MDNA (album)

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MDNA
Close-up of Madonna in front of a colorful background. The image is distorted through the use of a glass-pane like filter, giving it a wavy appearance.
Deluxe edition artwork
Studio album by Madonna
Released March 23, 2012 (2012-03-23)
Recorded 2011
Studio
Genre
Length 50:47
Label Interscope
Producer
Madonna chronology
Sticky & Sweet Tour
(2010)
MDNA
(2012)
The Complete Studio Albums (1983–2008)
(2012)
Singles from MDNA
  1. "Give Me All Your Luvin'"
    Released: February 3, 2012
  2. "Girl Gone Wild"
    Released: March 2, 2012
  3. "Masterpiece"
    Released: April 2, 2012
  4. "Turn Up the Radio"
    Released: June 29, 2012

MDNA is the twelfth studio album by American singer Madonna, released on March 23, 2012, by Interscope Records. The album was conceived while the singer was busy throughout 2011 with filming her directorial venture, W.E. Madonna started the recording in July 2011 and collaborated with a variety of producers such as Alle Benassi, Benny Benassi, Demolition Crew, Free School, Michael Malih, Indiigo, William Orbit and Martin Solveig, the last two serving as primary producers of the record.

The recording process was smooth although Madonna found difficulty working with Benny Benassi who did not speak fluent English and had to use Alle Benassi as interpreter. A pop and EDM record, MDNA consisted of both introspective as well as upbeat songs. Lyrically the record explored themes such as partying, love for music, infatuation, as well as heartbreak, revenge and separation. The album's title was a triple entendre and its allusion to MDMA drew negative reception from anti-drug group.

MDNA was Madonna's first release under the 360 deal she had signed with Live Nation in 2007 and the three-album deal with Interscope in 2012. The record received promotion from Madonna's performance at Super Bowl XLVI halftime show as well as The MDNA Tour, the latter becoming one of the highest-grossing tours of all time. Four singles were released—"Give Me All Your Luvin'", "Girl Gone Wild", "Masterpiece" and "Turn Up the Radio". Its first single reached number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, thereby extending Madonna's record as the artist with the most top-ten singles in that chart's history. The media noted that no further promotion was done for the record.

Music critics were ambivalent towards the album. They praised Orbit's production and the downtempo songs, but criticized the lyrics as well as Madonna for being regressive with her music. MDNA topped the record charts in most musical markets. Madonna set a new record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist in Australia and the United Kingdom. MDNA was the twelfth best-selling album of 2012 globally, and went on to sell two million copies.

Background and collaborations[edit]

Martin Solveig in a black jacket smiling
French DJ Martin Solveig ended up writing and producing three songs on MDNA

Following the end of her eleventh studio album, Hard Candy (2008) era, Madonna branched out into different ventures. She released her third greatest-hits album, Celebration (2009),[1] introduced her Material Girl clothing line,[2] opened Hard Candy Fitness centers across the world,[3] and unveiled fashion brand Truth or Dare by Madonna which included perfumes, footwear, underclothing, and accessories.[4] She also directed her second feature film, W.E., a biographical piece about the affair between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.[5]

As filming for W.E. was in progress, Madonna posted a message on her Facebook page exclaiming: "Its official! I need to move. I need to sweat. I need to make new music! Music I can dance to. I'm on the lookout for the maddest, sickest, most badass people to collaborate with. I'm just saying."[6] She started working with producer William Orbit, with whom the singer had not collaborated since her eighth studio album, Music (2000). Noting that they shared great camaraderie, Madonna felt that Orbit would align with her musical choices.[7]

In July 2011, French DJ Martin Solveig was invited for a writing session in London. Originally Madonna had enlisted Solveig for one song, but they ended up composing three in total—"Give Me All Your Luvin'", "I Don't Give A" and "Turn Up the Radio"—fueled by their common interests in films, food and other topics. In an interview with Billboard, Solveig felt that being Madonna's record producer would have been intimidating for him, so he avoided "thinking about the [singer], and do something that just makes sense".[8] Several other producers joined the album, including Allessandro "Alle" Benassi and his brother Benny Benassi, The Demolition Crew, Michael Malih and Indiigo.[9] Madonna enlisted female rappers Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., wanting to collaborate with "women who [...] have a strong sense of themselves".[10]

