Belgian Radio Donna compiled a Top 2003 of all time, chosen by the listeners. Naturally, Madonna features many times in the list. Here are her positions from 2003 till 600. The second part will follow later.
637 Justify My Love
725 Material Girl
798 Papa Don't Preach
830 This Used To Be My Playground
926 American Pie
1009 Die Another Day
1054 Drowned World/Substitute For Love
1150 American Life
1269 Who's That Girl
1360 Live To Tell
1415 Into The Groove
1543 Beautiful Stranger
1731 Nothing Really Matters
1779 What It Feels Like For A Girl
1997 Don't Tell Me
How would you rate 2003 in terms of chart success for Madonna: a failure or did she do well? Her American Life album is considered to be a flop, but it did reach No. 1, it yielded two No. 1 sales singles (Die Another Day and Nothing Fails) and four dance chart No. 1 singles. So, it all depends on which chart you look at. Of course, she did not do well on the Hot 100.
Addressing the sales and airplay issue one last time, although Nothing Fails is No. 1 in sales this week, the song is not on the Hot 100. Shouldn't there be a rule that at least the No. 1 selling song in the country, even though sales are low, should automatically be given a spot on the Hot 100?
It seems a bit weird to think that in 20 years time, looking back at 2003, there will not have been any mention of either Hollywood or Nothing Fails on the Hot 100, even though, to some extent, these songs were hits. Or does Nothing Fails still have a chance to make a Hot 100 debut?
Finally, will Madonna ever return to the top-10 of the Hot 100 or even the No. 1 spot?
Zwolle, The Netherlands
It's a mixed-results year for Madonna. She was Billboard's No. 1 dance artist for the second year in a row, but did not do well on the Hot 100, as you point out. The songs from American Life did not receive a very good reception at radio.
I do not subscribe to the theory that Madonna has been banned from the airwaves. I think we should wait for her next album and see what happens. And while I don't get a vote, not being a member of Billboard's chart department, I wouldn't be in favor of giving any No. 1 sales single an automatic free pass, no matter how few copies were sold.
While I'm not allowed to mention how many copies Nothing Fails sold per Billboard policy, I can say the sales figure was a fraction of what previous Madonna sales chart-toppers have sold. It simply wouldn't have been accurate or fair to put Nothing Fails on the Hot 100 if it didn't belong there.
The mention in "Chart Beat" of Nothing Fails not having enough juice to reach the Hot 100 generated more E-mail. See our next letter.
I've written on this topic to you many times in the past, but something in last week's "Chart Beat Bonus" appalled me -- the fact that the No. 1 on the Hot 100 Sales chart (Madonna - Nothing Fails) could fail to merit a place in the Hot 100.
I accept that conditions have been allowed to develop in the U.S. such that hardly anybody buys singles, but does it not strike you as odd that Billboard methodology can allow the song chosen by those few enlightened souls as their most popular to not even feature in the list of 100 most popular songs of the week?
I've always been against including airplay in any tally of what songs are popular as I firmly believe that heavily formatted and play-listed radio cannot give a true representation of what's popular, as its focus is far too narrow and slow moving. The public, after all, has no direct say in what gets played on radio, whereas at least they can affect a sales chart if they choose to go out and buy a CD (if it's available -- again another big problem in the U.S).
I really feel that the ever-increasing emphasis Billboard places on airplay has been a major factor in the failing fortunes of the singles market in the U.S., as evidenced by the dearth of commercial singles released, tiny sales figures and a slow moving chart.
Just compare the tally of No. 1s for the year in the U.S. and the U.K. - and this was a fairly slow year in the U.K. by recent standards! Perhaps if Billboard had gone the other way, increasing the weighting of sales, it would have reversed the downward trend in the singles market -- it would definitely have encouraged labels to release more, rather than fewer, commercial singles.
I have never read a convincing argument as to why Billboard feels the need to mingle sales and airplay data together anyway. Why not just be happy with a sales chart, and an airplay chart, nominating one of these (and it would seem that would surely be the airplay chart) as the new official Hot 100?
No one can question the veracity of a sales only chart, or an airplay only chart, but these tallies are tracking two very different things, so how can you accurately combine them? And as singles sales have dropped off so much, and the weighting given to sales is so small, and reduced further each time the methodology is updated, why bother to combine these charts any more?
