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 during 2011, with the filming of 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 producer for the sound of the record.

Recording became a natural process for all parties involved, although Madonna found difficultly in 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 explores themes such as partying, love for music, infatuation, as well as heartbreak, revenge and separation. The album's title is a triple entendre and makes allusion to the drug MDMA, thus facing negative reception from anti-drug groups.

MDNA was Madonna's first release under the multi faceted deal she had signed with Live Nation in 2007. The singer also signed with Interscope for a three-album deal. 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". The 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. No further promotion was done for the record, a situation which was reported in the media.

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. The record debuted atop the record charts of major music markets, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Madonna set a new record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist in Australia and the United Kingdom, but also achieved the largest second-week percentage sales drop for a number-one album of the Nielsen SoundScan era in the United States. 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] and introduced a number of business ventures, including Material Girl clothing line,[2] Hard Candy Fitness centers across the world,[3] and 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][7] The first collaboration came with producer William Orbit, with whom the singer had not worked since her eighth studio album, Music (2000). Noting that Orbit and her still shared a great camaraderie, Madonna knew that he would align with her current musical choices.[8]

In July 2011, French DJ Martin Solveig was invited for a writing session in London. Originally Madonna had enlisted Solveig for one song, however in the end they composed a total of three songs: "Give Me All Your Luvin'", "I Don't Give A" and "Turn Up the Radio". In an interview with Billboard, Solveig felt the being Madonna's record producer would have been intimidating for him, so he chose to avoid "thinking about the [singer], and do something that just makes sense". Solveig and Madonna's common interests in films, food and different topics resulted in them continuing to create songs.[9] Several other producers joined the album, including Allessandro "Alle" Benassi and his brother Benny Benassi, The Demolition Crew, Michael Malih and Indiigo.[10] Madonna enlisted female singer-rappers Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., wanting to collaborate with "women who [...] have a strong sense of themselves".[11]

Recording sessions[edit]

On July 4, 2011, Madonna's manager Guy Oseary announced that the singer had begun recording the album.[12] 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.[13] Madonna was happy to be back in the enclosed space of a recording studio, after being outside always while filming W.E. According to her, she uses a "different part of my brain when I work on music versus when I'm directing a film". The simplicity of songwriting is what appealed her when she started recording the album, her first in three years since working on W.E.[14]

In an interview with Channel V Australia, Solveig recalled that the process turned into something natural for them, resulting in a camaraderie between Madonna and him.[15] They also enjoyed the time spent there and give proper attention to the songs, which was the reason that moved on beyond recording just one song. After the three songs composed, the producer drafted another track called "Beautiful Killer", inspired by the French film, Le Samouraï (1967), which was one of the common interests they shared.[9] For Madonna, the producer's "methodical" thinking was important since she could refuse anything during the process without thinking about hurting his feelings.[11] 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![15]

With Orbit's production style, Madonna found that her European sensibilities was in line with that of the producer, which suited the songs being composed. The sessions with Orbit were "incredibly quick and spontaneous" since both of them were committed to the record.[16] However, they still had many conversations and "discussions about philosophy or quantum physics".[11] When it came to working with Benny and Alle Benassi, the singer faced difficulty in communicating with the former, since he was not fluent in English. Also, Madonna had never worked with them previously, so there was a prevalent shyness in her communication. She ultimately asked Alle Benassi to be an interpreter which this was difficult for all three of them. But eventually they were able to overcome the challenge in lieu of the music being composed. "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 Madonna.[11]

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.[17] 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.'" It was then they realized that the initials proposed different explanations of the name, one of them being the DNA of Madonna.[18] 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.[19] The name MDNA as album title 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".[20]

The album's artwork was shot by Mert and Marcus and directed by Giovanni Bianco.[21] The deluxe edition was unveiled through Madonna's official Facebook page on January 31, 2012.[22] Jocelyn Vena of MTV News described the image as "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."[23] Robbie Daw of Idolator compared the "multi-hued" artwork to the one of True Blue (1986), with the similarity in Madonna's blond locks and the tilting of her head. He further added that the artwork symbolized the different angles through which the singer has been scrutinized throughout her career.[24] The standard edition cover was revealed on February 6, 2012.[25] It's art direction included the same color palette and the distorted appearance like the deluxe version image, but featured a body-shot of Madonna in a red dress and gloves with jewelry.[26]