Recording sessions[edit]

On July 4, 2011, Madonna's manager Guy Oseary announced that the singer had begun recording the album.[11] Sessions took place at Sarm West Studios and Guerrilla Strip in London, Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas, MSR Studios in New York, 3:20 Studios in Los Angeles, and Free School in California.[12] The simplicity of songwriting appealed to the singer and Madonna was happy to be back in the enclosed space of a recording studio, after being outside always during filming of W.E.[13]

In an interview with Channel V Australia, Solveig recalled that the recording sessions were smooth due to the camaraderie between Madonna and him.[14] After the three songs were composed, the producer drafted another track called "Beautiful Killer", inspired by the French film, Le Samouraï (1967), a common interest with Madonna.[8] For Madonna, Solveig's "methodical" thinking was important since she could refuse anything during the process without thinking about hurting his feelings.[10] Solveig commented about Madonna's involvement in the production of the album:

She is as involved as you can be in the recording process. This was a very good and big surprise for me! I was assuming that she would spend only an hour or two in the studio per day and come and see where we were and say, "Ok I like this, I don't like that. I'll sing this. Bye!" And absolutely not... I mean we co-produced the track and it's not just written on the credits "co-produced by Martin Solveig and Madonna", we literally co-produced the tracks. I mean, at some point she wanted to choose the sound of a snare drum or a synth and that kind of stuff. She was really in the session![14]

Madonna found that her European sensibilities were in line with Orbit's, which suited the songs composed with him and the sessions were "incredibly quick and spontaneous" amidst their banter about "philosophy or quantum physics".[10][15] While working with the Benassis, Madonna faced language problems since Benny was not fluent in English. She was shy but ultimately asked Alle Benassi to be an interpreter which was difficult for all three, but eventually they were able to overcome it. "With music it's so much about the vibe and the energy and you know when things are working and when they're not," clarified the singer.[10]

Titling and artwork[edit]

Ecstacy pills in a blue coating.
The album's name was a reference to the drug MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy

The album title was announced by Madonna as MDNA during an interview on The Graham Norton Show on January 11, 2012.[16] Solveig revealed that it was M.I.A. who had suggested the name to the singer, noting "We were having a lot of fun with the initials. M.I.A. said, 'You should call your album MDNA because it would be a good abbreviation and spelling of your name.'"[17] When discussing the album on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Madonna explained that the title is a triple entendre, representing both her name and her DNA, as well as a reference to the drug MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy.[18] The name was condemned by Lucy Dawe, a spokesperson for the anti-drugs campaign group Cannabis Skunk Sense, who felt that Madonna's choice of the title was "an ill advised decision".[19]

The record's artwork was shot by Mert and Marcus and directed by Giovanni Bianco.[20] The deluxe edition was unveiled through Madonna's official Facebook page on January 31, 2012.[21] Jocelyn Vena of MTV News described the image as a "glamorous, deconstructed photograph" where Madonna "cocks her head up, her curly hair pulled back. She's wearing lots of mascara, bright red lipstick, a choker and a silky bright pink top. The photo has some kind of broken mirror filter over it, giving it a funky, dance-queen vibe."[22] Robbie Daw of Idolator compared the artwork to the singer's third studio album cover, True Blue (1986), with similarity in Madonna's blond locks and the tilting of her head.[23] The standard edition cover was revealed on February 6, 2012.[24] Its art direction included the same color palette and the distorted appearance of the deluxe version image, but featured a body-shot of Madonna in a red dress and gloves with jewelry.[25]

Music and lyrical interpretation[edit]