The U.K. chart [on Sunday (Dec. 21)] threw up one of those delicious surprises that delight chart-watchers on this side of the Atlantic and are all too rare in the U.S. Michael Andrews and Gary Jules' sublime "Mad World" snatched the Christmas No. 1 crown from the Darkness, who had led all the midweek tallies. And justice was served as those wretched Idols couldn't even claim the third highest new entry. Won't someone join me in wishing for the rapid demise of the mania for glorified karaoke?
The Hot 100 has always been a chart that combines sales and airplay, since it was introduced in August 1958. It's true that as sales have declined, airplay has taken on a bigger role in determining chart positions. When 900 copies sold in a nation of 290 million people can merit a position in the top 20 of the sales chart, it's no wonder that sales figures don't mean as much as they once did.
But as I have said to others, you assign the Billboard charts too much power in influencing labels about releasing or not releasing singles. The bottom line for any business is money. These are decisions based on financial information and a company's bottom line, not how high a single places on the Hot 100.
Billboard already publishes separate sales and airplay charts, so I don't know what would be gained by eliminating the Hot 100. There's also a danger in implementing a change in the charts and then finding market conditions changing so that the "fixed" charts become irrelevant.
With paid downloads increasing, sales may yet again carry more weight on the Hot 100. I think we'll be seeing some major changes in the Hot 100 in the months to come as paid downloads become an even bigger factor in the industry, making it way too premature to eliminate sales data from the chart.
Billboard Magazine's Hot Dance Club Play Chart for January 17, 2004:
French newspaper Le Parisien announced two days ago that Madonna will attend the NRJ Music Awards (NRJ/TF1), which are held in Cannes on January 24. There hasn't been an official confirmation for this yet.
The Mad-Eyes team likes to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a joyful 2004.
Madonna collects her seventh consecutive No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Singles Sales chart as Nothing Fails (Maverick/Warner Bros.) claims the top spot.
That means every Madonna single released in this millennium has achieved pole position, starting with Music in September 2000 and continuing with Don't Tell Me, What It Feels Like for a Girl, Die Another Day, American Life and Hollywood.
That may make it sound like it's always been easy for Madonna to dominate the dance singles sales chart, but that's not true. Prior to Music, she only had a solitary No. 1 hit out of eight releases.
Madonna is also No. 2 on the dance singles sales chart with Me Against the Music, in which she plays a supporting role to Britney Spears. It's the first time one artist has occupied the top two slots on this chart since 1997, when Puff Daddy was No. 1, 2 and 3.
On Hot 100 Singles Sales, Nothing Fails debuts at No. 1, but in a depressed singles market sold too few singles to earn a place on the Hot 100 yet.
"The response to the upcoming limited edition Nobody Knows Me magazine has been fantastic so far. We wanted to remind you that this is your only chance to order this one-time only 52 page glossy publication for yourself.
Due to the demand, we have extended the final date for placing your order--you can now order copies up through 3 pm EST on Friday, January 2. Your copy of Nobody Knows Me will be shipped soon after the closing of the sale date.
So get your order in now or lose out on your chance for getting to know Madonna even better! Place your order for Nobody Knows Me right here."
While Love Profusion debuts at #25 this week, becoming Madonna's lowest entry in the Singles Charts since her #33 peak for The Power Of Good-Bye in 1998, Me Against The Music falls 5-6 but gets certified platinum for shipments in excess of 70,000 units. Love Profusion also debuts at #3 on the Dance Chart.
Love Profusion (Singles Chart): NEW at #25 (1 week)
Me Against The Music (Singles Chart - Platinum): 01-01-03-04-05-06 (6 weeks)
Love Profusion (Dance Chart): NEW at #3 (1 week)
Me Against The Music (Dance Chart): 01-01-01-01-01-01 (6 weeks)
Rumours start circulating over the second Madonna EP due out in the early months of 2004. On Peter Rauhofer's forum speculation has begun:
"Madonna's second remix EP is set to become a club compilation of remixes from American Life (new and already released remixes). Tracks reworked by Peter Rauhofer, Zootwoman, Sander Kleinenberg, Ralphi Rosario, and Dirty Vegas are to be included."
Fansite MadonnaTribediscovered a poem that could be the inspiration for Like A Flower:
"Madonna's love for poetry is widely known to her fans. Our forum member Jaapaap, has discovered reading the interview Madonna did for Details Magazine back in December 1994, that a novel by Jeannette Winterson is definitely the main inspiration of one of Madonna's most beautiful songs, Like A Flower, which exists in demo form only, from the "Ray Of Light sessions" and remains unreleased.
