MADONNA first album U.S.A. promo only presskit added

We have added this incredibly rare promo set for Madonna’s first album to its promo page HERE.

This set contains the U.S. pressing of her first album gold promo stamped on front cover and includes the official Sire 2 page yellow bio + original Sire black/white promo photo. We have also updated the ‘MADONNA’ album page with new images and direct links to the discography.

Check this and much more out HERE.

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Why ‘Hard Candy’ is Madonna’s Last Great Album

For most, Hard Candy is not a classic Madonna album like 1989’s Like a Prayer,1998’s Ray of Light or her eponymous 1983 debut. It’s generally not even considered on the level of its Grammy-winning predecessor, 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor. The album — which arrived stateside 10 years ago on April 29, 2008 — only spawned one top 10 single, “4 Minutes” (which hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100), while most of her previous studio LPs had multiple ones.

And even “4 Minutes,” a clattering collaboration with Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and some marching band, felt more like one of the Tims’ bangers than a Madonna song. In fact, probably the biggest quasi-knock against Hard Candy was that, with Timbaland, Timberlake and the Neptunes behind the boards, it found Madge working with A-list pop hitmakers for one of the rare times in her career up to that point. (Nile Rodgers, on 1984’s Like a Virgin, and Babyface and Dallas Austin, on 1994’s Bedtime Stories, also come to mind.)

Gone was the hip factor of William Orbit on Ray of Light, Mirwais Ahmadzaï on Music and American Life, and even Stuart Price on Confessions on a Dance Floor. There was almost a feeling that Madonna had sold out, as if one of the biggest pop stars in history could do that simply by trying to make popular music. That bad album cover — where she strikes a dominatrix-meets-prizefighter pose — certainly didn’t help matters.

But in retrospect, Hard Candy is, from start to finish, the last great Madonna album, if not up to her outright classics. There is no filler. There are no bad tracks. Zero. (Even the flamenco-flavored “Spanish Lesson,” a frivolous addition to Madonna’s catalog of Latin-infused nuggets, is a guilty pleasure.) The same can’t be said of the more beloved Confessions on a Dance Floor, another club-ready affair that had that forgettable moment when Esther took over on “Isaac.”

As the main men on Madonna’s producing and songwriting squad, Timbaland, Timberlake and the Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) were in top form. On opener “Candy Shop,” which sets the sexy tone for the rest of Hard Candy, the Neptunes get the party pumping with an almost sinister slinkiness. There is really nothing sweet about this sugar — it’s just plain hot and raw.

That special Neptunes sauce clearly inspired Madonna to sound more erotic than she had since, well, 1992’s Erotica. Although the Neptunes also produced the second single “Give It 2 Me,” a classic Madonna anthem with a determined groove to match the lyric, they really hit peak level with the back-to-back tracks “She’s Not Me” and “Incredible.” Ranking among Madonna’s best deep cuts (put “Candy Shop” in that category too), the sassy “She’s Not Me” and the euphoric “Incredible” are both shape-shifting, six-minute epics that start on one dance floor and then transport you to another where the get-down goes on without missing a beat.

Later, on “Beat Goes On” (featuring Kanye West), the Neptunes channel Chic with a bumping bass line. And on the next track, the shimmering “Dance 2Night,” Timbaland and Timberlake keep the disco vibe twirling. Madonna and JT, grinding on and around each other, display even more chemistry on “Dance 2Night” than they do on “4 Minutes.” The Tims also worked on the ballad “Miles Away,” the album’s third and final single, which mixes the folktronica of Music and especially American Life with a stuttering Timbaland beat. “I guess we’re at our best when we’re miles away,” sings Madonna, hinting at the marital problems that led her to split with Guy Ritchie later in 2008.

In the end, Hard Candy was a sweet victory lap for Madonna as her last of 11 studio albums for Warner Bros., the label where she became the most famous female artist on the planet.

(@Billboard.com)

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Madonna Spills Her Thoughts on Aging and Her Skincare Line MDNA

MDNA Skin

If you didn’t already know—Madonna has a skincare line. It’s called MDNA(naturally) and her newest product is called The Reinvention Cream (because of course). The creams, serums, and toners in the line are all designed around a blend of four healing thermal waters found in Montecatini, Italy.

