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Madonna News - February 2011

Madonna on Slant’s Best Albums Of The 90s List

63. Madonna, Bedtime Stories
Over the years, Madonna has cited influences as disparate as the classical composers who soundtracked her early dance training and, despite Kurt Cobain’s assertion that she “ignored” them, the punk bands from her days as a drummer in the East Village, but R&B had the most audible impact on her music during the first 15 years of her career. So to view Bedtime Stories as anything other than an extension of what she’d been doing all along would be remiss. And instead of simply following American trends of the time, Madge infused the album with the edgier trip-hop sounds that were happening on the other side of the pond. But it was her refined literary taste, from Proust to Whitman, and both the media and the public’s rejection of her sexual politicking that truly informed the singer’s seventh album. Whether licking her wounds over lovers (“Take a Bow”) or critics (“Human Nature”), Madonna has never sounded more emotionally vulnerable or more cerebrally plugged in than she does here. SC

47. Madonna, Ray of Light
Don’t call it a comeback. Because while Madonna’s immediately preceeding genres of choice (R&B, adult contemporary, Broadway) were quickly rendering her relevance a thing to be admired only in the past tense, her chart prowess was still in fine form. No, Ray of Light was a rebirth, the sound of a queen, sitting on her throne, taking inventory of her icy, empty fortress—and not liking what she saw one bit. From “Drowned World” to “Frozen” to “Mer Girl,” water is a recurring theme, serving as a symbol of purification throughout. Madonna’s lyrics are notably devoid of any trace of cyncism here, and though it’s tempting to interpret her “answers” as obvious or absolute, it’s her sense of wonder and searching—and, of course, Patrick Leonard’s gorgeous melodies and William Orbit’s immaculate yet playful production—that elevates Ray of Light above mere New Age hogwash. SC

28. Madonna, Erotica
No Madonna album was ever met with a louder backlash or was more rampantly misrepresented than this dark masterpiece, so you know it was doing something right. Released on the tail-end of AIDS hysteria, Erotica is far from the opus to guiltless sexual fulfillment it—and its even more ridiculed accompanying tome Sex—was made out to be. Though there’s no doubt it espouses taking joy in physical pleasure (“Let me remind you in case you don’t already know/Dining out can happen down below”), no album seems more empathetically haunted by the act’s countless side effects (i.e. “Bad Girl,” “Thief of Hearts,” a purposefully monotonous house cover of Peggy Lee’s “Fever”). Underneath Madonna’s bondage getup and Shep Pettibone’s oversized drum tracks beats a truly pained heart. EH

Slant’s Best Albums Of The 90s

Guy Oseary twitts about Madonna’s New Album

I would love to let her rest, but she is eager to get into studio and get working on an album. I’m not pushing.. This is all her!
I’ve always wanted to a Madonna unplugged, the new album will be quite the opposite of unplugged. I have one word for you: DANCE
Most of the music Madonna is liking for new album are from all unknown producers. From what she played me, the tracks sound amazing…
via Twitter

Oseary on Tour DVDs

“I had a meeting with warner records last week to discuss the DVDs.. Its a start..”
via Twitter

Gaga talks Madonna on Jay Leno

“There is no one that is a more adoring and loving Madonna fan than me. I am the hugest fan. Personally and professionally… Well, the good news is that I’ve got an e-mail from her people and her, sending me their love and complete support on behalf of a single and if the Queen sais ‘It shall be’ then ‘it shall be’!”

Madonna’s W.E. gets International Distributors

Stuart Ford’s IM Global has sold Madonna-directed “W.E.” to StudioCanal’s U.K. distribution arm Optimum following a late night of negotiations.

IM Global has also sold Village Roadshow the rights for Australia and New Zealand on the pic starring Andrea Riseborough, Abbie Cornish, James D’Arcy and Richard Coyle.

After Madonna came to Berlin Saturday to screen footage from the pic, IM Global received bids from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Latin America and Scandinavia, with negotiations ongoing.

During the Q&A after the promo reel, Madonna said she was willing to travel to promote the pic, which apparently helped boost distrib interest.


