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Madonna GHV2.png
Greatest hits album by Madonna
Released November 12, 2001
Recorded 1991–2000
Length 68:26
Madonna chronology
American Life

GHV2 (an abbreviation of Greatest Hits Volume 2) is the second greatest hits compilation album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on November 12, 2001, by Maverick Records. It contains a collection of songs from 1992 to 2001, selected by Madonna who mentioned that she only wanted "songs that I could listen to five times in a row" included on it. As a result, the album includes several singles which were not big hits, like "Bedtime Story", "Human Nature", "What It Feels Like for a Girl" and "Drowned World/Substitute for Love", and omits other releases like "American Pie", "I'll Remember", "You'll See" and "This Used to Be My Playground". It was a follow-up to The Immaculate Collection (1990) and was released to coincide with the live home video, Drowned World Tour 2001. The album did not contain any new recordings, but a promotional single "GHV2 Megamix" was released to promote it with mixes by Thunderpuss, John Rocks & Mac Quayle and Tracy Young.

The album was originally titled Greatest Hits: The Second Coming but was changed prior to its release as Madonna wanted it to have a title which was memorable. The RIAA certified it Gold and Platinum on December 12, 2001, denoting one million shipments in the United States. Worldwide, the album has sold more than seven million units.[1] A promotional only remix album, GHV2 Remixed: The Best of 1991–2001, was released to accompany it.


The album was originally titled Greatest Hits: The Second Coming,[2] but Madonna decided to change the name to GHV2 just before it was released as "it's a title you will remember" and also because of "laziness", due to the fact that she had just finished the Drowned World Tour and was about to begin filming Swept Away.[3] Other titles considered were Hit Lady – Greatest Hits Volume 2 and The Immaculate Collection Part Deux. The compilation was released on the eleventh anniversary of The Immaculate Collection, featuring a selection of hits ranging from "Erotica" (1992) to "What It Feels Like for a Girl" (2001). Madonna felt that because it was a "greatest hits", it should only contain previously released hit songs.

In an interview with BBC's Jo Whiley, Madonna said about the selection of the GHV2 tracks, "I only wanted songs that I could listen to five times in a row." Like The Immaculate Collection, there were many other popular singles excluded. "American Pie", which was a big hit, was excluded as a "punishment", because Madonna regretted including it as an "International bonus track" on her album Music. "It was something a certain record company executive twisted my arm into doing, but it didn't belong on the album so now it's being punished," she said.[4]

The cover picture is from a 2001 photo shoot for the Drowned World Tour, by Regan Cameron. The logo in the right corner says "Madonna", and "GHV2". The Japanese lettering (モヂジラミミヂ) is the result of typing the letters 'M-A-D-O-N-N-A' on an English keyboard but with the keys re-mapped to their positions on a Japanese 'kana' keyboard. It can be pronounced as "Mo-Ji-Ji-Ra-Mi-Mi-Ji" and does not mean anything in Japanese. The proper translation for Madonna is: マドンナ.[5] "GHV2" can also be seen on the cover picture on Madonna's eye. Kevin Reagan contributed artwork to the inner sleeve. A special edition of GHV2, featuring the same track listing, but some additional artwork, was released in December 2001. Hidden in the inner sleeve album artwork of both editions of GHV2 is a quote from "Human Nature": "Express Yourself, Don't Repress Yourself."

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[6]
Robert Christgau (B+)[7]
PopMatters (favorable)[8]

The compilation received generally positive reviews. AllMusic writer Stephen Thomas Erlewine said "During the '90s, Madonna was a true album artist, even as she was making singles as tremendous as "Take a Bow," "Deeper and Deeper," "Ray of Light," "Don't Tell Me," and the non-LP "Beautiful Stranger". Taken on their own, most of these are still pretty tremendous, but tossed together on GHV2, the end result is less than the sum of its parts, even if this is a good way to get all of Madge's '90s hits at once."[6] Robert Christgau said that "she gleans goodies from the overrated Bedtime Stories and Ray of Light, mixes in the glorious soundtrack-only "Beautiful Stranger" and the dismal soundtrack-only "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," and hands it all over to Mirwais for sonic tweaking I'm not interested enough to pin down", while calling it as "an essential package."[7] PopMatters said "Chronological sequencing would have made it easier to follow the course of Madonna’s musical evolution. But would these changes have made GHV2 a significantly better album? Probably not. As it stands, it’s the best summary of Madonna’s second decade as a performer we’re going to get—at least until a massive box set appears."[8]


