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  • Gepubliceerd in Buitenlands nieuws

From the Record Crate: Madonna – “Erotica” (1992)

Anyone who claims that Madonna’s appeal has only ever been erotic is kidding themselves – she’s so much more interesting than that. Yet from the very start, erotica was certainly a primary element of her appeal. Her voice had a tinge of sexual urgency without ever tipping over into blatantly adult-content. And because anticipation is so much more exciting than release, Madonna’s refusal (mostly) to belt out her pop songs at the top of her lungs, keeping them tightly wrapped in understatement, suggested future pleasures in the bedroom without fully succumbing to them. Just like a virgin touched for the very first time.

But the religion/sex mashup “Like a Prayer” saw a decided turn towards a more provocative exploitation of her sexual starlet image. And hot (very hot) on its heels came “Justify My Love”, in which Madonna limited her vocals even further to the point where she was practically just talking in-tune, making her sound all the more sultry.

Erotica follows on in the manner of the sexual frankness of “Like a Prayer” and the vocal lack of fussiness of “Justify My Love”. The album’s a series of dance tunes, each one on average longer than 5 minutes, that combine to create an aura of erotic indulgence delayed gratification. Somewhat cold and distant, building from the bottom up with its plethora of drum machines and chilly synths, the tunes take a while to sink in; yet Madonna is always there to promise the pleasure will come later. She still wants to take you there, but slowly this time, and you’re damned right at her own pace.

I don’t think she ever sounded as in control as on this album – with the exception, perhaps, of Music. She takes enjoyment from the male objects of her desire, she toys with them, she’s sometimes hurt by them. She realises there’s something a little scary about going “Deeper and Deeper” – in love, if not in sex – but you can rarely hear that tentativeness in her voice. After all, sexual power can never be absolutely complete, because a relationship relies on two people, and that other person can always fuck it up. Yet Madonna sounds as autonomous, as in control of her pleasures, as it’s possible to be, on a smart album that acknowledges the complexities of sexual relationships between flawed members of the ever-so-flawed species we call the human race.

Humanity emerges from the synth soundscapes in the form of an all-pervading soft funk that leans heavily on Doug Wimbish’s bass, particularly on “Waiting”, which could almost be a De La Soul track. I don’t use that comparison lightly; on many occasions Erotica verges on hip-hop, and producer Andre Betts even manages to sneak in a rap on “Did You Do It?” As usually is the case with good artists, the use of hip-hop production techniques contributes an exciting creative aura in which almost anything can happen (it’s the reason why hip-hop is easily the best genre of music in the world today). Madonna’s often spoken-word technique fits in with that aura, as does the unexpected cover of “Fever” (the best since Elvis), and the sampling of LL Cool J on “Bye Bye Baby”. ‘Forget the rules’ she says on that last song, and boy does she manage to live by that mantra throughout the rest of the album.

Reviews were pretty mixed when Erotica first came out, and it still tends to get forgotten amidst discussions about the Queen of Pop, which inevitably focus on Like a Prayer and her numerous hit singles. Truth is that I don’t like it quite as much as a few of her other albums, including the seminal Like a Prayer of course, but also the glorious mess of I’m Breathless (an album that contains the line ‘Hanky panky/Nothing like a good spanky’ and a song called “I’m Going Bananas”), Music, and the slowly unspooling Ray of Light.

Yet Erotica is probably her most coherent statement of intent. It’s an incredibly brave flip of the bird, so much as to say ‘I don’t care what you think’, to everyone who thought her career simply boiled down to the one word of its title.

  • Gepubliceerd in Buitenlands nieuws

Madonna's 'Erotica' turns 25: an oral history of the most controversial '90s pop album

Twenty-five years ago, Madonna changed. Sure, Madonna was always changing, but with the release of Erotica on Oct. 20, 1992, she fully shed her ebullient '80s pop skin, donned a leather cat mask, and kicked open a rusty back alley door that previous chart-toppers only dared to scratch at.

You didn't need to pick up a copy of her celebrity nude-filled coffee table book, Sex, to realize it. You didn't even need to see Madonna Veronica Louise Ciccone, whip in hand, mugging for the camera in the video for the title track. All you needed to do was press play on the album and let the impossibly thick, libidinous bass line of "Erotica" start vibrating throughout your body. Forty seconds in, the sampled horns of Kool & the Gang's "Jungle Boogie" flare up, but instead of sounding reassuring and familiar, they seem disembodied and eerie. Then, Madonna's latest alter ego addresses you, low and firm: "My name is Dita / I'll be your mistress tonight."

If her earlier work was an invitation to celebrate sexuality without shame, Erotica was a challenge from Dita Parlo – Madonna's unashamed, unflinching dominatrix persona – to witness and perhaps even indulge in society's sexual taboos. Madonna may have addressed the male gaze before, but on Erotica, she wasn't just staring back – she was making the world her sub.

Erotica occupies a watershed place in the pop pantheon, setting the blueprint for singers to get raw while eschewing exploitation for decades to come. For its 25th anniversary, Billboard spoke to the players involved in Madonna's most creatively daring release. Here's what producer-writer Andre Betts, backup singer Donna De Lory, producer-writer Shep Pettibone, co-writer Tony Shimkin and Living Colour bassist Doug Wimbish recall of the writing and recording of Erotica, the insane release party for the LP and book, and the collective societal pearl-clutching that followed.