As you will see from the compared lyrics of Jeanette Winterson's novel "The passion" and Like A Flower, Madonna took the poem as an interesting starting point to create her own beautiful song."
Extract from The Passion by Jeanette Winterson:
"There's a hole in my heart that no one else can fill ? why would I want them to? It's like you search and search and search but you also know that no one can take that place, and so you do feel a sense of loneliness and sadness that you know will be with you for the rest of your life".
Extract from Like A Flower by Madonna
"There's a hole in my heart, No one else can fill it
There's a feeling I have, No one can replace
There's a taste in my mouth, No one else can give me
There's a song that I hear, No one can erase
Why would I want them to, I'm still looking back at you
Why would I want them to be you?"
It's happening all over again. Last year, Madonna was the No. 1 Hot Dance Singles Sales Artist with three charted titles; her single, Die Another Day, was No. 1 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart. Now, 12 months later, Die Another Day remains in the pole position of the same chart.
The Maverick/Warner Bros. artist also retains the top spot on this year's Hot Dance Singles Sales Artists recap. At the end of 2003, Madonna's label released "Remixed & Revisited," a seven-track EP featuring alternative remixes from her album American Life.
Madonna makes news on two dance charts this week. A single featuring remixes of Nothing Fails/Nobody Knows Me (Maverick/Warner Bros.) debuts at No. 1 on Hot Dance Singles Sales, while her collaboration with Britney Spears, Me Against the Music (Jive), shoots 13-2.
It's the first time in more than six years that one artist holds the top two spots on this chart. Puff Daddy was the last artist to dominate Dance Singles Sales in this manner. The week of Aug. 2, 1997, he held the top three positions. "I'll Be Missing You" debuted at No. 1, "Mo Money Mo Problems" by the Notorious B.I.G. Featuring Puff Daddy & Mase was a new entry at No. 2 and "Someone" by SWV Featuring Puff Daddy rocketed 53-3.
Before Puff Daddy, Mariah Carey was No. 1 and No. 2 the week of Dec. 2, 1995, with "One Sweet Day" and "Fantasy," respectively. On Hot Dance Club Play, Me Against the Music moves 2-1, Nobody Knows Me falls 4-10 and Nothing Fails climbs 30-20. That makes Madonna the only artist in the past 20 years to have three top 20 hits on this chart at the same time.
Top Pop Catalog Albums
#49 - The Immaculate Collection
Billboard 200 Albums
#125 - American Life
Nothing Fails is the biggest selling single in the United States this week, selling 6420 copies.
Unfortunately, this amount will not provide enough points for the song to chart on Billboard's Hot 100. Nothing Fails will be the first sales #1 to miss the overall chart since Billboard began publishing separate sales and airplay charts.
Further down the chart, in its first week available as a maxi-single, Me Against the Music moves up to the number 4 spot, selling 4775 copies.
Here's an article from Billboard on Madonna's dance hits. It was published in last weeks issue. Meanwhile, Me Against The Music has indeed reached #1, while Nobody Knows Me and Nothing Fails are at #10 (down from #4) and #20 (up from #30).
"In this issue, Madonna has three titles on the Hot Dance Club Play chart: Me Against The Music (No. 2), Nobody Knows Me (No. 4) and Nothing Fails (No. 30). This has not happened since the Feb. 9, 1985 issue, when U.K. trio Bronski Beat had three titles on that chart: "Smalltown Boy" (No. 2), "The Age Of Consent" (No. 20) and "Why" (No. 75).
Additionally, Nothing Fails is Madonna's 45th Club Play entry; Nobody Knows Me and Me Against The Music are her 41st and 42nd top ten hits on the chart. Do not be surprised if Me Against The Music reaches the chart's summit. If this does indeed happen, it would be the Maverick/Warner Bros. artist's 31st No. 1 on the chart.
Also worth noting is that Madonna and Bronski Beat debuted in the early '80s, when disco splintered into a variety of sounds. But unlike the U.K. trio, Madonna continually changes with the times.
Her new EP, "Remixed & Revisited," which debuted at No. 115 on The Billboard 200 in the Dec. 13 issue, effortlessly intertwines rock and electronic. Could a full-on rock album be next?"
