Madonna’s Legendary ‘Ray Of Light’ Era

When it comes to pop music eras, Madonna’s Ray Of Light has to be somewhere near the very top. The Queen of Pop has reinvented herself numerous times in her legendary career, but never as fundamentally as she did in 1998. After years of sexy club bangers and shock tactics, the enduring hitmaker embraced spirituality and motherhood on album number seven. The fact that Madonna did it in such an inclusive and accessible way is a masterstroke — and that’s before we get to the music, which captivated the world and earned her four Grammys.

Madonna also proved that 40 isn’t the death knell for pop artists. The ground-breaking icon doesn’t get enough credit for literally elongating the careers of all the women that came after. Instead of age being a commercial handicap, she made it a selling point. Now for the music. From the title track and “Frozen” to deep cuts like “Sky Fits Heaven” and “Skin,” Ray Of Light is a perfect record. Even “Shanti/Ashtangi” goes harder than it has any right to! Revisit the iconic, still-unmatched era by clicking through our gallery up top.


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Should Have Been Bigger: Madonna’s “Nothing Really Matters”

Should Have Been Bigger: Madonna’s “Nothing Really Matters”

Madonna rolled out “Nothing Really Matters” as the fourth single from Ray Of Light in early 1999 and she had every reason to expect another huge hit. After all, the philosophical club-pop banger sums up the marriage of electronica and spirituality that shapes the Queen of Pop’s 7th album better than any other. “When I was very young, nothing really mattered to me but making myself happy,” she begins over William Orbit’s icy synths. “I was the only one, mow that I am grown everything’s changed.”

“Nothing really matters, love is all we need,” Madonna belts on the catchy chorus. “Everything I give you all comes back to me.” When you factor in a glamorous, now somewhat-problematic Memoirs Of A Geisha-inspired video and a blistering performance at the Grammys, all the elements for a smash were there. Bizarrely, radio refused to play along and a delay in releasing a physical single resulted in a chart peak of number 93 on the Billboard Hot 100. Which seems impossible for a mantra of this depth and quality.

“It’s a song about the realization that the only thing that matters in life is loving people,” Madonna said in a 1998 interview. “There’s a line in the song where I sing ‘nothing takes the past away like the future.’ I truly believe that no matter what you’ve done in your life, no matter how bad you perceive it to be, you can always change where you are.” In many ways, Ray Of Light is a miracle of a pop album. The fact that Madonna could ponder the profound in such an accessible way is still a mesmerizing act of alchemy.

Revisit the glorious, bitterly-underrated “Nothing Really Matters” below.

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Still Sticky & Sweet! Madonna’s ‘Hard Candy Era


Hard Candy is a polarizing album even among Madonna fans. Supporters hold it up as evidence of the Queen of Pop’s ability to move with the times and experiment, while detractors bemoan the now-dated R&B production. And then there are those of us that fall in the middle. Hard Candy has its issues, but there’s no denying that the album houses more than its fair share of bangers. It goes beyond that, however. Hard Candy is literally iconic among pop music stans due to outrageous cuts like “Candy Shop” and the era’s overall aesthetic.

Commercially, it was massively successful. Hard Candy reached number one in most major markets and went on to sell more than four million copies worldwide. It also delivered Madonna’s last all-conquering hit — “4 Minutes” featuring Justin Timberlake. The living legend really cashed in, however, with the Sticky & Sweet Tour. She performed to more than 3.5 million fans in 32 countries, grossing a total of USD 408 million. That makes it the highest-grossing tour by a female artist. Revisit the era in our gallery up top.

Did you love this era? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

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Do You Love ‘Matches’? Here Are 5 Other Britney Collaborations to Listen to Right now

3. “Me Against the Music” Featuring Madonna

“Me Against the Music” is one of Spears’ earliest collaborations and she knocked it out of the park, getting Madonna — the Queen of Pop herself — to sing on the track and record a music video for the song.

The song was featured on Spears’ In The Zone album, which was released in 2003. According to the New York Daily News, it was Spears’ idea to get Madonna on the track, which ended up being the first single of Spears’ fourth studio album.

“She’s like my godmother. When I’m around her I feel very safe, and there are few people I feel that way around. And she’s friggin’ Madonna!” Spears told the outlet.

Of course, who could forget the kiss-heard-round-the-world at the MTV VMAs that aired a few months before the song was released?!

Full list at

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Dan De Leon Dishes on Remixing Madonna’s Hits, Love, COVID & More

How did you become Billboard’s number one remixer for Madonna?

My first Billboard #1 Remix was for Kristine W (“Love Is The Look”) in 2009. I had released my debut original artist single in 2007 with Chus and Ceballos’ Stereo Productions. I’ve been remixing and producing ever since and have remixed dozens of records for many different artists including working with Nelly FurtadoTimbaland and Deborah Cox. The goal has always been to get on one of the top pop records in the world, and my favorite pop artist has always been Madonna, so when the opportunity finally came beckoning to work on the #1 pop album in the world, it just so happened to be Madame X and I could not have been more thrilled.