The seeds of Erotica trace back to 1990's The Immaculate Collection, which included two new songs: "Rescue Me" from Shep Pettibone and his assistant Tony Shimkin, and "Justify My Love" from Andre Betts and Lenny Kravitz. The gospel-house of the former hit No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, while the hip-hop-inflected latter – which scandalized the world with its leather-clad, ambisexual music video -- reached No. 1. For Erotica, Madonna reteamed with Pettibone and Shimkin for 10 tracks, and Betts for four.

Tony Shimkin: After doing The Immaculate Collection and "Rescue Me," she let us know she was working on a new album and wanted us to be involved in the writing. Seeing I was a musician and writer and Shep [Pettibone] was more of a DJ and remixer, we collaborated on the writing of the tracks for the Erotica album. We went up to meet with her in Chicago, post-"Vogue," when she was filming A League of Their Own. So we met with her and started to get to work on some music, and sent it to her as we were working our way through it. She would come into New York and have a book full of lyrics and melody ideas and we started working together in Shep's home studio. I believe the first time she was in New York for an extended period, we were working on "Deeper and Deeper" and "Erotica" and "Bye Bye Baby." She's very driven. There's was never a period of feeling it out -- it was diving in headfirst.

Doug Wimbish: I remember Madonna when she used to go to the Roxy before she got really put on. I'd see her at the Roxy when Afrika Bambaataa was down there or [Grandmaster] Flash, and she was down there jamming out. And not just being a spectator, but being engaged in the scene. Madonna's association with the dance music and the gay scene and the hip-hop scene merging in the downtown clubs in New York City, and her coming from Michigan, she got it.... And she knew Dre had something special. A song like "Where Life Begins" is right up his alley. She had a relationship with Dre for his rawness and realness. You gotta be around someone in this business who tells you, "No, I'm not digging that, that's why." And also keep the window open to listen. I think that's what Dre did.

Andre Betts: "Where Life Begins" was the first song we wrote on Erotica. I started working on the track and she started writing lyrics. She called me a few weeks before and asked me over the phone, "I'll be in New York in two weeks, do you want to work?" I'm like, "Yeah of course." She's like, "Find a studio, I don't want to work in a popular studio, I want to be low-key." [The studio I picked] was a hole in the wall for real. She came in, started writing, she's like, "What do you think about this direction and these lyrics?" I was like, "That sounds like something I'd write." Our session got interrupted because a big rat ran across the floor. I'm the only one that got the feet up so at first I didn't think she saw it, and she goes, "Dre, stop being a bitch, it's just a rat." [Laughs] She said, "I'm from Detroit, I'm not worried about a rat."

Shimkin: She really holds fast to a general rule, which is that she's in charge of lyrics and melody, and you're in charge of music. While she has her say in the music end, it's more about the arrangement and how it works with her vocal. She'll still be open to ideas you have about a vocal. One is her dominion, the other is yours, and they don't meet that often, but it's not unheard of to be able to comment either way.

Donna De Lory: She would completely just hear it in her head. Especially when we're doing vocals. Sometimes [backup singer] Niki [Haris] and I would be like, "How 'bout this? How 'bout that?" And she was like, "Nope, this is how it's going to be." And it ended up being great. She was open to other ideas, but I really respected that.

Wimbish: [My first day in the studio], she rolls up and she's got a box with these Playboy magazines from like the '60s. She comes in, Dre sees her and she's chilling, Dre's like, "Yo what's up Mo how you doing?" They start having a conversation. Dre says, "What do you got here in this box." Before she can say anything Dre takes one of the magazines and opens to the center section, is like, "Damn these old babes had some titties back then!" Dre's real straight up and down with her. She's Madonna, she's got that alpha female vibe -- and no disrespect. I'm like "yo, let me see that." She's like, "No, no, I don't want you to see anything 'til you play some bass." Our relationship was broken in based on Dre, that moment and Playboy magazines. Dre's looking at the centerfold, Madonna's doing her Madonna thing, saying, "no, no," and I'm like, "I'm not doing anything until I see some titties and ass."

Shimkin: I was 21, 22 years old at the time. While I'd worked on a lot of major artists' records and spoken to some of them, it can be intimidating at first. When we worked on "Vogue" I didn't speak to her that much, but when we started working in [Shep's] house [on Erotica] and you're there every day, you realize somebody is just who they are. One time, she was asking me if I was done on the computer. She asked me a few minutes later and I was like "not yet," and I started getting more nervous. The next time she asked me, I lost it and I thought it was the end of my career, I said, "I'm not done yet, make some fucking popcorn and I'll let you know when I'm ready." And she was like, "Ah-k." I think she appreciated someone not being a sycophant and kissing her ass, and just being real. It became much easier as time went on. I think she enjoys having people around her who allow themselves to be themselves. She's really no different than what she puts out there to the public in a movie like Truth or Dare. There's not a persona and she doesn't hide who she is.

The first single and title track, "Erotica," set the tone for her album and the Sexbook (a Middle Eastern-flavored version entitled "Erotic" was included on a CD with copies of Sex). But unlike many of the other tracks on Erotica, "Erotica" underwent numerous radical changes during the album sessions.

Shep Pettibone: "Erotica" was four different songs throughout the process. She loved the groove. She would sing it one way, background vocals harmonies and all, then decide to erase everything and start over again. Every version was very good. Shame she made me erase stuff.

