On May 13 2008 Madonna scored her seventh Billboard 200 #1 album in the USA with Hard Candy. The achievement broke a tie with Janet Jackson and Mariah to give Madonna sole ownership of the #2 spot of all-time among female artists. Only Barbra Streisand, with eight #1 albums had more.
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 January 12 2010, Live Nation and Warner Bros. announced that Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour would be released on DVD, Blu-Ray and CD on March 30 2010:
Madonna’s most recent stage extravaganza, the “Sticky & Sweet” concert, will be released on March 30th, it was announced today by Live Nation, the world’s largest live music company.
“Sticky & Sweet”, which was produced by Live Nation, was the most successful tour by a solo artist in history and was seen by over 3.5 million fans in 32 countries around the world. The show, which will be distributed by Warner Bros Records, will be available on DVD, Blu-Ray and CD and will include many of the Material Girl’s hits from the course of her unprecedented career including, “4 Minutes,” “Like a Prayer,” “Hung Up” and “Ray of Light”. Filmed in Buenos Aires, over four days to a crowd exceeding 256,000 fans, the concert also includes a show stopping moment when Madonna performs a historic “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” to a thunderous audience response from her Argentine fans. Also included are several hits from the multi-Grammy winner’s most recent CD “Hard Candy” which debuted at No. 1 in 37 countries. The DVD also includes 30 minutes of exclusive footage filmed behind the scenes during the course of the tour.
“Part concert, part block party and all fun, there is still only one Madonna,” raved the Oakland Press in their review of the “Sticky & Sweet” Tour. “A night of triumph and defiance… A two hour multi-media juggernaut,” glowed the LA Times. “Our lady of perpetual motion…This may be the best tour she’s ever stitched together,” claimed the NY Post.
On August 5 2008, Madonna’s Give It 2 Me was released as a 8-track CD maxi-single by Warner Bros. Records in the U.S. It included amazing club remixes by Eddie Amador, Paul Oakenfold, Fedde Le Grand, Tong & Spoon, Jody den Broeder, as well as a ragga version of the song by Sly & Robbie.
The single was also issued in the U.S. as a double-vinyl 12-inch set, a 12-inch vinyl picture disc and as a double-vinyl 7-inch set coupled with her previous single, 4 Minutes. Though no Canadian pressings of the single were issued, the U.S. CD maxi-single was distributed to Canadian retailers with a Warner Music Canada special import sticker.
Give It 2 Me was the second single from Hard Candy. It was written by Madonna & Pharrell Williams with production by Madonna & The Neptunes.
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.”