On March 12 2003, Warner Bros. issued a press release for Madonna’s American Life album:
A new Madonna album, American Life, has been set for a worldwide release on April 22nd.
The enduring icon’s first new collection of original material since 2000’s multi-platinum smash Music, American Life is being hailed as Madonna’s most accomplished, original and intensely personal album to date; a resonant and revealing emotional journey that marks a new highpoint in a career that has for all time redefined the expressive potential of contemporary music.
Recorded over a full year in London and Los Angeles, American Life, the artist’s tenth studio album, features eleven new Madonna compositions, including the title track and debut single, which ships to radio March 25th.
“All of these songs reflect my current state of mind. I feel like I have just woken up out of a dream. They range from dismay and anger to joy and certainty. Hopefully, I have taken the personal and made it universal,” stated Madonna regarding her new album which she wrote and produced with Mirwais Ahmadzai with whom she also collaborated on her previous release Music.
The American Life CD includes the title track, as well as the following songs: Hollywood, I’m So Stupid, Love Profusion, Nobody Knows Me, Nothing Fails, Intervention, X-Static Process, Mother & Father, Easy Ride, and Die Another Day, the hit theme song from the James Bond film of the same name.
The American Life single is also the subject of a brilliant new video from the pioneering multi-media visionary, an artist who single handedly invented the short music film medium. In a stunning collaboration with director Jonas Akerlund, American Life expresses a panoramic view of our culture and looming war through the view of a female superhero portrayed by Madonna set against a backdrop of current cultural obsessions. It’s a penetrating examination of our national psyche. The video is scheduled to air the first week in April.
Remixes of the American Life single by, among others, mega-hot hip hop diva Missy Elliott, Peter Rauhofer, Felix da Housecat and Maverick Records artist Paul Oakenfold will be available in various configurations over the next several months.
An extensive schedule of appearances, performances and special events has been set in conjunction with the release of American Life including an appearance on an episode of the hit NBC-TV comedy Will And Grace.
One of the most original and innovative artists of the modern era, Madonna has sold hundreds of millions of albums, topped charts across two decades, created an enormously influential body of work in video and film and stood at the forefront of socially conscious artists worldwide. With American Life, Madonna has once again reached deeply into her own life as the source and substance of her extraordinary artistry.
On July 14 2003, Madonna’s Hollywood was released as the second single from the American Life album (excluding Die Another Day, since its release as a single was intended to promote the Bond film and soundtrack album of the same name).
Hollywood was written and produced by Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzaï. The music video was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.
On June 17 2003, the single cover for Madonna’s Hollywood single was revealed. The photo was taken from the photo shoot by Steven Klein for W Magazine.
Hollywood was the second single from the American Life album, released on July 14, 2003.
In April 2003, in an interview with Q Magazine, Madonna described the allure life in Hollywood:
“I’ve had 20 years of fame and fortune, and I feel that I have a right to an opinion on what it is and what it isn’t. All everyone is obsessed about at the moment is being a celebrity. I’m saying that’s bullshit and who knows better than me? Before it happens you have all kinds of notions about how wonderful celebrity is and how much joy it’s going to bring you. Then you arrive … Look like this you’re gonna be happy. Drive this car you’re gonna be popular. Wear these clothes and people are gonna wanna fuck you. It’s a very powerful illusion and people are caught up in it, including myself. Or I was.”
On June 2 2003, Madonna began filming the Hollywood music video in Los Angeles, California. The music video was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, and portrays Madonna highlighting the highs and lows of Hollywood.
Jean-Baptiste Mondino said this about the concept of the video:
“Some kind of artifice that Hollywood can provide, that is so wide and has a graphic story-line about it as well as some humour about it, and to show the beauty, the scariness, the sexiness and the loneliness that one’s success can be, ’cause everybody’s dreaming about Hollywood, no matter what. The expectation can be very dangerous, and maybe for somebody like Madonna, who might be at a point, to realize that to be on the top is maybe not that important. That’s what I feel about the video.”
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.
- American Life
- Nothing Fails
- X-Static Process
- Mother and Father
- Like A Virgin
- Don’t Tell Me