Shimkin: The original version of "Erotica" wasn't as slinky and sexy and grimy and dirty sounding until we were in the mixing process of the record, [which was] more toward the final stages. It was experimentation. When we realized it was going to be the first single and started working on the remix, it took on a different, darker vibe. That's when the character emerged, this Dita, when she ad-libbed the speaking parts. Then the character became something that took over.

Pettibone: At one point this was a finely tuned album. She scrapped that and wanted it dirty, murky and not polished.

De Lory: She was more grown up; she was more mature. She had her statements to make and you were there supporting her.

If "Erotica" was a bold sonic departure for Madonna, the second single, "Deeper and Deeper," found her in more familiar disco and house territory – it even featured a lyrical shout-out to her No. 1 hit "Vogue," which  "Deeper and Deeper" producers Pettibone and Shimkin also worked on.

Shimkin: The music [for "Deeper and Deeper"] was fairly complete when we handed it to her, with the exception of the middle break bridge section, which took on this Spanish flamenco feel. It had the disco-y feel, the chorus and the melody was all intact, but when we were in the studio transferring the demo elements and adding new elements and getting ready for the mix, I was sitting on the couch in the control room with a guitar and started futzing around with the guitar line in the flamenco guitar section. And she was like, "Yeah, let's do that." Then Shep came up with the idea, "If we're going to go for it, let's go for it – let's add castanets and really take it there." It was an odd thing -- it's not what you normally think of doing in a disco song or club song. But it was a creative process and a lot of fun. [Ed. note: Originally, "Deeper and Deeper" was Shimkin's only credited co-write on the album; he's since been officially credited as co-writer on six other tracks.]

De Lory: All the records with her, you'd show up at the session and you just couldn't wait to hear what she was doing now. By then I'd gotten to know the fans really well, and I thought "the fans are going to love this," especially when we did "Deeper and Deeper." Niki and I loved those songs because we wanted to belt it out. We had so much fun. I remember the brilliance of her vocal arrangements, how she'd wait 'til the end to bring something new in, and you don't want it to fade out, but it is fading.

Shimkin: We were in the process of adding background vocals [to "Deeper and Deeper"]. Most of the vocals came from a Shure SM57 and a quarter inch tape from the demo session, but we did recut some of the vocals. And Shep, while recording, was singing the "Vogue" line over "Deeper and Deeper." She heard it and emulated it, and it just made it. It's happenstance when the melody and key of an original song meld with another one. I think Shep may have suggested [keeping the "Vogue" reference] as a joke and she did it, and we decided to keep it.

Pettibone: Yes [that's what happened].

For as dark as Erotica is, there's actually quite a bit of humor on it, from the cheeky "Vogue" shout-out to the ridiculously boastful "Did You Do It," a rap freestyle set to the music of another album track, "Waiting." It wasn't originally intended for the commercial LP, but it's the reason there are two different official versions of the album.

Betts: What happened with "Did You Do It" was, we used to snap on each other and make jokes. Madonna and I used to talk a lot of shit to each other – a lot. The guys used to always ask me, "the way you guys talk to each other, I know you guys are doing something." They would ask me, "did you do it? Did you have sex with her?" I'm like, "helllllll no." And they're like, "you're lying, you're lying." One day she had to go somewhere, and I'm almost finished with this record, I'm mixing "Waiting." While she was gone, I was just like, "what are we gonna do now?" Everybody's laughing because it's the song "Waiting" and we're waiting for her. And I said, "give me a mic, I'm going to freestyle something." And as a joke, I told them, "guys I need you to sing this part, yell, 'did you do it,' and I'll do the rest." So when she came back she was expecting to hear "Waiting," but I didn't know she was going to come back with the guys from the [Sex] book. So she comes back with four guys in suits, and the song is cued up, ready to play. So I told my engineer, "play," and he goes "uh, no man, this is not the time." And Madonna goes, "stop being a bitch, play the freaking song." He wouldn't do it, so I hit play and sat back down. I'm thinking, "man I don't know how this is going to go down, but it doesn't matter, I'm already paid and this is the last week." So this is going to be one of the worst jokes of all. When I hit play, man, she leaned over behind me and she literally had tears in her eyes and goes, "You are fucking crazy." Not long after that I was with Doug [Wimbish] in Massachusetts working on Living Colour's Stainalbum, she calls me and says, "Dre, I'm using that song on the album." I said "what? Hell no, I'm not a rapper, I didn't even write those lyrics, I just freestyled them," and she's like "I don't care, I think it's brilliant, I love it." Freddy DeMann [her manager] gets on and says, "What if we gave you 75/25?" And I said, "Shit, put that on the record. I don't care what I sound like now." [Laughs] That's really what happened.

Wimbish: Dre helped pave the road to making her explicit.

Betts: Then she called me back to blame my ass: "You know you're the reason I have to have an explicit sticker on my album." I was like, "okay, how you gonna blame me? You decided to put it on." I was like, "You guys want to go through all the trouble for this song to put two different records out?" Because Kmart wouldn't sell records with explicit stickers on them -- they wouldn't even put them in the store.

