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Madonna News - October 2005

Hung Up on TRL

Hung Up video is now at number 9 on MTV TRL.
source : madonnanation/pieldemiel

Madonna defends Kabbalah interest

Madonna has defended her interest in the mystical Jewish teachings of Kabbalah, saying media descriptions of it as a cult make her angry.
In a newspaper interview, the singer put all the attention down to a lack of understanding of the religion.
She told the New York Daily News it seemed it “would be less controversial if I joined the Nazi Party”.
Madonna said she could relate to Tom Cruise, whose following of Scientology has attracted many column inches.
“If it makes Tom Cruise happy, I don’t care if he prays to turtles,” she said. “And I don’t think anybody else should.”
Directing career?
The newspaper interview with Madonna took place after a Kabbalah guru credited with persuading her to make a trip to Israel in 2004 was arrested for alleged extortion.
Madonna said the Kabbalah was “not hurting anybody” and she found it “very strange” that people questioned her following.
“It frightens people,” Madonna said. “So they try to denigrate it or trivialise it so that it makes more sense.
“‘What do you mean you study the Torah if you’re not Jewish?’ ‘What do you mean you pray to God and wear sexy clothes? We don’t understand this.'”
According to the Daily News, Madonna also said she was not interested in acting in films anymore but did add she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her husband Guy Ritchie by taking up directing.
source : bbc

Osbourne sees Madonna in her nightmares

Madonna shouldn’t expect any dinner invites from Sharon Osbourne. The rocker’s wife named the Kabbalah devotee as one of three “nightmare” dinner guests.
“I would like to punch her,” Osbourne told British GQ in an article due to come out shortly, according to UK reports. “She is so full of [bleep]. She’s into Kabbalah one minute, she’s a Catholic the next. She’ll be a Hindu soon, no doubt.” Osbourne’s other “nightmare” dinner guests included Mick Jagger and Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music.
Osbourne, who is no stranger to the plastic surgeon’s knife herself, also had some surprisingly harsh comments for some other stars who’ve allegedly been nipped and tucked.
Madonna’s rep took the high road. “I’d sure love to have dinner with Bryan Ferry and Madonna anytime,” spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg told The Scoop. “I think they’re two of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met. Don’t know Jagger. And have no idea why Sharon Osbourne finds Madonna loathsome because she has found a form of spirituality which she has studied seriously for ten years and that gives her serenity in her life.”
source :

Alison Goldfrapp on Madonna

Singer Alison Goldfrapp has criticised Madonna as unoriginal – because the Music star relies too much on other people to shape her music.
British duo Goldfrapp – composed of Alison and composer Will Gregory – write and perform their own music, and find it hard to comprehend why musicians like Madonna pinch parts of other people’s ideas.
Alison says, “She’s always got her eye on what everyone’s doing and she’s always nabbing people, the latest DJ or whatever, to get them to put their thing on her thing, you know.
“I think it’s quite clever, but I don’t know if that’s creative.”
source : contactmusic

Q Magazine Confessions On A Dance Floor Review

4 stars (Q Recommendeds)
Madonna’s last album was a dud. American Life, released in 2003, was phase three of her electronic renaissance, one that started with Ray of Light (1998) and continued with Music (2000). Belatedly getting down with the trendy dance producers of the day suited her: between them, those two albums sold around 30 million copies.
On American Life, the wheels fell off her disco bandwagon. A rotten Bond theme (containing the immortal line, “Sigmund Freud, analyse this!”), artwork apparently inspired by Frank Spencer and a wishy-washy anti-US stance conspired to produce 5 million sales, a career low. Amazon are currently trading copies for £1.75.
Yet American Life offered prescient words to anoyne calling time on her appeal to a pop audience. “I don’t want an easy ride,” went the final track. “What I want is to work for it/ Feel the blood and sweat on my fingertips.” Madonna, a ruthless careerist from day one, has always known when to come out fighting. Anyone who can sit through a Guy Ritchie premiere with broken bones and three cracked ribs is clearly made of sterner stuff than the rest of us.
Confessions… is her strongest album since Ray of Light. Its relentless drive is marked by an incessant bass drum that doesn’t let up for an hour – if your neighbours buy a copy, you’ll know about it – and the fact it’s mixed like a DJ set: no gaps, no ballads. Mirwais, the producer whose Daft Punk-with-Tourette’s sound marked previous albums, is sidelined to a two-track co-write. Stuart Price, “musical director” on recent tours, takes most of the credits. Best known as remixer Jacques Lu Cont, Price favours a pastiche of ’80s electro – his last work accompanied a car advert featuring a breakdancing hatchback. But here he takes Madonna somewhere else: the gay nightclub.
Opening “Hung Up” sets the pace, a six-minute mash-up of boogie bassline and ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)”. You can practically smell the amyl nitrate. “Sorry” is catchier; a tune that nudges hi-NRG and a lyric of bloke-done-wrong that’s equal parts “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta my Hair” and ’90s gay club favourite “Short Dick Man”. “I Love New York” couldn’t be more blatant in its claim to be that city’s 3am anthem if it came with an edict from Mayor Bloomberg. Elsewhere, there’s Giorgio Moroder basslines, dramatic strings and the sound of marching boots. Thrilling stuff.
It stumbles on “Isaac”, which may or may not concern Kabbalah teacher Isaac Friedin and marries chanting to a too-fast tune. “Jump,” likewise isn’t quite the copper-bottomed pop song it thinks it is. These are minor gripes. Madonna’s 12th album proper is up there with her best. Analyse that. Johnny David
source : madonnanation / suedehead

