Celebration (Madonna album)

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The face of a young blond woman, her short hair in curls. The photo is washed in yellow color and appears to be embossed on a written page. The woman's lips are bright red in color and has cyan eyeshadows over her eyes. Near her forehead, the words "Madonna" and "Celebration" are written in capital.
Greatest hits album by Madonna
Released September 18, 2009 (2009-09-18)
Recorded 1982–2009
Length 2:37:24
Label Warner Bros.
Madonna chronology
Hard Candy
Sticky & Sweet Tour
Singles from Celebration
  1. "Celebration"
    Released: July 31, 2009
  2. "Revolver"
    Released: December 14, 2009

Celebration is the third greatest hits album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, and the final release under her contract with Warner Bros. Records, her record company since 1982.[1] The release follows her two previous greatest hits albums, The Immaculate Collection (1990) and GHV2 (2001).[2] The compilation was released in many different formats including a one-disc edition and a deluxe double disc. A compilation DVD, entitled Celebration: The Video Collection, was released to accompany the audio versions. The album includes three new tracks, the title track which is included on all versions, "Revolver" which is included on the deluxe editions and "It's So Cool" which is included as a bonus track on some of the iTunes deluxe digital versions. A fourth track, "Broken" was recorded for the album but not used, eventually it was released in 2012 as a limited edition promotional vinyl single for fanclub members.

Celebration was appreciated by contemporary critics who noted the vastness of Madonna's back-catalogue. The album debuted at the top of the charts in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Madonna became tied with Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most number-one albums in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it debuted at number seven in the Billboard 200; in other nations, it also debuted within the top ten, peaking in the top three in most of them. The title track was released as the first single of the album. It became Madonna's fortieth number-one song on Billboard's dance chart. "Revolver" was released as the second single from the album in some territories, but did not achieve significant commercial success.


On March 18, 2009, Madonna's publicist Liz Rosenberg announced the plans for the release of a greatest hits package by September.[3] She also added that Madonna had plans to go to the studio and record new material for the album.[1] The next day, Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary, asked fans on his Twitter for input regarding the track listing of the greatest hits album.[1] It was later confirmed that she wrote three new tracks for the album, with Paul Oakenfold being confirmed as producer for two of the new songs.[4]

"The song comes first. And all of those other things that people remember, the imagistic things, are secondary, or certainly not as important. But I think I’ve become pretty good at sussing out when people’s opinions of my work are coming from what they think of me personally. You just have to do your thing and then let it go out into the world. The rest, you’re not in control."

—Madonna talking about her songs and Celebration.[5]

Attitude magazine reported in an interview with Oakenfold that the tracks he produced with Madonna are called "Broken (I'm Sorry)" and "Celebrate". He stated that the new music is "lyrically classic Madonna with an edgy modern sound."[6] Her official website also confirmed the presence of the track "Revolver", featuring rapper Lil Wayne, when they announced the final track listing for the CD and DVD on August 26, 2009.[7]

On July 22, 2009, Warner Bros. Records officially announced the release date as September 28, 2009 and confirmed the name of the album as Celebration through Madonna's official website.[8] The compilation was available in a case of two, as well as a single CD.[8] The songs on the album were re-mastered and chosen by Madonna and her fans, while covering the whole expanse of her career.[8] A DVD titled Celebration: The Video Collection was released which included several music videos of Madonna that have never appeared on a DVD before. It includes the completed video of the single "Celebration".[7][8] The cover for Celebration was created by street pop artist Mr. Brainwash who is best known for "throwing modern cultural icons into a blender and turning it up to eleven".[8] Celebration was made available for pre-order on iTunes Store on September 1, 2009, to coincide with the music video release of "Celebration". The standard (1 disc) and deluxe editions (2 discs) are available, as well as an iTunes exclusive Premium Edition which includes each track available on the 2-Disc Edition, as well as a new track entitled "It's So Cool", and thirty MP4 music videos.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 84/100[9]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[10][11]
Digital Spy 5/5 stars[12]
Entertainment Weekly A[13]
Houston Chronicle 3.5/4 stars[14]
NME Unfavorable[15]
Pitchfork Media 5.7/10[16]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[17]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[18]
The Telegraph 4/5 stars[19]

