer DVD’s, the latter of which would have allowed for the inclusion of the three additional clips noted above (which would have rounded out the total number of clips to a nice even fifty) and corrected the compression issues that marred the image quality of many videos. Indeed, the varying picture quality from clip to clip and minimal effort given to ensuring overall quality control left the product with a distinctly “budget” feel that had some fans wondering whether the grainy, test-pattern-infused artwork for the set was perhaps a bit too fitting.

Surely, Madonna’s pioneering work in the medium and the perfectionist spirit that helped make these works so compelling deserve a comprehensive retrospective of the highest quality.

Did you feel this release was worthy of celebration or would you have made changes to it? With recent innovations in digital distribution, would you appreciate an official reissue of Madonna’s entire music video catalogue – from her first clip, Everybody, through to her latest, Batuka – as high quality digital downloads? Clips could be sold individually for a few dollars each or bundled into era sets that could be downloaded through Madonna’s official website, with proceeds benefiting one of her charities. Would you support such an initiative if the highest quality control standards were met and no corners were cut? Perhaps this would prove to be an ideal avenue for her to finally market long-requested, definitive versions of her previously unavailable or out-of-print live concert films as well.

 

Today in Madonna History: August 19, 2009

On August 19 2009, Madonna’s Celebration single was released as a digital remix EP on iTunes in North America.

The EP featured remixes by Benny Benassi, Paul Oakenfold and Johnny Vicious.

Although Madonna had produced the album version of Celebration with one of the world’s best known DJ’s, Paul Oakenfold, it was Benny Benassi’s remix that, deservedly, captured the most attention.

Madonna chose to feature Benassi’s remix in the music video for the single, and it was also used as the closing performance of her MDNA Tour. She would also collaborate on several songs with Benassi for her album, MDNA.

Today in Madonna History: August 6, 2009

august-6-2009-2 august-6-2009-3 august-6-2009-4

On August 6 2009, Madonna performed her Sticky & Sweet Tour in Helsinki, Finland.  Madonna performed for a sold-out crowd of 85,354 fans, generating $12,18,455 in ticket sales.

Did you like the changes made to the 2009 version of the tour? 

Today in Madonna History: June 26, 2009

michael-jackson-madonna-death

On June 26 2009, Madonna made a statement about Michael Jackson’s death (June 25):

“I can’t stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever! My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless.”

Today in Madonna History: November 18, 2009

On November 18 2009, a new remix of Madonna’s Celebration (featuring Akon) was made available for download from online retailers.

Were you a fan of Celebration (the single) or the remixes from it? What about the single cover? LOVE it or wasted opportunity? 

%d bloggers like this: