Die Another Day (song)
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|"Die Another Day"|
|Single by Madonna|
|from the album Die Another Day|
|Released||October 22, 2002|
|Recorded||2002; Olympic Recording Studios, Barnes, London|
|Madonna singles chronology|
"Die Another Day" is the theme to the James Bond film of the same name by American singer-songwriter Madonna. The single was released on October 22, 2002 by Maverick Records and was later included on her ninth studio album, American Life (2003), and her greatest hits compilation, Celebration (2009). Following the commercial disappointment of the previous Bond single, MGM wanted a high-profile artist for the soundtrack single of Die Another Day and Madonna was their choice. She wrote the song with producer Mirwais Ahmadzaï while French composer Michel Colombier was enlisted for the strings sections.
The track went through various interpolations, and after Madonna saw the initial version of the film she adapted the song to its theme, described as a metaphor for destroying one's ego. The team tried to under-produce the song to make it sound rough. Ahmadzaï re-arranged the track at his home in Paris while Colombier finished the string sections in Los Angeles. An electroclash nummber, "Die Another Day" is a mixture of strings and interpolating electronic swirls, and stuttered editing on Madonna's voice, cutting the main signal on the chorus.
"Die Another Day" received mixed responses from music critics, with one group of reviewers favored its departure from traditional Bond soundtracks, while others panned its production and called it uninteresting. It was nominated for a Golden Globe award in the category of Best Original Song and for a Grammy Award in the categories of Best Dance Recording and Best Short Form Music Video. The song was a commercial success, peaking at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was the top selling dance song in the US for both 2002 and 2003. "Die Another Day" reached the top of the charts in Canada, Italy, Romania and Spain and the top-ten of a number of countries worldwide.
The music video was directed by Swedish directing team, and was developed as an independent video, although had James Bond influences. It depicts Madonna as a prisoner in a torture chamber and fencing duel between good (clad in white) and evil (clad in black) personas of the singer. Wounds inflicted on both fencers are mirrored on the imprisoned Madonna, and in the end she escapes being electrocuted in the chamber. The usage of Jewish religious texts and objects in the music video led to controversy, with Judaism scholars receiving it negatively. Madonna has included the song on two of her world tours; the first being the 2004 Re-Invention World Tour and again as a video interlude on the 2008–09 Sticky & Sweet Tour. It was also performed at Paris' L'Olympia venue on a single date of the 2012 The MDNA Tour.
- 1 Background and conception
- 2 Writing and development
- 3 Recording and composition
- 4 Critical reception
- 5 Chart performance
- 6 Music video
- 7 Live performances
- 8 Track listing and formats
- 9 Credits and personnel
- 10 Charts
- 11 Certifications
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Background and conception
Following the release of her eighth studio album, Music (2000), Madonna embarked on the worldwide Drowned World Tour which became the third highest-grossing concert tour of 2001 in the United States. In an introspective mood after the September 11 attacks, Madonna started writing songs for her next studio album American Life, with producer Mirwais Ahmadzaï. Recording started in late 2001, but was put on hold as Madonna shot for her film Swept Away in Malta, and also starred in the West End play, Up For Grabs. In the meantime, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) was filming for the twentieth spy film in the James Bond series named Die Another Day, directed by Lee Tamahori. The previous film in the franchise, The World is Not Enough (1999) was a box office success earning US $362 million worldwide. However, the soundtrack single of the same name, performed by alternative rock group Garbage failed to gain commercial success in the United States, leading the new music management at MGM to look for a high-profile artist to write and perform the title song for Die Another Day.
Madonna was their first choice, since she had been successful with soundtrack singles in the US, most recently with "Beautiful Stranger" (1999) from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me which was a top-twenty hit and earned her a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Anita Camrata, executive vice president of MGM Music explained the choice in 2002: "With every other artist, you're taking a chance. But with Madonna, she has an extraordinary track record. She has written songs for films before and they were always perfect." In mid-February 2002 sources from the film set revealed that negotiations were under process for Madonna to sing the title song and even make a cameo appearance in Die Another Day. The song deal was confirmed in mid-March with journalists reporting that it was a complex contract and may have cost MGM upwards of one million dollars, including Madonna's fees for music and acting, participation in music publishing, the album, the single and the music video. The film's producers released a statement that they were "thrilled that Madonna [...] agreed to compose and sing the song for the first James Bond movie of the new millennium... She has an excellent feel for writing and performing music in films and we are proud she will contribute her talents to Die Another Day."
