TGJ Replay: Madonna’s ‘Music’ Turns 20!

Published: Saturday 19th Sep 2020 by Rashad

Designed much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, ‘Replay’ is That Grape Juice‘s retrospective segment – a written quest, if you will, to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday.

Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase entire albums (and eras) from a library of Pop and Urban Pop music hits.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Queen of Pop Madonna‘s first album of the millennium, this week we’ll replay her eighth studio effort, ‘Music.’

Join us inside:

It’s not often artists achieve their magnum opus over 15 years into their careers, but such was certainly the case with Pop icon Madonna thanks to 1998’s ‘Ray of Light.’

Living up to its title given the bleak commercial and critical responses to a number of her releases throughout the 90’s, the groundbreaking ‘Light’ was arguably the diva’s most acclaimed effort to date – collecting multiple trophies from the year’s major awards shows, nabbing multiple top 10 hits, and ultimately selling over 16 million copies worldwide.  As if following her best-selling effort of the decade wasn’t challenging enough, carrying relevance into a new millennium dominated by Hip Hop and Teen Pop seemed crucible.

As fans called for more collaborations with William Orbit, the production mastermind behind ‘Light,’ Madge opted to minimize his contributions in favor of utilizing sounds from French DJ Mirwais Ahmadzaï  for the new project.

Together, the trio crafted ‘Music.’  Released in the United States on September 19, 2000, the project spawned three singles:  ‘Music’ (title track), ‘Don’t Tell Me,’ and ‘What It Feels Like for a Girl.’

‘Music’

Hot 100 Peak: #1

RIAA certification: Platinum

[Editor’s note:  ‘Music’s ascent to #1 made Madonna the second woman in history to nab a #1 single in three consecutive decades.  The first was Janet Jackson, who shot to the top earlier that year with her ‘Nutty Professor’ soundtrack hit ‘Doesn’t Really Matter.’]

‘Don’t Tell Me’

Hot 100 Peak: #4

RIAA certification: Gold

‘What It Feels Like for a Girl’

Hot 100 Peak: #23

RIAA certification: N/A

Once the dust settled, ‘Music’ – like its predecessor’ – was praised for its sonic experimentation of fusing Rock, Disco, Pop (in its Euro- and Electro- variations), and Country sounds as well as for housing some of Madge’s most personal lyrics (see: ‘Gone,’ ‘Paradise,’ ‘Nobody’s Perfect’).  Unlike its forerunner, ‘Music’ returned the diva to the dancefloor – swaying more into the lane of currency by cloaking lighthearted lyrics with pulsating, club-ready Pop (see:  ‘Impressive Instant,’ ‘What It Feels Like for a Girl’ single version).

Opening to first-week sales of 420,000 (the best of her career to date), the album’s debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 marked her first time topping the chart since 1989’s ‘Like a Prayer’ LP.  When the dust settled, the effort was certified 3x Platinum in the United States (denoting sales of over 3 million units) and sold over 11 million worldwide.

Not exactly garnering the critical response of ‘Light’ as it relates to industry accolades, the LP and its content did nab 4 GRAMMY nods in 2001 (Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Recording Package, and Record of the Year for ‘Music’) as well as a nod in 2002 for ‘Don’t Tell Me’ (Best Short Form Music Video).

From our perspective, the project may not serve as her most memorable but its importance in her discography is multi-fold.  On one hand, it served notice to naysayers that Madge – an act who premiered in the 80’s – could still serve commercial relevance alongside her younger counterparts.  On the other, it reasserted her position as Queen of music videos – advancing a nearly 20-year agenda (at the time) to use the medium as not only promotional tools but also statement pieces and short films.

As we salute our jam, ‘Runaway Lover,’ look below and tell us:

Your thoughts?

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  1. Gigi September 19, 2020

    Great album.

  2. Danyboo September 19, 2020

    Wow I remember when this came out… Hey Mr DJ❤️

  3. 🍭marilyn monh-O-E🍭(da one & only) September 19, 2020

    Fancy bish turned 80 today!! Happy birthday to granny & t*****💁🏿‍♀️💁🏿‍♀️👵🏿👵🏿👵🏿👵🏿

    • 🍭marilyn monh-O-E🍭(da one & only) September 19, 2020

      * t-r-a-n-n-y 👵🏿👵🏿🤳🤳🤳💅🏿💅🏿💅🏿

    • Fancy BISH September 20, 2020

      I love the 80’s! ❤️ Happy HOEE Day bumpy ass legs 🤣

  4. Rashad September 19, 2020

    Don’t Tell Me and Paradise (Not for Me) are masterpieces. I think this album is kind of like Erotica…big fans know how brilliant it is but it gets overshadowed by Like a Prayer, Ray of Light and Confessions on a Dancefloor. Every Madonna album was amazing until MDNA. Even Hard Candy had some bops that ages well. In the end Madonna has nothing left to prove bc she did it all so these current girls could follow in her footsteps.

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