Madonna made an appearance at the 2001 Turner Prize award ceremony and mentioned that she "had a new record out called GHV2". She gave the award to Martin Creed[9] and gave a controversial speech and said, "At a time when political correctness is valued over honesty I would also like to say right on motherfuckers!"[10] This was on live TV before the 9 p.m. "watershed", and an attempt to "bleep" it out was too late. Channel 4 were subsequently given an official rebuke by the Independent Television Commission.[11]

In 2001, six and five track CD samplers were released to radio stations to promote the release of GHV2. The six-track radio samplers consisted of "Erotica", "Bedtime Story", "The Power of Good-Bye", "Drowned World/Substitute for Love", "Music" and "Don't Tell Me", while the five-track radio samplers had "Deeper and Deeper", "Human Nature", "Secret", "Frozen" and "Music".

GHV2 Megamix[edit]

In November 2001, Maverick released a promotional megamix to promote the album. It was never released commercially. The "Thunderpuss GHV2 Megamix" was the most common version used by radio stations and the version used in the music video. The songs featured (in chronological order) were: "Don't Tell Me", "Erotica", "Secret", "Frozen", "What It Feels Like for a Girl", "Take a Bow" (these included on the Thunderpuss Club Mix Part I), "Deeper and Deeper", "Music" and "Ray of Light" (these included on the Thunderpuss Club Mix Part II). Other remixes were produced by Johnny Rocks & Mac Quayle and Tracy Young.

The remix went to #5 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in 2001 and charted under the title "Madonna Megamix". The original Thunderpuss version has some spoken words at the beginning of "Deeper and Deeper": this was a recorded message used on the early Internet to promote the album Bedtime Stories. The "Thunderpuss GHV2 Megamix" video is compiled of images of live performances and 23 Madonna videos. It was directed by Dago Gonzalez of Veneno Inc.

GHV2 Remixed: The Best of 1991–2001[edit]

In December 2001, Maverick Records also released a promotional album GHV2 Remixed: The Best of 1991-2001, featuring remixed versions of tracks from the greatest hits compilation GHV2. Like the promotional megamix single release, it was not made commercially available.[12] This compilation contains a remix of every song from the album GHV2, except "Take a Bow", "Don't Cry for Me Argentina", and "The Power of Good-Bye". The album was released as a double CD and a triple 12" set. It contains songs remixed by Victor Calderone, Junior Vasquez, BT, Sasha, Timo Maas, and Hex Hector.

Shep Pettibone was given writing credits for "Secret" for the first time in the liner notes. The collection contained two previously unavailable remixes; the "Luscious Dub Mix" of "Bedtime Story", produced by Mark Picchiotti and Teri Bristol, previously appeared only on the "Bedtime Story: Chapter II" promotional 12" single that was released in 1995. The album also contains a previously unreleased remix of "What It Feels Like for a Girl" produced by Chris Staropoli.

The artwork for the collection contained a collage of small images of Madonna, also used in the liner notes for GHV2. The title includes the year 1991 but does not include any recording from that year, the first being the 1992 single "Erotica". The only releases in 1991 by Madonna were from the 1990 The Immaculate Collection greatest hits collection; "Rescue Me" (February 26, 1991), "Crazy for You (Remix)" (February 18, 1991, UK release) and "Holiday"/The Holiday Collection (June 4, 1991, UK release).