Writing and development
According to MTV News, work began on the song the next week of the announcement, with French composer Michel Colombier being confirmed as the conductor of the string sections of the track. Colombier had recently worked with Madonna and Ahmadzaï, doing the string section for the track "Don't Tell Me" from Music. After the deal for the soundtrack single was confirmed, Madonna and Ahmadzaï went through their demo tracks for American Life and zeroed on one of the songs they were working which Ahmadzaï felt could work for the film; they sent the demo to MGM describing it as "this techno thing, an electronica piece rewritten to accommodate the film and the title". According to Colombier, the studio responded positively to the demo but wanted them to tweak it so that it blended with the traditional James Bond music in some way. It was then that Madonna and Ahmadzaï enlisted the help of Colombier.
The track went through various incarnations and interpolations, according to executive producer of the film, Michael G. Wilson. Madonna's publicist Liz Rosenberg had initially confirmed that the title of the song might not be same as the film, however Wilson explained that when the singer "saw the rough [film] we were going to use, she sort of adapted the song and changed the title to 'Die Another Day'." Tamahori was a little concerned with the demo track since it "seemed to have stops and starts and didn't seem to be that evocative". However he was satisfied when Madonna re-wrote the chorus to make it suitable for the film. The writing process was explained by Madonna:
I hemmed and hawed about it for a while because just for that reason though. Everybody wants to do the theme song of a James Bond movie, and I never liked to do what everybody else likes to do. It's just some perverse thing in me, right? So, but then I thought about it and I said, you know what? James Bond needs to get – needs to get techno so...
Used in the opening title sequence of the film, "Die Another Day" was played 13 minutes into the film at the part where James Bond is shown imprisoned and being tortured for over a year in a prison camp in Korea. This was a departure from the normal title sequence of the previous Bond films, hence was difficult for Madonna to make the song tie-in with the theme of the film. Camarata commented that the singer understood the essence of the opening scenes and helped to set up the story correctly with the songwriting. Her strange psychology references in the lyrics like "I'm gonna destroy my ego ... Sigmund Freud ... Analyze this" were the singers take on what was going on in the film at that point of time. She told an interviewer from Genre magazine that the lyrics were about "about destroying your ego, and it's juxtaposing the metaphor of, you know, the fight against good and bad, and it's set inside the whole universe of Bond. James Bond is in prison and he gets out of prison. Like all Bond films, somebody's chasing him or he's chasing somebody and it's always a fight against good and evil. I wanted to take it to another level. It's kind of a metaphor," she added. "Die Another Day" was never adapted into the main score of the film. The song was later added to the track list of American Life and was also featured on her third greatest hits album, Celebration (2009).
Recording and composition
Once the final structure of the song was done, MGM sent Colombier—who was in Los Angeles—a rough edit of the opening sequence of the film, while Ahmadzaï sent him a longer version of the demo song. Colombier knew that he had to create something like a film score with the song. According to him, he added some more lyrics and then flew to London to conduct an ensemble of 60 string players at AIR Lyndhurst Studios. Ahmadzaï, who was already mixing and recording the other tracks for American Life, explained that the process "was often laborious but with a less-is-more philosophy that is reflected in the music's sparse arrangements. We tried to under-produce many tracks to make them sound rougher than the average international pop production... We wanted to do something totally modern and futuristic but not very apparent. You have to be very minimalist and choose every sound very carefully."