Erotica wasn't all libido and leather, though. The reflective, regretful "Bad Girl" is one of her most affecting lyrics, and "In This Life" is Madge at her most existential. Meanwhile, songs like "Bye Bye Baby" and "Why's It So Hard" find her experimenting with filtered vocals and reggae, respectively, and on her cover of Peggy Lee's "Fever," she marries chilly club music to a torch song of yesteryear. Taken together, the album shows Madonna's growing willingness to expand her horizons in terms of subject matter and studio techniques. 

Shimkin: "Why's It So Hard" is really funny, because it was midpoint writing the record, and we were all a little burnt out. Everybody went on vacation, and Shep happened to go to Jamaica and I happened to go scuba diving in the Cayman Islands, and both places are heavily reggae-based culture. That's what we came back having listened to, so we decided out of nowhere to do a reggae track. And then my vocals appeared on it. Going to see the Girlie Show live and see my vocals lip synced and coming over the loudspeakers at Madison Square Garden was surreal for me.

De Lory: The song "In This Life" was very serious. It was just nice to go into the studio and share our own voices on that, which we could all relate to with what was going on, losing friends to AIDS.

Shimkin: "In This Life" had a really deep personal attachment to her, and [it has an] uncluttered nature to allow her vulnerability to come through. Obviously ["Bad Girl" was] a highly personal lyric. There's a raw element and simplicity that lends itself to a vulnerable vocal and lyric that she puts through. You really hear the emotion in her voice.

Pettibone: [I] never thought about [whether "Bad Girl" was autobiographical]. It was just a good song that I'm sure many people can relate to.

Shimkin: "Bye Bye Baby" was committed to tape with the filtered vocal – it wasn't an afterthought, it was how she heard herself when doing the song. We went to tape with that effect, there was no removing that. Sometimes you apply treatments like that in the mix, but that was committed to tape. There were no restrictions. Everything was tried that was wanted to be tried.

De Lory: When I heard "Bye Bye Baby" and that vocal effect, it had a lot of attitude. There's a bit of girl power in there and that attitude to be able to say that to a guy. You can hear how ahead of its time it was.

Shimkin: We had a song called "Goodbye to Innocence" but that turned into a cover of Peggy Lee's "Fever"; it was something that evolved with the project. There was a song called "Shame" and "You Are the One" [from the sessions that didn't make the album]. I think "You Are the One" fell into what "Thief of Hearts" was feel-wise, and "Shame" probably could have made the record, but it had a happier vibe, it was a little more playful, so I see why it didn't. But they're sitting there in the vaults somewhere. Maybe one day the Basement Tapes will be dug up. Some of it can be found online. People, I think, went into Library of Congress, played demo tapes and somehow copied them. Madonna has such a rabid fan base, they're so interested in knowing everything she does.

De Lory: Niki and I recently did a cover of "Rain," we both love that song and love singing it live [the two still record and perform together]. When I listen to those records I'm so proud of her for being so innovative and being fearless, and to be part of that was incredible. To be on a recording that will be around for as long as forever will be for us humans, I'm so proud. Niki and I were really taken care of, we were paid well and respected and had a great time with Tony and Shep, and I think that comes across on the records.

While Madonna's turn toward transgression wasn't apparent to everyone during the sessions, her collaborators eventually realized the through-line that connected Erotica, her Sex book and the erotic thriller Body of Evidence. At the very least, they were certainly aware of the controversy that engulfed the album upon its release.

Wimbish: She knew how to deliver with shock and awe. The industry had a flow, she got it, and I'm not brownnosing her.

Shimkin: I'm 99.9 percent certain she had this [overarching theme] envisioned ahead of time. It wasn't as obvious to us before when we were doing songs like "Rain" and "Bye Bye Baby" and "Why's It So Hard," but as it slowly came together, it became more obvious as we saw things alongside it. The Sex book, that was being worked on, and she was shooting the [Body of Evdience] movie with Willem Dafoe.

Pettibone: She kept the book very secret from me. It probably would have been a bigger album without all the controversy. But, after 25 years it still sounds good. Better than her newer albums actually. Whatever the matter, I'm still proud of it.

Wimbish: There's all this controversy going on. Here's the deal. From "Borderline" going on, she's a teenage pop idol. And now all the sudden them titties is out. Middle America and everybody else giving their daughters that $10 to buy that record are like, "hey, wait a minute…" Having a record come out with explicit can take sales away from a label. It's all bullshit. People start freaking out and people are starting to cockblock. It's a business we're in. Anybody sees a possibility to shut stuff down, and it starts in the industry itself. But you wouldn't have some of the lanes that are there now without her putting that record out. Fact.

For the book/album release party, Madonna doubled down on the BDSM imagery and threw an infamous party at Industria Superstudio that (to paraphrase Morrissey) would have made Caligula blush.

Betts: Walking in, just showing up out front, is Hulk Hogan standing there trying to get in. He eventually got in. I walk up with my dreads and about three four people, they look at me walk in, I look back at Hulk Hogan like "shit…he could probably whoop my ass." I'm thinking this will be regular party, whatever. The first thing I saw was a naked person suspended in the air on chains, and I say to myself, "oh shit, this will be one hell of a party."

Wimbish: That record launch party she had, oh my God, that was one of the best record release parties ever. By the time I got there it was way past full effect. She had folks behind glass, strippers, and she was like, "this is the way it's supposed to be done." This is no kissing and cuddling – I want to scare you. All y'all know what you're really doing behind closed doors, so let's get it on.