Feeling that the songs played on the radio at that time were "homogenized", Madonna pursued a new musical direction for MDNA. She felt the songs were divisible into two categories; the songs crafted with Orbit as "introspective", and the work with Solveig as "more ironic and funny and upbeat".[26] A pop and EDM[27] record, MDNA opens with the track "Girl Gone Wild", which contains influences of four on the floor and sounded similar to songs from Madonna's tenth studio album, Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005).[28] Its introduction included elements of "Act of Contrition" from her fourth studio album, Like a Prayer (1989),[29] with the chorus talking about "a girl gone wild" with "burning desire".[27] The next song, "Gang Bang", is an EDM song with a dubstep breakdown[27] and industrial beats.[30] The lyrics talked about a woman who wanted revenge on her lover, shooting him in his head.[31]

In "I'm Addicted", Madonna spoke about being infatuated with a person, like narcotic addiction, singing over a beat consisting of electro house and eurodance music.[32] "Turn Up the Radio" was the fourth track on the album, which began with a keyboard sequence before turning into an 1980s-inspired dance-pop number.[31] Lyrically it urges the audience to relax while listening to music.[29] Fifth track "Give Me All Your Luvin'" had elements of bubblegum pop, synthpop, new wave and disco.[33][34] It featured cheer-leading chants between the verses and Minaj and M.I.A. rapped during the intermediate section.[35] The dance song "Some Girls" was inspired by hardstyle where the singer listed different personality of girls.[36] "Superstar" had backing vocals from Madonna's daughter Lourdes.[37] A dance-pop song with a dubstep hook and influences of electronica,[27] the lyrics found Madonna comparing her lover with famous men including John Travolta, Abraham Lincoln and Al Capone, while she claimed to be their "biggest fan".[38]

"I Don't Give A" contained industrial beats and hip-hop influences,[30] and lyrically spoke about Madonna daily life while responded her critics.[29] Minaj's guest rapping verse praised the singer by uttering "There is only one queen, and that's Madonna, you bitch".[27] A 1960s inspired rock and roll and country music formed the backbone of "I'm a Sinner", where Madonna sang about sin and named different saints and their virtues.[39][40] "Love Spent" featured contrasting composition, with the sound of a banjo and electronic melody, creating a "refreshing, contemporary, radio friendly pop sound". The song discussed how money was a triggering factor in the destruction of Madonna's marriage.[39] The tempo slowed down on MDNA with the next two songs. "Masterpiece", which was also included in the soundtrack of W.E., was a ballad with traces of Latin music.[41] The song had instrumentation from strings, guitars and percussion,[27] and spoke about the pain of being in love with someone perfect.[42] The standard version of the album ended with "Falling Free", a ballad with a simple melody on a bassline, and complex lyrics that highlighted love, freedom and exaltation.[43]

The deluxe version of MDNA has the song "I Fucked Up", a slow-paced tune whose lyrics found Madonna admitting the reasons her marriage failed.[39] In the concept song "Beautiful Killer", a string arrangement reminiscent of Madonna's 1986 single "Papa Don't Preach" was present, with the singer talking both from the point of view of a victim and a murderer.[27] "Birthday Song" was a "goof off" tune featuring M.I.A., with a punk style bassline and percussion.[44] According to Jon Pareles, Madonna lamented the loss of a lover in the last song "Best Friend", and admitted feeling guilty and remorseful.[43]

Release and promotion[edit]

In December 2011, Oseary and Live Nation Entertainment announced that they had developed a long-term plan for Madonna through which she was booked for a three-album contract with Interscope Records. It was the beginning of the 360 deal which the singer had signed with Live Nation in 2007, including "new studio albums, touring, merchandising, fan club/website, DVD's, music-related television and film projects and associated sponsorship agreements".[45] MDNA's released date was confirmed as March 23, 2012 in Australia and Germany, and March 26 in rest of the other markets including United States.[46][47] In a 2011 year-end readers poll by Billboard, it was voted as the most anticipated album of 2012.[48]

Super Bowl[edit]

Faraway image of Madonna on a golden throne being carried by a number of bearers.
Madonna appearing onstage during the halftime show