In a sea of celebrity-endorsed beauty lines and products that promise glowier, smoother skin—MDNA stands out because it’s not only incredibly chic, but it’s also incredibly effective. “This isn’t just a vanity product, this is something I have been working on for five years,” Madonna exclusively told BAZAAR.com. “It’s important to me that the ingredients not only pure, but that they work. I stand by all of them, and I use all of them.”

The Reinvention Cream ($75) is the kind of genius, multi-use skincare we didn’t know we needed: a plush yet water-light cream that can be layered-on thick like an overnight mask, or dabbed on lightly like a serum. The blend of thermal water and resurrection plant stem cells will make skin look younger right away—and overtime, too. That’s probably why Madonna told us she rubs the formula over her entire body.

“Stem cells in skincare—they’re not new, but they are getting more advanced,” says Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, a New York City dermatologist who allegedly sees Madonna as a patient. “We’re learning more and more about stem cells in skincare, we don’t have all the answers, but we know there’s a dramatic effect in skin quality and resilience and renewal.” Dr. Frank believes that the unique combination of skin-soothing thermal waters and plant stem cells results in stronger skin that can better protect itself from environmental aggressors that lead to the first signs of aging. “There is no one who can’t benefit from it,” he notes.

Read full article at Harper’s Bazaar

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Madonna’s Hard Candy turns 10 today!

Madonna’s Hard Candy was released in Holland on April 24, 2008. The album was exclusively available for the first time on Thursday evening April 24 in music store FAME in Amsterdam, making it the worldwide premiere of its release. Hard Candy was a huge success in Holland and brought Madonna two number one singles: 4 Minutes and Give It 2 Me (the latter being an absolute Summer smash in Holland and spending various weeks at the top spot in the official charts). 

To revisit the era, here are some useful links:

Meanwhile check out our YouTube playlist containing all the official Dutch Hard Candy teasers and commercials, provided to us by Warner Music NL:

 

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Madonna’s ‘American Life’: Revisiting the Divisive Album 15 Years Later

The title-track lead single was one of Madonna’s first bona-fide flops, certainly by her standards. It barely cracked the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 37. Even worse, it was the object of derision for her stiff, silly rap in the second half where she rhymes “latte” with “shoté” and “MINI Cooper” with “super-duper” and “trooper.” No one wants to hear Madonna rap about her lawyer, manager, agent, chef, nannies, assistant, driver, jet, trainer, butler, bodyguards, gardener and stylist. Not then, and not now. The failure of “American Life” made it hard for the album to recover with subsequent singles “Hollywood,” “Nothing Fails” and “Love Profusion” missing the Hot 100.

But revisiting American Life 15 years later, it deserves more love than it has gotten — it’s perhaps the most underappreciated album of Madonna’s catalog. Listening to it now, it certainly bests Rebel Heart and MDNA, and from a lyrical standpoint, it probably beats 2008’s Hard Candy and maybe even 2005’s beloved Confessions on a Dance Floor. In fact, with its confessional tone and commentary on the American Dream in the President George W. Bush era, American Life is easily one of Madonna’s better lyrical outings.

The strong lyrical perspective is complemented by the cohesive musical vision. Madonna worked with one producer, French electronic savant Mirwais Ahmadzaï, for the entire album—although there was additional production by Mark “Spike” Spent on “I’m So Stupid” and “Nothing Fails”—and they expanded on the folktronica experimentation they did on 2000’s Music. Indeed, if there is one Music song that served as the biggest touchstone for American Life, it’s “Don’t Tell Me,” with its twangy trip-hop. Madonna and Mirwais—who are back in the studio working on new music together in 2018—also co-wrote all but three of 11 songs together. With such a tight team, not one of the songs feels out of place (although the dramatic “Die Another Day” from the James Bond film of the same name feels like it should have been sequenced earlier in the record).