The album made such a deep connection with me and my life in 2019. I don’t know how it worked out so perfectly but I really feel like it was meant to be. I remixed “Medellin” first, but got it done just a few days too late for her approval, so I skipped remixing “I Rise” and began working on “Crave” immediately so that I’d have enough time to get it done the way I wanted and submit it on time.

My “Crave” remix became the first mix to get approved by Madonna on “Crave” so I was really delighted and personally felt really accomplished. The record went multi platinum and #1 on Billboard as well as #1 worldwide, so it is a career highlight for sure. The song also related perfectly to what I was going through at the time. I was in a really difficult relationship with someone who was “very dangerous for me to crave”, which is exactly what the song is about! I also had multiple connections back to Madonna and the album, as some of my closest friends also worked on that album and tour with her, so it was just a really amazing, humbling and reflective experience. My Madonna story is a good one and its rather long, I suggest listening to my interview with MLVC: The Madonna Podcast for anyone who wants the full story with all the juicy backstage and behind the scene anecdotes. 

Read the full interview at Instinct Magazine

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Rebel Heart Tour discography updated

Moving on to the next release in our discography: Rebel Heart Tour.

We have some Rebel Heart promotional releases to add, but we will get to that later. The Rebel Heart Tour was released on multiple formats: 2CD, CD/DVD, DVD, CD/Blu-ray, Blu-ray are you keeping up?

The release was first presented through official press release sent out by the record company with the original (awful) artwork which was (thankfully) changed for the photo by Josh Brandao. 

We have added various pressings to the discography as well as release party merchandise, press releases, trailer and more.

Check it out HERE

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Carlton Wilborn launches Fierce Alchemist store

Carlton Wilborn has just launched his Fierce Alchemist store. Here you can shop online for Fierce Alchemist and We Are Gifts hoodies, mugs, shirts, gaiters and so much more!

With the launch of this store Carlton Wilborn, celebrates the power of Swaggy Merch, to activate people into more Freedom, Courage and Healing. 

Are you ready for some serious Christmas time shopping?


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Club Future Nostalgia 2CD Bonus Edition added

The 2CD Bonus Edition (Germany and Japan) of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia with Club Future Nostalgia has been added to its discography page HERE

Still need to order? Click below

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Should Have Been Bigger: Madonna’s “Human Nature”


In this franchise, we look back on songs that deserved a little more love and attention.

For a project that sold eight million copies around the world, Madonna’s Bedtime Stories still feels like one of the most underrated albums of the 1990s. Not only did it create the blueprint for the Pop Girl R&B crossover, it also contains some of the most experimental (“Bedtime Story”) and autobiographical songs in the living legend’s holy discography. “Human Nature” definitely falls into the latter category. In that it is a literal response to the backlash sparked by her Sex book and Erotica era.

“You wouldn’t let me say the words I longed to say, you didn’t want to see life through my eyes,” Madonna sings in the first verse over a sample of Main Source’s “What You Need.” “You tried to shove me back inside your narrow room and silence me with bitterness and lies.” Like so many times before and since, the Queen of Pop remained unapologetic on the chorus. “And I’m not sorry (I’m not sorry), it’s human nature (It’s human nature),” she purred. “I’m not your bitch, don’t hang your shit on me.” Take that, critics.

In addition to be a razor-sharp feminist manifesto, “Human Nature” also boasts one of the most influential video clips of the ’90s. Everyone from Rihanna to Christina Aguilera has pilfered ideas from Jean-Baptiste Mondino’s stunning, S&M-inspired visual. As usual, however, Madonna was a decade or two ahead of her time. “Human Nature” was not embraced by radio — surprise! — and the banger stalled at number 46 on the Billboard Hot 100. Revisit one of the enduring hitmaker’s most slept-on singles below.

Is this an underrated gem? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!


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Bitch I’m Madonna discography online – 7 items

The final ‘single’ from Madonna’s Rebel Heart album was the notorious ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’, a song she performed in spectacular way at The Tonight Show with Jimmy Felon. 

By this time selected tracks of the Rebel Heart abum had been sent to radio as ‘singles’ in various countries. It became unclear which song was a single in which country, but we will get more into later. 

Madonna filmed a video for Bitch I’m Madonna featuring many surprise guests and becoming her most viewed music video on YouTube. Universal Music NL decided not to release the song as a ‘single’ to Dutch radio, they opted to see first what it would do abroad. In the end it never was a single here so if you see any promotional CD’s for this track with the Dutch Universal Music design, they are all fake. 

For the collectors there was very little to collect as there was no commerical physical single released. A 10 track promotional EP was sent out to all partners by the record company. 

For the discography we managed to collect 7 (promo) pressings, including a ‘for your consideration’ sampler by DIPLO that includes the track.

Check it all out HERE

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