Today in Madonna History: September 18, 2000

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On September 18 2000, Madonna’s eighth studio album, Music, was released in the UK by Maverick and Warner Bros. Records.

The album was recorded at The Hit Factory in New York, the Guerilla Beach Studios in Los Angeles and the Sarm East and West Studios in London. The bulk of the album was produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï, with additional production by William Orbit, Guy Sigsworth and Mark “Spike” Stent.

Madonna had begun the project in the late summer of 1999 by resuming her collaboration with Ray Of Light co-producer, William Orbit. While the pair completed nearly an album’s worth of songs during these sessions, only three made the album’s final cut. Two others appeared on the soundtrack of The Next Best Thing, another became the theme of a short-lived TV series, while the rest stayed in the vault (though most, if not all, eventually found its way to the internet). It is clear listening to many of the leaked demos from the sessions that Madonna was ready to receive the shot of inspiration Mirwais would inject into the project.

Her new collaborator retained, and in some ways, expanded on the experimental spirit of Ray Of Light, but in contrast to Orbit’s layered, reverb-drenched warmth, Mirwais offered a cool, stark, less-is-more approach that took the album in a very different sonic direction, certainly matching if not building upon the creative success she had achieved with Orbit. If the previous album was successfully touted as a rebirth of sorts, she managed to avoid the sophomore album curse yet again with Music, offering a sound that was distinct and fresh. So fresh that it cast some shadow over the songs Mirwais didn’t have a hand in creating, although the haunting Orbit-produced album closer, Gone, remains one of her best exits.

While Madonna regrets little, she would rightfully retroactively pooh-pooh her decision to permit record execs to tack on previous UK #1 hit, American Pie, as a bonus track outside North America. The cash-in rang a hollow note, coming in on the heels of soulful lyrics about a refusal to sell out.

Madonna adopted a cowgirl/country theme for the album, with the album artwork photographed by one of her longtime collaborators, Jean Baptiste Mondino. The photo session took place in the spring of 2000, before the album had been fully completed and mixed, in order to conceal her pregnancy. Madonna has stated in interviews that her goal with album art has remained relatively consistent through the years: it should resonate with the album’s musical/lyrical themes while also capturing an element of timelessness.

North American tracklist for Music:

  • Music (written & produced by Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzaï)
  • Impressive Instant (written & produced by Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzaï)
  • Runaway Lover (written & produced by Madonna & William Orbit)
  • I Deserve It (written & produced by Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzaï)
  • Amazing (written & produced by Madonna & William Orbit)
  • Nobody’s Perfect (written & produced by Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzaï)
  • Don’t Tell Me (written by Madonna, Mirwais & Joe Henry; produced by Madonna & Mirwais)
  • What It Feels Like For A Girl (written by Madonna & Guy Sigsworth; produced by Madonna, Sigsworth & Mark “Spike” Stent)
  • Paradise (Not For Me) (written & produced by Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzaï)
  • Gone (written by Madonna, Damian Le Gassick & Nik Young; produced by Madonna, Orbit & Stent)

Today in Madonna History: March 25, 2012

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On March 25 2012, borderline MUSIC held the official MDNA release party in Chicago.

Today in Madonna History: March 3, 1998

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On March 3 1998, Madonna’s seventh studio album, Ray Of Light, was released in North America.

Spawning five singles and winning four Grammy awards, it garnered near-universal acclaim upon its release and it is often cited as a high watermark in Madonna’s career as a recording artist.

Ray Of Light was produced by Madonna & William Orbit with additional production by Patrick Leonard & Marius De Vries.

Today in Madonna History: November 15, 2005

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On November 15 2005, Madonna’s tenth studio album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, was released in North America by Warner Bros Records. The majority of the album was co-produced and co-written by Madonna & Stuart Price, with additional contributions by Mirwais, Bloodshy & Avant, Joe Henry and Anders Bagge & Peer Åström. It featured the singles Hung Up, Sorry, Get Together and Jump.

Madonna performed a small club show at Koko in London, UK on November 15th to celebrate the album’s release, with the set being streamed online to fans around the world. The live webcast was preceded by an exclusive mini-documentary titled Confessions…On A Promo Tour.