In retrospect, American Life—the last truly ambitious album that Madonna has made—also marked the end of a very important phase of her career. Having achieved new artistic depth with 1998’s Ray of Light and continued that creative spirit with Music, she was very much still in risk-taking mode on American Life. You might say those three albums—starting from an electronica base but veering in different directions—amounted to her Berlin Trilogy. On an aesthetic level, this period was Madonna at her Bowie-est.

“Love Profusion,” “Nobody Knows Me” and “Nothing Fails” make for a thrilling three-song sequence that displays varied moods and styles. While glowing with its sweet strumminess, “Love Profusion” faces some troubling uncertainties: “There are too many questions/There is not one solution/There is no resurrection/There is so much confusion.” The zig-zagging “Nobody Knows Me” packs a rock thump and a sense of disillusionment: “This world is not so kind/People trap your mind/It’s so hard to find/Someone to admire.” And “Nothing Fails”—the glorious, gospel-infused centerpiece of American Life—is nothing short of a latter-day “Like a Prayer.”

Elsewhere, “X-Static Process”—co-written by Stuart Price, who Madonna would go on to work with for much of Confessions on a Dance Floor—is a beautiful ballad rich in harmony and emotional directness. You can almost hear echoes of R.E.M. on that and the previous track, “Intervention.” Meanwhile, the solemn, string-laden “Easy Ride” may be one of the best album closers of Madonna’s career. The lyric nods to her notorious work ethic: “I want the good life/But I don’t want an easy ride/What I want is to work for it/Feel the blood and sweat on my fingertips/That’s what I want for me.”

American Life—which still sounds very modern and, in some ways, seems eerily prescient of Trump-era despair—feels more like the Madonna album for now than her recent efforts. It’s not a perfect album—“I’m So Stupid” is still irritating—but it’s the sound of Madonna challenging herself, and us.

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American Life – Happy 15th!

It’s a Celebration!

Today marks the 15th birthday of an incredible record titled ‘American Life’. This was the second album Madonna worked on with Mirwais (and who she is currently in the studio with) after the hugely succesful ‘Music’ album. To read and see all about American Life visit our American Life album promo page. We have tons of original articles scanned and photographed a ton of (rare and unique) memorabilia. There’s also the photoshoot by Craig McDean in HQ. Here are some useful links:

Also check out our American Life YouTube playlist:

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Swedish DJ Avicii found dead in Oman at age of 28

Swedish born DJ Avicii has been found dead this afternoon in Oman, the cause of his death is unknown at this moment.

Avicii worked with Madonna before and most recently on her Rebel Heart album, his infamous ‘Avicii Heart’ the first ‘leaked’ demo of the song ‘Rebel Heart’ didn’t make the cut.

Too young too soon!

Please read more at IrishTimes

 

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Record Store Day 2018 – get ready!

So tomorrow is the big day……for a third time in a row Madonna fans are treated to not one but two Record Store Day editions!

You Can Dance (regular, not the Venezuelan edition) will be available on red vinyl and the Japanese picture disc for ‘The First Album’ has been re-issued. Unfortunately the Benelux won’t be getting many:

  • You Can Dance – 300 x
  • The First Album (picture disc) – 500 X

Good luck to all those queuing up tomorrow! Check with your local record store to see if they participate (or visit recordstoreday.nl)

photo: BorderlineMusic

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Madonna’s Hard Candy (almost) celebrates its 10th anniversary

It has almost been exactly ten years ago that Madonna’s Hard Candy was released in stores! The official release date of the album was April 25, 2008. The world premiere of the release was in Amsterdam on April 24, 2008 in record store FAME at 21.30. The party was a huge hit and probably our most succesful release party to date. The album entered the charts at number one and brought Madonna two number one hits; Give It To Me being the absolute Summer smash of 2008 spending several weeks at the top spot.

The promotional campaign for this album was fantastic, with various Dutch teasers created and even a ‘Madonna cube’. Warner Music truly knew how to get the word out there that a new Madonna album was available and not to be missed!

To check out all the teaser video’s and Dutch interview M did, check out our YouTube playlist:

 

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