Celebration received a score of 84/100 at Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim" from music critics.[9] Sarah Crompton from The Daily Telegraph gave the collection four out of five stars and said: "Madonna's Celebration shows just how consistently she delivers the goods, with tracks such as 'Music', 'Ray of Light', 'Frozen' and 'Don't Tell Me'", with "only a couple of [songs] which feel dispensable."[19] Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine gave the compilation four out of five stars and commented that "functionally, what Madonna and fans are really celebrating with the release of Celebration is the hard proof that Madonna's back catalogue is now so immense and so varied that she can release a behemoth, two-disc greatest hits package that shoehorns in 36 songs and still manages to significantly short-change the singer's legacy", though also noticing that "the album is missing songs, doesn't always include the right ones, [and] seems to have been sequenced by a not particularly intuitive Genius playlist."[18] Tim Sendra from Allmusic praised that "the collection does a fine job of living up to the title — it's certainly a celebration of Madonna's career and includes some of the most celebratory and thrilling pop music ever created."[10] While reviewing the double-disc deluxe edition version of the album, he commented: "The 34-track double-disc Deluxe Edition has an easier time of it than the single-disc 18-track release does."[11]

Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone noted that "Celebration kicks off with pure bliss and never lets up. It's a dizzying, nonchronological spin through the Madonna years, years it makes you feel lucky to be living through. Her hitmaking genius is unmatched and [...] undiminished.", though calling the omission of "Angel" "just plain crazypants."[1] Lean Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly commented that the album "holds up surprisingly well."[13] Joey Guerra from Houston Chronicle praised the album saying "every song on Celebration defines a moment in time, a radio sing-along, a twirl under the glitterball. It's a pulsing testament to Madonna's often-overlooked pop prowess, from the scrappy electro beginnings of 'Everybody' and 'Burning Up' to the retro-disco swirl of 'Beautiful Stranger' and 'Hung Up', still a hands-in-the-air highlight."[14]

Alan Woodhouse from NME was unfavorable about this compilation, reckoning Madonna's career as two distinct phases, them being her "80’s output" and her later career, or "phaze two", summarising by saying that "Madonna clearly thinks this collection represents a celebration of her longevity [...] in reality all it does it expose her more recent failings", though Woodhouse also called it "unfair to say Madge hasn’t touched magic since 1990" before naming "Hung Up" and "Ray of Light".[15] Douglas Wolk, from Pitchfork Media, reviewed the album in the same light, also comparing her early work with the later days, stating that "'Hung Up' is really the only song from the post-GHV2 period that's lodged in the American pop consciousness", concluding with saying that "[Madonna] deserves a retrospective more interesting than this haphazard piece of contract-filling product.", though being positive about the opening sequence, calling that "incredibly strong, a convincing argument for her genius."[16]

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, Celebration debuted at number seven, with 72,000 copies sold in its first week.[20] It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on November 23, 2009, indicating shipment of 500,000 units.[21] In April 2010, the album got a boost in sales from the Glee episode titled The Power of Madonna. The album re-entered the Billboard 200 at position 85 with sales of 6,000 and a 219% gain.[22] In February 2012 after her appearance on the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show, the album re-entered the Billboard 200 at position 24 with sales of 16,000 and a 1.341% gain from previous week.[23] According to Nielsen SoundScan, Celebration had sold 274,000 copies in the United States, by August 2010.[24] In Canada, the album debuted at the top of the Canadian Albums Chart, with sales of 17,000 copies.[25] In Australia and New Zealand, Celebration debuted at number eight and two on the official charts, respectively.[26] The album was certified gold in both Australia and New Zealand, by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), indicating shipements of 35,000 and 7,500 copies respectively.[27][28] The album debuted at number one position in Ireland and the United Kingdom.[29][30]