Betts: When I saw the sushi come by with two tits on the tray and the sushi surrounding the tits, I was like, "oh man." Then I saw this big tub of popcorn but the popcorn was moving because this naked woman was underneath the popcorn. I was like, "this is getting crazy now." My friend goes "what's all those doors over there?" So he looks in the first one and goes "oh shit Dre come here," and there's a girl playing with herself. And I go "wow, okay." So then he moves to the second one, there's a couple in there having sex. And he goes to the third one, and it's two guys. And he freaked the freak out, he's like, "oh shit! I've never seen that before." And there was two doors left and he goes "hell no, I don't know what I might see in those doors." The whole point of the party is you didn't know what you're going to see.

Wimbish: The record was one thing, but that party, in my opinion, changed the game.

Betts: She herself didn't do anything crazy that night. She was like, "I've had enough, I want to chill."

Erotica netted four top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including two top 10s ("Erotica" went to No. 3; "Deeper and Deeper" rose to No. 7), and hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200. It's sold 1.9 million copies to date, according to Nielsen. Even so, the album received mixed reviews, especially compared to the raves she got for Like A Prayer three years earlier. But Erotica has quietly grown in stature over the past quarter century, with critics and artists frequently citing it as a pivotal release in pop and one of her finest efforts. Perhaps the best postscript for Erotica comes from Madonna herself in this 1992 interview with MTV's Steve Blame: "A lot of the things I deal with in my music and the book are, in particular, with the repression that's going on in America right now.…There's a lot of really narrow-minded people. If I can change the way 1/100th of them thinks, then I've accomplished something."

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Tracklist 'Rebel Heart Tour' album op Apple Music

Op de streamingdienst Apple Music is de tracklist verschenen van het live-album van de 'Rebel Heart Tour'.

  1. Rebel Heart Tour Intro 3:57
  2. Iconic 4:39
  3. Bitch I'm Madonna 3:39
  4. Burning Up 4:28
  5. Holy Water/Vogue 6:05
  6. Devil Pray 4:17
  7. Body Shop 4:07
  8. True Blue 3:00
  9. Deeper And Deeper 4:52
  10. HeartBreakCity 4:38
  11. Like A Virgin 4:52
  12. Living For Love 5:11
  13. La Isla Bonita 5:03
  14. Dress You Up/Into The Groove 5:35
  15. Rebel Heart 3:47
  16. Music 3:36
  17. Candy Shop 2:54
  18. Material Girl 4:02
  19. La Vie En Rose 3:17
  20. Unapologetic Bitch 7:06
  21. Holiday 5:44
  22. Like A Prayer 4:12

Material Girl is al te beluisteren bij Apple Music en Spotify.

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Aan het werk in de studio met Avicii

Via haar Instagramaccount heeft Madonna 2 foto's gedeeld terwijl ze in de studio aan het werk is met DJ/producer Avicii.

 

Dit zijn de berichten die ze er bij heeft gezet:

"The End of a long week with Viking Leader AKA DJ Virgo AKA Avicii! So many great songs! #icantwait #revolution"

"My Viking Harem! Great Music Great Vibes! We were grinding on that. Wood!

 

with avicci in de studio 2

  • Gepubliceerd in Buitenlands nieuws

Through the Years: Madonna’s "Like a Prayer" at 25

"Like a Virgin" may be Madonna's most iconic hit, but "Like a Prayer," which turns 25 today, is by all accounts her most broadly beloved contribution to the pop-music canon, landing at #7 on our list of the Best Singles of the 1980s. Even the singer's most ardent critics can't help but bow at the altar of the song, a gospel-infused conflation of spiritual and sexual ecstasy that helped transform Madge from '80s pop tart to bona fide icon. To celebrate this sacred anniversary, we're taking a look back at the song's evolution over the last quarter century.

Pepsi Commercial: Following a teaser that aired during the 31st Annual Grammy Awards in January of 1989, Madonna premiered "Like a Prayer" in a Pepsi commercial during The Cosby Show, the #1 rated series on U.S. television at the time. Part of a $5 million sponsorship deal with the soft-drink company, the ad, titled "Make a Wish," was an innocuous bit of nostalgia that would soon be eclipsed by the scandal surrounding the single's forthcoming music video.

Music Video: Madonna dances in front of burning crosses and kisses a black saint in a church pew in this modern morality tale about racial profiling and pious guilt, prompting both the religious right and cultural critics, like bell hooks, to cry foul. Eventually, the mounting outrage caused Pepsi to pull out of their multi-million dollar deal with the Queen of Pop. The singer's response was coyly defiant.

Blond Ambition Tour: Madonna's first live incarnation of "Like a Prayer" was also her best. Sure, her voice was raw and unrefined ("Life is a misstaree, eve'one mus stan alone," she heaves), but her 1990 tour performances of the song displayed a rapturous, almost possessed quality that she's never been able to recapture.

Mad'House Cover: Dutch Eurotrash group Mad'House's claim to fame is their blasphemous take on "Like a Prayer" from 2002. The glorified Madonna cover band's version is stripped of the original's nuance and soul, a tacky, mechanical shell of a dance track. Regrettably, this is the version you're most likely to hear on Top 40 radio today. (Only slightly less heretical, the cast of Glee's rendition of the song peaked at #27 in 2010.)