The promotional activities for MDNA began with Madonna performing at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show on February 5, 2012, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.[49] The show was conceptualized by Cirque Du Soleil and Madonna's longtime collaborator Jamie King, along with visual media group Moment Factory enlisted.[50] The performance featured 17 dancers, 20 dancing dolls, a 200-member church choir, and a drum line consisting of 100 percussionists. Total 36 image projectors were used for the lighting and visuals.[49] The show began with Madonna being carried into the stadium by 150 bearers.[49] She performed "Give Me All Your Luvin'" with Minaj and M.I.A. on the show, along with her past hits—"Vogue", "Music" and "Like a Prayer".[51] Once the show concluded, a group of 250 volunteers dismantled the stage in six minutes.[49]

Madonna was not paid for performing at the halftime show since it provided global exposure for an artist.[52] The show was a success, setting a Super Bowl halftime-show record of 114 million viewers (higher than the viewership of the game itself).[53] Keith Caulfield from Billboard reported a 17-fold sales increase for Madonna's back catalog and strong pre-order sales for MDNA (about 50,000 copies ordered at the iTunes Store).[54] However the performance faced criticism when M.I.A. had extended her middle finger to the camera near the end of her verse during "Give Me All Your Luvn'", in place of the word "shit".[55] The rapper was penalized, and the NFL apologized for their inability to blur out the image during transmission.[56][57]

Singles[edit]

Backshot of Madonna dancing dressed in a white uniform. Several dancers dressed as a marching band are suspended on mid-air.
The performance of lead single "Give Me All Your Luvin'" during The MDNA Tour which went on to become one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time.

"Give Me All Your Luvin'" was released as the first single from the album on February 3, 2012.[9] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine complimented the "catchy" melodies, but declared the composition inferior to Madonna's previous singles.[58] Other reviewers like Alexis Petridis from The Guardian and Joey Guerra from Houston Chronicle considered the track to be a weak lead single, and not a proper representation of the album.[30][59] The song reached the top of the charts in Canada, Finland, Hungary and Venezuela.[60] It became Madonna's 38th top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, extending her record as the artist with most top-ten singles in the chart's history.[61]

The album's second single, "Girl Gone Wild", was released for digital download on March 2, 2012.[62] The black-and-white music video for the song was directed by fashion photographers Mert and Marcus.[63] "Girl Gone Wild" debuted at number six on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart with 22,000 downloads sold.[64] It reached the top of the Dance Club Songs chart, giving Madonna a record 73rd week atop the ranking.[65] "Masterpiece" was officially sent to radio stations in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2012.[66] The song performed the best in Russia, where it topped the Russian Music Charts for the week of December 2, 2012.[67]

"Turn Up the Radio" was released as the fourth and final single from the album, on June 29, 2012 in Italy.[68][69] It became the third single from MDNA to top the US dance charts.[70] In Brazil, "Superstar" was released on December 3, 2012, as a promotional single, in the form of a special edition CD with Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo. The accompanying cover art was created by Brazilian graffiti artist Simone Sapienza, who won a contest sponsored by Johnnie Walker's Keep Walking Project in Brazil; she was chosen by Madonna from ten finalists.[71][72]

Tour[edit]

Following the Super Bowl performance, Madonna announced The MDNA Tour which started in May 2012 at Tel Aviv, Israel and ended in South America in December 2012. The tour played in different venues like stadiums and arenas, as well as outdoor locations like the Plains of Abraham in Quebec. After visiting 26 markets in Europe, the tour returned to North America, where it remained until Thanksgiving 2012, and then moved South America.[73] Like her previous few tours, Madonna canceled plans of visiting Australia and apologized for it.[74] The tour was described by the singer as "a journey of a soul from darkness to light".[75] It was divided into four sections: Transgression, Prophecy, Masculine/Feminine and Redemption.[76] The triangle-shaped stage consisted of two walkways for Madonna to wade into the crowd and an enclosed area where fans could get closer.[77] Designers working on the tour's wardrobe included Jean Paul Gaultier, Arianne Phillips and Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci.[78][79]

