Confessions on a Dance Floor
|Confessions on a Dance Floor|
|Studio album by Madonna|
|Released||November 11, 2005|
|Singles from Confessions on a Dance Floor|
Confessions on a Dance Floor is the tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna. It was released on November 11, 2005 by Warner Bros. Records. The album was a complete departure from her previous studio album American Life (2003). The album includes influences of 1970s and 1980s disco, as well as modern-day club music. Initially, she began working with Mirwais Ahmadzaï and recorded a couple of tracks for the album. Madonna felt that their collaboration was not going in the direction she desired. Madonna took her collaboration with Stuart Price who was overviewing her documentary I'm Going to Tell You a Secret. Being tired of all the political diatribes she had included in her previous works, Madonna felt the need to relax and be in a happy mood. The album was mainly recorded at Price's home-studio where Madonna spent most of her time during the recordings.
Musically the album is structured like a DJ's set. The songs are sequenced and blended together so that they are played continuously without any gaps. The title arrived from the fact that the tracklisting for the album consists of light-hearted and happy songs in the beginning, and progresses to much darker melodies and lyrics describing personal feelings and commitments. Songs on the album use samples and references of music by other dance-oriented artists like ABBA, Donna Summer, Pet Shop Boys, Bee Gees, and Depeche Mode. Madonna incorporated references of her older work as well. One of the tracks, "Isaac", was not well received by some Israeli rabbis who claimed that the song was about their noted sixteenth-century Kabbalah scholar Yitzhak Luria. Madonna explained that the song was named after Yitzhak Sinwani, who appeared as a featured vocalist for the song.
Contemporary critics lauded the album calling it a return to form for Madonna. They complimented the fact that Madonna chose to seek inspiration from the dance music which was reminiscent of her earlier work. Madonna was honored with a Grammy Award for "Best Dance/Electronic Album" in 2007, as well as "International Female Solo Artist" at the 2006 BRIT Awards. After its release, Confessions on a Dance Floor peaked at number one in 40 countries, earning a place in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records as the album topping the charts in most countries. Released in mid-November 2005, the album's success was such that it still ranked as the sixth biggest-selling of the year. Worldwide sales of Confessions on a Dance Floor stand at 12 million copies.
Four singles were released from the album. "Hung Up", the first single, became Madonna's most successful single worldwide by topping the charts in a total of 41 countries. It was followed by "Sorry" which was another chart topping success. It became Madonna's twelfth number-one single in the United Kingdom. "Get Together" and "Jump" were released as the third and fourth singles respectively, both becoming successful on the dance charts. The album was promoted on the 2006 Confessions Tour, which became the highest grossing tour ever for a female artist at that time.
- 1 Development
- 2 Recording
- 3 Music and lyrics
- 4 Critical reception
- 5 Commercial response
- 6 Singles
- 7 Promotion
- 8 Track listing
- 9 Release formats
- 10 Credits and personnel
- 11 Charts and certifications
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Confessions on a Dance Floor is Madonna's tenth studio album. It merged elements from 1970s disco, 1980s electropop and modern day club music. She decided to incorporate elements of disco in her songs, with the desire not to remake the music from the past, but to pay tribute towards artists like Bee Gees and Giorgio Moroder. The songs reflected Madonna's thoughts on love, fame and religion, hence the title Confessions on a Dance Floor. It was the complete opposite direction from her previous studio effort American Life (2003). The songs on that album were a form of diatribe directed at the American society. However, Madonna decided to take a different direction with this album. Regarding the development, Madonna commented:
"When I wrote American Life, I was very agitated by what was going on in the world around me, [...] I was angry. I had a lot to get off my chest. I made a lot of political statements. But now, I feel that I just want to have fun; I want to dance; I want to feel buoyant. And I want to give other people the same feeling. There's a lot of madness in the world around us, and I want people to be happy."