Here are Madonna's 31 No. 1 Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play singles:
Title --- Weeks At No. 1
Holiday/Lucky Star --- 5
Like A Virgin --- 3
Material Girl --- 1
Angel/Into The Groove --- 1
Open Your Heart --- 1
Causing A Commotion (Remix) --- 1
You Can Dance (LP Cuts) --- 1
Like A Prayer --- 2
Express Yourself --- 3
Keep It Together --- 1
Vogue --- 2
Justify My Love --- 2
Erotica --- 1
Deeper And Deeper --- 1
Fever --- 1
Secret --- 2
Bedtime Story --- 1
Don't Cry For Me Argentina --- 1
Frozen --- 2
Ray Of Light --- 4
Nothing Really Matters --- 2
Beautiful Stranger --- 2
American Pie --- 1
Music --- 5
Don't Tell Me --- 1
What It Feels Like For A Girl --- 1
Impressive Instant --- 2
Die Another Day --- 2
American Life --- 1
Hollywood --- 1
Me Against The Music (Britney Spears featuring Madonna) --- 1 (so far)
Former vice president Al Gore may be supporting Howard Dean, but retired army general Wesley Clark has support in his quest for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination from... Madonna.
The Material Girl on Tuesday publicly threw her support behind the retired four-star general, one of nine Democrats seeking to replace George W. Bush in the November 2004 election. "I endorse him because I think he's a great guy," the pop superstar said on CNN Tuesday. "I think he's a natural born leader."
Madonna believes that because of his military experience Clark "knows how to deal with pressure," and as the former NATO supremo "has a good handle in foreign policy." Clark spokesman Jamal Simmons was star-struck by the endorsement.
"We have a superstar supporting a four star," he quipped. Madonna organized a dinner for Clark at her Los Angeles residence in November, when he was in town raising funds for his presidential bid, Simmons said.
To quote Madonna: "I think to be the general for as long as he's been, this is a man who knows how to deal with pressure and make decisions under pressure. I think he has a good handle on foreign policy. I think he's good with people. And I think he has a heart and I consciousness. He's interested in spirituality. Those things mean a lot to me. As it stands right now, he's got my support."
In this weeks issue of Billboard Magazine, Madonna has THREE titles on the Club Play chart: Me Against The Music (No. 1) (No. 2 last week), Nobody Knows Me (No. 10) (No. 4 last week) and Nothing Fails (No. 20) (No. 30 last week).
Madonna is the second artist in 18 years to achieve three simultaneous entries on this chart - the other being Bronski Beat (which charted in 1985). This is the second week in a row that Madonna has had three songs on the dance chart.
The Dayton Daily News posted some reader comments on Madonna and her 20 year old career:
Nobody ever says, "Madonna who?" She's part of our culture, an American success story who's maintained a media presence for 20 years now, re-inventing herself with every prevailing wind, while never, ever giving the impression she's doing anything other than what she wants to do. We are by turns impressed, embarrassed, shocked and amazed by Madonna's antics, but we're rarely surprised anymore.
Madonna, the dancer from Detroit, set out to become famous and succeeded beyond anybody's but her own wildest dreams. She's 45, and shows no signs of slowing down or relinquishing her place in the spotlight; in fact, she's been known to share it quite generously from time to time -- kissing Britney Spears was good publicity for both women, and if anybody knows publicity, it's Madonna.
Two decades have passed since the material girl first stormed the scene. That's a long time to hold America's attention, and many of us still recall when we first became aware of the phenomenon named Madonna.
I remember when I heard Madonna for the first time. It was 1990, I was 5 years old, and it was the night that HBO aired her Blonde Ambition World Tour, live from Madison Square Garden. My father was never a big Madonna fan, but he taped it that night, so I got to watch it again and again. That's when it all happened. I started dressing like Madonna, memorized her song and dance steps and had her posters hanging up all around my room.
When I started my Madonna collection, my family thought it was a stage. As the years passed, I got older and collected all her music, movies, concerts and specials. During my teen years, I stopped dressing like her, but kept listening to her music, and I have to say she helped me out during those years. She taught me to express myself and always be myself no matter what!
Many people are surprised by my admiration for Madonna, but I will say the inspiration I got from Madonna has, in many ways, made me the person I am today.
-- Angella Llewellyn, Dayton
A tiny-talented, average-looking girl from Detroit decided she was going to be a star and multimillionaire, and she did it! From the gitgo, she used every trick she could think of to shock people, using her body and sex to perpetuate this shock value. She broke all the rules...