MTV On Stage & On the Record: Then notorious for forsaking her older material, Madonna dusted off "Like a Prayer" in 2003 during the promotion of her album American Life. Thirteen years after her last live performance of the song, even Madonna's comparatively reedier voice and noticeably more limited range couldn't diminish its enduring magic.

Sticky & Sweet Tour: After performing crowd-pleasing but relatively anemic versions of "Like a Prayer" during her Re-Invention Tour in 2004 and Live 8 in 2005, Madonna reinvented the song for her Sticky & Sweet Tour in 2008, using elements of Mack's "Feels Like Home" for an amped-up techno mash-up.

The Super Bowl: Madonna closed her record-breaking Super Bowl XLVI halftime show in 2012 with "Like a Prayer," and though she wasn't singing live, it was the closest she's ever gotten to her ecstatic Blond Ambition performances. (For those lamenting the lip-synching, she would go on to reprise this version of the song, completely live, during her MDNA Tour later that year.) And if there were any doubt, a stadium of nearly 70,000 football fans waving flashlights and singing along is a testament to the song's transcendent, all-encompassing appeal. The performance's final message of "World Peace" seemed attainable, if only for a brief moment.

  • Gepubliceerd in Nieuws

Madonna hint op nieuw album

Madonna werkt aan een nieuw album. "Mijn creativiteit draait op volle toeren", aldus de 55-jarige zangeres.

In een chat met fans, die maandagavond plaatsvond op de site Reddit, laat de popster weten dat de nieuwe plaat misschien al in 2014 uitkomt.

Naast een album met nieuwe muziek overweegt Madonna een plaat te maken met akoestische of orkestrale vertolkingen van oude nummers, zo vertelde ze haar fans.

Verder gaf Madonna toe dat ze dolgraag wil samenwerken met Daft Punk. "Ik zit te wachten tot ze me terugbellen."

En muziek is niet het enige op Madonna's agenda. "Het volgende ding op mijn lijstje is het regisseren van een film." Vorig jaar kwam de door Madonna geregisseerde en gefinancierde film W.E. uit.

  • Gepubliceerd in Buitenlands nieuws

Madonna from worst to first: ranking her 12 albums

We recently noted the 30th anniversary of Madonna’s self-titled debut and, with over  a year having passed since her most recent studio album “MDNA,” the time seems ripe to pause and take stock of her career so far.  It seems odd given how many hits she’s had and how long she’s been around that she’s only had 12 regular studio albums, but that is indeed the case.   Excluding compilations and soundtracks, here is an attempt to rank them from "worst" to first.  Obviously this is an entirely subjective exercise, and you are welcome to share your own rankings in the comments section below.

12. "MDNA"

Released March 23, 2012, Billboard Magazine peak #1

Key Tracks: Girl Gone Wild, Turn up the Radio, Gang Bang, Masterpiece, I’m Addicted

Madonna’s 12th and most recent album was last year’s “MDNA,” and after a year to absorb the album it lands at the bottom. Not to say that it’s terrible – far from it. Madonna hasn’t released a truly bad album in her career. And there are some killer high points – “I’m Addicted” in particular, and should-have-been first single “Girl Gone Wild.” She unfortunately chose to lead off the project with one of the weaker tracks, the vapid sing-along “Give Me All Your Luvin’”. There is some decent material here, but you can’t help feeling that Madonna is following trends on this album rather than staking out an original path. The top songs, when you compare with the best work from her earlier albums, just aren’t up to par. A good album but not a particularly inspired effort, and when you are talking about one of the most important catalogs of pop music in the genre’s history, “good but not great” results in a slot at the bottom.

11. "Like a Virgin"

Released November 12, 1984, Billboard Magazine peak #1

Key Tracks: Like a Virgin, Material Girl, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore, Angel

A mammoth commercial success, lead by two of the decade's most iconic singles – “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl” – Madonna's 2nd album launched her into the stratosphere of superstardom. But as an album overall, it’s somewhat of a step down from her taut and funky debut. The singles are all great, but side two lags behind with substandard material like “Shoo-be-Doo,” “Stay” and “Pretender”, and her voice is still uncomfortably thin compared to later works. If only the superb soundtrack hits of the period – “Into the Groove,” “Crazy For You,” and “Gambler” – had been able to be included, this album would be several notches higher.

10. "Hard Candy"

Released April 19, 2008, Billboard Magazine peak #1

Key Tracks: 4 Minutes, Give It to Me, Incredible, Heartbeat, Miles Away

Gone are the days that Madonna is able to score multiple Top 40 pop hits from an album, and it’s a shame because “Hard Candy” is loaded with commercial tunes that should have been given more of a chance at radio. It was underrated a bit upon its release, and stands up surprisingly well now. The funky opening number “Candy Shop” should have been a big single, and tracks like “Heartbeat,” “Give It To Me” and “Incredible” sound remarkably fresh. An album that has been a bit overshadowed and forgotten in recent years, it deserves a fresh listen. Unfortunately lead single “4 Minutes” doesn’t really stand up to other lead-off singles throughout her career. The JT collaboration is good, but not classic Madonna.