She started to work with Mirwais Ahmadzaï with whom she had previously developed her album Music (2000). However, that collaboration did not suit Madonna's musical direction. According to Madonna, "[Producer] Mirwais is also very political, seriously cerebral and intellectual. All we did was sit around, talking politics all the time. So, that couldn't help but find its way into the music. I think there's an angry aspect to the music that directly reflects my feelings at the time." Hence after recording tracks with Mirwais, Madonna decided to stop the project and start fresh. It was then that she turned to Stuart Price who had served as musical director on her two previous concert tours and co-wrote one song on American Life. They started their collaboration with the intention of creating a movie score. But the plans for the movie were disbanded. Hence Madonna and Price decided to use the compositions for the album instead. According to Madonna, it was easy for her to shift from her previous album's sentiments, since she included those political views in her documentary I'm Going to Tell You a Secret. She elaborated:
"I was running back and forth, literally, from the editing room with [the documentary's director] Jonas Akerlund to working with Stuart, who was also mixing the music in the film. We were together, non-stop, all of us. Cutting 350 hours of film down to two hours. There are a lot of serious aspects to the movie. I needed a release. When I would go to Stuart's, and we'd go up to his loft, it was like, 'Honey, I want to dance.' I wanted to be happy, silly and buoyant. I wanted to lift myself and others up with this record. So, yes, the new album was a reaction to all the other stuff I was doing, which was very serious in nature. I hope that doesn't imply that I wanted to make a superficial record, because it's not. I want people to smile when they hear this record. I wanted it to put a smile on my face, too."
In an interview with Billboard, Madonna commented that the recording process was a give-and-take situation. According to her, Price used to stay up all night working on the songs. This was helped by the fact that he is a DJ and is used to staying awake all night. This gave Madonna the chance to work on other aspects of the compositions. She noted the fact that she and Price had opposite characteristics, which helped in their collaboration. The songs were mainly recorded at Price's home. Madonna said:
"We did a lot of recording at his house. I'd come by in the morning and Stuart would answer the door in his stocking feet – as he'd been up all night. I'd bring him a cup of coffee and say, "Stuart, your house is a mess, there's no food in the cupboard." Then I'd call someone from my house to bring food over for him. And then we'd work all day. We're very much the odd couple."
She further elaborated that their camaraderie was also due to the fact that they had toured together for Madonna's Re-Invention World Tour. Hence Madonna reflected that her relationship with Price was more of a brother-sister kind than the formal collaborations she was accustomed to during the recording process.
Music and lyrics
Musically the album is structured like a nightly set composed by a DJ. The music starts out light and happy, and as it progresses, it becomes intense, with the lyrics dealing more about personal feelings, hence "Confessions". According to Madonna, "[t]his is the direction of my record. That's what we intended, to make a record that you can play at a party or in your car, where you don't have to skip past a ballad. It's nonstop." She also incorporated disco-oriented influences, such as the prominent use of ABBA samples in "Hung Up", the album's first song. She even sampled ABBA's 1979 hit "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)", for which she wrote a personal letter to songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, who gave Madonna permission to use the track. References of other disco-influenced acts, including Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, and Daft Punk, were also used on the album, as were the disco hits of Parisian DJ Cerrone. The album has a song called "Forbidden Love", which is different from the same titled song from Madonna's sixth studio album Bedtime Stories. Regarding sampling herself and her own song names, Madonna commented:
"I did all of that on purpose, [...] I mean, if I'm going to plagiarize somebody, it might as well be me, right? I feel like I've earned the right to rip myself off. 'Talent borrows, genius steals,' [...] "Let's see how many other clichés I can throw in there. That's exactly it. I was only hinting early on, but then I tell it like it is. It's like, now that I have your attention, I have a few things to tell you."
A pulsating rhythm is present in the song "Isaac", which is regarded as the only song close to a ballad on the album. However, the song was criticised heavily by a group of Israeli rabbis who commented that Madonna was committing a blasphemy with their religion. They said that the song was about sixteenth century Kabbalah scholar Yitzhak Luria. In reality, the song was named after the featured vocalist Yitzhak Sinwani, who sang portions of the Yemenite Hebrew poem Im Nin'alu in the track. Initially Madonna toyed with the idea of calling the song as "Fear of Flying" since the idea behind the composition was to let go. However, at the end she decided to just call it "Isaac" after the English version of Sinwani's name. Regarding the song's development and the condemnation of the Rabbis, Madonna said:
"You do appreciate the absurdity of a group of rabbis in Israel claiming that I'm being blasphemous about someone when they haven't heard the record, right? And then, everyone in the media runs with it as if it's the truth. And that's a little weird. But what's even weirder is that the song is not about Isaac Lurier [sic], as the rabbis claim. It's named after Yitzhak Sinwani, who's singing in Yemenite on the track. I couldn't think of a title for the song. So I called it "Isaac" [the English translation of "Yitzhak"]. It's interesting how their minds work, those naughty rabbis. [...] He's saying, "If all of the doors of all of the generous peoples' homes are closed to you, the gates of heaven will always be open." The words are about 1,000 years old. [...] [Yitzhak] is an old friend of mine. He's never made a record. He comes from generations of beautiful singers. Stuart and I asked him to come into the studio one day. We said, "We're just going to record you. We don't know what we're going to do with it." He's flawless. One take, no bad notes. He doesn't even need a microphone. We took one of the songs he did and I said to Stuart, "Let's sample these bits. We'll create a chorus and then I'll write lyrics around it." That's how we constructed it."