Now that she has attained her goals, she is playing the role of the caring mother and wife, who is lily pure. Her smugness and arrogance during interviews is disgusting. I would rather be poor than get rich using sex and shock values. In my opinion, she is a sleaze and nothing but trailer trash. She humiliated her father.
-- Thomas J. Glaser
Years ago, when I was a teacher at a parochial school, the school had a special assembly for a talent show. We were all shocked when a young girl stood in front of the students and visiting parents and lip-synched Like a Virgin. Needless to say, new policies were quickly written for all future shows!
-- Dayton reader
Back in the late '70s and early '80s, I was a pure "rock 'n' roller." My music was hard and fast... I hated disco, Top 40s and anything that was asssociated with dancing.
Then one day in 1983 I was sitting on my beat-up couch, watching MTV, and this girl starts dancing and singing a song called Lucky Star. Her voice was great, she showed her belly and she just seemed overall so sexy! After that video, my whole attitude changed toward music. I started listening to Top 40 and going to dance clubs. Basically, Madonna single-handedly changed my whole taste in music! I love Madonna's attitude.
-- Chuck Biehn, Centerville
I guess I am a closet Madonna fan, as it's not easy for a 67-year-old to admit. I have been an avid fan since I saw Evita. I was prompted to watch the movie for its historical content because I remembered, as a child, my parents discussing Evita and Peron.
What I did not anticipate was that I would fall in love with Madonna's portrayal of Evita and that I would play the video over and over again. When she sang Don't Cry for Me, Argentina, I told my daughter that I wanted that song played at my funeral -- I may change my mind when I get closer to that stage in my life and pick a more appropriate song. But that song is Madonna at her best!
-- Yolanda Nava, Dayton
I am 23 years old, and considering I was only 3 when Madonna came out, my memories of her debut are limited but that doesn't mean I wasn't a fan from the beginning. (I remember) my two older sisters, in their teens, trying so hard to be like her and act like her.
Sitting there watching them put on layers upon layers of eyeshadow is one thing I remember, and it was really great because when I sat there in awe of this, they would then play dressup with me and allow me to put on their makeup!
-- Heidi Macke
My friends and I were definitely Madonna wannabes! I remember my girlfriend buying a T-shirt that said "Boy Toy" on it. I think her older music is better, but probably because it stirs up so many memories. The fact that she is still going strong 20 years later I think is great. More power to her.
-- Davina Powell, Fairborn
When Madonna hit it big, I had not even been conceived ... yet I can still proudly claim that I have grown up listening to her songs, just maybe a few years too late. In my opinion, she is the apotheosis of a person. Madonna is one of the few superstars who never fell into addiction, because she always had the goal of brilliance in the back of her mind. I respect her constant rebirths and accepting views of the world.
It saddens me that people say her grasp on the media is weakening, because I know it's true. When I see her rolling on the floor with Britney, I can't help to think how much better she is than that. I mean, hell, you are a superstar, but you are still over 40 with kids!
-- Zhenya Karelina, Dayton
In 1983, I was 14 years old and a freshman at Catholic Central in Springfield. I did not copy Madonna's style, but I watched as other girls did -- let the uniform code war begin! Female students vs. faculty members. Girls tried to emulate Madonna, despite a "uniform dress code" in place.
I once used Madonna's lifestyle and song lyrics as a speech topic with the point being she was misunderstood. I spoke longer than needed, wasn't finished when the bell rang, and the teacher gave me an 'A'.
I love the movie Desperately Seeking Susan and I own the video of Who's That Girl. I never saw any of her other movies. I liked her MTV videos, including the controversial Like A Prayer. I lost interest in her when she hit her girls-gone-wild+infinity stage. I've liked a song here and there since then, but the '80s were the best.
-- Lisa Schuler, Dayton
I was a window clerk at the Dabel Post Office in the '80s. One Christmas season a woman came to my window and asked for some Christmas stamps. I asked her if she wanted the contemporary or the Madonna. She looked at me strange and said, "Contemporary, I don't even like Madonna's music. Why would I want her on a stamp?"
I then pulled out both kinds of stamps and said to her, "Madonna, as in Mother and Child." The customer started laughing and I could tell she was more than embarrassed by what she had said! This has been a favorite story that I have loved to tell for years!