Music and lyrical interpretation[edit]

Feeling that the songs played on the radio at that time were "homogenized", Madonna pursued the musical direction of MDNA with the idea that it should not sound like anybody else's music. The music composed could be divided into two categories. She described the songs crafted with Orbit as "introspective" while the work with Solveig as "more ironic and funny and upbeat. There's a really up aspect to it and a really fun aspect to it".[27] A pop and EDM[28] record, MDNA opens with the track "Girl Gone Wild", which contains influences of four on the floor and a similar sound to songs from Madonna's tenth studio album, Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005).[29] Its introduction included elements of "Act of Contrition" from Like a Prayer (1989),[30] with the chorus talking about "a girl gone wild" with "burning desire".[28] The next song, "Gang Bang", is an electronic dance song, with a dubstep breakdown[28] and industrial beats.[31] The sinister lyrics talk about a woman who takes revenge on her lover, shooting him in his head.[32]

In "I'm Addicted", Madonna speaks about being infatuated with a person like narcotic addiction, over a beat consisting of electro house and eurodance music.[33] "Turn Up the Radio" is the fourth track on the album, which begins with a keyboard sequence before turning into an 1980s-inspired dance-pop number,[32] asking the listener to stop and relax by listening to music.[30] Fifth track "Give Me All Your Luvin'" is a dance music song with elements of bubblegum pop, synthpop, new wave and disco.[34][35] Featuring cheerleading chants in-between the verses, the track also has Minaj and M.I.A. rapping during the intermediate section.[36] The dance song "Some Girls" is inspired by hardstyle with the singer listing different category of girls in the lyrics.[37][38] Seventh track "Superstar" features Madonna's daughter Lourdes as a backing vocalist. Lourdes had come to the recording studio and agreed to give background vocals on the track.[39] A dance-pop song with a dubstep hook and influences of electronica,[28] the lyrics find Madonna comparing her lover with famous men, such as John Travolta, Abraham Lincoln, Al Capone among others, and claims to be their "biggest fan".[40]

"I Don't Give A" has industrial beats and hip-hop influences,[31] lyrically talking about her daily life and answering back her critics.[30] Minaj's guest rapping verse highlights the main virtues of Madonna, ending with the phrase: "There is only one queen, and that's Madonna, you bitch".[28] A 1960s inspired rock and roll and country music form the backbone of "I'm a Sinner", the next track. Its lyrics mention analogies of sin,[41] culminating in a verse where Madonna namesakes different saints and their virtues.[42] The tenth track "Love Spent" has contrasting music from a banjo and electronic melody, creating a "refreshing, contemporary, radio friendly pop sound". The song discussed how money was a triggering factory in the destruction of her marriage.[41] The tempo slows down on MDNA with the next two songs. "Masterpiece", which was also included in the soundtrack of W.E., is a ballad with traces of Latin music.[43] The song has minimal production from strings, guitars and prominent percussion,[28] talking about the pain of being in love with someone perfect as a masterpiece.[44] The standard version of the album ends with "Falling Free", a ballad with a simple melody on a bassline, with complex lyrics that talk about love, freedom and exaltation.[45]

The deluxe version of MDNA has the song "I Fucked Up", a slow pace tune where Madonna takes ownership for the reasons her marriage failed.[41] In the concept song "Beautiful Killer", a string arrangement reminiscent of Madonna's 1986 single "Papa Don't Preach" forms the backbone of the track, with the singer talking from the point of view of a victim and a murderer.[28] "Birthday Song" is a goof off tune featuring M.I.A., containing a simple melody and a bassline with a punk style percussion.[46] In the last song "Best Friend", Madonna laments the loss of a lover who she compares to her best friend, and admits feeling guilty and remorseful.[45]

Release and promotion[edit]