The lyrics of the songs on the album incorporate bits of Madonna's musical history and are written in the form of confessions. "Hung Up" contains lyrics from Madonna's 1989 duet with Prince called "Love Song", from the Like a Prayer album. "How High" refers to two songs from Madonna's eighth studio album Music, namely "Nobody's Perfect" and "I Deserve It". The lyrics of "Push" thank the person who challenged her to expand her limits and also incorporate elements of The Police's song "Every Breath You Take". Other tracks like "Sorry" include the title word in ten different languages. "I Love New York" depicts Madonna praising the city that made her the person she is. Elsewhere, Madonna sings about success and fame ("Let It Will Be") and the crossroads of past, present and future ("Like It or Not").
|Observer Music Monthly|||
Confessions on a Dance Floor garnered universal acclaim from music critics, holding a score of 80/100 on Metacritic based on 28 professional reviews. Keith Caulfield from Billboard commented that Confessions is a "welcome return to form for the Queen of Pop." Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic commented that Confessions is the first album where Madonna sounds like a veteran musician since she created the record for "the dance clubs or, in other words, Madonna's core audience." Alan Braidwood from the BBC commented that "[t]his is the most commercial album Madonna has made in 15 years and it's magic." David Browne from Entertainment Weekly noted that for "all its pretenses of being giddy and spontaneous, though, Confessions is rarely either." Alexis Petridis from The Guardian said that the album "may be a return to core values, but there's still a bravery about Confessions on a Dancefloor. It revels in the delights of wilfully plastic dance pop in an era when lesser dance-pop artists – from Rachel Stevens to Price's protege Juliet – are having a desperately thin time of it." Peter Robinson from Observer Music Monthly declared that the album ranks alongside Madonna's other albums like True Blue (1986) and Like a Prayer (1989). He credited producer Stuart Price for the album, noting that "Confessions clearly wouldn't exist without Madonna, but it's Price who steals the show." Stephen M. Deusner from Pitchfork Media noted that with the album "Madonna again reinvents herself, and it appears she's nearly lapped herself." According to Deusner, the music also makes her appear young. However he felt that the first half of the album till "I Love New York" was strong, while the second half "loses its delicate balance between pop frivolity and spiritual gravity."
Thomas Inskeep from Stylus Magazine stated that the album is "Madonna's most purely beat-driven album since her self-titled 1983 debut" and "easily her finest effort since Ray of Light." Kelefa Sanneh from The New York Times called the album "exuberant." Christian John Wikane from PopMatters.com commented that the album "proved that Madonna, approaching 50 years-old, is a vital force in the ever-expansive landscape of popular music." Joan Morgan from The Village Voice noted that "[w]ith Confessions on a Dance Floor, Madonna at long last finds her musical footing. Easily dance record of the year, Confessions is an almost seamless tribute to the strobe-lit sensuality of the '80s New York club scene that gave Madge her roots, which she explores with compelling aplomb." Josh Tyrangiel from Time magazine commented that "In dance music, words exist to be repeated, twisted, obscured and resurrected. How they sound in the moment is far more important than what they mean, and Madonna knows that better than anyone. Confessions on a Dance Floor is 56 minutes of energetic moments. It will leave you feeling silly for all the right reasons." Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine was impressed with the album and said that "Madonna, with the help of Price, [...] has succeeded at creating a dance-pop odyssey with an emotional, if not necessarily narrative, arc — and one big continuously-mixed fuck-you to the art-dismantling iPod Shuffle in the process." He compared the album to Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue's studio album Light Years (2000), saying "Comparisons to Light Years, Kylie Minogue's own discofied comeback album from 2000, are inevitable". Alan Light from Rolling Stone declared that the album illustrated that "Madonna has never lost her faith in the power of the beat." However, he opined that "Confessions on a Dance Floor won't stand the test of time like her glorious early club hits, but it proves its point. Like Rakim back in the day, Madonna can still move the crowd." Bill Lamb of About.com said that the album was "a solid achievement and well worth hearing." Jason Shawhan from the same website called the album her most fun record since True Blue (1986).