-- Jamie Hamilton, Forest Park
In its second week in the StuBru 50, Remixed & Revisited jumps from #43 to #22. In Wallonia it has already entered the Ultratop 50 albums chart at #37. No entry in Flanders yet. Nothing Fails/Love Profusion is charting as a double A-side and debutes in the newcomers chart Ultratip 20 at #19 in Flanders and #11 in Wallonia.
Radios haven't yet picked up the song, so we'll have to wait for an entry on the Ultratop 50 singles chart. Madonna currently has one entry in the Ultratop 50: Me Against The Music is dropping from #6 to #7 in its 5th week (it peaked at #5 two weeks ago).
It's not looking good for Remixed & Revisited in the States. Apparently it only sold about 8000 copies this week and it won't appear in the Billboard album chart.
Last week, Me Against The Music regained its previous peak #35 in the Hot 100, but this week it dropped again to #40. In the Hot Dance / Club Play it's doing better, now peaking at #9. Another Madonna entry in the dance chart, Nobody Knows Me rises from #8 to #4.
Remixed & Revisited spends a second week at #1 in the Dance Album chart. The American Life album makes a re-entry in that chart at #30. In its 4th week, Me Against The Music drops to #20 in the singles chart and to #13 in the dance chart.
Love Profusion will be competing against Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Nelly Furtado, and Rachel Stevens for the top spot in the singles chart.
In France, Remixed & Revisited is not eligible for the album chart nor the single chart. However, it reached #1 in the Top Mid Price Chart, which includes albums more than two years old and/or budget albums.
Madonna has two new entries in the Italian Singles Chart. Remixed & Revisited enters the singles chart straight at number 2. Nothing Fails/Nobody Knows Me enters the same chart at number 8, thanks to combined sales of the Nothing Fails CD single and CD Maxi single.
Me Against The Music drops to #4 in the singles chart but stays comfortably at #1 for a 4th week in the dance chart.
I wanted to inquire on the chart position/sales of Madonna's "Remixed & Revisited." I love the album, and I appreciate how the mixes are constructed -- great party album!
Thanks, Dora Johnson
Madonna's 'Remixed & Revisited' EP debuted at No. 115 on last week's Billboard 200 chart. It sold 22,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's pretty good for a seven-track set considering it consists mostly of remixes from the American Life album.
Her current radio single is Nothing Fails, while dance clubs are spinning both Fails as well as Nobody Knows Me. This week on Billboard's Hot Dance/Club Play chart, Madonna has two titles on the chart. She's No. 9 as a featured artist on Britney Spears' Me Against the Music and No. 4 with Nobody Knows Me.
Earlier this year, American Life debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It has since sold 608,000 copies.
Madonna could be set to star as the villain in a new female Bond movie. Now I've been hearing a lot about this writer/producer from London, Ben Trebilcook. He's written a treatment for 'Die Hard 4' and he's also the man behind the long-in-the-works spy film 'Semper Occultus'.
Yesterday, we mentioned a rumour that Madonna might be in talks to star in the latter film. Today the man himself checked in to confirm there are talks to that affect. "To clarify yesterday's bite: Yes, I have sought Madonna and her company Maverick for assistance and yes, I did pen a role for her. It's a villainous role. One of two.
The other baddie was written for Mr. Jason Statham, whose team I'm in close contact with. There are some very exciting prospects for this project and although slowly, it is heading towards a satisfying destination. I have already penned a treatment for a second adventure for Kelly Brook's character, Daisy Norton-Hall, which will probably be released in book form."
For the uninitiated, Semper Occultus was first announced as a possible vehicle for popstress Geri Halliwell, and later Sean Connery.
Madonna's stocking stuffer "Remixed & Revisited" is an amusing collection of novelties - half a dozen new versions of old songs plus a previously unreleased number - though it's little more than an "oh by the way."
The EP includes four unconventional revamps of songs from the singer's recent American Life album. In a twist on today's standard mode of remixing - turning them into tiring dance cuts with no personality and only tentative links to the originals - these tracks are crafty reinventions.
Jason Nevins retools the gorgeous Nothing Fails with gutsy imagination. The new version starts with a bouncier beat, then piles on floating synthesizers and ever-grainier electricity. He also strips out the melodramatic choir from the original (smart move) and, despite the more emphatic production, keeps the attention on Madonna's full-bodied, sweet vocals.