The tour portrayed controversial subjects such as violence, firearms, human rights, nudity, and politics. During one sequence the face of French far right politician Marine Le Pen appeared on the screen with a swastika on her forehead.[80][81][82] An angered Le Pen threatened to sue the singer for defamation.[83] Other segments showed the singer attacking dancers with fake guns, blood spattering on the backdrop screens, mooning, and briefly exposing her breasts to the audience.[84][85][86][87] Despite the controversies, The MDNA Tour received positive reviews and became the highest-grossing tour of 2012 and was at that time the tenth highest-grossing tour of all time, grossing $305.1 million in ticket sales from 88 sold-out shows, watched by an audience of 2.21 million.[88][89][90] The Miami shows on November 19–20, 2012 were recorded and released as a live album.[91]

Media[edit]

Following her performance at the Super Bowl, the album received limited promotion from Madonna, with Oseary citing The MDNA Tour rehearsals as the reason.[92][93] Orbit expressed his displeasure about the promotion scarcity recalling that they had little time for recording MDNA since Madonna's schedule was full of other commitments, such as "perfume launch and teen fashion contests". He also blamed the "rush marketing" and the timing of the record's release as reasons for not promoting.[94]

Madonna instead used social media to promote MDNA, by posting minute-long snippets of several album tracks, behind-the-scenes pictures of tour rehearsals, and online polls asking her fans regarding tour set list.[95] On March 24 she participated in a livestream chat on Facebook, which was hosted by Jimmy Fallon.[96] In order to boost the album streams Madonna partnered with Spotify, and launched an opportunity for its listeners to win two tickets for The MDNA Tour. For eligibility, users had to stream the album thrice on Spotify within two weeks of release.[97] She later made a brief appearance on Ultra Music Festival in Miami a few days later, where she introduced Swedish DJ Avicii who played his remix of "Girl Gone Wild".[98] At one point the singer asked the audience, "How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?" The statement was met with negative reception, with producer Deadmau5 condemning her use of the word molly, which is a slang for MDMA. Madonna responded on Twitter by posting a 1989 picture of herself, wearing Minnie Mouse ears, and a comment: "From one mouse to another. I don't support drug use and I never have. I was referring to the song called 'Have You Seen Molly' written by my friend Cedric Gervais who I almost worked with on [MDNA]."[99]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?5.6/10[100]
Metacritic64/100[101]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[102]
Robert ChristgauA–[103]
Entertainment WeeklyB–[41]
The Guardian3/5 stars[30]
Los Angeles Times2/4 stars[104]
Pitchfork4.5/10[105]
Q4/5 stars[106]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[35]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[107]
Spin7/10[108]

Upon its release, MDNA received mixed reviews.[109] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, MDNA received an average score of 64, based on 34 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[101] Andy Gill from The Independent felt that the record represented a "determined, no-nonsense restatement" of Madonna's brand of music, after the underwhelming response she had received for Hard Candy.[110] Rolling Stone writer Joe Levy rated the release 3.5 out of 5 stars, describing it as a "disco-fied divorce record". He described the music composition as "naughty", but found depth in the content after repeated listening.[35] Priya Elan of NME called MDNA as "a ridiculously enjoyable romp" while listing the songs and their intimate lyrics as "some of the most visceral stuff [Madonna's] ever done".[34] Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani found the album to be "surprisingly cohesive" in spite of the multiple producers, and commended Madonna and Orbit's compositions as among the best.[107] Shirley Halperin from Billboard felt that Madonna was correct in not creating retro sounding music like her peers. "Always one step ahead of the latest sounds and production trends... her brand of dance music meets delectable pop comes at a perfect time, just as EDM has, to put it plainly, taken over," Halperin deduced.[111]

Orbit's production received positive feedback from critics. Simon Goddard of Q listed MDNA as Madonna's best album since Ray of Light (1998),[106] as did Chicago Tribune reviewer Greg Kot, who felt that the singer outdid on the Orbit-produced tracks.[112] Caryn Ganz from Spin rated the album 7 out of 10 and said that "if there's one producer who knows how to pluck Madonna's heartstrings, it's... Orbit".[108] Writing for The New York Times, Jon Pareles summarized that it was Madonna's "pop instinct" and ability to craft hooks that "[got] her through MDNA".[43] In his consumer guide review, critic Robert Christgau gave the album an A– rating. He preferred an alternate track list of the record, highlighting the slow-tempo songs like "Falling Free", "Masterpiece", "Love Spent" and "I Fucked Up".[103]