Never a dull moment

Madonna knows what people are thinking.
She’s well aware that plenty of eyes roll, or glaze over, every time she talks about politics or war or her parental duties or, most of all, her spiritual quest through the kabbala. But since she has insisted on addressing these subjects so often – both during interviews and in her music – the media have come to consider the grown-up Madonna to be as “preachy” as the younger one was thought to be “dangerous.”
“What do you call ‘preachy’?” Madonna asks. “Having an opinion?”
“Guilty as charged!” she then proudly announces.

As Madonna holds forth in her Manhattan hotel room, she’s obviously in no mind to go back to playing the party girl of old. She may be here to promote her new CD, “Confessions on a Dance Floor,” which returns her to the rousing beats and frothy exuberance of early hits like “Holiday.” But she says her motivation for recording such an album wasn’t simply to make fun music again, or even to shore up her wobbly recording career.

Instead, it seems, she wanted to, ahem, help mankind.

“It’s that old clichA

Madonna scores 51st entry on U.S. singles chart

Madonna made her debut on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart 22 years ago with “Holiday.”
This week, she scored her 51st chart entry as “Hung Up,” the first track from her November 15 release, “Confessions on a Dance Floor,” made a lofty entrance at No. 20. It’s the sixth Madonna song to debut in the top 20, and the first since “Ray of Light” beamed onto the list at No. 5 in 1998.
Madonna’s highest-ranking debuts to date are:
“Ray of Light,” debuted at No. 5 (1998)
“You’ll See,” No. 8 (1995)
“Frozen,” No. 8 (1998)
“Erotica,” No. 13 (1992)
“Rescue Me,” No. 15 (1991)
“Hung Up,” No. 20 (2005)
“Hung Up” is already Madonna’s highest-charting single since “Die Another Day” peaked at No. 8 three years ago. Of Madonna’s 51 chart entries, 42 have placed in the top 20. If “Hung Up” continues its journey up the Hot 100, it could become the 36th Madonna song to land in the top 10.
“Hung Up” brings two familiar names back to the Hot 100 after an absence of 20 years. Since “Hung Up” is based on ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight),” Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson are included in the songwriting credits. This marks their first appearance on the Hot 100 since 1985, when Murray Head went to No. 3 with Bjorn and Benny’s “One Night in Bangkok” (written with Tim Rice), from the musical “Chess.”
As songwriters, Ulvaeus and Andersson have a chart span that is now extended to 31 years, dating back to the 1974 debut of ABBA’s “Waterloo” on the Hot 100.
It’s been a good week for the two male members of ABBA. On October 22, “Waterloo” was named the favorite Eurovision Song Contest winner of all time by viewers of a European TV special celebrating the 50th anniversary of the competition.
source : reuters

Madonna reaches #1 in Canada in just two weeks

“Hung Up” is the fastest rising single in BDS history. The fans have clamored for it and radio stations across Canada have delivered it.
According to Nielsen – Broadcast Data Systems, “Hung Up”, the first single from Madonna’s forthcoming album “Confessions on a Dance Floor”, has reached #1 on Canada’s Contemporary Hit Radio Chart in only its second week on the air, making it the fastest rising single since BDS began monitoring Canadian radio airplay in 1995. The track is also Top 5 Hot AC and Top 5 Overall at radio.
“What makes this even more impressive is that this achievement has happened after just 10 1/2 days of airplay. No other song has even come close to this in the last 10 years,” said Paul Tuch, Nielsen Entertainment – BDS.
Anticipation for the new Madonna album is building to a feverish pitch and airplay is exploding all around the world. The single has already reached #2 on the European airplay charts as well as #8 in Japan and #8 in Germany. The video for “Hung Up” is scheduled to debut around the world tomorrow, October 27.
“Hung Up” also dominated the digital world this week debuting at #1 on Canada’s Digital Download chart which monitors legal downloads of music.
source : dominicantoday

Madonna at a crossroads

Whoever said size matters obviously never met Madonna.
In person, the most durable and deconstructed pop icon of the past two decades is a wee slip of a thing. The face that launched a thousand trends is delicately featured, the yoga-toned frame so slight that you wonder how Madonna could have emerged intact after tumbling off a horse in August, on her 47th birthday.

