On this day: March 23: Academy Awards (1998), Rolling Stone Magazine (1989), MDNA Album (2012)

Madonna at the Academy Awards

March 23, 1998
Madonna attends the Academy Awards and presents the Best Song category.

Rolling Stone

March 23, 1989
Madonna is on the Rolling Stone cover


March 23, 2012

Madonna's 'MDNA' album is in stores

MDNA (Standard)

MDNA (Deluxe)

Studio album by Madonna
Released: March 23, 2012
Recorded: 2011; Studio at the Palms (Las Vegas), Guerilla Strip, Sarm West Studios (London), 3:20 Studios (Los Angeles), MSR Studios (New York), Free School (California)
Genre: Pop, electronic, dance
Length 50:53
Label: Live Nation Interscope
Producer: Madonna Klas Åhlund Alle Benassi Benny Benassi The Demolition Crew Free School Jimmy Harry Michael Malih Hardy "Indiigo" Muanza William Orbit Martin Solveig
MDNA is the twelfth studio album by American recording artist Madonna, first released on March 23, 2012 by Interscope Records. It is also Madonna's first album not to be associated with Warner Bros. Records, the label she was signed to since 1982. As well as Madonna producing the album she worked with a variety of producers such as Alle Benassi, Benny Benassi, Demolition Crew, Free School, Michael Malih, Indiigo, William Orbit and Martin Solveig. MDNA lyrically explores themes such as partying, the drug MDMA, love for music, infatuation, heartbreak, revenge and separation.
The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. Upon its release, it debuted at number one in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Madonna set a new record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist in Australia and the United Kingdom, but also achieved the largest second-week percentage sales drop for a number-one debuting album of the Nielsen SoundScan era in the United States. MDNA is the lowest-selling studio album of Madonna's career with sales of two million copies worldwide. The album's underperformance was attributed to its lack of promotion and poor singles choice.
The album's lead single, "Give Me All Your Luvin'", was released on February 3, 2012. The single became her 38th top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, extending her record as the artist with the most top-ten singles in that chart's history. The second single "Girl Gone Wild" was released digitally on March 2, 2012 while "Turn Up the Radio" was the third and final, released on August 5, 2012. All three singles have peaked at number one on Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart, extending her record as the artist with the most number-one songs on that chart. Prior to the album's release, Madonna performed at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show on February 5, 2012. The album was further promoted by The MDNA Tour, which ended as the tenth-highest grossing tour of all time. Madonna went on to win three trophies at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards for the tour and the album.
In December 2010, Madonna posted a message on her Facebook page exclaiming: "Its official! I need to move. I need to sweat. I need to make new music! Music I can dance to. I'm on the lookout for the maddest, sickest, most badass people to collaborate with. I'm just saying." She reunited with producer William Orbit over a decade after their last collaboration. Madonna said: "With William, I didn't really have a discussion. We've worked on stuff for so many years that we kind of finish each other's sentences. He knows my taste and what I like." In July 2011, Martin Solveig was invited to a writing session in London. Originally Madonna had only acquired Solveig for an idea of one song which eventually turned into three: "Give Me All Your Luvin'", "I Don't Give A" and "Turn Up the Radio". In an interview with Billboard Solveig felt the stature of Madonna's regular producers would be intimidating and so he chose to avoid "thinking about the legend, and do something that just makes sense". Madonna then enlisted several other producers for the project, including Alle Benassi, Benny Benassi, The Demolition Crew, Michael Malih and Indiigo. She also collaborated with female singer-rappers Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.. Madonna wished to collaborate with "women who have a strong sense of themselves", she found the pair were "fun to be around" and were both self-possessed people, referring to M.I.A. Madonna said "I don’t think she’s impressed much by stars and celebrities, so we just got down to business. I loved her."
On December 15, 2011, Madonna announced that the album will be released in the spring of 2012 and it will be her debut release from her 360 deal with Live Nation Entertainment which was signed in 2007. Through this contract, Madonna and Live Nation signed a three-album deal with Interscope Records, who will market and distribute the album. In the 2011 year-end readers poll by Billboard, it was voted as the most anticipated album of 2012.
On July 4, 2011, Madonna's manager Guy Oseary, announced that Madonna entered the studio to begin the recording sessions for the album. In an interview with Channel V Australia, Martin Solveig commented on Madonna's involvement in the production of the album: "She is as involved as you can be in the recording process. This was a very good and big surprise for me! I was assuming that she would spend only an hour or two in the studio per day and come and see where we were and say, "Ok I like this, I don't like that. I'll sing this. Bye!" And absolutely not... I mean we co-produced the track and it’s not just written on the credits "co-produced by Martin Solveig and Madonna", we literally co-produced the tracks. I mean, at some point she wanted to choose the sound of a snare drum or a synth and that kind of stuff. She was really in the session!" He felt that he and Madonna had time to spend on the record which relieved pressure from the sessions, and he felt the pair enjoyed making music together which was the reason for which they continued past one song which had been the original concept.