In December 2011, it was announced that Oseary and Live Nation Entertainment had developed a long-term plan for the singer through which Madonna signed a three-album contract with Interscope Records. It was the beginning of the multi directional deal which she 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". MDNA was announced to be released in late March 2012, with the first single "Give Me All Your Luvin'" to be released in end of January 2012.[47] The final release date was confirmed as March 23, 2012 in Australia and Germany, and March 26 in most of the other markets including United States.[48][49] In a 2011 year-end readers poll by Billboard, it was voted as the most anticipated album of 2012 winning the pole by gaining 42% of the votes.[50]

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. Rehearsal for the halftime performance accumulated to an estimated 320 hours.[51] The show was visualized by Cirque Du Soleil and her longtime collaborator Jamie King, with visual media group Moment Factory also enlisted.[52] The performance included 17 dancers, 20 dancing dolls, a 200-member church choir, and a drum line consisting of 100 percussionists. 36 image projectors were used for the light and technical imagery shown.[51] The show began with Madonna being carried into the stadium by 150 bearers. She arrived atop of a golden throne, which weighed over 1,200 pounds (540 kg), and sported a long golden cape designed by Givenchy; completing the cape took over 750 hours.[51] Madonna 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".[53] Once the show concluded, a group of 250 volunteers dismantled the stage in six minutes.[51]

Madonna was not paid for performing at the halftime show, which provides global exposure for an artist.[54] The show was a success, setting a Super Bowl halftime-show record of 114 million viewers (higher than the viewership of the game itself).[55] 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).[56] The performance also faced criticism when M.I.A. had extended her middle finger to the camera near the end of her verse of "Give Me All Your Luvn'" in place of the word "shit".[57] The rapper was penalized, and the NFL apologized for its inability to blur out the image.[58][59]

Singles[edit]

Madonna in a black dress, surrounded by her dancers in red cloaks performing onstage.
Madonna opening The MDNA Tour with a performance of second single, "Girl Gone Wild". After completion, it went 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.[10] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine complimented the "catchy" melodies, but declared the composition as inferior to Madonna's previous singles.[60] Other reviewers like Alexis Petridis from The Guardian and Joey Guerra from Houston Chronicle noted the track as a weak lead single and not a proper representation of the album.[31][61] The song reached the top of the charts in Canada, Finland, Hungary, Israel and Venezuela.[62] 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.[63] Its accompanying music video was directed by Megaforce and features football and cheerleader theme inspired by the Super Bowl.[10]

The album's second single, "Girl Gone Wild", was released for digital download on March 2, 2012.[64] The black-and-white music video for the song was directed by fashion photographers Mert and Marcus.[65] "Girl Gone Wild" debuted at number six on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles with 22,000 downloads sold according to Nielsen SoundScan.[66] It reached the top of the Dance Club Songs chart, achieving Madonna a record 73rd week atop the ranking.[67] "Masterpiece" was officially sent to radio stations in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2012.[68] The song achieved its strongest chart performance in Russia, where it topped the Russian Music Charts in the week of December 2, 2012.[69]

"Turn Up the Radio" was released as the fourth and final single from the album, on June 29, 2012 in Italy.[70][71] It also reached number one on the US dance charts, making it the third single to do so from MDNA.[72] In Brazil, "Superstar" was released on December 3, 2012, as promotional single, in the form of a special edition free CD with Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo. The accompanying artwork for the single 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.[73][74]

Tour[edit]

Madonna announced The MDNA Tour following the Super Bowl, which started on May 2012, in Tel Aviv, Israel and ended in South America in December 2012. It played in different venues like stadiums and arenas, as well as outdoor locations like the Plains of Abraham in Quebec. After playing 26 European markets in Europe, The MDNA Tour returned to North America and played there till Thanksgiving, before moving to South America.[75] The entire trek was supposed to be for 90 shows with ending in Australia, however Madonna canceled touring there due to personal life and logistics. She issued a personal apology video on her website.[76] The tour was described by the singer as "a journey of a soul from darkness to light".[77] It was divided into four sections: Transgression, Prophecy, Masculine/Feminine and Redemption.[78] The triangle-shaped stage consisted of two walkways for Madonna to wade into the crowd and an enclosed area where fans could get closer. There was also a huge, three-part video screen that promoters called "the largest in the world".[79] Designers working on the tour's wardrobe included Jean Paul Gaultier, Arianne Phillips and Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci.[80][81]