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After Colombier finished the orchestra sections, Ahmadzai took the track back to his home in Paris and did a complete re-arrangement of the song. String engineer Geoff Foster recalled that Madonna wanted something "big and brass" but Ahmadzai did not want lush strings, since Madonna had already done that with her 1998 single, "Frozen". Colombier explained that the final version was not the way he had structured the song, it was Ahmadzai's mixing and ideas. "He's a master manipulator. Sixty real strings, played live, became audio files in his computer. They can be chopped like real pieces of fabric. He's amazingly brilliant with that," concluded Colombier who had also designed an instrumental version of the theme for possible use over the ending credits. Madonna attended the recording sessions at Olympic Studios in London. During the recording of the instrumental version, there was a tango section which Colombier recalled was done perfectly in the rehearsals. However, during the actual take, it did not work out as expected prompting Madonna to grab the talkback mic and telling the crew, "It's not sexy enough, think about sex!"
"Die Another Day" is an electroclash number and starts with a flourish of strings which continues for eleven seconds, when Madonna's vocals starts with the lines "I'm gonna keep this secret / I'm gonna close my body now..." It follows with the stuttered editing on Madonna's voice, which keeps cutting the main signal especially on the chorus "I guess.. I would die... another day". The strings again gain prominence at around the 2:20 mark. During the intermediate verse, a "raucous" laugh can be heard from Madonna's voice. It ends with the interpolating electronic swirls and the orchestra fading out. Sterling Clover from The Village Voice explained that the ending of the song recalled the snare drums and bass of the microhouse genre, with the "cacophony" of harmonic fragments. According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com, the song is set in the time signature of common time with a fast tempo of 130 beats per minute. It is composed in the key of E major with Madonna's voice spanning from the nodes of B3 and D♯5. "Die Another Day" follows a basic sequence of Cm–G♯–Cm–B♭–Cm as its chord progression.
"Die Another Day" was officially released in United States on October 22, 2002. It was supposed to be released on October 10, but got leaked a week prior to that to the radio stations. Website Hollywood.com reported that "Madonna and members of her camp were beside themselves when the song—which they claim wasn't even finished—aired on a pop station in New York City."
The song received mixed reviews from music critics. Author Lucy O'Brien wrote in her biography, Madonna: Like an Icon, that with its "stabbing techno strings and disembodied voice, [the song] was an almost anti-Bond theme". James Hannaham from Spin was positive in his review, writing that it is a "brilliant, melodramatic song, that sounds like a stoic response to a world gone mad. While a spooky orchestra scrapes away, Mirwais struggles to defuse a Moog-synthesizer bomb before it explodes, and Madonna declares, 'It's not my time to go'." Writing for Yahoo! Music, Dan Gennoe felt that "With the style to content ratio weighed heavily in style's favor [in American Life], it's hard not to see her one dimensional club tracks as trying too hard to be too clever; especially when teeth grindingly 'unBond' Bond theme 'Die Another Day' body-pops into view." Stylus Magazine's Ed Howard described the song as "a great slice-and-dice hit of fucked-up electroclash", in an otherwise negative review for American Life. Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine considered it "forward-thinking" and believed that the song "was tacked onto the track list in a move that ultimately insured that American Life wouldn't be Madonna's only hitless album". Clover described the track as "A blistering zeitgeist-negation, hostile and uneasy—as a single, a club track, a Bond theme." Chuck Taylor from Billboard was positive in his response, saying that although a predominance of "squiggly blips and zaps and enough effects on Madonna's vocals render it practically non-human", the song picks up more from the inventive and experimental sounds of her eighth studio album, Music (2000). Taylor explained in detail:
"It's an odd number, somewhat disjointed, a bit nonsensical, and not so much melodic as a highly stylized jam — but one must never underestimate the motivations of the long-and-lasting Madonna; and sure enough, with repeated listening, there are enough clever goings on and a hook that sinks into the consciousness to make this a captivating journey. James Bond purists may find themselves fitful that the traditional melodrama that marks such theme songs is remiss here, but radio jumped on the track weeks ahead of its official release, which will certainly fan the flames of publicity for the upcoming flick... Score another bull's-eye for Madonna."