The singer did break four ribs, her clavicle and bones in a hand and shoulder as a result of that accident, which took place at the estate she shares with her husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, and two children, 9-year-old Lourdes and 5-year-old Rocco, in the English countryside. But nine weeks later, Madonna is cast-free.

“I feel good,” she says, perching daintily on a sofa. “But then I try to exercise or do something, and I realize that my bones aren’t completely together yet.”

The woman who coined the term “blond ambition” is not, however, going to let a few aches and pains interfere with her work. Madonna is in town to promote Confessions on a Dance Floor, her first album since 2003’s American Life, which arrives Nov. 15. The first single, Hung Up” a thumping, shimmering confection that samples the ABBA hit Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” was introduced last week on MTV’s Total Request Live and will be featured on crossover episodes of CBS’ CSI: Miami (Nov. 7) and CSI: NY (Nov. 9).

MTV also premiered Madonna’s new documentary, I’m Going to Tell You a Secret, last Friday. The film, which will re-air on the VH1 and Logo Networks, follows the star on and offstage during her 2004Reinvention Tour, juggling concert performances with footage of Madonna clowning around with her dancers and crewmates, and with Ritchie and the kids. There are more serious moments as well, with Madonna reflecting on how her life and views have evolved.

“It’s like me keeping a journal, but it’s visual,” says Madonna, whose recent projects have included a fifth children’s book, Lotsa de Casha, and a kiddie clothing line inspired by the “very opinionated” Lourdes. “But I never intended (Secret) to come out at the same time as my record. It took me twice as long to edit as I had expected.”

Accentuating the personal

Secret does share with Confessions an unabashedly personal tone. Madonna has described the latter as an unapologetic dance album “about having a good time straight through and non-stop.” Dig beneath the buoyant beats and neo-disco arrangements, though, and you’ll find wistful undercurrents in both the music and lyrics.

“That’s why I called it Confessions on a Dance Floor,” Madonna explains. “Most people equate dance music with being fluffy and superficial; it’s just about having fun. That’s fine, but I can’t write 12 songs about nothing. My feelings or point of view inevitably sneaks in.”

Like 1998’s Ray of Light, the first album Madonna released after becoming a mother, Confessions juggles state-of-the-art production ” Madonna co-wrote and produced the songs with Stuart Price, musical director for her past two tours, with additional help from American Life producer Mirwais Ahmadzai (also Madonna’s collaborator on 2000’s Music) and others ” with age-old spiritual questions, albeit filtered through a modern star’s perspective. “Should I carry on? Will it matter when I’m gone?” she asks on the introspective How High.

“I’m constantly trying to figure out what my place in the world is,” she says. “That search was obviously instigated by the birth of my daughter. In my film, I talk about how I woke up one day and thought, ‘my God, I’m about to have a baby; how am I going to teach my child what the meaning of life is when I don’t know myself?’ If she asks why she’s here and who is God or why are people suffering, I want to have answers. And I want to ask those questions, too.”

One song, the Middle Eastern-flavored Isaac, has already generated controversy in the print press and online. “Jewish mystics to Madonna: Lay off our sage!,” screamed one headline, a reference to certain Israelis’ outrage over the singer’s supposed decision to allude to that movement’s founder, 16th-century mystic Isaac Luria.

But Madonna claims Isaac was actually named after Yitzhak Sinwani, a Yemeni singer who appears on the track. “The album isn’t even out, so how could Jewish scholars in Israel know what my song is about? I don’t know enough about Isaac Luria to write a song, though I’ve learned a bit in my studies.

“But I’ve never heard that it’s blasphemous for anyone to mention the names of catalysts. That’s just a religious organization claiming ownership of something. ‘This is our information; you’re not Jewish and you can’t know about it,’ or, ‘You’re female and you can’t know about it.’ That’s religious thinking .”

Religion vs. spirituality

Madonna, whose Catholic upbringing also continues to inform her work, is keen to distinguish such thinking from the kind of reflection that drew her to the Kaballah. “I like to draw a line between religion and spirituality. For me, the idea of God, or the idea of spirit, has nothing to do with religion. Religion is about separating people, and I don’t think that was ever the Creator’s intention. That’s just people’s need to belong to a group and feel good about themselves.

“Just about every war that’s ever been started has been started in the name of God. It’s, ‘I belong to this group; my group’s better than your group, so if you’re not in this group, we’re going to kill you.’ For me, religious thinking is synonymous with tribalism. You’re not thinking for yourself; you’re doing things because that’s what somebody else did, orit’s how your family taught you to behave and think.”