In the United Kingdom, Celebration debuted at number one, selling 77,000 copies in the first week. According to The Official Charts Company, the release became Madonna's eleventh number-one album on the UK Albums Chart, tying her with Elvis Presley as the solo act with the most number-one albums in the British chart history.[31][32] The album was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipment of 300,000 copies across the United Kingdom.[33] According to The Official Charts Company, the album has sold 370,231 copies in the United Kingdom.[34] The album also reached the top of the charts in Canada, Mexico and in the European nations of Belgium (Flanders), Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Italy, while in Austria, Belgium (Wallonia), Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland the album debuted within the top ten of the official charts. It also debuted at number one on Billboard's European Top 100 Albums chart, topping the chart for four consecutive weeks.[35][36] The track, "It's So Cool", debuted on the official charts of Finland, Italy and Sweden at positions 8, 20 and 30 respectively, due to digital downloads.[37] It was certified multi-platinum by FIMI for shipments of 300,000 copies.[38] In terms of units, it is estimated that Celebration has sold about 4 million copies worldwide.[39]


"Celebration" was the first single from the compilation. A first preview of the song was added on the performance for "Holiday" on her 2009 leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour. It was to be released to radio stations on August 3, 2009.[8] However, the single leaked on to the internet, so the date was changed to July 31, 2009. The digital download was also released on this date due to the leak.[40] Remixes of the song were released to dance clubs on July 24, 2009.[41] "Celebration" received mixed reviews from contemporary critics.[42] The song reached the top of the charts in countries like Finland, Italy and Sweden, while reaching the top-ten in other European nations. It became Madonna's fifty-fifth entry to the Billboard Hot 100 and her fortieth number-one song on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.[43][44]

On December 11, 2009 it was confirmed by Madonna's official website that "Revolver" would be released as the second and final single off the album in some territories. The digital maxi single was released in many countries on December 29, 2009, followed by a CD maxi single in the US in late January 2010 and a 12" vinyl single in early February 2010.[45] Contemporary critics gave a mixed review of the song. Some praised the chorus line "My love’s a revolver" while others felt that it was underwhelming and not on par with Madonna's previous songs. "Revolver" has charted in the lower regions of the official charts of Belgium, Canada, Finland and the United Kingdom while reaching number four on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart of United States. This was Madonna's last single of the 2000s.[46]

"Broken", the fourth song recorded for the album but not used, was eventually released in 2012 as a promotional vinyl single. It was written by Madonna, Paul Oakenfold, Ian Green and Ciaran Gribbin and produced by Madonna and Oakenfold. The single was given to Madonna's fanclub Icon's official members free as a special 12" vinyl, as a part of their membership. The gift was announced in August 2011, but was actually supposed to be given as a gift in 2010. The single was eventually given to members in late 2012.[47]

Track listings[edit]

Disc one
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Hung Up"  
2. "Music"  
  • Madonna
  • Ahmadzaï
3. "Vogue"  
  • Madonna
  • Pettibone
4. "4 Minutes" (featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland)
  • Timbaland
  • Timberlake
  • Danja
5. "Holiday"   John "Jellybean" Benitez 6:08
6. "Everybody"   Ciccone Mark Kamins 4:10
7. "Like a Virgin"   Nile Rodgers 3:09
8. "Into the Groove"  
  • Madonna
  • Bray
9. "Like a Prayer"  
  • Madonna
  • Leonard
10. "Ray of Light"  
  • Ciccone
  • David Atkins
  • Christine Leach
  • Clive Skinner
  • William Orbit
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
11. "Sorry"  
  • Ciccone
  • Price
  • Madonna
  • Price
12. "Express Yourself"  
  • Ciccone
  • Bray
  • Madonna
  • Bray
13. "Open Your Heart"  
  • Ciccone
  • Gardner Cole
  • Peter Rafelson
  • Madonna
  • Leonard
14. "Borderline"   Reggie Lucas Lucas 3:59
15. "Secret"  
  • Madonna
  • Austin
16. "Erotica"  
  • Ciccone
  • Pettibone
  • Anthony Shimkin
  • Madonna
  • Pettibone
17. "Justify My Love"   Kravitz 4:54
18. "Revolver" (featuring Lil Wayne)
Disc two
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Dress You Up"  
  • Andrea La Russo
  • Margaret Stanziale
Rodgers 4:02
2. "Material Girl"  
Rodgers 4:00
3. "La Isla Bonita"  
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
  • Leonard
4. "Papa Don't Preach"  
  • Brian Elliot
  • Ciccone (add. lyrics)
  • Madonna
  • Bray
5. "Lucky Star"   Ciccone Lucas 3:38
6. "Burning Up"   Ciccone Lucas 3:44
7. "Crazy for You"   Benitez 3:44
8. "Who's That Girl"  
  • Ciccone
  • Leonard
  • Madonna
  • Leonard
9. "Frozen"  
  • Ciccone
  • Leonard
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
  • Leonard
10. "Miles Away"  
  • Ciccone
  • Timberlake
  • Mosley
  • Hills
  • Timbaland
  • Timberlake
  • Danja
11. "Take a Bow"  
12. "Live to Tell"  
  • Ciccone
  • Leonard
  • Madonna
  • Leonard
13. "Beautiful Stranger"  
  • Ciccone
  • Leonard
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
14. "Hollywood"  
  • Ciccone
  • Ahmadzaï
  • Madonna
  • Ahmadzaï
15. "Die Another Day"  
  • Ciccone
  • Ahmadzaï
  • Madonna
  • Ahmadzaï
16. "Don't Tell Me"  
  • Madonna
  • Ahmadzaï
17. "Cherish"  
  • Ciccone
  • Leonard
  • Madonna
  • Leonard
18. "Celebration"  
  • Madonna
  • Oakenfold
  • Green (add.)
Total length:


  • CD Standard edition — 18 tracks edition, this version contains the album edit version of "Frozen" and not the full album version which is on the deluxe edition[8]
  • CD Deluxe edition — 36 tracks edition on two discs[8]
  • LP — 36 tracks edition on four LP vinyl discs
  • Digital download — 18 tracks edition, this version contains the album edit version of "Frozen" and not the full album version which is on the deluxe edition
  • Digital Deluxe — 37 tracks edition with bonus remix of "Celebration"
  • iTunes Deluxe edition — 38 tracks edition including a bonus track remix of "Celebration" and "It's So Cool"
  • iTunes Deluxe video edition — 68 tracks edition, including 38 audio tracks (including bonus material: "It's So Cool" and a remix of "Celebration") and 30 music videos
  • Amazon Deluxe edition — 38 tracks edition with two bonus remixes of "Celebration"
  • DVD — 47 music videos on two DVD discs[8]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart precession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
The Resistance by Muse
Irish Albums Chart number-one album (first run)
September 24, 2009 – October 1, 2009
Succeeded by
Brand New Eyes by Paramore
UK Albums Chart number-one album
September 29, 2009 – October 4, 2009
Italian Albums Chart number-one album
September 27, 2009 – October 1, 2009
Succeeded by
Senza nuvole by Alessandra Amoroso
Danish Albums Chart number-one album
October 2, 2009 – October 9, 2009
Succeeded by
M:g:p 2009 by Diverse
German Album Charts number-one album
October 3, 2009 – October 24, 2009
Succeeded by
Humanoid by Tokio Hotel
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders) number-one album
October 3, 2009 – October 10, 2009
Succeeded by
Junior Eurosong 2009 by Eurosong participants
European Top 100 Albums number-one album
October 10, 2009 – November 7, 2009
Succeeded by
Liebe ist für alle da by Rammstein
Preceded by
Poetics by Panda
Mexican Album Charts number-one album
October 4, 2009 – October 11, 2009
Succeeded by
Nada es Color de Rosa by Yuridia
Preceded by
Backspacer by Pearl Jam
Canadian Albums Chart number-one album
October 17, 2009 – October 24, 2009
Succeeded by
Crazy Love by Michael Bublé
Preceded by
Brand New Eyes by Paramore
Irish Album Chart number-one album (second run)
October 8, 2009 – October 15, 2009
Succeeded by
She Wolf by Shakira

Release history[edit]

Country Date
Standard Edition, Deluxe Edition
Australia[77] September 18, 2009
United Kingdom[79]
Brazil[80] September 21, 2009
Finland[81] September 23, 2009
United States[82] September 29, 2009
Brazil[80] September 21, 2009
Australia[83] September 28, 2009
United States[84] September 29, 2009


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