Tag: Madonna

Wednesday 1/18/23 9pm ET: Feature LP: Madonna – Erotica (1992)

Erotica is the fifth studio album by American singer Madonna, released on October 20, 1992, by Maverick and Sire Records. The album was released simultaneously with Madonna’s first book publication Sex, a coffee table book containing explicit photographs featuring the singer, and marked her first release under Maverick, her own multimedia entertainment company. Erotica is a concept album about sex and romance, incorporating her alter ego Mistress Dita, inspired by actress Dita Parlo. Some of its songs also take on a more confessional tone, influenced by the loss of two of Madonna’s close friends to AIDS.

Madonna recorded the album in New York City with Shep Pettibone and André Betts while she was working on her book and film projects. She began creating the album’s demos with Pettibone in his apartment in October 1991, and wrote the melodies and lyrics on top of the basic music which Pettibone produced in the style of his remixes. During the sessions, they had problems during sequencing, and, as a result, Pettibone kept trying to move development as fast as possible as he did not want Madonna to lose interest in the music. According to him, Madonna’s compositions were serious and intense, moving the creative direction of the songs into a deeply personal territory.

Erotica received generally favorable reviews from critics, who regarded it as one of Madonna’s most adventurous albums and praised her comments on taboos and AIDS. Commercially, the album was less successful than Madonna’s previous albums, peaking at number 2 on the US Billboard 200, becoming her first studio album not to top the chart since her debut. Internationally, it topped the charts in Australia, Finland, and France, and peaked within the top five of several other countries such as Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Erotica was later certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and has sold more than six million copies worldwide.

Six singles were released from the album, including the title track and “Deeper and Deeper”, both of which reached the top ten of the US Billboard Hot 100. The album was supported by The Girlie Show World Tour, which visited cities in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, and Australia in 1993. Somewhat overlooked at the time of its release in part due to the backlash surrounding the Sex book, Erotica has been retrospectively considered one of “The 100 Best Albums of the 1990s” by Slant Magazine and one of the most revolutionary albums of all time by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Many critics have since noted the album’s influence on the works by female artists such as Janet Jackson and Beyoncé.

  1. “Erotica” 5:20
  2. “Fever” 5:00
  3. “Bye Bye Baby” 3:55
  4. “Deeper and Deeper” 5:33
  5. “Where Life Begins” 5:57
  6. “Bad Girl” 5:23
  7. “Waiting” 5:46
  8. “Thief of Hearts” 4:51
  9. “Words” 5:55
  10. “Rain” 5:25
  11. “Why’s It So Hard” 5:23
  12. “In This Life” 6:25
  13. “Did You Do It?” 4:54
  14. “Secret Garden” 5:32

Madonna – vocals, production
Shep Pettibone – production, engineering, keyboard, sequencing
André Betts – production, synthesizer, bass, piano, strings, drums, keyboard, synthesizer strings
Emile Charlap – contractor
Donna De Lory and Niki Haris – background vocals
Jerome Dickens – guitar
Glen Dicterow – conductor, concertmaster
Anton Fig – drums
Mark Goodman – vocals, assistant engineer
Joe Moskowitz – drums, keyboard, programming
Dave Murphy – voices
Paul Pesco – guitar
James Preston – piano, keyboard, synthesizer strings
Tony Shimkin – keyboard, background vocals, engineer, sequencing, drum programming, programming
Danny Wilensky – saxophone
Doug Wimbish – bass

Thursday 12/15/22 11pm ET: Feature LP: Madonna – Like A Prayer (1989)

Like a Prayer is the fourth studio album by American singer and songwriter Madonna, released on March 21, 1989, by Sire Records. Madonna worked with Stephen Bray, Patrick Leonard, and Prince on the album while co-writing and co-producing all the songs. Her most introspective release at the time, Like a Prayer has been described as a confessional record. Madonna described the album as a collection of songs “about my mother, my father, and bonds with my family.” The album was dedicated to Madonna’s mother, who died when she was young.

The album uses live instrumentation and incorporates elements of dance, funk, gospel, and soul into a more general pop style. Madonna drew from her Catholic upbringing, as seen on the album’s title track, which was also released as its lead single. The lyrics deal with themes from Madonna’s childhood and adolescence, such as the death of her mother in “Promise to Try”, the importance of family in “Keep It Together”, and her relationship with her father in “Oh Father”. Madonna also preaches female empowerment in “Express Yourself”.