Confessions on a Dance Floor peaked at number one in 40 countries, earning a place in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records as the album topping the charts in most countries. In the United States, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 350,000 copies in its first week. It became her sixth number one album on the chart and the third consecutive album to debut at the top, following Music (2000) and American Life (2003). To date, the album has sold over 1.703 million copies in America, according to Nielsen SoundScan. On December 14, 2005, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of one million copies of the album. In Australia, the album debuted at the top of the chart for the issue dated November 21, 2005. It has since been certified two times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) denoting shipments of 140,000 copies. The album also debuted at the top of the charts in Canada, with first week sales of 74,000.
In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart becoming Madonna's ninth number-one album and eventually selling over 1.6 million copies. That same week, the first single from the album, "Hung Up", topped the singles chart. The album became the fifth consecutive Madonna album to top the chart. The album also went to number one on the European charts and, on September 13, 2006, was certified four times platinum by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). In Ireland, the album debuted and peaked at number three. In France, the album debuted at position 113 on the albums chart. The next week, it jumped 112 places to reach number one. In Hong Kong, the album was awarded a Gold Disc Award by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry for becoming one of ten biggest-selling international album for 2005. Across Europe, the album peaked at number one in Austria, Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Although it was released in one and half months of 2005, Confessions on a Dance Floor was still the sixth world's biggest-selling album of the year, with sales of 6.3 million copies according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Worldwide sales of the album stand at 12 million copies.
Madonna won the "Best International Female Solo Artist" at the 2006 BRIT Awards. She also won "World's Best Selling Pop Artist" and "Best Selling U.S. Artist" at the 2006 World Music Awards for the album. She was nominated for five awards at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards for the music video of the album's first single, "Hung Up". Madonna also got nominated for "Best Album of the Year", "Best Pop Video", and "Best Female Artist" at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2006. Rolling Stone ranked Confessions on a Dance Floor as the twenty-second top album of 2005. She also won a Grammy Award in the category of "Best Dance/Electronic Album" at the 2007 ceremony.
A 30 second sample from "Hung Up". The song became Madonna's most successful single, thus earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The song helped Madonna achieve her thirty-sixth top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany etc.
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"Hung Up", initially used in a number of television advertisements and serials, was released as the album's lead single on October 17, 2005. The song received critical appreciation amongst reviewers, who suggested that the track would restore the singer's popularity, which had diminished following the release of her 2003 album American Life. Critics claimed that it was her best dance track to date and have compared it to other Madonna tracks in the same genre. They also complimented the effective synchronization of the ABBA sample with Madonna's song. "Hung Up" became a worldwide commercial success, peaking atop the charts of 41 countries and earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records along with the album. In the United States it became her 36th top ten hit, tying her with Elvis Presley. The corresponding music video was a tribute to John Travolta, his movies and dancing in general. Directed by Johan Renck, the video featured Madonna dancing in a ballet studio in a pink leotard, which she left to go to a gaming parlour to dance with her backup dancers. It also featured the physical discipline parkour.
"Sorry" was released as the second single from the album on February 28, 2006. The song received positive reviews from contemporary critics who declared the track as the strongest song on the Confessions on a Dance Floor album. Some critics also commented on the song's disco-influenced beats while comparing it to Madonna's older dance songs. It achieved commercial success, topping the singles charts in Italy, Spain, Romania and the United Kingdom, where it became Madonna's 12th number one single. Elsewhere, the song was a top ten hit in more than a dozen countries around the world. However, in the United States, the song was less commercially successful due to underplay on radio, but managed to reach the top of Billboard's dance charts. The accompanying music video was a continuation from "Hung Up"'s music video. It featured Madonna and her dancers roaming around a city in a van, dancing on roller skates and Madonna fighting with a group of men in a cage.
"Get Together" was released as the third single from the album by Warner Bros. Records on June 6, 2006. The decision was spurred by the fact that "Get Together" was the third most downloaded song from the album. It was also released to coincide with the start of Madonna's Confessions Tour. Critics complimented Madonna's ability to turn cliché comments into pop slogans with the song. The song became a success on the United States dance charts, but failed to enter the Hot 100. It reached the top ten in countries such as Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and Italy, and peaked at number one in Spain. The music video incorporated Madonna's performance of the song at London's Koko Club, but it was animated to visually make it different.
