On March 25 2008, Madonna’s 4 Minutes was made available for digital download. The lead single from Hard Candy featured vocals by Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.
According to Madonna, the song is about saving the environment and “having a good time while we are doing it.”
On February 26 2008, Entertainment Weekly magazine confirmed the title, cover art and release date of Madonna’s final studio album for Warner Bros., Hard Candy.
Madonna chose to stick with the sweet theme because “she loves candy,” said her longtime rep, Liz Rosenberg. “It’s about the juxtaposition of tough and sweetness, or as Madonna so eloquently expressed, ‘I’m gonna kick your ass, but it’s going to make you feel good.'”
The album, which would feature Justin Timberlake on multiple tracks and production by Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and Nate “Danja” Hills, was scheduled for release on April 29th in North America. The first single, 4 Minutes, would precede it in mid-March.
On June 24 1996, Madonna’s cover of Rose Royce’s Love Don’t Live Here Anymore peaked at #24 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart, which was then tabulated by RPM – Canada’s long-running music industry publication that folded in the year 2000.
Love Don’t Live Here Anymore was Madonna’s only fully promoted North American single to not be issued commercially in any physical format in Canada until the release of 4 Minutes in 2008, by which point Warner Music Canada had ceased domestic production of physical singles and maxi-singles altogether (2006’s Jump CD maxi-single was the last). Considering this distinction, the song managed to perform respectably well on the Canadian Singles chart based on airplay alone. In the U.S., where it was available commercially on CD-single, cassette-single and 7″ single, it only manged to climb to #78 on Billboard’s Hot 100, becoming her lowest charting single to date at the time (excluding her first two singles, neither of which charted on the Hot 100).
On May 12 2008, Madonna’s Hard Candy album was released in the UK in a Limited Collector’s Edition Candy Box.
The Candy Box included a 14-track edition of the hit album (containing the standard version of the album and two bonus 4 Minutes remixes), a bag of Starlite Mint candies and a 16-page booklet.
The exact same version was released in North America on April 29 2008.
1. Candy Store
2. 4 Minutes
3. Give It 2 Me
5. Miles Away
6. Shes Not Me
8. Beat Goes On
9. Dance 2Night
10. Spanish Lesson
11. Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You
13. 4 Minutes – Tracy Young House Edit
14. 4 Minutes – Rebirth Remix Edit
On April 3 2008, the music video for 4 Minutes – the debut single from Madonna’s 11th studio album for Warner Bros. Records, Hard Candy – made its world premiere as a video single available to purchase through iTunes. The digital retailer held exclusive rights to the video for a period of 48 hours, after which it was made available for streaming and broadcast through digital and traditional channels.
The video was filmed in London in February, 2008 and was directed by French wunderkinds, Jonas & François (Justice & Kanye West). At the time of the video’s launch, the audio download of 4 Minutes was already holding the #1 position on iTunes. When asked about the “4 Minute Fever Phenomenon,” Madonna commented, “Goody goody gum drops.”
On March 21 2008, Billboard magazine reviewed the lead single for Madonna’s Hard Candy album, 4 Minutes:
It doesn’t take anywhere close to 4 Minutes to realize that Madonna is poised to score her first top 10 hit since 2005’s Hung Up. The launch single from upcoming Hard Candy – her 11th and final studio album for Warner Bros. – co – stars Justin Timberlake, with production props from Timbaland. There’s an awful lot going on in the busy dance track: sing – song verses, insistent foghorns, cowbells, chants of “tick – tock” and “Madonna, Madonna,” and a rap from Timbaland – but the trade – off chorus between Madge and Justin of “We’ve only got four minutes to save the world” is hooky enough unto itself to sell the song. “4” qualifies as an event record between superpowers who not only share equal billing, but sound gangbusters together. Expect instantaneous penetration for this spring break ’08 anthem.
On April 20 2010, The Power of Madonna – Glee episode (Season 1, Episode 15) aired on the Fox network.
When cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) demands that Madonna’s music be played over the school intercom system, Glee club director Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) sets the club a Madonna-themed assignment, hoping to empower the female club members.
Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna, an EP containing studio recordings of songs performed in the episode, was released on April 20, 2010. Its tracklist includes Express Yourself, a mash-up of Borderline and Open Your Heart, Vogue, Like A Virgin, 4 Minutes, What it Feels Like for a Girl, and Like a Prayer.
The iTunes edition features a bonus track, Burning Up, which was not performed in the episode.
Lynch received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance in the episode.