Like a Prayer received universal acclaim, with Rolling Stone hailing it as “close to art as pop music gets.” Commercially, the album was an international success, reaching the top of the charts in multiple territories, and was certified quadruple platinum in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America. Six singles were released from the album: the title track, “Express Yourself”, “Cherish”, “Oh Father”, “Dear Jessie”, and “Keep It Together”. “Like a Prayer” became Madonna’s seventh number-one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, while “Express Yourself” and “Cherish” peaked at number two and “Keep It Together” became a top-ten hit. Worldwide, the album has sold over 15 million copies.

With the singles’ accompanying music videos, Madonna furthered her creativity and became known as a leading figure in the format. The music video for “Like a Prayer” was a lightning rod for religious controversy, using Catholic iconography such as stigmata and burning crosses, and a dream about making love to a saint, leading the Vatican to condemn the video and causing Pepsi to cancel Madonna’s sponsorship contract. The video for “Express Yourself” was the most expensive video at its release. Like a Prayer preceded Madonna’s ground-breaking Blond Ambition World Tour. At the end of the 1980s, following the release of the album, Madonna was named “Artist of the Decade” by several publications.

  1. “Like a Prayer” 5:41
  2. “Express Yourself” 4:37
  3. “Love Song” (with Prince) 4:52
  4. “Till Death Do Us Part” 5:16
  5. “Promise to Try” 3:36
  6. “Cherish” 5:03
  7. “Dear Jessie” 4:20
  8. “Oh Father” 4:57
  9. “Keep It Together” 5:03
  10. “Spanish Eyes” 5:15
  11. “Act of Contrition” 2:19

Madonna – vocals, synthesizers
Niki Haris – background vocals
Marilyn Martin – background vocals
Donna DeLory – background vocals
Ali Nadirah – background vocals
Lynne Fiddmont – background vocals
Rose Banks – background vocals
Marcos Loya – background vocals
The Andraé Crouch Choir – background vocals
Jonathan Moffett – drums
Jeff Porcaro – drums
John Robinson – drums
Luis Conte – percussion
Paulinho da Costa – percussion
Guy Pratt, Randy Jackson – bass
Chester Kamen – guitars
David Williams – guitars
Prince – guitars
Dann Huff – guitars
Bruce Gaitsch – guitars
Marcos Loya – requinto
Jai Winding – synthesizers
Stephen Bray – synthesizers
Patrick Leonard – acoustic piano, Hammond B3 organ, clavinet, synthesizers
Joe Porcaro – marimba
Sandra Crouch – tambourine
Chuck Findley – brass section
David Boruff – brass section
Steven Madaio – brass section
Dick Hyde – brass section
Joseph Mayer – French horn
Richard Todd – French horn
Larry Corbett – cello solo
Chuck Findley – horn arrangements
Bill Meyers – string arrangements, conducting
Suzie Katayama – concertmaster

Tuesday 10/4/22 9pm ET: Feature LP: Madonna – American Life (2003)

American Life is the ninth studio album by American singer and songwriter Madonna. It was released on April 21, 2003, by Maverick Records and Warner Bros. Records. The album, produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï, features references to many parts of American culture. The album is a concept album, with themes of the American Dream and materialism. These themes reject the reputation Madonna held in the 1980s, earned by songs such as “Material Girl” (1985). The album is a folktronica and eurotechno album; it is also influenced by acoustic music.

American Life initially received mixed reviews upon release; critics found the record confusing and “about Madonna”. Critics also found it “difficult to listen to” due to its awkward and brash production in some songs. However, retrospective reviews of the album have been much more positive, particularly noting its lyrical depth. The album peaked at number one in 14 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, United States and also charted in the top-five of most musical markets. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and British Phonographic Industry (BPI) both certified it platinum in recognition of one million shipments in the United States, and 300,000 shipments in the United Kingdom, respectively. The album became the 32nd-best-selling album of 2003 and has sold five million copies. American Life garnered two nominations at the 46th Grammy Awards in 2004.

Four singles were released from the album. The title track was released as the album’s lead single to a generally negative critical reception, with Blender naming it the ninth worst song of all time. It charted at number 37 in the US while it entered the top ten in most countries, peaking at number two in the United Kingdom. A controversial music video was pulled after scenes of war and violence were criticized which led to an edited version being released. Its following single, “Hollywood”, became her first single not to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1983. “Nothing Fails” and “Love Profusion”, the third and fourth singles respectively, featured a lack of promotion resulting in poor commercial performances. Despite this, all singles peaked at number one on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart. Preceding the album release, “Die Another Day” was released as a single to promote the twentieth James Bond film of the same name. The song peaked at number eight in the United States, and number three in the United Kingdom.

