Today in Madonna History: September 15, 2014

On September 15 2014, Vice magazine’s blog THUMP published an article in which Stuart Price recalled his time spent collaborating with Madonna on her 2005 album, Confessions On A Dance Floor:

“Right before we made Confessions on a Dance Floor, I had made a record with a girl named Juliet [2005’s Random Order]; we had made that album over Thanksgiving in New York, when the city was completely dead, and it was just the two of us concentrating on working on it. [I went] straight from that to Madonna, and I assumed that would be a much different experience, but she completely surprised me.

The real eye-opener was about how focused she was on avoiding the kind of over-the-top, excessive, entourage-in-the-studio environment that I had expected. It was the total opposite, really. She helped to create an environment where we were like two kids working together in a studio. It was exactly the same feeling as it was when I was working with Juliet. She was really… I don’t want to say ‘smart,’ but she was really honest about music. She’s really instinctive in understanding that dance music comes from a very minimal way of working. It doesn’t come from throwing lots of money on a lavish production.

We spent five or six weeks in my apartment; the studio used to be upstairs in the loft. I would work on a track overnight, then she would come in and we’d start messing around. She would do vocal melodies and I would come up with a few ideas, and then she’d go, ‘Okay, I’m gonna go home and think about it.’ Then she’d come back the next day and have the hook for Hung Up or the chorus for Sorry. Then I would carry on working on more tracks to keep us going. It was more of a really fluid and almost childlike environment than anything that seemed too serious.

They always say that an album sounds like the time that you had making it. I know that with that album, it was a super-productive time, but it was also really fun and natural. And I think that comes across in the way it sounds.

It’s surprising that Madonna has such a simple work mode. I would have expected her to come in with her full entourage and play the diva, at least to some extent.

Well, don’t get me wrong—I think in a lot of parts of her life, she is the big-entourage person. But when it comes to being creative, she’s unexpectedly low-key. She’s great to work with, and I really mean that.”

Today in Madonna History: August 24, 2014

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On August 24 2014, Madonna was featured in a Forbes Magazine piece written by Hugh McIntyre examining the Most Expensive Music Videos Of All Time:

Of all the expensive music videos made over time (and there are quite a few), the top five are created by only two artists: Michael Jackson and Madonna. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as those two legends are some of the only ones who would have enough clout to rustle up millions for a four-minute movie. While other artists typically use music videos as a way of selling more copies of a certain song or album, these two turned the music video into an art form, attempting to top themselves with each new project. (*Adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars.)

5. Michael Jackson — “Black or White,” $6.9 million* (originally $4 million)
The lead single from Jackson’s Dangerous needed a video that would be many things all at once—fun, meaningful, and above all else, memorable.

4. Madonna — “Bedtime Story,” $7.7 million* (originally $5 million)
“Bedtime Story” is the first of three Madonna music videos on this list, though the single it was made to promote is not one of the singer’s greatest successes. Directed by Mark Romanek, who would also direct the music video that ends up surpassing “Bedtime” as the single most expensive of all time. Not one to miss a publicity opportunity, Madonna premiered the video at movie theatres in New York City, Chicago, and Santa Monica. These days, it is housed permanently in a collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

3. Madonna — “Die Another Day,” $7.9 million* (originally $6.1 million)
While the song received mixed reviews from critics, Madonna’s Bond song went on to be the best-selling dance song of 2002 and 2003, and its video was nominated for a Grammy. The James Bond-inspired video has the legendary pop star fighting herself, which was a mixture of green screens and intricate and expensive special effects. A few years ago, Billboard ranked the song the #6 song from the Bond franchise.

2. Madonna — “Express Yourself,” $9.4 million* (originally $5 million)
Madonna’s “Express Yourself” video cost $5 million to make back in 1989, making it the most expensive video ever made at the time. The clip, which was inspired by 1927 German science fiction film Metropolis was directed by David Fincher, who would go on to be nominated for Academy Awards for also directing both The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network. The video sees the singer dressing in a masculine fashion, yet being as sexual as ever.

1. Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson — “Scream,” $10.7 million* (originally $7 million)
The video for “Scream,” the first single off Michael’s HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I album is really one for the books, and one of the few videos that everybody remembers seeing for the first time.

(Source: Forbes Magazine – The Most Expensive Music Videos of All Time)

Today in Madonna History: March 30, 2014

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On March 30 2014, Madonna posted this photo and statement on Instagram:

Laughing at all the haters out there who spend their energy trying to limit and label me with their prejudices and fears! Take your evil tongue and eye and turn them into birds that fly! Don’t waste precious time. Spend it on things you love!

Today in Madonna History: January 29, 2014

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On January 29 2014, Miley Cyrus’ MTV Unplugged concert aired on MTV.

Madonna and Miley teamed up for a Country-Western mash-up of Don’t Tell Me – one of Miley’s favourite Madonna songs – and her own hit, We Can’t Stop.

The performance was recorded in Los Angeles on January 28.

Today in Madonna History: December 20, 2014

On December 20 2014, this press release was sent to media announcing an early Christmas gift from Madonna, the release of six songs from Rebel Heart, a response answer to the leaked (and unfinished) tracks from the album expected in March 2015.

Madonna has just released six songs from her new studio album Rebel Heart. The six songs are currently available for purchase now via preorder at iTunes and other music outlets with purchase of the album and a la carte as well. The music will also be available on all streaming services. Additional music will be released on Feb. 9th. The full album of Rebel Heart on Interscope Records is scheduled to be released the first week in March 2015.

Song titles that are currently available from the new album are Living For Love, Devil Pray, Ghosttown, Unapologetic Bitch, Illuminati and Bitch I’m Madonna which was recorded with Nicki Minaj. Producers include Madonna, Diplo, Kanye West, Billboard, was recorded in NY, LA and London.

The decision to release the songs much earlier than anticipated was due to the leaking of several work-in-progress demos earlier this week.

“I was hoping to release my new single Living For Love on Valentine’s Day with the rest of the album coming in the Spring. I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift,” commented Madonna.

Today in Madonna History: December 17, 2014

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On December 17 2014, Madonna responded to the leak of songs from her forthcoming album with this statement to her fans:

“Thank you for not listening! Thank you for your loyalty! Thank you for waiting and if you have heard please know they are unfinished demos stolen long ago and not ready to be presented to the world.”

Today in Madonna History: November 7, 2014

On November 7 2014, Jennifer Lopez talked about how Madonna inspired her to work hard (this took place during J-Lo’s True Love book press conference):

“I still remember when I was a teenage girl and there was Madonna jogging in Central Park (New York) and I thought “wow! she’s famous, she’s rich, she has a lot of success and she’s a great performer; and she’s over there jogging…but she doesn’t need jogging because she’s perfect…but it’s what you MUST do, you MUST work hard. She’s on of my biggest influences and she inspired me a lot.”

Jay’s Note: I remember flipping through paparazzi magazines in waiting rooms as a kid. I loved to look through them because there was always a good chance that there’d be a candid photo of Madonna – and she was usually jogging with her trainer, Rob Parr. 

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