9. "Madonna"

Released July 27, 1983, Billboard Magazine peak #8

Key Tracks: Everybody, Burning Up, Borderline, Holiday, Lucky Star

The classic debut album that launched her career, Madonna’s self-titled effort still sounds remarkably relevant 30 years later. “Holiday” was her first big hit, and it was quickly followed by Top 10 smashes “Borderline” and “Lucky Star.” It put her on the map and she never looked back. A tight, funky collection of dance/pop with a strong R&B/funk influence, “Madonna” is one of the best and most important debut albums of the 80s.

8. "True Blue"

Released June 30, 1986, Billboard Magazine peak #1

Key Tracks: Open Your Heart, Live To Tell, Papa Don’t Preach, True Blue, La Isla Bonita

“True Blue” was a huge leap forward creatively, and was also a commercial smash. Preceded by the beautiful soundtrack ballad “Live to Tell”, and packed with major hits like “Open Your Heart,” “La Isla Bonita” and “Papa Don’t Preach,” “True Blue” continued Madonna’s meteoric rise up the pop ladder. The high points are among the best of her career, but unfortunately she wasn’t able to maintain that level for an entire album, and there are a couple weak moments. Still, “True Blue” was a natural artistic and commercial progression that would lead to the strongest album of her career.

7. "Bedtime Stories"

Released October 25, 1994, Billboard Magazine peak #3

Key Tracks: Secret, Take a Bow, Human Nature, Bedtime Story

Madonna’s 1994 offering is an exquisitely polished collection of consistently strong pop/R&B songs. “Secret” and “Take a Bow” are two of the most perfect pop singles of the decade, and her adventurous tracks like “Human Nature” and “Bedtime Story” stretched the boundaries of popular music while still being accessible. The album is beautifully produced and glossy, and even non-singles like “Survival” and “Love Tried to Welcome Me” stand up very well today. Perhaps a bit on the mellow side, “Bedtime Stories” is nonetheless a very solid album that features some of her loveliest vocal performances.

6. "Music"

Released September 19, 2000, Billboard Magazine peak #1

Key Tracks: Music, Don’t Tell Me, What It Feels Like For A Girl, Impressive Instant

It’s been 13 long years since Madonna hit #1 on the Billboard Singles Charts, and she did it with the classic title song from 2000’s “Music.” Largely produced by Mirwais Ahmadzai, “Music” has a distinct, stripped-down dance/pop vibe that sounded very fresh upon its release and it’s aged rather well. Oddly, only 3 singles were taken from the album, leaving potential hits like “Runaway Lover,” “Impressive Instant” and “Amazing” to languish as album tracks. It’s an exciting and daring record with a sense of experimentation while maintaining its overall pop appeal. There isn’t a lot of filler here – it’s a tight album from start to finish that is perhaps overshadowed a bit by “Ray of Light,” but stands on its own as Madonna’s contribution to the turn of the millennium.

5. "American Life"

Released April 22, 2003, Billboard Magazine peak #1

Key Tracks: American Life, Hollywood, Love Profusion, Nothing Fails, Nobody Knows Me

There is zero question that Madonna’s 2003 album “American Life” is the most unjustly vilified and underrated of her career. Generally considered a flop, “American Life” is a smart and edgy collection of pop songs with an underground vibe that mainstream radio wasn’t ready for – but there are few truly weak moments, and it’s an album that hopefully will be re-evaluated over time. Bond theme “Die Another Day” preceded the album and fit into the sound of it very nicely. First single “American Life” was controversial and may have doomed the album’s commercial success – second single “Hollywood” barely made a dent on the charts. It’s a shame that she didn’t release the epic and beautiful “Nothing Fails” as the lead-off single – it may have served the project better. “Nobody Knows Me” is a killer tune, and “Love Profusion” should have been a massive hit. If there is one Madonna album that deserves a fresh re-listen with an open mind and open ears, it’s “American Life.”

4. "Confessions on a Dance Floor"

Released November 11, 2005, Billboard Magazine peak #1

Key Tracks: Hung Up, Sorry, Jump, Get Together, Forbidden Love

In the wake of the lackluster critical and commercial response to “American Life,” Madonna returned to a straightforward dance approach on her next album, and it proved to be a shrewd move. “Confessions” was her biggest album in years, and was well-received by critics as well as fans. “Hung Up,” with its clever use of an old keyboard riff from ABBA as its main hook, was a major comeback hit, and the album loaded up the dance charts with multiple mixes of singles “Sorry,” “Jump” and “Get Together”. Largely produced by Stuart Price, “Confessions” was a world–wide smash and put any doubts that may have existed about Madonna’s continued commercial viability to rest. A slick dance album with irresistibly catchy melodies, “Confessions” is overflowing with energy, and is an invitation to dance that proved impossible to ignore.

3. "Ray of Light"

Released March 3, 1998, Billboard Magazine peak #2

Key Tracks: Frozen, Ray of Light, The Power of Goodbye, Nothing Really Matters, Skin

Working with William Orbit among several other producers, Madonna’s 1998 album “Ray of Light” is a triumph. First single “Frozen” is a sumptuous, gorgeous electronic ballad with one of the most striking videos of her career, and the title track and second single is a kinetic dance-floor classic. There is a strong sense of experimentation on “Ray of Light” and the results are sometimes startling. There isn't a lot of obviously commercial material here, so the hits weren’t as plentiful as on some of her other albums, but the record stands together as a remarkably coherent piece that captures Madonna at her most daring and creative.