In his book Madonna: The Complete Guide to Her Music, author Rikky Rooksby described it as "melodically uninteresting and harmonically repetitious". He felt that the stuttered editing by Ahmadzai did not allow the song to gain its full potential and hence the only enjoyment lay in the strings and the chords. Rooksby concluded by saying that "Die Another Day" reveals much about the decline in songwriting quality from the early Bond songs and was not much of an improvement over "The World is Not Enough"; he said that the Sigmund Freud line was the "wittiest line" on the whole of American Life album. Stephen Thompson writing for The A.V. Club called the track "pneumatic" and "hook-deficient". Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly criticized the song as a "flat James Bond tune" and added that it "was neither a Madonna Classic nor Diet Madonna With Lemon". "The techno thump of Madonna's cheerless title song", is how Manohla Dargis from Los Angeles Times described the song. While reviewing the film, Joe Morgenstern from The Wall Street Journal said that "Madonna contributes a dumb cameo along with a tinny theme song". Variety's Todd McCarthy called the song "banal". A. O. Scott from The New York Times described her vocals as "electronically enhanced chirps", while reviewing Die Another Day.
"Die Another Day" was nominated for a Golden Globe award in the category of Best Original Song, but lost the honor to U2's "The Hands That Built America" from Gangs of New York. At the 46th Grammy Awards, it was nominated in the categories of Best Dance Recording and Best Short Form Music Video, but lost both awards; the former to Kylie Minogue's "Come Into My World" and the latter to Johnny Cash's "Hurt". However, it was also nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song of 2002 while Madonna herself won the trophy of Worst Supporting Actress for her cameo in the film. In a MORI poll for the Channel 4 TV show James Bond's Greatest Hits, the song was voted the ninth best out of 22, but also came in as an "overwhelming number one" favorite among those under the age of 24. Rock music critic Neil McCormick from The Daily Telegraph named it the fifth best James Bond theme song, describing "Die Another Day" as an electro R&B workout which was "expressively weird, brutally modern, satisfyingly original and evocative of the dark heart of Bond. Plus, Madonna actually looks as if she might be a match for Bond in either bed or battlefield. Or both." Rolling Stone listed it as the seventh best Bond song in the magazine's list of "The top 10 James Bond Theme Songs".
After its release to radio in United States, "Die Another Day" started receiving strong radio play in the major US radio stations, having been spun for more than 100 times. The song garnered 35 million audience impressions in its first week, debuting at number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100, the highest debut of the year. It also debuted at number 19 on the Mainstream Top 40, number 40 on the Adult Top 40 and number 42 on the Hot 100 Airplay charts. The next week it continued its ascent up the airplay charts, while reaching numebr 28 on the Hot 100 and becoming the "breakout" track on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The release of the CD single on October 22, 2002, prompted the song to jump from position 18 to number eight on the Hot 100, thus becoming Madonna's 35th top-ten single on the chart. This feat put her ahead of The Beatles' 34 top-ten hits and one behind tying Elvis Presley's record as the artist with the most top-ten singles on the Hot 100. The move was spurred by sales of 28,500 units of the CD which also put it on the top of Hot 100 Singles, becoming her third number one on the chart.
"Die Another Day" was the highest charting James Bond song in the US since Duran Duran's number-one single, "A View to Kill" (1985). It was also Madonna's highest charting song since "Don't Tell Me" peaked at number four in February 2001, and is her 44th top-forty single—the most for any artist—breaking the tie with Aretha Franklin's 43 entries. The single spent 11 weeks at number one on Hot 100 Singles, becoming her most successful entry on that chart. It became the best selling dance single of both 2002 and 2003 and the fifth best-selling dance single of the 2000s decade in the US. Additionally, Billboard also declared "Die Another Day" as Madonna's 33rd most successful single on the Hot 100. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the song has sold 184,000 digital downloads as of April 2010, making it one of her best selling titles released before 2005, the year when downloads began contributing into calculating the ranks on Billboard Hot 100.
