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Drowned World Tour 2001

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Drowned World Tour 2001
Madonna laying upside down with her hand stretched towards the camera
Video by Madonna
Released November 13, 2001
August 26, 2001
Length 1:45:00
Director Hamish Hamilton
Madonna video chronology
The Video Collection 93:99
(1999)The Video Collection 93:991999
Drowned World Tour 2001
I'm Going to Tell You a Secret
(2006)I'm Going to Tell You a Secret2006

Drowned World Tour 2001 is the fifth video album by American singer and songwriter Madonna. It was released on November 13, 2001, by Warner Music Vision, Warner Reprise Video, and Maverick Records to accompany Madonna's second greatest hits album GHV2. The video chronicles a live date from Madonna's Drowned World Tour, which visited Europe and North America, grossing over US $76.8 million ($103.88 million in 2016 dollars)[1] in total. It was recorded at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan on August 26, 2001 and was originally broadcast live on HBO as Madonna Live! Drowned World Tour 2001.

Drowned World Tour 2001 was captured with a 14-camera High Definition shoot. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on the single-sided, double-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image was not enhanced for 16:9 televisions. The set list for the show consisted mainly of songs from her studio albums Ray of Light and Music. Among her pre-1990s hits, only "Holiday" and "La Isla Bonita" were added to the set list. Following its release, the video received mixed response from critics, who praised the sound quality but criticized the poor image. Drowned World Tour 2001 became Madonna's fifth number-one release on the Billboard Top Music Videos chart, and achieved platinum certification there, as well as Australia, Brazil, France, and the United Kingdom.


The Drowned World Tour was the fifth concert tour by Madonna. It supported her seventh and eighth studio albums Ray of Light and Music respectively, and visited Europe and North America.[2] It was also her first tour in eight years, following The Girlie Show World Tour in 1993. The tour was supposed to start in 1999, but was delayed until 2001 as Madonna gave birth to her son Rocco, got married to Guy Ritchie, was working on Music, and was busy filming The Next Best Thing.[3][4] When the tour was decided, Madonna appointed Jamie King as choreographer and the tour was planned in a short timespan of three months, including signing up the dancers, musicians, and technicians.[5] Designer Jean Paul Gaultier developed the costumes in such way that they indicated different phases of Madonna's career.[6][7] The tour garnered positive reception from contemporary critics.[8][9][10]

Tour dates were limited to cities in Europe and United States and it became the first and only Madonna tour to skip over Canada completely.[11] After the tour was over, industry reports presented that it earned US $76.8 million ($103.88 million in 2016 dollars)[1] in total, from forty-seven summer sold-out shows and eventually played in front of 730,000 people throughout North America and Europe, averaging at $1.6 million ($2.16 million in 2016 dollars)[1] per show.[12][13] Drowned World Tour became the highest-grossing concert tour of 2001 by a solo artist, as well as the fourth highest-grossing among all, behind U2, NSYNC, and the Backstreet Boys.[14] Drowned World received the Major Tour of the Year and Most Creative Stage Production awards nominations at the 2001 Pollstar Awards, but lost them to U2.[15]


Refer to caption
The stage for the Drowned World Tour, with Madonna in the middle

The concert was recorded on August 26, 2001, and broadcast live on HBO from The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan, watched by a crowd of 17,000.[16] Known as Madonna Live! – Drowned World Tour 2001, the broadcast was announced by Nancy Geller, senior vice president of HBO Original Programming. She commented, "It's a thrill for us to have Madonna back, because we know it is going to be a spectacular show, with that combination of her amazing talent and extravagant style which only Madonna can bring." The broadcast was produced by Marty Callner and directed by Hamish Hamilton. The broadcast was Madonna's first since 1993, when Madonna Live Down Under: The Girlie Show from Sydney, Australia became HBO's most-watched original program of the year.[17]

Three months later, a video titled Drowned World Tour 2001 was released in all regions on November 13, 2001, the same day her second compilation album, GHV2, was released.[18] Drowned World Tour 2001 was captured with a 14-camera High Definition shoot. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on the single-sided, double-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image was not enhanced for 16:9 televisions.[19] Three audio tracks were made available—a DTS track, a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track. A photo gallery was included as a bonus feature. The photographs used on the DVD packaging were taken by Madonna's friend Rosie O'Donnell.[20][21] Manhattan group Effanel Music, a mobile and portable multitrack remote recording company and its sub-division, L7 Group, did the recording and post-production works on the DVD.[22]