2. "Erotica"

Released October 20, 1992, Billboard Magazine peak #2

Key Tracks: Erotica, Fever, Deeper and Deeper, Rain, Bad Girl

Underground, edgy, overflowing with sexual energy – “Erotica” was a bold move for a major pop star. There was little left to the imagination in the overt sexuality of the title track and in songs like “Where Life Begins”. Stylistically it’s a cunning mix of early 90s dance/hip-hop with retro disco flavor on tracks like “Deeper and Deeper” and her cover of “Fever.” It’s a party album for late nights, dark rooms, and the uninhibited. But it’s not all dance – there are also some beautiful ballads, such as “Rain” and “In This Life”. "Erotica" is a stellar achievement and an all-time classic album. A shame sonic soul-mates "Justify My Love" and "Rescue Me" were used in her hits album "The Immaculate Collection" and not saved for this record - they would have fit perfectly and added to its overall appeal.

1. "Like a Prayer"

Released March 21, 1989, Billboard Magazine peak #1

Key Tracks: Like a Prayer, Express Yourself, Cherish, Oh Father, Keep It Together

The one-two punch of “Like a Prayer” and “Express Yourself” as the first two singles from Madonna’s 1989 masterpiece “Like a Prayer” are unmatched by all but a few artists of the 80s – perhaps MJ’s back to back classics “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”, or Prince & The Revolution when they unleashed “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” as the first 2 singles from “Purple Rain” – but not many others can come close. The title song was a huge, sweeping pop epic – euphoric and emotional, but also supremely catchy and danceable. One of the great singles of the pop era. And if that wasn’t enough, to follow it with “Express Yourself”, a dance/pop anthem of independence and individuality that remains one of Madonna’s signature songs… incredible. The rest of the album is extraordinary throughout. From the breezy pop of “Dear Jessie” and “Cherish”, the poignant and personal ballads (“Promise to Try” and “Oh Father”), the harrowing tale of domestic abuse (“Til Death Do Us Part”), straightforward dance pop (“Keep it Together”) - - - there just isn’t a weak track on the album. From start to finish a classic, “Like a Prayer” remains Madonna’s crowning achievement, an essential album from an artist who’s made a career out of delivering one classic tune after another.

Critics say that Madonna doesn’t have the strongest voice, or that she isn’t original, or that she goes from producer to producer chasing the sound of the moment… but even her critics are forced to acknowledge that nobody else (with the possible exception of Prince), over a span of 30 years, has come close to negotiating the ins and out and twists and turns of the fickle music industry with as much panache and daring as Madonna. Always willing to change, never content to rest on her laurels and her past success, Madonna always looks forward, and always seems to know just what stylistic direction to take. Some experiments work better than others, but that’s always the case if you’re an artist with a body of work as extensive as Madonna’s. All 12 of these albums are worthy, and all are worth picking up – and they don’t even tell the whole story. Missing are classic soundtrack singles like “Vogue”, “I’ll Remember,” “Beautiful Stranger” and “This Used to Be My Playground.” And how about “Justify My Love” and “Rescue Me”, tracks exclusive to her first hits collection? Her 12 proper studio albums don’t give the entire picture, but they do provide what is essentially a history of dance/pop music over the last 30 years. Even now, 3 decades after first emerging on the Billboard Charts, even with a few albums under her belt that have failed to set the world on fire, there is a reason why each new Madonna album is an event. As the Robbie Williams songsays: “She’s Madonna”. The one and only. And we’ll all be waiting to see what she does next, and where the next project might stack up against her past triumphs.

  • Gepubliceerd in Nieuws

Titel nieuwe album van Madonna is bekend: "MDNA"

De titel van Madonna's nieuwe album is officieel bekend: "MDNA". Dit werd bevestigd door een bericht op Madonna's officiele Facebook-pagina. Tijdens het interview met Graham Norton werd er al gespeculeerd over eventuele albumtitels zoals "LUV" en "MDNA", uiteindelijk kwam kort daarna de bevestiging dat laatsgenoemde de officiele titel is.

  • Gepubliceerd in Nieuws

Nieuwe details Madonna album en single

DrownedMadonna heeft via haar bronnen nieuwe informatie ontvangen over het nieuwe album en single. Let op: dit is nog niet officieel bevestigd!

  • Martin Solveig heeft voor de single 'Gimme All Your Luvin' een alternate single mix, duv mix en club mix gemaakt. Stuart Price en William Orbit hebben ook remixen gemaakt met alleen maar Madonna vocalen. Het is nog niet bekend of deze remixen ook daadwerkelijk uitgebracht gaan worden.
  • William Orbit heeft van diverse album tracks een remix gemaakt. Bij deze remixen is het ook niet bekend of deze een officiele release krijgen.
  • Volgens de bronnen van DrownedMadonna is het album haar beste album ooit. Het wordt omschreven als een kruising tussen 'Ray Of Light' en 'Music'. Er zitten veel beats in de nummers en zelfs de ballads bevatten veel bass.
  • Een officieel persbericht van het album en de single wordt verwacht in de week van 16 januari. Men verwacht dan ook meer informatie over de cover van de single en de diverse remixen die gaan verschijnen.
  • De officiële digitale download van de single zal op dezelfde dag zijn als de radio release.
  • Ook heeft William Orbit een nieuwe remix gemaakt van 'Ray Of Light'. Waar deze remix voor gebruikt gaat worden is nog niet duidelijk.
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