In Canada, the song debuted at number 25 on the Canadian Singles Chart, and ultimately reached the top, staying there for four weeks. The song was certified double platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) for shipment of 40,000 copies. In Australia, the song debuted and peaked at number five on the Australian Singles Chart, staying for a total of 19 weeks, and was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipment of 35,000 copies of the single. It was less successful in New Zealand, where it debuted and peaked at number 22 on the RIANZ Singles Chart, staying for a total of three weeks.
In the United Kingdom, "Die Another Day" entered the UK Singles Chart at number three on November 3, 2002, being kept from the top spot by DJ Sammy's remix of Bryan Adams' 1985 single, "Heaven", and the song "Dilemma" by rapper Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland. Next week the song dropped to number 12, and continued its descent ultimately staying for a total of 16 weeks on the chart. According to the Official Charts Company, the song has sold 175,000 copies there. It was listed as the 80th best selling single of 2002 in UK. The single was successful in Europe, reaching the top-ten of the charts in Austria, Belgium (both Flanders and Wallonia), Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, while topping the charts in Italy and Spain. Across the pan-European Hot 100 Singles, the song debuted and peaked at number three.
The music video was directed by Traktor, a Swedish directing team known for directing several TV advertisements, and filmed from August 22–27, 2002 at Hollywood Center Studios in Hollywood, California. The total production costs for the video was around $6.1 million ($7.92 million in 2013 dollars), making it the second most expensive music video ever made, after "Scream" by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. In an interview with Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, Ole Sanders from Traktor recalled that in May 2002 Madonna sent a handwritten letter, along with a demo version of "Die Another Day, to Traktor. The team was in Prague, shooting a music video for The Prodigy. "We thought it was a joke, since the letter was long and handwritten. But the song sounded suspiciously like her and we took a cup of sherry to get over doubt," Sanders explained. He was then asked to go to Pinewood Studios in London to watch a half-finished version of the Bond film with producer Barbara Broccoli. Later, Sanders and one of his colleagues invited Madonna in their home at London to discuss the project. By summer 2002, he had compiled the idea for the video with Madonna's inputs in it:
We received daily e-mails with feedback that was concise, unambiguous and occasionally entertaining. She works extremely hard with gumption and detail, and it was clear to us how she has remained on top for twenty years. It was no use being unprepared with vague ideas disguised as creativity, and there was no place to hide... First it felt like doing nonsense, then it's fun and it's something that's going to be seen. The project brings us into contact with interesting actors within both film and music. Also, we like both Madonna and James Bond, so it is relatively ideal.
The video was developed as an independent Madonna clip devoid of any footage from the Bond film, but was still Bond-inspired. It portrayed Madonna in a torture chamber as a prisoner and also fight sequences where the singer duels with herself. Post-production and visual effects for the video was done by London's Moving Picture Company (MPC). They created "invisible" effects for the fighting sequences, allowing Madonna to shoot two characters and then adding realism to the fight and subsequent wounds. Traktor explained that every shot of the video used some visual effects, co-ordinated by the group's lead artist, Christophe Allender. The directors did not want to use too many shots for the dueling scenes, which they believed would have restricted their creative freedom. Additional post-production effects included composing the fight sequence as a cohesive theme, adding blood to the wounds inflicted on Madonna, and adding digital stills of windows against the greenscreen where the shots were taken. For the final shot of the video, which involved the characteristic gun barrel sequence from the Bond films, MPC artist Ziggy Zigouras used a 2K resolution shot and tailored it according to Traktor's specifications. Finally, instead of grading the film print, MPC used the negatives to achieve crisper and cleaner images.
The premiere of the video took place on all the MTV channels worldwide on October 22, 2002 which was a first occurrence in the music channel's history. The music video was included in the enhanced CD of the single, along with the "Making of the video". Madonna played a secret agent in the video, in scenes taking place inside a torture chamber where she is held captive.
The music video begins with Madonna being shown dragged by two soldiers through a bleak, dark corridor, and thrown against a chair. Madonna, with her face bruised starts singing the first verse of the song as scenes of a torture chamber and Korean soldiers laughing at her is interpolated in between. She starts singing the chorus atop a table and dances, while in an alternate scene, two people fence inside a white lighted chamber, one in black cloths and one in white. Madonna continues groping with the different objects in the room and dancing. As she repeats the words "Sigmund Freud", the soldiers catch her again and douse her head in icy-water; she starts singing the next verse.