Mixed reception came from AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who described MDNA as "flinty" and "excessively lean" as a result of "cool calculations" in developing the music and catering to the contemporary music market.[102] Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly found "all those reminders of her work ethic [in the song 'I Don't Give A' as] exhausting".[41] Emily Mackay of The Quietus noted a "lack of ambition" and accused Madonna of "playing it safe" on MDNA.[113] The Observer's Gareth Grundy was ambivalent toward the record's "clumsy rave-pop" tracks, feeling that "the more relaxed, less stentorian tracks sparkle". He opined that the second half of the release "sounds as if it's been borrowed from an entirely different and much better project".[32] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian viewed the album as "neither triumph nor disaster", writing that it "turns out to be just another Madonna album".[30]

Helen Brown of The Daily Telegraph panned the songwriting as "horribly cliched" and criticized Madonna's constant need to look and sound like a teenager in the tracks.[114] Pitchfork Media's Matthew Perpetua found most of the record as "shockingly banal" and "particularly hollow, the dead-eyed result of obligations, deadlines, and hedged bets".[105] Maura Johnston of The Village Voice criticized Madonna's vocals and her incorporation of EDM as insincere.[44] Los Angeles Times writer Randall Roberts felt that the composition suffers from "familiarity" and MDNA was evidence that Madonna's music had become regressive.[104] Genevieve Koski of The A.V. Club criticized its "electronically manipulated" vocals and "big, generic Euro-dance beats", calling MDNA "competent, but equally perfunctory".[40]

Commercial performance[edit]

MDNA received the largest number of pre-order of the album at the iTunes Store since it was announced in February 2012.[115] In the United States, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 359,000 copies sold, making it Madonna's biggest first-week sales since Music (2000). It became Madonna's eighth chart-topper and her fifth consecutive studio album to debut at number one.[116] The album's sales were aided by Madonna's tour audience, who had an option to receive the release as part of their ticket purchase. Around 185,000 copies of the first-week sales reportedly came from the album-ticket bundling.[117] The next week, the album sold 48,000 copies while moving down to number eight on the chart.[92] MDNA had a sharp 86.7% decline in sales, the then largest second-week percentage sales drop for a number-one debuting album of the Nielsen SoundScan era.[118] The album was present on the Billboard 200 for a total of 13 weeks. Additionally, MDNA debuted atop the Billboard's Dance/Electronic Albums and stayed on the chart for 38 weeks.[119] In October 2012 it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipment of 500,000 copies.[120][121] As of June 2014, it had sold 537,000 copies in the United States.[122] In Canada, MDNA debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 32,000 copies in its first week.[123]

Elvis Presley dancing
In the United Kingdom, Madonna surpassed Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most number-one albums at that time

In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 56,335 copies. It became Madonna's 12th album to top the chart, breaking the record previously held by Elvis Presley, as the solo artist with the most number-one albums ever. At that time, only The Beatles had more number-one albums in British chart history, with 15.[124] Presley reclaimed that record with his posthumous compilation album, The Wonder of You (2016).[125] MDNA dropped out of the top ten by its third week, the first time that a Madonna studio album descended so fast out of the charts.[126] As of March 2015, the album had sold 134,803 copies in the country, being certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).[127][128] Across Europe, the album reached the top of the charts in Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden, and the top ten in other nations.[129][130][131]