 

Today in Madonna History: June 14, 2019

On June 14 2019, Madonna’s fourteenth studio album, Madame X, was released worldwide on Interscope Records.

In a 4-star (out of 5) review of the album, Slant Magazine’s Sal Cinquemani noted:

“Madonna has a reputation for being a trendsetter, but her true talent lies in bending those trends to her will, twisting them around until they’re barely recognizable, and creating something entirely new. Madame X is fearless, the sound of an artist unapologetically indulging all of her whims and quirks.”

Deluxe Album:

1. Medellín (feat. Maluma)
(Madonna, Mirwais Ahmadzai, Maluma Londono, Edgar Barrera) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
2. Dark Ballet
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
3. God Control
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna, Mirwais & Mike Dean
4. Future (feat. Quavo)
(Madonna, Thomas Pentz, Brittany Talia Hazzard, Quavious Keyate Marshall) produced by Madonna & Diplo
5. Batuka
(Madonna, Banda, Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
6. Killers Who Are Partying
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
7. Crave (feat. Swae Lee)
(Madonna, Khalif Malik Ibn Shaman Brown, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Billboard & Mike Dean
8. Crazy
(Jason Evigan, Madonna, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Mike Dean & Jason Evigan
9. Come Alive
(Jeff Bhasker, Madonna, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Jeff Bhasker & Mike Dean
10. Extreme Occident
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
11. Faz Gostoso (feat. Anitta)
(Carmo, Nuno, Oliveira, Seabra, Vieira, Rodrigues, Madonna) produced by Madonna, Billboard & Mike Dean
12. Bitch I’m Loca (feat. Maluma)
(Madonna, L D’Elia, Londono, Barrera, JAMES, Rodriguez, Stiven Rojas) produced by Madonna & Billboard
13. I Don’t Search I Find
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
14. Looking For Mercy
(Madonna & B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Jeff Bhasker & Mike Dean
15. I Rise
(Jason Evigan, Madonna, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna & Jason Evigan

Deluxe CD Edition (Bonus Disc):

1. Funana
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
2. Back That Up to the Beat
(Madonna, Pharrell Williams, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Jeff Bhasker, Mike Dean & Pharrell Williams
3. Ciao Bella
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais

Today in Madonna History: July 21, 1987

On July 21 1987, the Who’s That Girl: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album was released.

Who’s That Girl was released as the lead single from the soundtrack, it became Madonna’s sixth single to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making her the first artist to accumulate six number-one singles in the 1980s, and the first female performer to earn that many number-ones as a solo act.

The album’s second single, Causing a Commotion, was released on August 25, 1987. In the United States, the single quickly climbed up the chart, ultimately peaking at number two in the week of October 24, 1987, the same week Michael Jackson’s Bad advanced to the pole position. It remained in second position for three weeks, before descending from the chart.

The third song released from the album was the European single The Look of Love. In the United Kingdom, The Look of Love was released on December 12, 1987, and entered the UK Singles Chart at position 15.  The next week, it reached a peak of nine on the chart, her first single to miss the top five since Lucky Star in 1984.

Regarding her contributions to the soundtrack, Madonna said:

“I had some very specific ideas in mind, music that would stand on its own as well as support and enhance what was happening on-screen and the only way to make that a reality was to have a hand in writing the tunes myself… The songs aren’t necessarily about Nikki or written to be sung by someone like her, but there’s a spirit to this music that captures both what the film and the characters are about, I think.”

The only Madonna song not to be released as a single or performed live from the soundtrack was Can’t Stop. Madonna had been performing her three other songs from the soundtrack during the Who’s That Girl World Tour for over a month prior to the album’s release.

Today in Madonna History: September 6, 2013

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On September 6 2013, MDNA World Tour was released in Germany and Australia by Live Nation Entertainment and Interscope Records.  The complete show was included on the live album which was issued as a digital download and as a 2-CD set in some countries, while the concert film was issued in various configurations including DVD, Blu-ray and as a 2-CD+DVD set.

Madonna served as producer for the project and spent several months editing the concert film with directors by Danny B. Tull and Stephane Sennour. The show was primarily recorded over two nights the previous November in Miami, Florida, although additional audience footage shot by Guy Oseary over the course of the tour was also interspersed throughout the film.

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