Solveig and Madonna "got along very well" and found common interests in music, cinema, food and wine. Common interests in the French film Le Samouraï about a solitary killer became a discussion which led to Solveig drafting the song "Beautiful Killer" in reference to the film. When discussing Solveig, Madonna found their common interests were what drove them to have successful collaborations, she liked his way of working saying "He’s very organised and methodical in his thinking" and she found she was able to say "‘No, I don’t like that,’ and you’re not going to hurt [his] feelings". Madonna also talked about producer William Orbit, she felt her European qualities were well suited to his production style, and with conversation during sessions being "essential" she felt "With William, we always get into discussions about philosophy or quantum physics". When it came to working with Benny and Alle Benassi she found it difficult to communicate with Benny as he is not fluent in English, during their recording sessions she used his cousin Allessandro as an interpreter and whilst this originally proved frustrating they eventually found a way to communicate. She had not worked with Benny Benassi before and found that the first-time meeting a producer was difficult as she would feel shy, but after they had solved the communication troubles Madonna found "I felt like I knew him very well"
Titling and artwork
The album's title was announced by Madonna during an interview on The Graham Norton Show on January 11, 2012. Martin Solveig revealed that it was M.I.A. who suggested the album title to Madonna, noting "We were having a lot of fun with the initials. M.I.A. said, 'You should call your album MDNA because it would be a good abbreviation and spelling of your name.' Then we realized that there were actually many different possibilities of understanding for those initials—the most important being the DNA of Madonna." When discussing the album on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Madonna explained that the album's title is a triple entendre, representing both her name and "Madonna DNA". She also implied that the title is a reference to the drug MDMA, or ecstasy, which provides "euphoric feelings of love". It was condemned by Lucy Dawe, a spokesperson for the anti-drugs campaign group Cannabis Skunk Sense. She told The Sun newspaper that Madonna's choice of album title was "an ill advised decision."
The album's artwork was shot by Mert and Marcus and directed by Giovanni Bianco. The deluxe edition cover was unveiled through the Madonna's official Facebook page on January 31, 2012. Madonna wore a red dress by Antonio Berardi, with futuristic padded shoulders, along with fingerless gloves and red lipstick. Arianne Phillips, who worked with Madonna for her previous tours, styled the singer. According to Jocelyn Vena of MTV News, in the artwork, the singer "cocks her head up, her curly hair pulled back... The photo has some kind of broken mirror filter over it, giving it a funky, dance-queen vibe." Vena also commented that Madonna is "truly expressing herself in the glamorous, deconstructed photograph full of bouncing colors." Jeff Giles of PopCrush commented: "Consisting of a colorful split shot of Madonna in a classic blond 'n' glamorous pose, the MDNA cover promises a bold step forward while remaining strongly reminiscent of her chart-topping '80s work." Robbie Daw of Idolator compared the artwork to the one of True Blue (1986). The standard edition cover was later revealed on February 6, 2012. Emily Hewett from Metro wrote that "although the latest cover shares similar colours and the same blurred style with the deluxe edition, the standard version features a close-up body shot of the American singer wearing a tight-fitting scarlet dress and fingerless gloves to match, rather than a head shot." Dale Eisinger from Vibe magazine listed the cover as the eleventh best album artwork of the past five years, explaining: "Vaguely hallucinatory in color and presentation, the cover of [MDNA] is as vibrant as it was bold. Featuring the performer wearing a scarlet dress behind ribbed glass, she looks fragmented, deconstructed by the various lenses she's been put under throughout the years. In this case, it is through the lens of photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott... Though they've done album covers for countless pop stars, Mert and Marcus achieve something truly eye-popping on this cover, even if that was through digital manipulation."
"Give Me All Your Luvin'" was released as the first single from the album on February 3, 2012. It received mixed reception from critics, who complimented its "catchy" melodies, but felt that the musical composition is inferior to Madonna's previous singles. Many reviewers noted the song as a weak lead single and not a proper representation of the album. The song reached the top of the charts in Canada, Finland, Hungary, Israel and Venezuela, and the top five in several European countries, Japan and South Korea. It became Madonna's 38th top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, extending her record as the artist with most top-ten singles in the chart history. Its accompanying music video was directed by Megaforce and features football and cheerleader theme inspired by the Super Bowl.
The album's second single, "Girl Gone Wild" was released digitally on March 2, 2012. It also was met with mixed critical reception, with critics praising the dance nature of the song, while some noting its similarities to songs from other mainstream artists. The black-and-white music video for the song was directed by fashion photographers Mert and Marcus.
"Turn Up the Radio" was released as the third and final single from the album, on August 5, 2012 in the United Kingdom.
Promotional singles
In the United Kingdom, "Masterpiece" was officially sent to radio stations on April 2, 2012 as a radio-only promotional single from the album. The song also reached the top of the Russian Top 100 Airplay chart on December 2, 2012.
In Brazil, "Superstar" was released on December 3, 2012 only as a special edition free CD with Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo. The accompanying artwork for the single was created by Brazilian graffitist Simone Sapienza who won a contest sponsored by Johnnie Walker's Keep Walking Project in Brazil, she was chosen by Madonna after being among ten finalists. (Wiki)
Track listing
1."Girl Gone Wild"  
Madonna Jenson Vaughan Alessandro "Alle"
2."Gang Bang"  
Madonna William Orbit Priscilla Hamilton Keith Harris Jean-Baptiste Mika Don Juan Demacio "Demo" Casanova Stephen Kozmeniuk
3."I'm Addicted"  
Madonna A. Benassi M. Benassi
4."Turn Up the Radio"  
Madonna Martin Solveig Michael Tordjman Jade Williams
5."Give Me All Your Luvin'" (featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.)
Madonna Martin Solveig Nicki Minaj Maya Arulpragasam Tordjman
6."Some Girls"  
Madonna Orbit Klas Åhlund
Madonna Hardy "Indiigo" Muanza Michael Malih
8."I Don't Give A" (featuring Nicki Minaj)
Madonna Martin Solveig Nicki Minaj Julien Jabre
9."I'm a Sinner"  
Madonna Orbit Jean-Baptiste
10."Love Spent"  
Madonna Orbit Jean-Baptiste Hamilton Alain Whyte Ryan Buendia Michael McHenry
Madonna Julie Frost Jimmy Harry
12."Falling Free"  
Madonna Laurie Mayer Orbit Joe Henry
Total length: 50:52
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