In Australia, the album debuted at number one and was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipments of 35,000 copies during its first week.[132] It became Madonna's tenth chart-topping album in Australia, which made her the solo artist with the most number-one albums of all time, thus surpassing Jimmy Barnes, and placed behind only the Beatles with 14 and U2 with 11.[133] In Japan, MDNA debuted at number four on the Oricon Albums Chart with first-week sales of 31,000 physical units. In the same week, her Warner Bros.-released box set, The Complete Studio Albums (1983–2008), also debuted at number nine, making Madonna the first international female artist in Japanese chart history to have two albums in the top ten. With those two releases, Madonna accumulated 22 top-ten albums in Japan, more than any other international artist.[134] MDNA was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for shipments of 100,000 units.[135]

Madonna also set a record for a foreign album in Turkey as MDNA sold over 30,000 copies within four days, outselling all Turkish domestic albums.[136] In Russia, the album debuted atop the chart with 26,000 sold.[137] MDNA was certified septuple platinum there for equivalent sales consisting of 7,000 physical units, 44,000 digital downloads and 1.5 million streams.[138] According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), MDNA was the twelfth best-selling album of 2012 globally with sales of 1.8 million copies.[139] As of March 2014 it has sold over two million copies worldwide.[140][141]

Recognition[edit]

Madonna sitting onstage singing, surrounded by her dancers in a circle.
Madonna performing "Masterpiece" on The MDNA Tour. It went on to win the Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

At the 69th Golden Globe Awards, "Masterpiece", which was included in the soundtrack for W.E., won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.[142][143] The track was also sent to be shortlisted at the 84th Academy Awards, in the category of Best Original Song, but was not considered since a song is eligible only if it appears in a film no later than the start of the final credits and "Masterpiece" is played after more than one minute into the credits.[144] MDNA won the category of Top Dance Album at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, where Madonna was also honored with the Top Touring Artist and Top Dance Artist trophies.[145] At the 2014 World Music Awards, the album was nominated for Best World Album, but did not win the award.[146]

With MDNA reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart, Madonna was listed in the Guinness World Records book for this achievement.[147] Spin magazine listed MDNA as one of their 20 Best Pop Albums of 2012, where writer Carolina Guerra wrote: "If you can't hear Madge winking her way through EDM stunners 'Girl Gone Wild' and 'Some Girls', or retro bouncers 'Give Me All Your Luvin'' and 'I'm a Sinner' you're letting your assumptions about the Queen's reign speak louder than her still-solid studio work."[148]

Track listing[edit]

MDNA – Standard edition[149]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Girl Gone Wild"
  • Madonna
  • Benny Benassi
  • Alle Benassi
3:43
2."Gang Bang"
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
  • The Demolition Crew
5:26
3."I'm Addicted"
  • Madonna
  • A. Benassi
  • M. Benassi
  • Madonna
  • B. Benassi
  • A. Benassi
  • The Demolition Crew[a]
4:33
4."Turn Up the Radio"
  • Madonna
  • Solveig
3:46
5."Give Me All Your Luvin'" (featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.)
  • Madonna
  • Solveig
3:22
6."Some Girls"
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
  • Åhlund[a]
3:53
7."Superstar"
  • Madonna
  • Hardy "Indiigo" Muanza
  • Michael Malih
  • Madonna
  • Muanza
  • Malih
3:55
8."I Don't Give A" (featuring Nicki Minaj)
  • Madonna
  • Solveig
  • Maraj
  • Julien Jabre
  • Madonna
  • Solveig
4:19
9."I'm a Sinner"
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
  • Jean-Baptiste
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
4:52
10."Love Spent"
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
  • Free School[a]
3:46
11."Masterpiece"
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
  • Harry[b]
3:59
12."Falling Free"
  • Madonna
  • Orbit
5:13
Total length:50:47

Notes

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[12]

