Do you like to boogie woogie?
It’s no secret that Ms. Madonna has provided us with a lot of albums over the years–thirteen to be exact. Of course, that’s certainly not a bad thing being that we have all those scrumptious Madge tunes to last us a lifetime. But the problem is that some of those singles’ accompanying sets tend to get lost in the shuffle of favorites. Music case in point, her eighth studio album, Music, which hit headphones everywhere fifteen years ago this week. Now, that’s not to say that we this bold, brilliant, bizarre record, but with albums like her self-titled debut, Like a Prayer, Confessions on a Dance Floor (which turns 10 in November) and Ray of Light always shooting straight to the top of our favorites list, it’s easy to forget just how brilliant and memorable Madonna’s Music really is.
Upon its glorified release, the funked up, folked up record was met with critical acclaim, with reviewers praising its futuristic production, as well as the Queen of Pop’s new musical style, which had this whole ’70s diva-meets-cowgirl-chic thing going on..and we lived for it. The dizzying set of ditties was nominated for a total of five Grammy Awards, and Rolling Stone even ranked the album as one of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
So the real question is, why does nobody ever really talk about Madonna’s Music record? These days, it’s certainly more monumental more than you think..and Philly Mixtape has 5 reasons why you need start paying more attention to this crazy good album.
1. It’s blessed with her most recent #1 single….
As we know the highlight of all things Music is the album’s ridiculously catchy title track, which in fact boogie woogied its way straight to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart fifteen years ago this week. Cooked up with a trippy breakbeat, campy lyrics, and elusive name-dropping of the bourgeoise and the rebel, “Music” became an instant classic and is still Madge’s most recent chart topping #1 single. The ‘Music’ album also debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 420,000 units, making it her first set to top the chart in more than a decade since ’89’s Like a Prayer.
But as all Madonna Music fans know, the clip for the title track is all wrapped up in Material Girl video truth, pimped out in ’70s style, complete with a gold stretch limo and a decked out in white Madonna, who was eight months pregnant with son Rocco at the time of the filming. Also along for the wild “Music” ride are Madonna’s longtime galpals Debi Mazar and Niki Haris, who teamed up with the diva for one unforgettable night on the town that features strippers, a cartoon Material Girl destroying all her chart-topping hits, and of course, Sasha Baron Cohen who introduced us to (one of) his alter-egos, comedian Ali. G…may he rest in pop culture peace.
2.Because we’re still trying to pronounce the name Mirwais Ahmadzi…
With the music scene of 2000 being dominated by younger divas like Britney, Pink and Xtina, what was a Material Girl to do if she wanted to snatch some wigs in the tween music game? Link up with a producer whose name no one knew how the f#$k to pronounce, of course.
While in the early stages of ‘Music,” Madonna was introduced to producer Mirwais Ahmadzaï through her longtime Maverick Records partner Guy Oseary, who had introduced the diva to the French DJ and producer at a party. While there were rumblings that the language barrier struggle was real during recording sessions (keep in mind, Madonna had adopted a British accent at the time), the Queen of Pop was taken back by Mr. Ahmadi’s desire for pitch-shifting and his utilization of “acid bass” in his tracks. If you’ll remember, Madonna released THIS now infamous statement before the “Music” single hit headphones in mid 2000.
“Hey Mr. DJ, put a record on… Hi, it’s Madonna. You’ve probably been hearing about my new record, ‘Music’, for a while. Well, I just wanted to make sure you knew that the single is gonna drop very soon. I worked on it with a French guy named Mirwais, and he is the shit. The album will be released worldwide on September 19, and I hope you like my music.”
In fact, Madonna liked him so much that she teamed up with him again on Music’s iffy follow-up, ‘American Life” which now leaves us to wonder…what the hell happened to Mirwais, anyway? Oh, well at least we got this brilliant Music moment in time.
3.It’s the most brilliantly bizarre record of her career….
When Madonna released ’98s music masterpiece, Ray of Light, we were instantly welcomed with “Ashtangi” arms into her newly reformed, Kabbalah driven music world. She dove deep into her new-found teachings and learnings, serving us with a record that introduced us to the Queen of Pop of the future. When she delivered Music just two years later, you could easily tell that she had gotten comfortable in her newer, calmer music self, substituting Orbit’s electronica (except for tracks Amazing and Runway Lover), for a more acoustic sound, compact with bizarre, blinding beats and even more subdued music nature, especially on tracks, “Nobody’s Perfect,”Paradise,” “Gone,” “What it Feels Like for a Girl” and “Don’t Tell Me.”
Critics ate up the impressive Ray of Light follow-up, with Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic praising the album’s layered music, giving it four out of five stars, and described Madonna’s collaboration with Mirwais as the reason why the album “comes alive with spark and style.” Jim Farber of Entertainment Weekly gave the album an A rating, writing that “her most patchwork record since the Sean Penn years… In the way it tiptoes around sundry moods and beats, Music is frustratingly inconsistent, as if Madonna herself weren’t sure where to venture next. At times, it feels like a collection of sounds — clever, intriguing ones, to be sure — that seek to compensate for ordinary melodies and Madonna’s stoic delivery.”
The perfect example of this bizarre Music world would be on second cut “Impressive Instant,” which burps and chips along with Madonna dishing out lyrics, “I like to singy, singy, singy/Like a bird on a wingy, wingy, wingy.” Truly, it doesn’t get anymore brilliantly bizarre than that.
4.It finally gave us that Madonna concert life that we were all patiently waiting for….
Following Ray of Light‘s enormous success, Madonna was all about heading on her first road romp since ’93’s sexed up The Girlie Show, but her record company encouraged her to return to the studio and record Ray‘s follow up before going on tour. Due to Music‘s smashing success, the announcement of the Drowned World Tour soon followed, and Madonna fans finally got their Madonna tour thirst quenched.
While the smashing show featured tracks from both Light and Music, the stage spectacle was just dripping with elements of Madonna’s latest cow diva reinvention, featuring cowgirls, cowgays, haystacks and the mechanical bull that we were introduced to in the “Don’t Tell Me” video. The tour brought home the bank, as well as leading Madonna into the next chapter of her concert life.
Just think if “Music” would’ve stalled, we might have not ever gotten to experience what some critics say is one of the best tours of her carer. And the fact that she closed the show out every night with Music’s title track just makes it that much more worth it.
5.And because you still do the “Don’t Tell Me” choreography at night with the doors locked so no one else can see…
Admit it, you do. Giddy up….
….and of course, because you really wish that the Ol Kuntz Rest Home really existed.