Today in Madonna History: May 7, 2003

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On May 7 2003, Madonna performed a small club show at La Cantine Du Faubourg in Paris, France as part of her American Life promo tour. The seven-song set list was broadcast live on French radio station NRJ, the show’s sponsor. The audience consisted mainly of contest winners selected by NRJ, along with VIP guests which included Madonna collaborators Jean-Baptiste Mondino and Jean Paul Gauthier.

Set list:

  • American Life
  • Hollywood
  • Nothing Fails
  • X-Static Process
  • Mother and Father
  • Like A Virgin
  • Don’t Tell Me

Today in Madonna History: April 21, 2003

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On April 21, 2003, Madonna’s ninth studio album, American Life was released by Maverick Records and distributed by Warner Bros. Records.

The album, produced in its entirety by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï, features references to many parts of American culture. The album is considered a concept album, with recurring themes of the American Dream and materialism.

Tracklisting:

American Life
Hollywood
I’m So Stupid
Love Profusion
Nobody Knows Me
Nothing Fails
Intervention
X-Static Process
Mother and Father
Die Another Day
Easy Ride

Today in Madonna History: April 5, 2003

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On April 5 2003, an Australian interview aired that demonstrated Madonna’s quick change of heart regarding the American Life music video.

During the interview with Richard Wilkins, the following dialog takes place:

Wilkins: “You’re going to get all sorts of criticism I think.”

Madonna: “Why. Tell me why!”

W: “People are going to say it’s inappropriate to show bombs going off and planes bombing people.”

M: “Why? That’s on the news every five minutes! I’m just using news footage that’s already been seen by everyone.”

W: “I’m suggesting that some people are going to think maybe it’s ill-timed.”

M: “But in a way it’s perfect timing, because it’s what we are experiencing right now – so, it’s American life. It’s very current and appropriate I think.”

Wilkins may have convinced Madonna to go cold on the idea.

“Maybe I did, perhaps I caused her to think again,” he said. “She is very proud of the video, as she should be because it’s incredible.”

By the time the interview aired (a week later), Madonna had already pulled the American Life video and made a statement regarding her choice.

You can read the statement and watch the full music video here.

Today in Madonna History: December 13, 2003

On December 13 2003, “Nobody Knows Me (P. Rauhofer, Above & Beyond, Mount Sims Mixes)” hit #4 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the US.

The track from American Life had been serviced to clubs as a promo-only 12-inch, with the remixes being issued commercially in North America as part of the Nothing Fails maxi-single.

(Thanks to ElOr98 for sharing the video!)
((and to aviddiva for making it!!))

Today in Madonna History: July 14, 2003

On July 14 2003, Madonna’s Hollywood was released as the second single (excluding Die Another Day, which was released as a single to promote the soundtrack of the same name) from the American Life album.

Hollywood was written and produced by Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzaï. The music video was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

Today in Madonna History: May 10, 2003

On May 10 2003, Madonna’s American Life album reached #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart in the USA.

In 2008, Sal Cinquemani had this to say about American Life in Slant magazine:

In hindsight, American Life isn’t the masterpiece that Erotica so quickly revealed itself to be. It’s frequently self-indulgent, misguided, unpleasant, difficult to listen to, silly yet somehow humorless, but it’s also consistent, uncompromising, and unapologetic. The album is a testament to the artist’s willingness to take risks and her refusal to stay inside her comfort zone. In the grand scheme of things, the album might rank as one of the weakest in Madonna’s extensive catalog, and the ones that followed have been as good, if not better, but American Life stands as the last time Madonna seemed to make music without the primary objective of scoring a hit. It’s interesting to imagine what Madonna’s career would look like today had American Life been a success: For better or worse, that pink leotard and Justin duet might never have existed.

Today in Madonna History: March 16, 2004

On March 16 2004, Love Profusion was commercially released in North America on CD maxi-single. In the U.S., a double 12″ vinyl edition of the maxi-single was also released one week later, on March 23rd. Written & produced by Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzaï, Love Profusion was the fourth and final North American single release from the American Life album. In the UK, Warner chose to issue the song instead of Nothing Fails as the album’s third and final single in December, 2003.

Though lack of radio support kept Love Profusion from charting on the Hot 100 in the U.S., it nevertheless managed to top the Hot Dance/Club Play chart. North of the border, the track peaked at #3 on the Canadian singles chart.

North American pressings of the CD maxi-single included a fold-out tester square of the Estée Lauder fragrance Beyond Paradise. The television commercial for the fragrance featured the song Love Profusion – and although Madonna was replaced by supermodel Carolyn Murphy, it used the same computer-generated imagery as the music video’s “daylight” scenes. Both the video and the commercial were created simultaneously by director Luc Besson.

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