Albumcover (Deluxe Edition, left - Standard Edition, right), shot by Mert and Marcus
Art work by Giovanni Bianco
Click on the song title for more details.
Almost a full four years after the release of Hard Candy, Madonna returns to the music scene with the album MDNA, released on March 26th, 2012.
More than ever, details about the record remained scarce in the months preceeding the release. A series of collaborators got mentioned in the rumour mills, and it indeed turned out to be the Madonna album with the most collaborators. Only in late 2011,
it was confirmed that Madonna worked with French producer/DJ Martin Solveig, mostly known from his hit single Hello, featuring Dragonette. Madonna reunited with
William Orbit, who last worked with Madonna over a decade ago on the Music album. Benny Benassi, who is responsible for the video version of Celebration, personally denied any involvement, but in the end, alongside with his cousin Alle Benassi, his contribution to the album was confirmed. The pairing of Hardy "Indiigo" Muanza and Michael Malih helmed the track Superstar, while hitmaker Jean Baptiste Kouame and his Free School entourage also lended a hand to the record. The Demolition Crew, led by Demacio "Demo" Castellon (who had been a part of Timbaland's team on the previous album already), co-produced several tracks as well.
At the 2012 Golden Globes, Madonna said about the process:
"I love [Solveig's] sound. It's really fresh, it doesn't sound like anybody else. He's brilliantly talented. I would say his music is happy it puts a smile on your face and my record does that too.
And I collaborated again with William Orbit who tends to make me more introspective. His songs tend to be... I don't want to say dark but more thoughtful and introspective.
So yeah, it's a good combination of the light and the dark."
Martin Solveig also discussed Madonna's involvement in the recording process: "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!"
Singers Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. share their vocals on some of the album tracks. They feature on the first single Give Me All Your Luvin', a cheerleader tune, which debuted
on Feb. 3rd (the video as well), only 2 days before it's performed live at the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show. Madonna, Nicki & M.I.A. performed the track in a grand choreography by Jamie King and Cirque du Soleil. A demo version of Give Me All Your Luvin'
without the guest vocals leaked online early November 2011, which lead to a full investigation and the arrest of a Spanish fan. The second single Girl Gone Wild, one of the Benassi collaborations, was released on iTunes on March 1, 2012.
Madonna has also penned a ballad for the end credits of her movie
W.E., which is titled Masterpiece
and is co-produced by William Orbit. Leaked online in early December 2011, the song appears both on
the movie soundtrack and the MDNA album.
The song was awarded with a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
MDNA was made available in two main editions. The Standard Edition features 12 tracks. The Deluxe Edition, with a different cover, adds another 4 songs, as well as the Party Rock Remix of Give Me All Your Luvin', coming at a total of 17 tracks. The physical release of the Deluxe Edition comes as a 2-CD box, with the bonus tracks featuring on the second disc. Due to Gang Bang and I Fucked Up, the album gets an explicit lyrics sticker. A clean standard version without Gang Bang is also available. The clean Walmart Deluxe Edition omits both explicit tracks but adds the Laidback Luke Remix of the lead-off single. The acoustic version of Love Spent appears as an iTunes Deluxe Edition bonus track.
The album became available for pre-order on iTunes on Feb. 3, 2012. Within 48 hours, it was at #1 on every iTunes album chart worldwide. Once released, the album reached #1 in the UK (winning her the record of most number one albums for a solo artist in the UK as her 12th chart-topper), Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. In the US, MDNA gave Madonna her second highest debut sales since 1991 with 359,000 copies sold, thanks to the pre-orders during the Super Bowl weekend and the concert ticket redemptions that contained the price of the album. It's Madonna's 8th US #1 album, the second highest number among solo female artists.