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Deeper and Deeper" (7" edit)
  • Madonna
  • Pettibone
2. "Erotica" (Radio edit)
  • Ciccone
  • Pettibone
  • Madonna
  • Pettibone
3. "Human Nature" (Radio version)
  • Madonna
  • Hall
4. "Secret" (Edited version)
  • Madonna
  • Austin
5. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Radio edit)
6. "Bedtime Story" (Edited version)
  • Hooper
  • Madonna
7. "The Power of Good-Bye"  
8. "Beautiful Stranger" (William Orbit radio edit)
  • Ciccone
  • Orbit
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
9. "Frozen" (Edited version)
  • Ciccone
  • Leonard
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
  • Leonard
10. "Take a Bow" (Edited version)
  • Babyface
  • Madonna
11. "Ray of Light" (Radio edit)
  • Ciccone
  • Orbit
  • Clive Muldoon
  • Dave Curtis
  • Christine Leach
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
12. "Don't Tell Me"  
  • Madonna
  • Ahmadzaï
13. "What It Feels Like for a Girl"  
14. "Drowned World/Substitute for Love"  
  • Ciccone
  • Orbit
  • Rod McKuen
  • Anita Kerr
  • David Collins
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
15. "Music"  
  • Ciccone
  • Ahmadzaï
  • Madonna
  • Ahmadzaï

Charts, sales and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ Arthington, Mirra (2007-10-07). "Warner finds solace in farewell CD". Music Week (London) 32 (09): 21. ISSN 0265-1548. 
  2. ^ GHV2 (Promotional VHS) (Media notes). Madonna. Maverick, Warner Bros., Warner Music UK. 2001. SAM 925. 
  3. ^ Madonna Interview – The Today Show 2001 part 2
  4. ^ "It was something a certain record company executive twisted my arm into doing, but it didn't belong on the (Music) album so now it's being punished." — Madonna, in an interview with Jo Whitley, broadcast by BBC Radio 1 in 2001.
  5. ^ "Madonna / マドンナ". Warner Music Japan. 2010. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b GHV2 at AllMusic
  7. ^ a b Robert Christgau review
  8. ^ a b PopMatters review
  9. ^ Tate Britain | Exhibitions
  10. ^ Gibbons, Fiachra (2001)"Judges switched on as Turner Prize goes to the Creed of nothingness" The Guardian online, 10 December 2001. Retrieved 8 January 2007
  11. ^ Innes, John (2002)"Madonna rebuked for Turner Prize outburst" The Scotsman online, 11 February 2002. Retrieved 8 January 2007
  12. ^ Madonna GHV2 Remixed The Best Of 1991–2001 – PRO-CD-100781 – United States – CD
  13. ^ グレイテスト・ヒッツ Vol.2 (in Japanese). Oricon. 2001-11-10. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  14. ^ a b Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  15. ^ GHV2 - Madonna Billboard
  16. ^ "Argentinian album certifications – Madonna – GHV2". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  17. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Madonna – GHV2" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Madonna – GHV2". Music Canada. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Danish album certifications – Madonna – GHV2". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Madonna" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  22. ^ "French album certifications – Madonna – GHV2" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Madonna; 'GHV2')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Madonna – GHV2" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved November 11, 2014.  Select 2001年月 on the drop-down menu
  25. ^ "Certificaciones – Madonna" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Madonna – GHV2" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  27. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Madonna – GHV2". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Polish album certifications – Madonna – GHV2" (in Polish). Polish Producers of Audio and Video (ZPAV). Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  29. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Madonna; 'GHV2')". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  30. ^ "British album certifications – Madonna – GHV2". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 11, 2014.  Enter GHV2 in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  31. ^ "American album certifications – Madonna – GHV2". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 11, 2014.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  32. ^ Trust, Gary (2009-08-14). "Ask Billboard: Madonna vs. Whitney: Who's Sold More?". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  33. ^ Barry David (February 18, 2003). "Shania, Backstreet, Britney, Eminem and Janet Top All-Time Sellers". Music Industry News Network. Retrieved July 17, 2009. 

External links[edit]