The set list for the show consisted mainly of songs from Madonna's albums Ray of Light and Music. Among her pre-1990s hits, only "Holiday" and "La Isla Bonita" were added to the set list.[8] The show was divided into five sections: Cyber-Punk, Geisha, Cowgirl, Spanish, and Ghetto. It began with a performance of "Drowned World/Substitute For Love"; Madonna entered the stage as dry ice smoke billowed. She sang the song standing on the middle platform of the stage.[8][23] Afterwards a chaotic cyberpunk-themed performance of "Impressive Instant" started, with dancers in gas masks and headlights. She then played guitar for "Candy Perfume Girl", leading to the performance of "Beautiful Stranger" featuring a lost stage technician. Backdrops displayed scenes from the movie Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.[9] The first section finished with "Ray of Light" where Madonna danced energetically across the stage.[10]

Refer to caption
The cowboy segment featuring Madonna and her dancers performing "Don't Tell Me"

The second segment opened with a video interlude of "Paradise (Not for Me)" and had nearly naked dancers hanging upside down from the ceiling. As the video ended, the dancers stood in front of the stage opening their mouth which was lit from inside. Madonna appeared on the stage wearing a short black wig and a hand-painted kimono with fifty-two-feet long sleeves, to sing "Frozen".[23] The backdrops displayed silhouettes of burning trees against blood-red clouds. A short intro of "Open Your Heart" lead to "Nobody's Perfect" where Madonna enacted being sacrificed for her sins. This was followed by "Mer Girl" which turned into the fast-action, ninja-samurai martial arts battle performance of "Sky Fits Heaven", changing back into the slow-tempo "Mer Girl". This section was inspired by the Chinese film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000).[24] Madonna's battered and bruised face was shown in the backdrops[10] as she emerged with a shotgun from the battle on stage and shot her dancer.[23] Madonna disappeared into the floor and a dance remix interlude of "What It Feels Like for a Girl" was shown, featuring footage from the violent, sexually explicit Japanese Anime Film Perfect Blue.[10][25]

For the third segment, Madonna appeared as a cowgirl, wearing a stars-and-stripes vest, for an acoustic guitar performance of "I Deserve It" and dedicated it to her then-husband, Ritchie.[9][23] This was followed by line dancing with her dancers dressed as cowboys for "Don't Tell Me".[26] For "Human Nature", Madonna rode a mechanical bull.[23] After the performance, she addressed the audience in a mocking southern accent and sang a macabre themed song titled "The Funny Song". "Secret" featured scenes of riverside baptism, Sufi dervish ceremonies, and Buddhist prayers in the backdrops.[24][27] She finished off the segment with "Gone".[10] Dancers started the Evita tango interlude of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina"[28] and Madonna appeared and performed the Spanish version of "What it Feels Like For a Girl", titled "Lo Que Siente La Mujer".[23] She finished the segment with an acoustic version of "La Isla Bonita" accompanied by flamenco dancing.[9] For the finale, Madonna appeared on stage, in a halter D&G T-shirt that read "Mother" on the front and "F*cker" on the back and a fur coat, singing a mash-up of Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You" and "Holiday".[9] She and her entourage finished the show with a ghetto-themed "Music", introduced by Ali G, as her music video images flashed behind her.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

"Sharpness was the major issue. From the very start of the performance, I felt the image looked very soft. A few close-ups came across as acceptably crisp and distinct, but beyond those, much of the show seemed blurry and ill defined. The softness wasn't consistent, by which I mean that some shots looked fuzzier than others. However, much of the concert was affected by this well definition, and the project as a whole seemed blurry and without very good delineation.

—Colin Jacobson explaining the issues with the DVD's picture quality.[19]

The Drowned World Tour 2001 received mixed response from critics. Darryl Sterdan from Jam! commented that "even though the gig isn't exactly mind-blowing — the Matrix-style wire-work probably looked way cooler in person than it does on TV... the set has enough hits to make it a decent historical document".[29] According to Orlando Sentinel's Ben Wener, Drowned World Tour 2001 was "the same eye-popping show aired this past summer on HBO, only with vastly superior sound and sparkling picture".[30] A reviewer from gave the video a rating of six on ten, and the audio a nine on ten. The reviewer praised the DVD saying that "this is a quality release that highlights a performer well and truly on top of her game and for what it's worth, she is probably among the best at what she does."[31]

Colin Jacobson from the DVD Movie Guide website complained about its lack of sharpness and commented, "Frankly, I'm at a loss to understand how such an unattractive video hit the shelves". He also criticized the lack of extra content, but complimented the DVD's sound. Jacobson gave the release's image, sound and extras ratings of D+, A-, D, respectively.[19] Aaron Beriele from DVD Talk website shared Jacobson's views, saying that it was "a wonderful show from Madonna and I can only imagine what it was like to actually be there. As for the DVD, it offers outstanding audio quality, but only so-so image quality. Still, it's a terrific show and the DVD still certainly gets a recommendation."[32]