Production

Musicians

  • Graham Archer – recording
  • Quentin Belarbi – assistant engineer
  • Hahn-Bin – violin
  • Diane Barere – celli
  • David Braccini – violin
  • Christophe Briquet – viola, musicians contractor
  • Karen Brunon – violin
  • Bob Carlisle – French horn
  • Jeff Carney – bass
  • Demo Castellon – mixing, recording, drums, bass, engineering
  • Cecile Coutelier – live strings recording assistant
  • Stephanie Cummins – celli
  • Barbara Currie – French horn
  • Jason Metal Donkersgoed – additional editing, additional recording
  • Desiree Elsevier – violin
  • Romain Faure – additional synths
  • Frank Filipetti – engineering
  • Akemi Fillon – violin
  • Pierre Fouchenneret – violin
  • Free School – co-producer
  • Jean-Baptiste Gaudray – guitar
  • Chris Gehringer – mastering
  • Anne Gravoin – violin
  • Mary Hammann – violin
  • Gloria Kaba – assistant engineer
  • Ian Kagey – assistant engineer
  • Rob Katz – assistant engineer
  • Abel Korzeniowskiconductor
  • The Koz – editing, vocoder, keyboard, synths, additional programing, additional editing
  • Paul Kremen – marketing
  • Raphael Lee – assistant engineer
  • Brad Leigh – assistant engineer
  • Lola Leon – background vocals
  • Diane Lesser – English horn
  • Vincent Lionti – violins
  • LMFAOremix, additional producer
  • Brett Mayer – assistant engineer
  • Nelson Milburn – assistant engineer
  • Christophe Morin – cello
  • Sarah Nemtanu – violin
  • Jessica Phillips – clarinet
  • Stephane Reichart – live strings recording
  • Andros Rodrigues – engineering
  • Miwa Rosso – cello
  • Dov Scheindlin – violins
  • Stacey Shames – harp
  • Fred Sladkey – assistant engineer
  • Sébastien Surel – violin
  • Ayako Tanaka – violin
  • Ron Taylor – protools editing, additional vocal editing
  • Natasha Tchitch – viola
  • Angie Teo – recording, mix assistant, additional editing, engineering, assistant engineers
  • Alan Tilston – assistant, drums, percussion, instrumentation
  • Michael Turco – additional synths, outro music
  • Sarah Veihan – cello
  • David Wakefield – French horn
  • Dan Warner – guitars
  • Philippe Weiss – recording
  • Ellen Westermann – celli
  • Peter Wolford – assistant engineer
  • Kenta Yonesaka – engineer

Business

  • Jill Dell Abate – contractor, production coordinator
  • Cathialine Zorzi – musicians contractor assistant
  • Sara Zambreno – management
  • Liz Rosenberg – publicity
  • Guy Oseary – management
  • Richard Feldstein – business management
  • Shari Goldschmidt – business management
  • Marlies Dwyer – legal
  • Michael Goldsmith – legal
  • P.C. – legal
  • Joseph Penachio – legal
  • Shire & Meiselas – legal
  • Mark Baechle – copyist
  • Grubman – legal
  • Indursky – legal

Packaging

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[202] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[203] Gold 10,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[204] 2× Platinum 80,000*
Colombia (ASINCOL)[205] 2× Platinum 20,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[206] Gold 10,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[207] Gold 10,908[207]
France (SNEP)[208] Platinum 100,000*
Hungary (MAHASZ)[209] Platinum 6,000^
India (IMI)[210] Gold 4,000
Italy (FIMI)[211] Platinum 60,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[135] Gold 100,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[212] Gold 30,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[213] Platinum 20,000*
Portugal (AFP)[214] Gold 10,000^
Russia (NFPF)[194] 7× Platinum 70,000*
South Korea N/A 2,770[215][216]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[217] Gold 20,000^
Sweden (GLF)[218] Gold 20,000^
Turkey N/A 30,000[136]
United Kingdom (BPI)[127] Gold 134,803[128]
United States (RIAA)[121] Gold 539,000[122]
Summaries
Worldwide N/A 2,000,000[141]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Edition(s) Label(s)
Australia[46] March 23, 2012
  • Standard
  • deluxe
Universal Music
Germany[219]
Canada[220]
Colombia[221] March 26, 2012
Japan[222] Deluxe
Turkey[223][224]
  • Standard
  • deluxe
United Kingdom[225][226] Polydor
United States[227] Interscope
Thailand[228][229] Universal Music
United States[230] April 10, 2012 LP Deluxe Interscope

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]