Remixer Ray Carroll puts his mark on both Love Profusion and American Life. The former withstands an invigorating squall of guitars for a rocking overhaul, while the latter (a choppy cut to begin with) is improved as a thrashing metal epic. And like Nevins, Carroll keeps the vocals at center.
Meanwhile, Mount Sims loads Madonna onto the retro-electro bandwagon with a playful reinterpretation of Nobody Knows Me.
"Remixed & Revisited" also includes the medley of Like a Virgin and Hollywood performed by Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott. It's a bundle of energetic fun, even if Madonna sounds a little shaky and you can't see those notorious woman-on-woman kisses.
The new EP offers the full version of the Gap ad Into the Hollywood Groove, again featuring Elliott. It's a clever splicing of Madonna's 1980s dance classic Into the Groove and her 2003 single Hollywood, but the commercial overtones are off-putting. "Remixed & Revisited" has a flat ending, too, in a previously unreleased, dated-sounding Your Honesty from about a decade ago.
Still, "Remixed & Revisited" is a must-have for fans. Rating: 3-1/2
Yesterday, Madonna read her book 'Mr. Peabody's Apples' to a group of 30 students from the Community Magnet School at the Borders bookstore in Los Angeles. For more pictures from Reuters and AP, check Yahoo! photos.
Some folk will have you believe that Madonna's American Life album is rubbish. Certainly, it's not sold as much as its predecessor Music but don't be fooled into thinking that Madge at 45 is any less worthy of the title Queen of Pop.
This double-header proves that she can still cut the mustard, pop-wise. Love Profusion takes over where last single Hollywood left off but the real gem is Nothing Fails. Starting with the stuttery guitars and techno camp-fire sound of Don't Tell Me, the song takes off halfway through when Mrs Ritchie gets joined by a rousing gospel choir, the like of which we've not heard since Like A Prayer.
Unfortunately, a lack of video for this song and poor airplay could mean that this release fails to hit the Top 10. Shame. TOTP rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
A 'low-key celebrity bash' - that's what Sky are amusingly calling it... So goes the news that Madonna is expected to be a maid of honour at the showbiz wedding of the year (well, maybe next year) between pap-hating Chris Martin and Gwyneth 'no pizzas in London' Paltrow. C
an't wait to see the menu for the catering on that one: a macrobiotic brown rice-cake per guest plus a course of pilates free to any over-indulgers (such as two macrobiotic brown rice-cakes). Preggers Gwynnie and her clever-clogs hubby-to-be are tipped to the tie the knot very soon, with the female half of the pairage expected to don a posh Stella McCartney frock.
Expect Chrissie boy to wash the 'fair trade' scribble off his mitts before the big day. And a pal (oh, one of them again) told Sky: "This is not going to be a circus, they will do it in their own time and on their own terms." Roll up, roll up for the full-blown, no-holds-barred, low-key media frenzy.
Ostensibly a holiday offering, Madonna's 'Remixed & Revisited' asks: "What if American Life had been a rock'n'retro album?" Life was a dour effort, where Madonna's unsubtle and preachy lyrics were married with boring, techno-beepy production by knob-twiddler Mirwais. On this seven-track EP, four Life songs are radically reworked in rock remixes.
The best are Headcleanr's new wave, garage-rock rejiggering of Love Profusion and Mount Sims' fab restructured, retro-'80s, electro take on Nobody Knows Me. Three stray songs round out the set: Your Honesty (a fun outtake from the Bedtime Stories sessions), this year's notorious MTV Video Music Awards performance and a remix of Into the Hollywood Groove (from the famed Gap commercial).
Die-hard fans, even those unenamored of American Life, will dig this EP—thanks to these thoughtful extras.
~ Meanwhile, 'Remixed and Revisited' is spending a second week at #1 of the UK Dance Album chart.
The Love Profusion has finally premiered. The video looks a lot like the Estée Lauder commercial, which was also directed by Luc Besson. Fansite MadonnaTribe gives following info: "The video directed by Luc Besson takes place in two different dimensions.
It starts with Madonna walking at night in the middle of the street of a big American city surrounded by skyscrapers and wind. Then she founds herself in another dimention, walking just like she did before but everything is full of light and moving flowers surround her. The video keeps showing Madonna walking on different kinds of paths and roads.
She walks on a path of red flowers in the middle of the sky, and then walks on her knees on a carabean like sea. At the end when there's distruction everywhere in the real dimention, Madonna finds peace and rest in the other dimention surrounded by white fairies.