  1. “American Life” 4:58
  2. “Hollywood” 4:24
  3. “I’m So Stupid” 4:09
  4. “Love Profusion” 3:38
  5. “Nobody Knows Me” 4:39
  6. “Nothing Fails” 4:49
  7. “Intervention” 4:54
  8. “X-Static Process” 3:50
  9. “Mother and Father” 4:33
  10. “Die Another Day” 4:38
  11. “Easy Ride” 5:05

Madonna – vocals, background vocals
Mirwais Ahmadzaï – acoustic guitar, keyboards, programming, background vocals
Stuart Price – piano, synthesizers, keyboards, sequencing, programming
Michel Colombier – songwriter, conductor, string arrangement
The London Community Gospel Choir – backing vocals
Monte Pittman – composer, guitar

Wednesday 8/24/22 8pm ET: Feature LP: Madonna – Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones (2022)

Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones is a remix album by American singer Madonna, released through Warner Records. Its abridged 16-track edition, simply titled Finally Enough Love, had a pre-release on streaming services on June 24, 2022, while the full 50-track edition and all physical formats were released on August 19, 2022. The album marks Madonna achieving a record 50 number ones on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, the most number ones of any artist on any single Billboard chart. The title derives from the lyrics of her 50th number one, “I Don’t Search I Find”. It is also the first release in a multi-year reissue campaign with Warner, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Madonna’s recording career.

  1. “Holiday” (7″ Version) 4:18
  2. “Like a Virgin” (7″ Version) 3:36
  3. “Material Girl” (7″ Version) 3:58
  4. “Into the Groove” (You Can Dance Remix Edit) 4:44
  5. “Open Your Heart” (Video Version) 4:26
  6. “Physical Attraction” (You Can Dance Remix Edit) 3:52
  7. “Everybody” (You Can Dance Remix Edit) 4:34
  8. “Like a Prayer” (7″ Remix Edit) 5:42
  9. “Express Yourself” (Remix Edit) 4:59
  10. “Keep It Together” (Alternate Single Remix) 4:51
  11. “Vogue” (Single Version) 4:20
  12. “Justify My Love” (Orbit Edit) 4:31
  13. “Erotica” (Underground Club Mix) 4:52
  14. “Deeper and Deeper” (David’s Radio Edit) 4:02
  15. “Fever” (Radio Edit) 5:07
  16. “Secret” (Junior’s Luscious Single Mix) 4:15
  17. “Bedtime Story” (Junior’s Single Mix) 4:52
  18. “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” (Miami Mix Edit) 4:28
  19. “Frozen” (Extended Club Mix Edit) 4:36
  20. “Ray of Light” (Sasha Ultra Violet Mix Edit) 5:06
  21. “Nothing Really Matters” (Club 69 Radio Mix) 3:43
  22. “Beautiful Stranger” (Calderone Radio Mix) 4:02
  23. “American Pie” (Richard “Humpty” Vission Radio Mix) 4:25
  24. “Music” (Deep Dish Dot Com Radio Edit) 4:11
  25. “Don’t Tell Me” (Thunderpuss Video Remix) 4:08
  26. “What It Feels Like for a Girl” (Above and Beyond Radio Edit) 3:43
  27. “Impressive Instant” (Peter Rauhofer’s Universal Radio Mixshow Mix) 5:30
  28. “Die Another Day” (Deepsky Radio Edit) 4:06
  29. “American Life” (Felix da Housecat’s Devin Dazzle Edit) 3:21
  30. “Hollywood” (Calderone & Quayle Edit) 3:59
  31. “Me Against the Music” (Peter Rauhofer Radio Mix; Britney Spears featuring Madonna) 3:42
  32. “Nothing Fails” (Tracy Young’s Underground Radio Edit) 4:30
  33. “Love Profusion” (Ralphi Rosario House Vocal Edit) 3:55
  34. “Hung Up” (SDP Extended Vocal Edit) 4:56
  35. “Sorry” (PSB Maxi Mix Edit) 4:31
  36. “Get Together” (Jacques Lu Cont Vocal Edit) 4:22
  37. “Jump” (Axwell Remix Edit) 4:44
  38. “4 Minutes” (Bob Sinclar Space Funk Edit; featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland) 3:22
  39. “Give It 2 Me” (Eddie Amador Club 5 Edit) 4:55
  40. “Celebration” (Benny Benassi Remix Edit) 3:58
  41. “Give Me All Your Luvin'” (Party Rock Remix; featuring LMFAO and Nicki Minaj) 3:59
  42. “Girl Gone Wild” (Avicii’s UMF Mix) 5:14
  43. “Turn Up the Radio” (Offer Nissim Remix Edit) 4:54
  44. “Living for Love” (Offer Nissim Promo Mix) 5:52
  45. “Ghosttown” (Dirty Pop Intro Mix) 5:20
  46. “Bitch I’m Madonna” (Sander Kleinenberg Video Edit; featuring Nicki Minaj) 3:21
  47. “Medellín” (Offer Nissim Madame X in the Sphinx Mix; with Maluma) 5:28
  48. “I Rise” (Tracy Young’s Pride Intro Radio Remix) 3:50
  49. “Crave” (Tracy Young Dangerous Remix; featuring Swae Lee) 4:46
  50. “I Don’t Search I Find” (Honey Dijon Radio Mix) 5:22

