On November 21 2000, the second single from Madonna’s Music album, Don’t Tell Me, was released by Maverick Records. The b-side for Don’t Tell Me was Cyber-Raga.
During an interview for Interview Magazine, in March 2001, Madonna discussed the lyrics for Don’t Tell Me:
“To me it is a romantic song. Just, you know, rip my skin off, do not tell me who I should love, or how I should love. Don’t tell me to give up. To me, in a way it’s like that Frank Sinatra song, ‘If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere’.”
The North American CD maxi-single included the following versions of Don’t Tell Me:
Don’t Tell Me – (Timo Maas Mix) – 6:55
Don’t Tell Me – (Tracy Young Club Mix) – 11:01
Don’t Tell Me – (Vission Remix) – 7:52
Don’t Tell Me – (Thunderpuss’ 2001 Hands in the Air Anthem) – 10:20
Don’t Tell Me – (Victor Calderone Sensory Mix) – 6:48
Don’t Tell Me – (Vission Radio Mix) – 3:38
Don’t Tell Me – (Thunderpuss’ 2001 Hands in the Air Radio) – 4:26
Don’t Tell Me – (Music Video)
On November 3 2000, Madonna guested on CBS-TV’s Late Show With David Letterman to promote the Music album. She performed an acoustic version of the album’s second single, Don’t Tell Me.
The performance featured several firsts for Madonna: her first live performance to promote the Music album; her first TV appearance following the birth of her son Rocco; her first performance on guitar since her pre-fame days in NYC band Emmy; her first unplugged/acoustic live performance; her first live performance with longtime guitarist Monte Pittman; and her first (and only) musical performance on the Late Show.
Despite being promoted as such, it was not, however, Madonna’s first time back to the Late Show after her infamously censored 1994 appearance. She had made a brief, unscheduled visit to the set to drop off a valentine for Letterman during a 1995 taping of the show.
On September 11 2000, Madonna’s Music single hit #1 on the Top Canadian Singles chart in RPM magazine. The single spent an incredible nine weeks at #1 on the chart, making it Madonna’s biggest hit during the RPM chart era in Canada.
Music also holds the distinction of being the final song ever to reach the top of the RPM Top Canadian Singles chart, as the magazine ceased publication during the song’s ninth week at #1. RPM served as the voice of the Canadian music industry and its official chart authority for over thirty-five years.
Madonna’s Music album also hit #1 on RPM’s Top Albums chart during the first two weeks of October, 2000.
In an unusual move, Warner Canada chose to issue the Music single commercially in three different CD configurations: a two-track with non-album b-side Cyberraga, a standard CD maxi-single with full-length remixes, and finally as a set of remix edits – something that would more commonly be reserved for radio in promo-only form.
Both the song and much of the album of the same title bore the fruit of Madonna’s first collaboration with French electronic artist, Mirwais Ahmadzaï. His second solo album, Production, released a few months earlier, featured Madonna’s Paradise (Not For Me) – which would also resurface on Music.
Mirwais worked with Madonna collaborators Jean-Baptiste Mondino (Naïve Song) and Stéphane Sednaoui (Disco Science & I Can’t Wait) on music videos for the Production album, while the latter director also photographed its cover. Madonna, meanwhile, selected Mondino to shoot the cover of her Music album and to direct the video for its second single (Don’t Tell Me).
Several years before directing her Fever video, Sednaoui first captured Madonna as a photographer on the set of the Justify My Love video – directed by Mondino.
On April 7 2017, Madonna’s hit single, Don’t Tell Me, was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for sales of over 200,000 units in the UK.
If anyone has any idea why DTM was certified in 2017 — with nothing to promote, we’d love to find out.