The HBO broadcast won the Best TV Concert category at the 2002 AOL TV Viewer Awards.[33] In January 2002, it was reported by Billboard that Drowned World Tour 2001 was deemed "too explicit" for Singapore and banned from release there. The Singapore Board of Film Censors, known as Media Development Authority (MDA), took offence with two scenes during the "What It Feels Like for a Girl" interlude, in particular Japanese-inspired animation sequences that depicted a monster fondling and raping an Asian girl. Madonna's management debated whether to release an edited version of the video album in the region.[34]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, the release debuted atop the Billboard Top Music Videos chart. It was Madonna's fifth release to reach number one on the chart.[35] The next week it dropped to number two being replaced from the top by Britney Spears' video, Britney: The Videos.[36] Drowned World Tour 2001 was present for a total of 20 weeks on the chart and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of more than 100,000 copies of the release.[37] As of September 2010, it has sold 144,000 copies in United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[38]

On December 24, 2001, the video album debuted at number six on the DVD chart in Australia and was present for three weeks.[39] It was certified platinum in the region by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipment of 15,000 copies.[40] Drowned World Tour 2001 debuted at number three on the Swedish DVD Chart, becoming its peak position, while in Denmark it reached a peak of number five.[41][42] The DVD was also certified platinum in Brazil and the United Kingdom by the Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos (ABPD) and British Phonographic Industry (BPI) respectively for shipment of 50,000 copies.[43][44]

Track listing[edit]

Drowned World Tour 2001 – DVD track listing
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Drowned World/Substitute for Love" 6:24
2. "Impressive Instant" 3:55
3. "Candy Perfume Girl"
4. "Beautiful Stranger"
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
5. "Ray of Light"
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
  • Clive Muldoon
  • Dave Curtis
  • Christine Leach
6. "Paradise (Not for Me)"
  • Madonna
  • Ahmadzaï
7. "Frozen" (Open Your Heart swell)
  • Madonna
  • Leonard
8. "Nobody's Perfect"
  • Madonna
  • Ahmadzaï
9. "Mer Girl (Part 1)"
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
10. "Sky Fits Heaven"
  • Madonna
  • Leonard
11. "Mer Girl (Part 2)"
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
12. "I Deserve It"
  • Madonna
  • Ahmadzaï
13. "Don't Tell Me" Madonna, Ahmadzaï, Joe Henry 4:46
14. "Human Nature"
  • Madonna
  • Dave Hall
  • Shawn McKenzie
  • Kevin McKenzie
  • Milo Deering
15. "The Funny Song" Madonna 4:33
16. "Secret" 4:19
17. "Gone"
  • Madonna
  • Damian Le Gassick
  • Nik Young
18. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Instrumental) 2:25
19. "Lo Que Siente la Mujer" (What It Feels Like for a Girl)
20. "La Isla Bonita" 6:41
21. "Holiday"
22. "Music"
  • Madonna
  • Ahmadzaï
Total length: 105:00

Track list as per the back casing of the Drowned World Tour 2001 US DVD release.[45]


Credits adapted from Drowned World Tour 2001 DVD liner notes.[45]

  • Madonna – main performer
  • Hamish Hamilton – director
  • Marty Callner – producer
  • Randall Gladstein – producer
  • Jamie King – stage production direction
  • Jean-Paul Gaultier – costumes
  • Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared2 – costumes
  • Dolce & Gabbana – costumes
  • Donatella Versace – costumes
  • Catherine Malandrino – costumes
  • Alex Magno – choreographer
  • Dago Gonzalez – video director
  • Stuart Price – musical direction, keyboards, bass-guitar
  • Marcus Brown – keyboards
  • Monte Pittman – guitar
  • Ron Powell – percussion
  • Steve Sidelnyk – drums
  • Christian Vincent – head dancer
  • Niki Haris – vocals, backup singer
  • Donna De Lory – vocals, backup singer
  • Ruthy Inchaustegui – dancers
  • Nito Larioza – dancers
  • Tamara Levinson – dancers
  • Anthony Jay Rodriguez – dancers
  • Jamal Story – dancers
  • Kemba Shannon – dancers
  • Eko Supriyanto – dancers
  • Jull Weber – dancers
  • Addie Yungmee – dancers
  • Kevin Reagan – design, art direction
  • Photonica – back cover photograph
  • Rosie O'Donnell – cover and inlay photograph
  • Cream Cheese Films/Tadpole Films Inc. – production company