What is clear from the video is that there are many paths to walk in life and "too too too" many options. The video is using the album version of the song and not the Headcleaner rock mix as rumored in the past weeks."
The video for Die Another Die has received two Grammy nominations: in the categories 'Best Dance' and 'Best Short Form Music Video'. The 46th Grammy Awards will be held on February 8th, 2004 at 8pm, broadcast live on CBS.
Remixed & Revisited debuts at #115 on BILLBOARD with 21,891 sold (314 were sold prior to street date). Source: Absolute Madonna
In an unlikely attempt to gain star backing for a slow-burning campaign, the Democratic presidential candidate, General Wesley Clark, is spending late nights talking politics with Madonna and wooing sympathetic supergroups such as The Eagles, with whom he recently shared the stage during a rendition of Hotel California.
Gen Clark, who had a cerebral and somewhat austere reputation during his military career, has spent much of the past month seeking out the late-night company of west coast rock stars, screen idols and movie producers. While his rivals preach to the worthy but unglamorous residents of early-voting Iowa and New Hampshire, Gen Clark is dressing snappily and going out on the town in LA.
After a 90-minute policy discussion with Madonna in her Los Angeles home recently, a friend of the star was authorised to disclose that "Madonna was very impressed with Gen Clark's intelligence and his vision for America". Another associate added: "Don't under-estimate this. Madonna is often ahead of the curve."
Madonna has been working on a musical with Patrick Leonard called 'Hello Suckers'. The two of them have already been working on music and lyrics over the past year and have completed a large body of material. Madonna plays a 1920's vaudeville-like tap-dancing star.
~ Madonna has said before she's working indeed on a musical. Earlier rumours also named Joe Henry and Mirwais as possible collaborators.
In the UK, Remixed & Revisited has debuted at no. 1 in the Top 40 Dance Albums chart!
In other chart news: Me Against The Music stays at the top of the Australian dance chart for a third week, while it slips to no. 3 in the singles chart.
In the UK it goes down from no. 6 to no. 11 in the singles chart and up from no. 8 to no. 5 in the dance chart. In the Belgian Ultratop it climbs from no. 7 to no. 5.
The Madame Tussauds wax museum in New York has revealed a new Madonna figure today. It seems losely based on Madonna during her Drowned World Tour, with her hair tied back (as during the Spanish-Latino section) and the cowboy glitterjeans by D Squared (as during Don't Tell Me). Pictures courtesy of AP.
Ask him to describe his work and he will say conventional realism with an edge. Ask Madonna to describe his work and she might say visionary. In fact Madonna was so impressed with Loren Long's "vision" she hired the artist to illustrate her new children's book. -- "Mr. Peabody's Apples," (Callaway Editions/ Penguin; $19.95).
"I got the call on Halloween last year. My wife and I were trying to get our boys ready for trick-or-treating," Long says. "A call from my agent comes in, and he says he is faxing me a confidentiality agreement that I have to sign before he can tell me what it's about."
Nicholas Callaway, founder of Callaway Editions, had conducted a worldwide search to find the right illustrator for Madonna's book.
"We spent many months researching the project," Callaway says. "We thought Loren was perfect for the work stylistically. His work is inspired by Thomas Hart Benton. So we gave him a test and he passed with flying colors."
The test was to create an illustration based on the book's manuscript without any direction. Long says he knew exactly what to paint. He came back with the image that would be featured on the book's cover. "I think I was meant for this story," Long says. "It was destiny that they chose the right guy."
Read the complete article at Times Recorder.
Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow has beaten her pal Madonna to play a London diamond thief. Both superstars wanted the rights to the story of Joan Harrington - known as The Godmother - who stole $5 million dollars worth of jewels from London's top jewellers in the 1980s. But it's Gwyneth who is now set to bring the tale, based on Joan's autobiography I Am What I Am, to the big screen and don a Cockney accent.
And Joan - who spent just 18 months in prison for her crimes - is happy the Shakespeare in Love beauty won out, because Madonna "can't act". She says, "They wanted Guy Ritchie to buy it, so Madonna could play me. "Number one, she can't act. Two, she can't do a Cockney accent and Gwyneth can. She's really happy to be playing the part and she can't put the book down, apparently. I'm happy that she's doing it. I think she will do me justice. She's very lucky to be playing me."↑ Back to top of page