With her own family, Madonna says, she encourages a more inclusive approach to spiritual education. “Because I study Kaballah, my children are exposed to it. We go to a Torah reading every Saturday morning. And my daughter goes to spirituality-for-kids classes. But it’s non-denominational; there are kids who are Muslims, Jews, Christians, atheists, whatever.”

Lourdes and Rocco also seem to have absorbed their mother’s love of dance, though with very different results. Madonna’s daughter has been taking ballet lessons since she was 4. “I didn’t start till I was 12, which in the world of ballet is late, and I moved from ballet into modern and jazz. (Lourdes) has more of a ballerina’s body, with these beautiful ballerina’s feet.

“No lessons for my son, though. His style is sort of street. If I ask him to dance for me, he never will, but if there’s music on in the playroom, he’ll dance by himself. I have to sneak up on him. He loves R&B and hip-hop, and he dances that way. It’s very funny. I don’t know where he got it from ” I mean, he goes to the Lycee (Francais School) in London. But I think things like dancing, and what you’re drawn to musically, are instinctual.”

During the school year, Madonna, her children and Ritchie are based in London. “We go to the country house on weekends, or in the summer,” she says. “I’m a city girl. If I hadn’t married Guy, I’m sure I wouldn’t have grown to appreciate the beauty of the countryside. There’s an idyllic peacefulness there you couldn’t find anywhere else. Now I can tolerate being in the city because I have a place to escape to, where I can leave the door open and my children can run outside. It’s the one place I can feel like everybody else.”

Well, almost like everybody else. Of reports that she doesn’t allow Lourdes and Rocco to watch TV, Madonna first says, “I was raised without television. They watch films, and my daughter always has her nose in a book. I don’t get the sense that they feel deprived. I don’t know why that’s shocking.”

But Madonna also admits she is concerned about the impact too much contemporary pop culture could have on her offspring in particular. “TV is horrifying,” she says. “Everything is so celebrity-obsessed, and I’m a celebrity. Why confuse my children with that?”

As things stand, of course, Madonna’s kids “get photographed everywhere they go. There are so many more paparazzi now. Because of the Internet, there are all these new agencies. It’s created a whole new line of work for people, where you’ve got to follow people to the end of the earth and climb fences.”

Survival tactics

Such comments may seem ironic coming from someone whose rise and continuing fame have been credited at least in part to masterful marketing, and who is widely considered the first superstar made by, of and for the video age. And Madonna doesn’t want to bite the hand that has fed her.

“As you go on making records, everyone keeps predicting your demise,” she says. “It almost seems like they want you to fail. You have to find a way to be creative and have the freedom to do what you want to do, while also being aware of what the market demands and what people like. It’s a fine line to walk, and there’s a lot of competition.”

Certainly, Madonna’s imitators and inheritors are legion, from teen upstarts to Britney Spears to 36-year-old Gwen Stefani, whose solo album featured virtual homages to her obvious idol. “She ripped me off, so we mutually agreed that I could rip her off,” Madonna quips of Stefani. “We work with a lot of the same people. She married a Brit, she’s got blond hair and she likes fashion. But I don’t mind. I think she’s very sweet and really talented.”

Besides, Madonna still has a few role models of her own. She continues to feel a strong connection to the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. “Her work was very confessional, and told you a lot about what was going on in her life. But you never knew exactly what was true and what was false and what she was overdramatizing. She was creating a myth about herself. But she used it as an educational tool for herself and, I think, for other people.

“That’s how I think of my work. I do self-portraits. People put me into all different categories: I’m a material girl, a sex goddess, a mother, spiritual. But I love contradiction. There’s always a mystery, always a whole other life going on.”

source : usatoday

Madonna in style

By now, most of the civilized world knows Madonna has a new album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, coming out Nov. 15. Her new documentary, I’m Going to Tell You a Secret, has already aired on MTV and is scheduled for rebroadcasts on VH1 and Logo. Her fifth children’s book, Lotsa de Casha, came out in June.
But one of her diversified endeavors flies relatively under the radar. Her clothing line in sizes 2T to 13, based on her best-selling 2003 children’s book, The English Roses, is just a year old and sold at retailers such as Neiman Marcus and at
Many designs feature red rose motifs. Prices range from $19 for a polka dot umbrella to $175 for a long velvet coat with embroidered flowers and jeweled buttons.
The collection also offers jewelry (including a charm bracelet, $14), a musical jewelry box with a rotating dancer ($18), dolls ($25-$85) and tea sets ($30).
Daughter Lourdes, 9, “always gives me her input,” says Madonna via e-mail. “(I ask) would she wear it? With what accessories? Are there any other colour options, etc. She is very influential.”
New is a rainwear collection. “It rains a lot in London, so we have to take this into consideration, for an English Rose cannot get her fabulous new outfits wet, can she?”
Is a boy’s line next?
“Probably not,” she says. “My son (Rocco, 5) wears the same T-shirt and jeans every day.”
source : usatoday