The two people fencing take off their masks, both are revealed to be Madonna and are surprised to see each other. They resume their fighting violently as the Madonna in the torture chamber is thrown against a wall. The black Madonna slices across the white Madonna's stomach, which is mirrored in the imprisoned Madonna's stomach in the chamber. She rides on a hanging chain from the ceiling and smashes a mirror across the wall. The fighting Madonna's continue destroying the artifacts in the room. The Madonna in the torture chamber continues singing and doing some Yoga poses as the black Madonna breaks open a dark room by throwing the white Madonna against the wall of the room. Different artifacts from the Bond films are present in the room and the two Madonna's fight through them. Meanwhile the Madonna in the torture chamber wears phylacteries around her arm while hiding behind an electric chair. As the breakdown happens, the soldiers bind her on the chair but she laughs raucously, kicks and spits on them.
As the fighting between the two Madonna's become more and more aggressive, the white Madonna takes a crossbow and shoots the black Madonna squarely on the chest. The black Madonna falls down and concurrently a soldier pulls the switch on the electric chair. They laugh loudly thinking Madonna to be burnt in the chair but as the smoke clears, they see that no remnants are to be found. They rush to inspect the chair closely and notice three letters (לאו) being burnt in the chair. They scratch their head and see a vision of a bearded man laughing at them. Madonna is shown running from the torture chamber and opens the door, as the video ends with the gun barrel sequence from the Bond films.
Reception and analysis
The video features references to many of the previous Bond films, namely Honey Ryder (from 1962's Dr No), Rosa Klebb and Blofeld's white Persian cat (from 1963's From Russia With Love), Oddjob and Jill Masterson (from 1964's Goldfinger), Tee Hee's metal arm from the 1973 Live and Let Die, Francisco Scaramanga's golden gun from 1974's The Man With The Golden Gun, as well as a spacesuit, the fencing battle in a Venetian glass factory, and a Jaws-like man with metal teeth, all referencing 1979's Moonraker, and even contains a reference to Luke Skywalker's lightsaber battle with Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. And from the film of the same name, it references the opening torture scene with General Moon, a portrait of Brosnan as Bond from a fight scene with Gustav Graves, and the dual role (in black and white fencing costumes) played by double agent Miranda Frost, herself a protege of Verity—the character played by Madonna in the film.
According to author Santiago Fouz-Hernández, the video employed an identity-splitting strategy in which the two Madonna's fight each other. With this she was referencing her previous videos where such tactics have been employed, like the one for "Music", or "Papa Don't Preach" or "Human Nature". Joanna Rydzewska, one of the authors of the book Representing Gender In Cultures analyzed that the violent imagery in the video was Madonna's way of portraying the violence she had faced during her tumultous marriage with actor Sean Penn; she added that the video was a contrast to the "tremendously independent artist she is". The end of the video sparked discussion about the words imprinted on the electric chair, a phrase that can be interpreted as "great escape" or "freedom". According to the New York Daily News, some scholars of Judaism were riled by the Jewish religious texts and objects appearing in the video. One of Madonna's Kabbalah advisors, Michael Berg, explained that "Hebrew letters Madonna displays, lamed, aleph, vov—roughly equivalent to L, A, V—form one of the 72 names of God and denote a diminishing of the ego to connect with joy and fulfillment." According to him, donning tefillin represented "diminution of the desire to receive and a strengthening of the desire to share. But for a woman to don tefillin is still not a common practice, and for a gentile to wear tefillin might be regarded by some Jews as sacrilege."