"Jump" was fourth and the final single from the album, released on October 31, 2006. Critics complimented the song and its empowerment theme. The song peaked inside the top ten of the charts in some European countries, while reaching the peak position in Italy and Hungary. In the United States, "Jump" charted in several Billboard dance charts but failed to chart on the Hot 100. Madonna wore a blond bob wig and a leather ensemble for the music video. She sang the song in front of a number of neon signs. The video also featured dancers who performed parkour.
To promote the album, Madonna performed at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards and the 2006 Grammy Awards. She played a number of songs from the album at London's Koko Club and G-A-Y as well as in United States, Japan, Germany and France, as part of the Hung Up Promo Tour. The performances saw Madonna emerge from a glitter ball while wearing a purple jacket, velvet pedal pushers and knee-high boots. Songs performed included "Hung Up", "Get Together", "Sorry", "I Love New York", "Ray of Light", "Let It Will Be" and "Everybody". The album received further promotion from the Confessions Tour which began in May 2006. The tour grossed over US $194.7 million, becoming highest grossing tour ever for a female artist, at that time. Additionally, the tour received the "Most Creative Stage Production" at the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards, as well as "Top Boxscore" from the Billboard Touring Awards. A remix only album titled Confessions Remixed was also released in limited vinyl editions. In Japan, Confessions on a Dance Floor – Japan Tour Special Edition (CD+DVD) was released on August 23, 2006. It reached number 27 on the Oricon weekly albums chart and stayed on the chart for 12 weeks.
Credits adapted from the liner notes of Confessions on a Dance Floor.
|5.||"I Love New York"||
|6.||"Let It Will Be"||
|12.||"Like It or Not"||
|Limited edition box set bonus track|
|Icon Members download bonus track|
|Japan Bonus DVD|
|1.||"Hung Up" (music video)||Johan Renck||5:27|
|2.||"Hung Up: Making the Video" (behind the scenes)||Renck||14:08|
|3.||"Sorry" (music video)||Jamie King||4:48|
|4.||"Sorry: Making the Video" (behind the scenes)||King||14:38|
- "Hung Up" samples "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" recorded by ABBA and written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.
- "Get Together" was originally produced by Anders Bagge and Peer Åström.
- CD — 12-track continuous, crossfading mix
- CD Limited Deluxe Edition — 13-track version, released in December 2005, includes bonus track, 'Fighting Spirit', a 40 page picture book from the Steven Klein photo session; an 80 page blank journal book, which includes lyrics from the album track "Like It or Not"; a one month free ICON fanclub membership, and a unique slipcover housing. All tracks are a continuous mix, except for the bonus track.
- Digital Version — Digital download 12-track edition, all tracks are separate and do not crossfade.
- Digital Non-Stop Mix - digital download which blends the 12 songs into one long continuous track.
- iTunes Non-Stop Mix — digital download which blends the 12 songs into one long, continuous track. It also includes the "Hung Up" music video.
- Limited Edition 2-LP Pink Vinyl Set
- Confessions Remixed — Promotional triple 12" vinyl set with all remixes by Stuart Price, released on April 11, 2006, with a limited print of only 3,000 copies.
- Japanese Tour Edition — 2006 re-release to promote the Confessions Tour, includes the 12-track CD with bonus DVD including the music videos and making of specials for "Hung Up" and "Sorry".
Credits and personnel
- Madonna – Lead vocals, backing vocals, producer
- Stuart Price – Producer, keyboards, synthesizers, vocoders, programming, sequencing, sampling
- Roberta Carraro – keyboards, bass, drums, harmonica
- Yitzhak Sinwani – additional vocals on "Isaac"
- Monte Pittman – guitar
- Magnus "Mango" Wallbert – programming
- Photography – Steven Klein
- Art direction and graphic design – Giovanni Bianco
- Legal documents – Grubman Indursky
- Management – Guy Oseary and Angela Becker
- Mixing – Mark "Spike" Stent at Olympic Studios and Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles ("Forbidden Love": mixed by Stuart Price at Shirland Road)
- Recording – Stuart Price at Shirland Road ("How High" and "Like It or Not": recorded at Murlyn Studios, Stockholm and Shirland Road; "Future Lovers": recorded at Mayfair Studios.)
- Assistant engineer – Alex Dromgoole
- Second assistant engineer at Olympic – David Emery
- Second assistant engineer at Record Plant, Los Angeles – Antony Kilhoffer
- Mastering – Brian "Big Bass" Gardner at Bernie Grundman Mastering
Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.
Charts and certifications
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