Tuesday 8/9/22 10pm ET: Feature LP: Madonna – The First Album (1983)

Madonna (retitled Madonna: The First Album for the 1985 reissue) is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on July 27, 1983, by Sire Records. After having established herself as a singer in downtown New York City, Madonna was signed by Sire president Seymour Stein, due to the club success of her debut single, “Everybody” (1982). She became the sole writer for most of the album’s tracks, and chose Reggie Lucas as its primary producer. Unhappy with Lucas’s production outputs, she invited John “Jellybean” Benitez to complete the album; he remixed three tracks and produced “Holiday”.

Madonna has an upbeat synthetic disco sound, using new technology of the time, including the Linn drum machine, Moog bass and Oberheim OB-X synthesizer. She sang in a bright, girlish timbre, with lyrics about love and relationships. To promote the album, Madonna performed one-off gigs in clubs and on television in the United States and United Kingdom throughout 1983 and 1984, followed by The Virgin Tour in 1985. Five singles were released, including the international top-ten hits “Holiday”, “Lucky Star”, and “Borderline”. Their accompanying music videos were released on the Madonna video compilation, which became the best-selling videocassette of 1985 in the United States.

Madonna peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200, and was certified five-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of five million copies across the United States. It reached the top ten of the charts in Australia, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. The album received generally favorable reviews from music critics and was included in “The 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time” by Rolling Stone in 2013 and 2022 saying that “it succeed in introducing the most important female voice in the history of modern music”. The album has been credited for setting the standard of dance-pop for decades afterward, and for pointing the direction for numerous female artists of the 1980s.

  1. “Lucky Star” 5:38
  2. “Borderline” 5:18
  3. “Burning Up” 3:44
  4. “I Know It” 3:45
  5. “Holiday” 6:08
  6. “Think of Me” 4:54
  7. “Physical Attraction” 6:37
  8. “Everybody” 4:57

Madonna – lead vocals, background vocals, cowbell (5)
Dean Gant – synthesizers, acoustic piano, electric piano
Ed Walsh – synthesizers
Fred Zarr – synthesizers, electric piano, acoustic piano (5), Fender Rhodes (5), Oberheim OB-X (5), Moog bass (5), drums (5), co-arrangements (5)
Paul Pesco – guitars (1, 3)
Reggie Lucas – guitars, LinnDrum programming
Ira Siegel – guitars
Curtis Hudson – guitars (5), arrangements (5)
Anthony Jackson – electric bass (2)
Raymond Hudson – bass (5)
Leslie Ming – LinnDrum programming
Bashiri Johnson – percussion (5)
Bob Malach – tenor saxophone
Chrissy Faith – background vocals
Gwen Guthrie – background vocals
Brenda White – background vocals
Norma Jean Wright – background vocals
Tina B. – background vocals (5)

Monday 5/2/22 9am ET: Feature LP: Madonna – You Can Dance (1987)

You Can Dance is the first remix album by American singer and songwriter Madonna. It was released on November 17, 1987, by Sire Records. The album contains remixes of tracks from her first three studio albums—Madonna (1983), Like a Virgin (1984) and True Blue (1986)—and a new track, “Spotlight”. In the 1980s, remixing was still a new concept and technology, by which a particular vocal phrase could be endlessly copied, repeated, chopped up, transposed up and down in pitch and give them more echo, reverberation, treble or bass. Madonna became interested in the concept, noting that she hated when others remixed her songs and wanted to do it by herself.

Madonna turned to her old friend and producer John “Jellybean” Benitez to help her remix the songs, and also enlisted the help of Patrick Leonard, the producer of True Blue. The mixes on You Can Dance exhibited a number of typical mixing techniques. Instrumental passages were lengthened to increase the time for dancing, which undermined the tighter structure of the original pop song. Vocal phrases were repeated and subjected to multiple echoes, panned across the stereophonic sound outlets. At certain points, almost no music is heard except the drums and at other times, the drums are removed with only the hi-hat left to keep time. The album cover denoted Madonna’s continuous fascination with Hispanic culture.