In 2004, the singer wanted to embark on a spiritual pilgrimage to Israel to practice her newfound faith in Kabbalah. However, ultra-orthodox Jews protested her trip, saying that Madonna disgraced the religion with her portrayal of wearing phylacteries/tefillin over her arm—a Jewish custom usually reserved for men—in the music video. Israeli securities had advised the singer not to make the trip, nevertheless she did it, visiting graves of Jewish sages in northern Israel as well as shrines such as Rachel's Tomb on the edge of Bethlehem, traditional burial place of the biblical matriarch Rachel. "Die Another Day" was nominated in the category of Best Video from a Film at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, but did not win he thonor. It won the "Soundtrack Video of the Year" trophy at the 2003 MVPA Awards.
Initial reports by The Observer suggested that Madonna would perform "Die Another Day" in front of Queen Elizabeth II at the premiere of the film in London's Royal Albert Hall, but she just attended the event. It was not until two years later she first performed "Die Another Day", as part of her 2004 Re-Invention World Tour. The song was initially decided to be included as the final performance in the set list, but "Holiday" was chosen instead and "Die Another Day" was included in the third segment of the show. Wearing a circus-themed corset designed by Chanel, she and her dancers performed a Tango-like choreography to the song, while backdrops displayed an old man in his deathbed. At the end of the performance, Madonna's dancers tied the singer on an electric chair and as it was raised high above the stage, she started singing "Lament" from Evita. "That's my favorite part. I like the idea of being restrained. I'm singing about all the things I could have had, but my ego got in the way and I destroyed all my happiness", the singer commented later. This performance of the song was included on Madonna's documentary live album I'm Going to Tell You a Secret (2006), which chronicled the tour. The performance was received favorably by Joan Anderman of The Boston Globe, who explained that "the abstract ballroom choreography of 'Die Another Day' was an elegant antidote to the rote gyrations favored by the next generation of pop stars."
Four years later, "Die Another Day" was added to the set list of the 2008-09 Sticky & Sweet Tour, where it was used as a video interlude. It featured Madonna as a boxer on screen, while two of her dancers performed a faux boxing match. The video portrays Madonna as a fighter up against the ropes in a technical knockout, spraying her blood across the video screen. Madonna's DJ Enferno remixed the song and the performance ended with the singer falling down on the ground in the video, as sh emerged from beneath the stage while jump-roping. Paul Schrodt from Slant Magazine felt that the video emphasized the singer's "already-muscular arms", adding that "[u]nlike your run-of-the-mill diva, Madonna is willing to get dirty for her art, and she sometimes gets lost in her backup dancers' routine, though she's quick to remind the audience, 'I'm still the one in control'". Ben Kaplan from Canada.com noted that "Die Another Day", along with the performances of "4 Minutes" and "La Isla Bonita" are re-imagined as "parts of larger medleys, with Madonna giving shout-outs to techno, flamenco and old-school R&B influences". This performance was included on the Sticky & Sweet Tour live CD and DVD release, recorded during Madonna's shows in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December 2008.
While on the 2012 The MDNA Tour, Madonna performed an exclusive club date at L'Olympia in Paris for only 2,700 fans and mixed "Die Another Day" with the song "Beautiful Killer" from her twelfth studio album MDNA. After finishing the performance of "Human Nature", Madonna wears a coat and as the opening music of "Die Another Day" starts, she wields a gun and launches into "Beautiful Killer". Excerpts of films by French actor Alain Delon—the main inspiration behind "Beautiful Killer"—was shown in the back drops. The mash-up was only performed on this date of the tour.
Track listing and formats
Credits and personnel
- Madonna – lead vocals, background vocals, songwriter, producer
- Mirwais Ahmadzaï – songwriter, producer, programming
- Tim Young – audio mastering at Metropolis Studios, London
- Mark "Spike" Stent – audio mixing at Olympic Studios and Westlake Audio
- Michel Colombier – strings arrangement
- Geoff Foster – strings engineer at AIR Lyndhurst Studios, London
- Tom Hannen – assistant engineer
- Simon Changer – assistant engineer
- Tim Lambert – assistant engineer
|Canada (CRIA)||2× Platinum||40,000|
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- List of number-one hits of 2002 (Italy)
- List of number-one singles of 2000s in Romania
- List of number-one singles of 2002 (Spain)
- List of number-one dance singles of 2002 (U.S.)
- List of Madonna tribute albums
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