Guetta won Grammy for Madonna’s Revolver Remix

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

A Remixer’s Award. (Artists names appear in parentheses for identification.) Singles or Tracks only.

Morgan Page, remixer (Nadia Ali)
[Smile In Bed]

Wolfgang Gartner, remixer (Andy Caldwell Featuring
Gram’ma Funk)
[Uno Recordings]

Mike Rizzo, remixer (Sergio Mendes)

David Guetta, remixer (Madonna)
[Warner Bros.]

Axel Hedfors & Dragan Roganovic, remixers (The Temper Trap)
[Glassnote/Columbia Records]

Live Nation chairman on Madonna’s New Album/Tour

It looks like Madonna is preparing to enter the studio to record a new album, the first under her $100 million multi-rights deal with Live Nation, which another lucrative tour seems likely as well.

“They tell me Madonna is about to record, so there could be another Madonna cycle coming,” Live Nation Entertainment Chairman Irving Azoff told during an interview earlier this week. Asked if the Madonna album would come through Live Nation, Azoff responded, “Yes,” meaning Madonna’s album could be the first recorded content overseen by Live Nation. The Zac Brown Band’s LP “The Foundation” was initially geared to be a Live Nation project in 2008, but the company folded its label division with the exit of then-chairman Michael Cohl and the record ended up on Atlantic.

Azoff’s news was echoed by Madonna manager Guy Oseary this week via Twitter: “The update is that Madonna can’t wait to get into the recording studio. This will happen as soon as she finishes the movie she directed.”

Live Nation signed a 10-year multi-rights deal with Madonna in 2007 said to be worth as much as $100 million, including her touring, merchandising and recording rights. Madonna left Warner Bros., her label home of 25 years, after the release of her 2008 album “Hard Candy.” Her subsequent Live Nation-produced “Sticky & Sweet” tour grossed $408 million worldwide, according to Billboard Boxscore, highest ever for a female artist.

After the Madonna deal, Live Nation subsequently announced long term multi-rights deals with such artists as U2 (which does not include recorded content), Shakira, Jay-Z and others. Still, it is likely Live Nation would partner with some other entity in releasing the record, as executives at the firm have stated repeatedly that they don’t intend to enter the record business full-tilt.

“Live Nation, prior to the merger, entered into some of these all-rights deals, so there are certain artists, Madonna being one of them, that there is a recorded music strategy,” Azoff saod. “Once she gets the album recorded, we’ll sit down with her and her manager Guy Oseary and figure out what’s best for the record. It has to start with the music.”

Madonna wows Berlin buyers

Berlinale buyers were in a frenzy on Saturday night after Stuart Ford’s IM Global screened footage of Madonna’s second directorial effort, “W.E.” to a limited amount of industryites.

IM Global brought the thrush-turned-helmer to the European Film Market to screen a promo reel of the pic, a parallel love story about the affair between King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson and a contemporary romance between a married woman and a Russian security guard.

Foreign buyers queued up outside the Cine Star in hopes to nab a seat to the exclusive screening, which saw Madonna provide an intimate Q&A after the footage.

Sources say that buyers were told they couldn’t bid for the pic unless they saw the footage, which had buyers scrambling to save seats for the event.

Strictly no press were allowed and attendees were not permitted to use mobile phones throughout the event.

During the Q&A, Madonna revealed that she was willing to travel to promote the pic for distribs, which apparently hit the switch for interested parties.

Bids were fielded almost immediately after the event with several international territories already expected to have closed.

Pic toplines Andrea Riseborough, Abbie Cornish, James D’Arcy and Richard Coyle and is penned by Madonna and Alek Keshishian, who directed the queen of pop in 1991’s “Madonna: Truth or Dare.”

Kris Thykier (“Kick Ass”) produces the pic alongside Hagen Bogdanski and Colin Vaines, who also produced Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut “Coriolanus,” which is screening in competition at Berlinale.

This is the second time IM Global has courted overseas distribs with creative in Berlin this year — the outfit also brought Kevin Smith to the fest to tubthump his pic “Red State.”