Charts and certifications[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
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  3. ^ Lumley, James (November 21, 2008). "Madonna, Guy Ritchie Divorce Approved by U.K. Court". Bloomberg Television. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
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  12. ^ Pietroluongo, Silvio (September 10, 2006). "Madonna's 'Confessions' Tour Sets Record". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2009. 
  13. ^ Caulfield, Keith (December 29, 2001). "The Year in Touring". Billboard. New York City. 113 (52): 44. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  14. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (December 21, 2001). "U2, 'NSYNC, Backstreet Top List Of 2001's Biggest Concert Grossers". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved December 31, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Pollstar Awards Archive: 2001". Pollstar. Retrieved December 31, 2009. 
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  17. ^ Geller, Nancy (May 23, 2001). "HBO Lands The Event of The Summer When Madonna Live: The Drowned World Tour Airs Live Aug. 26" (Press release). Retrieved December 31, 2009. 
  18. ^ Trust, Gary (October 12, 2001). "Madonna's 'Drowned' Comes To Home Video". Billboard. Retrieved February 14, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c Jacobson, Colin. "Madonna: Drowned World Tour 2001". DVD Movie Guide. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  20. ^ Guilbert 2002, p. 189
  21. ^ Fiasco, Lance (October 26, 2001). "Madonna's Drowned World Tour Video & DVD In Stores November 14th". idobi Radio. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  22. ^ Walsh, Christopher (March 15, 2003). "Studio Monitor". Billboard. 115 (11): 42. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
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  24. ^ a b McAlley, John (June 22, 2001). "Reign In Spain". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 30, 2009. 
  25. ^ Fouz-Hernández & Jarman-Ivens 2004, p. 136
  26. ^ Fouz-Hernández & Jarman-Ivens 2004, p. 133
  27. ^ Pareles, Jon (July 27, 2001). "Pop Review; Sea of Self-Love, but Who's Drowning?". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved December 30, 2009. 
  28. ^ Chansancha, Athima (August 26, 2001). "This fan gets to the bottom of Drowned World Tour's appeal". The Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved December 30, 2009. 
  29. ^ Sterdan, Darryl (December 7, 2001). "The Drowned World Tour: Madonna (Maverick / Warner)". Jam!. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  30. ^ Wener, Ben (December 28, 2001). "Dvds Bring The Concerts Home". Orlando Sentinel. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Madonna – Drowned World Tour 2001". Australia: Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  32. ^ Beriele, Aaron (November 13, 2001). "Madonna: Drowned World Tour 2001". DVD Talk. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  33. ^ "America Online Members Name Pamela Anderson's V.I.P the Best Guilty Pleasure in the Second..." (Press release). Business Wire. September 17, 2002. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  34. ^ Fiasco, Lance (January 10, 2002). "Madonna Too Nasty For Singapore". idobi Radio. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  35. ^ a b "Music Video Sales: Dec 01, 2001". Billboard. Retrieved October 11, 2014. (Subscription required (help)). 
  36. ^ "Music Video Sales: Dec 08, 2001". Billboard. Retrieved October 11, 2014. (Subscription required (help)). 
  37. ^ a b "American video certifications – Madonna – Drowned World Tour 2001". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 11, 2014.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Video Longform, then click SEARCH
  38. ^ a b Grein, Paul (September 2, 2010). "Week Ending Aug. 29, 2010: Life's Ups & Downs". Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on September 7, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2010. 
  39. ^ a b "ARIA Music Video – Week Commencing 31st December 2001" (PDF). Pandora Archive. p. 19. Archived from the original on February 21, 2002. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  40. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2004 DVDs". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  41. ^ a b " Danmarks officiele hitlister music dvd" (in Danish). IFPI Denmark. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  42. ^ a b "Weekly List DVD Album – Week 27, July 6, 2006" (Insert the name Madonna into the search box and click "Sök", this shows all of the artist's albums and singles with their chart positions.) (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  43. ^ a b "Brazilian video certifications – Madonna – Drowned World Tour 2001" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  44. ^ a b "British video certifications – Madonna – Drowned World Tour 2001". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 11, 2014.  Enter Drowned World Tour 2001 in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select DVD in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  45. ^ a b Madonna (2001). Drowned World Tour (DVD, VHS). Detroit, Michigan: Warner Music Vision. 38558-3. 
  46. ^ "Austrian video certifications – Madonna – Live In Detroit (DVD)" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved October 11, 2014.  Enter Madonna in the field Interpret. Enter Live In Detroit (DVD) in the field Titel. Select DVD in the field Format. Click Suchen
  47. ^ "French video certifications – Madonna – Drowned Tour 2001" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 


External links[edit]