Today in Madonna History: December 11, 2009

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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.

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Today in Madonna History: September 29, 2009

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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: March 23, 1985

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On March 23 1985, Madonna’s Material Girl hit #2 in the USA.

The US and UK 12″ singles included:

Side A: Material Girl (Extended Dance Remix) 6:05

Side B: Pretender 4:28

Material Girl also appeared on the 1990 greatest hits compilation, The Immaculate Collection, and on the 2009 greatest hits compilation, Celebration. The song was written by Peter Brown and Robert Rans, and Nile Rodgers produced the track.

Today in Madonna History: January 22, 2010

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On January 22, 2010, Madonna’s Revolver was released in Europe.

Today in Madonna History: September 27, 2009

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On September 27 2009, Madonna’s hits compilation, Celebration, debuted at number one on the Official UK Album Chart, bringing her total of number ones (11 total) in line with Elvis Presley. Only The Beatles had more number ones, with a total of fifteen.

This achievement also marked another record for Madonna: the most successful female solo artist of all time.

Other records (at this time in Madonna’s career history):

  • Madonna had spent more than 29 weeks at number one on the Official UK Album Chart (more than any other female solo artist)
  • Madonna had more UK number one singles (13) than any other female solo artist
  • Achieved the chart double (simultaneous number one album and single) more times (4) than any other female solo artist
  • Completed the highest grossing tour in history (Sticky & Sweet) for a female artist

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Today In Madonna History: July 31, 2009

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On July 31 2009, Celebration – the lead single from Madonna’s third greatest hits album of the same name – was released to digital media outlets by Warner Bros. Records. The song was written by Madonna, Paul Oakenfold, Ian Green & Ciaran Gribbin and produced by Madonna & Oakenfold with additional production by Green.

Celebration was one of two new songs written with Oakenfold for the hits collection. The other new track, Broken, was left off the album but was later issued on 12-inch coloured vinyl as an exclusive gift to members of Madonna’s official fan club. Oakenfold also contributed new production to It’s So Cool, an outtake from Madonna’s 2003 album American Life which was used as a bonus track for the deluxe digital download edition of the Celebration album.

Today in Madonna History: January 12, 2012

On January 12 2012, Madonna’s Celebration album artwork was featured on the cover of One Small Seed magazine. The purpose of the cover was to feature Mr. Brainwash’s art, and the issue included an article titled, “Mr. Brainwash: Laughing All The Way To The Banksy.”

Here’s a snippet of the article:

Mr Brainwash creates satirical twists on classic pieces, including some of Banksy’s ‘own’ stuff, and his lavish exhibitions routinely draw crowds of aficionados, detractors and the curious. Mr Brainwash is dedicated to spreading a message that is positive, colourful and – like Andy Warhol’s – accessible. Jean-Michel Basquiat said, ‘I start a picture and I finish it. I don’t think about art while I work. I try to think about life.’

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