The tour courted many controversial subjects such as violence, firearms, human rights, nudity, and politics; in one part, the face of French far right politician Marine Le Pen appeared on the screen with a swastika on her forehead.[82][83][84] Le Pen then threatened to sue the singer.[85] Other parts included the singer attacking several of her dancers with fake guns as blood spattered in the background as well as mooning and briefly exposing her breasts to the audience.[86][87][88][89] Despite the controversies, The MDNA Tour received positive reviews and became the highest-grossing tour of 2012 and 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.[90][91][92] The Miami shows on November 19–20, 2012, were recorded and released as Madonna's fourth live album, MDNA World Tour.[93][94]

Media[edit]

Ultra Music Festival 14 crowd and the stage from afar.
Madonna's appearance at Ultra Music Festival 14 was criticized for using the term "Molly", another reference to ecstasy

Following her performance at the Super Bowl, the album received limited promotion from Madonna like television and media appearances.[95][96] Oseary claimed that The MDNA Tour rehearsals were the reason that the album received minimal promotion.[95] According to him the idea was "for the music to speak for itself".[97] William Orbit expressed his displeasure about the album's scarce promotion, recalling that they had little time for recording 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.[98]

Madonna instead used social media to promote MDNA, like posting minute-long snippets of several album tracks, behind-the-scenes pictures of tour rehearsals, and online polls asking her fans regarding set list choice for the tour.[99] On March 24 she participated in a livestream chat on Facebook, which was hosted by Jimmy Fallon.[100] In order to boost up 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 in full thrice on Spotify, within two weeks since release.[101] She later made a brief appearance on Ultra Music Festival 14 in Miami a few days later, where she introduced Swedish DJ Avicii. During her appearance he played his own remix of "Girl Gone Wild".[102] At one point the singer asked the audience, "How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?" It 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 my last album."[103]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
AnyDecentMusic? 5.6/10[104]
Metacritic (64/100)[105]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[106]
Robert Christgau A–[107]
Entertainment Weekly B–[43]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[31]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[108]
Pitchfork Media 4.5/10[109]
Q 4/5 stars[110]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[36]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[111]
Spin 7/10[112]

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".[105] Andy Gill from The Independent felt that the album represented a "determined, no-nonsense restatement" of Madonna's brand of music, after the underwhelming response she had received for Hard Candy.[113] Rolling Stone writer Joe Levy rated the release 3.5 out of 5 stars, describing it as a "disco-fied divorce record". He found naughtiness in the music and the compositions, however there was also depth in the content, which Levy felt deserved repeated listening of the record.[36] Priya Elan of NME called MDNA as "a ridiculously enjoyable romp", also listing the depth of the songs and their intimate lyrics as "some of the most visceral stuff [Madonna's] ever done".[35] Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani found the album to be "surprisingly cohesive" in spite of the multiple producers, and commended the singer and Orbit's compositions as among the best.[111] For Shirley Halperin from Billboard, it was better that Madonna did not produce retro sounding music as many of music veterans end up creating. "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 theorized.[97]

Orbit's production received positive feedback from critics. Simon Goddard of Q listed MDNA as Madonna's best album since Ray of Light (1998),[110] as did Chicago Tribune reviewer Greg Kot, who felt that the singer outdid on the Orbit-produced tracks.[114] Caryn Ganz from Spin had a similar thought, saying that "if there's one producer who knows how to pluck Madonna's heartstrings, it's... Orbit". Ganz rated the album 7 out of 10.[112] Writing for The New York Times, Jon Pareles theorized that it is Madonna's "pop instinct" and her ability to craft song hooks, is what "gets her through MDNA".[45] In his consumer guide review, critic Robert Christgau gave the album an A– rating. He preferred an alternate track list of the record, preferring the slow-tempo songs like "Falling Free", "Masterpiece", "Love Spent" and "I Fucked Up". Although he was not that impressed by the lyrics, Christgau nevertheless listed "Love Spent" as a highlight.[107]