After its release, You Can Dance received generally positive reviews from critics, some of whom noted how the already known songs appeared to them in a complete new structure, calling it an essential album to be played at parties. You Can Dance was a commercial success, earning a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of a million copies, and reaching the top twenty of the Billboard 200. It reached the top ten of the album charts of France, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom, and went on to sell five million copies worldwide, making it the second best-selling remix album of all time, behind only Blood on the Dance Floor from Michael Jackson. “Spotlight” was the only single released from the album in Japan, but charted on the airplay charts of Billboard due to radio play and peaked at number 32. You Can Dance has been credited for setting the standard of the remix albums afterward both in terms of concept and commercial success in record charts.

  1. “Spotlight” 6:23
  2. “Holiday” 6:32
  3. “Everybody” 6:43
  4. “Physical Attraction” 6:20
  5. “Over and Over” 7:11
  6. “Into the Groove” 8:26
  7. “Where’s the Party” 7:16

Madonna – vocals, producer
Michael Barbiero – producer
John “Jellybean” Benitez – producer, remixing, sequencing
Stephen Bray – producer
Bruce Forest – producer
Frank Heller – producer, remixing
Mark Kamins – producer
Patrick Leonard – producer
Reggie Lucas – producer
Michael Ostin – producer
Shep Pettibone – producer, record editing, remixing
Nile Rodgers – producer
Steve Thompson – producer, audio mixing
David Cole – keyboard

Sunday 2/20/22 5pm ET: Feature LP: Madonna – Confessions On A Dancefloor (2005)

Confessions on a Dance Floor is the tenth studio album by American singer and songwriter Madonna. It was released on November 9, 2005, by Warner Bros. Records. A complete departure from her previous studio album American Life (2003), the album includes influences of 1970s disco and 1980s electropop, as well as modern-day club music. Initially, she began working with Mirwais Ahmadzaï for the album but later felt that their collaboration was not going in the direction she desired. Madonna took her collaboration with Stuart Price who was overviewing her documentary I’m Going to Tell You a Secret. The album was mainly recorded at Price’s home-studio where Madonna spent most of her time during the recordings.

Musically, the record is structured like a DJ’s set. The songs are sequenced and blended so that they are played continuously without any gaps. The title arrived from the fact that the album tracklisting consists of light-hearted and happy songs in the beginning, and progresses to much darker melodies and lyrics describing personal feelings and commitments. Songs on the album sample and reference the music of other dance-oriented artists like ABBA, Donna Summer, Pet Shop Boys, the Bee Gees and Depeche Mode, as well as Madonna’s 1980s output.

Madonna promoted the album through several live performances and a promotional tour. She embarked on the Confessions Tour in 2006, which became the highest-grossing tour ever for a female artist at that time. Four singles were released from the album. “Hung Up”, the lead single, topped the charts in a total of 41 countries. According to Billboard, it was the most successful dance song of the decade. It was followed by “Sorry” which became Madonna’s twelfth number-one single in the United Kingdom. “Get Together” and “Jump” were also released as singles, both becoming top-ten hits in several countries.

Most critics praised the album, calling it a return to form for Madonna and ranking it alongside her best albums. Madonna was honored with a Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album in 2007, as well as International Female Solo Artist at the 2006 BRIT Awards. Commercially, the album peaked at number one in 40 countries, earning a place in the 2007 Guinness World Records for topping the record charts in the most countries, and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Ranked third on “The 99 Greatest Dance Albums of All Time” by Vice magazine, the album is noted as a testament to Madonna’s longevity with the ability to continuously reinvent herself in the third decade of her career.

  1. “Hung Up” 5:36
  2. “Get Together” 5:30
  3. “Sorry” 4:43
  4. “Future Lovers” 4:51
  5. “I Love New York” 4:11
  6. “Let It Will Be” 4:18
  7. “Forbidden Love” 4:22
  8. “Jump” 3:46
  9. “How High” 4:40
  10. “Isaac” 6:03
  11. “Push” 3:57
  12. “Like It or Not” 4:31

Madonna – lead vocals, backing vocals, producer
Stuart Price – producer, keyboard, synthesizer, vocoder, programming, sequencing, sampling
Roberta Carraro – keyboard, bass, drums, harmonica
Yitzhak Sinwani – additional vocals on “Isaac”
Monte Pittman – guitar