Today in Madonna History: November 12, 2002

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On November 12 2002, the Die Another Day soundtrack for the 20th James Bond film of the same name, was released by Warner Bros. Records. The title song for Die Another Day was sung by Madonna, who also had a small cameo in the movie as Verity, a fencing instructor.  The Die Another Day song was written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï.

What is your favourite James Bond theme song?

Today in Madonna History: October 10, 2002

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On October 10 2002, the music video for Die Another Day premiered on MTV. Helmed by Swedish directing team Traktor, the action-packed short for Madonna’s James Bond theme remains the second most expensive music video of all-time, with production costs surpassing the six-million dollar mark. The clip made its debut as part of an episode of MTV’s Making The Video – Madonna’s first appearance on the series.

Traktor’s Ole Sanders spoke to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet about Madonna’s involvement in the clip’s development:

“We received daily e-mails with feedback that was concise, unambiguous and occasionally entertaining. She works extremely hard with gumption and detail, and it was clear to us how she has remained on top for twenty years. It was no use being unprepared with vague ideas disguised as creativity, as there was no place to hide.”

The video was filmed at Hollywood Center Studios in Hollywood, California between August 22 and August 27, 2002 – an atypically lengthy shoot by Madonna’s standards, likely due to the complexities of capturing the special effects and stunts featured throughout the Bond-influenced clip.

Today in Madonna History: May 30, 2002

On May 30, 2002, People magazine mistakenly reported that Madonna was set to record a cover version of Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind:

Madonna fans who are looking forward to seeing and hearing her on the new James Bond film, Die Another Day, will be chuffed to hear that her Madgeness will be taking a slightly bigger role in the flick than previously thought. Mrs R will record a cover of a song called If You Could Read My Mind for a spicy scene where Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, seduces Halle Berry’s character, Jade. The song was originally recorded in 1970 by Gordon Lightfoot.

In fact, an original song titled Can’t You Read My Mind, written by Madonna & Mirwais, is registered in ASCAP’s database. String arranger Michel Colombier confirmed in May of 2002 that he had recorded a string arrangement for the song, referring to it as the theme for the upcoming Bond film. This suggests that it was likely an early version of the released theme song, Die Another Day, possibly featuring alternate lyrics that were later revised to tie in with the film’s title.

Today in Madonna History: November 18, 2002

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On November 18 2002, Madonna met Queen Elizabeth II at the world premiere of Die Another Day at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England.

Isn’t Madonna adorable when she’s nervous? 

Today in Madonna History: November 23, 2002

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On November 23 2002, Madonna’s Die Another Day single peaked at #1 on the Canadian Soundscan Singles Sales chart where it would stay for an impressive seven (non-consecutive) weeks.

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Today in Madonna History: October 19, 2002

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On October 19 2002, Madonna’s Die Another Day debuted at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA.  The hit single spent 17 weeks on the chart, eventually peaking at #8 on November 9.

Today in Madonna History: October 16, 2002

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On October 16 2002, Billboard released their review of Madonna’s Die Another Day:

The theme to the latest James Bond instalment, Die Another Day, is certainly a far cry from the melodic musings of Shirley Bassey, Nancy Sinatra, Paul McCartney, and even Duran Duran. Die Another Day in many ways picks up on the heels of Madonna’s inventive, experimental Music — thanks to her reunion with writer/producer Mirwais Ahmadzai — with a predominance of squiggly blips and zaps and enough effects on Madonna’s vocal to render it practically non-human. It’s an odd number, somewhat disjointed, a bit nonsensical, and not so much melodic as a highly stylized jam — but one must never underestimate the motivations of the long-and-lasting Madonna; and sure enough, with repeated listening, there are enough clever goings on and a hook that sinks into the consciousness to make this a captivating journey. James Bond purists may find themselves fitful that the traditional melodrama that marks such theme songs is remiss here, but radio jumped on the track weeks ahead of its official release, which will certainly fan the flames of publicity for the upcoming flick, out Nov. 22 in the U.S. On the horizon: an onslaught of remixes. Score another bull’s-eye for Madonna.

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