Mixed reception came from AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who found the album as "flinty" and "excessively lean" as a result of "cool calculations" in crafting the music and making Madonna cater to the contemporary songs.[106] Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly wrote similarly, that "all those reminders of her work ethic [in the song 'I Don't Give A' can feel exhausting".[43] Emily Mackay of The Quietus noted a "lack of ambition" and accused Madonna of "playing it safe" on MDNA.[115] The Observer's Gareth Grundy was ambivalent toward the album's "clumsy rave-pop" tracks, feeling that "the more relaxed, less stentorian tracks sparkle". Grundy opined that the later half of the record "sounds as if it's been borrowed from an entirely different and much better project".[33] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian viewed the album as "neither triumph nor disaster", writing that it "turns out to be just another Madonna album".[31]

Helen Brown of The Daily Telegraph panned the lyrics as "horribly cliched" and criticized Madonna's constant need to look and sound like teenagers in the songs.[116] Pitchfork Media's Matthew Perpetua found most of the release as "shockingly banal" and "particularly hollow, the dead-eyed result of obligations, deadlines, and hedged bets".[109] Maura Johnston of The Village Voice criticized Madonna's vocals and her "move toward EDM [...] hamfisted".[46] Los Angeles Times writer Randall Roberts viewed that the composition suffers from "familiarity" and MDNA was evidence that Madonna's music had become regressive.[108] Genevieve Koski of The A.V. Club criticized its "electronically manipulated" vocals and "big, generic Euro-dance beats", calling MDNA "competent, but equally perfunctory".[42]

Commercial performance[edit]

MDNA received the largest number of pre-ordered booking of the album on the iTunes Store after its release.[117] In the United States, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 359,000 copies sold, making it her biggest opening week sales since Music (2000) opened with 420,000 copies. It became Madonna's eighth chart-topper and her fifth consecutive studio album to debut at number one.[118] The album's sales were aided by Madonna's tour audience, who had option to get the album as part of their ticket purchase. Around 185,000 copies of first week sales reportedly came from that album-ticket bundling. Confusion arose regarding the bundling, which was clarified by Billboard's chart director Bill Werde, who explained that only those sales from the bundle were considered, where a consumer chose to redeem the album from the tour ticket.[119] Along with Billboard 200, MDNA also debuted atop the Dance/Electronic Albums chart.[120] The next week, MDNA had a sharp 86.7% decline in sales, the largest second-week percentage sales drop for a number-one debuting album of the Nielsen SoundScan era. It sold 48,000 copies while moving down to number eight on the chart.[95] The album was present on the Billboard 200 for a total of 13 weeks and in October 2012 it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipment of 500,000 copies.[121][122] As of June 2014, it has sold 537,000 copies in the United States, according to SoundScan.[123] In Canada, MDNA debuted at number one in Canadian Albums Chart, selling 32,000 copies in its first week.[124]

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

In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart with first week sales of 56,335 copies.[125] 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.[125] At that time, only The Beatles had more number-one albums in British chart history, with 15.[125] The album 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, surpassing Jimmy Barnes, and pushed her behind only The Beatles with 14 and U2 with 11.[133] In Japan, MDNA debuted at number four on the Oricon weekly 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] The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan for shipments of 100,000 units.[135] Madonna also set 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, album debuted atop the chart with 26,000 sold and was certified double platinum.[137] MDNA was certified septuple platinum there for equivalent sales comprising 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] To date, the album 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 for being shortlisted at the 84th Academy Awards, in the category of Best Original Song. However, "Masterpiece" was not considered since as per the rules by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 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. Title Writer(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]

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
  • Sebastien 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

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[13]

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)[122] Gold 539,000[123]
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[48] March 23, 2012
  • Standard
  • deluxe
Universal Music
Germany[219]
Canada[220] March 26, 2012
Colombia[221]
Japan[222] Deluxe
Turkey[223][224]
  • Standard
  • deluxe
United Kingdom[225][226] Polydor
United States[227]
Thailand[228][229] Universal Music
United States[230] April 10, 2012 LP Deluxe
  • Boy Toy
  • Live Nation
  • Interscope

See also[edit]

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External links[edit]