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Madonna’s worst career decision


vasili
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Was signing that Live Nation deal for X amount of albums and tours over X amount of years, as it turned her albums into a mere means to a touring end rather than allowing her to craft her music only when she felt artistically inspired and at her own pace. Let the record show that Madonna chose money over art here.
 
Madame X was an attempt to make amends on this before she cashes in again, this time on her legacy with her upcoming biopic (she wants to call it a ‘visual autobiography’ to fool herself into thinking that she is different and isn’t following this latest trend) and the musical and touring residuals she’s bound to amass leading up to/following the movie’s release.

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I meeeeeean you can take the details and frame it that way if you want. But signing a 360 deal doesn't equate to less inspired art/music. If anything she followed the same release schedule with both contracts, an album every 3 or 4 years.

If anything I think there was some complacency on her part and not really paying attention to what was happening around her. I don't think Pharrell gave his best effort with her. I don't think Kanye cared about what he did for her on Rebel Heart. Apparently Diplo was half paying attention. 

Who knows... maybe she isn't as inspired by music anymore. We will probably never know. If someone was to ask... they probably wouldn't get a completely honest answer anyway. but I don't think you can say it's the contract. 

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I don't think it was a mistake. I think there was a lot going on in her personal life and a massive culture/pop culture shift around 2009 that made that deal more of a nightmare than it would have been.

She was also battling that douche Perez Hilton who really started the whole Vadge Grandma narrative that others took on and then LG and her Little ones intensified it. 

Radio in the US hated her, the media were sometimes on her side but mostly against her. 

She had a team that was behind the times and a relatively young family she was now parenting mostly solo.

Plus she had so many outside projects that seemed to take her attention. I did say in the unpopular opinion threads that she had lost interest in making music after American Life and I stand by that. I don't think her passion was anywhere near as strong after that failure. All the turmoil and hate probably only made it harder for her to focus on her career, and it did feel like she was mostly just trying to get through the ten years rather than revelling in it.

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I think the 360 degree deal was a really smart deal - she banked a shitload of coin and was guaranteed funding pretty much for the next lot of albums , videos and tours.

MDNA was the first album - We know what happened, William Orbit was pretty public about that - Rebel Heart she put so much effort into that and the leaks fucked it for her - and Madame X she had full creative control over, well in fact, she has full creative control over all of her albums. 

She did what she wanted at the time, made the albums she wanted to and presented her music the way she wanted, got $120 million + and whatever she banked from her tours.

The MDNA tour was bloody EPIC! Rebel Heart was amazing and Madame X is exactly how it should be for the album that it was based off.

 

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I cant blame her for leaving WB as the deal with LiveNation : giant in touring but definitely not a record label and that why the albums weren't a commercial success. Madonna would have to sell around 15m copies of each of the concert promoter's three albums to recoup its investment on that piece of the deal!

Glad she's back with WB!

 

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22 minutes ago, Pootz333 said:

Nothing will ever top not releasing "Impressive Instant" as a single with a proper video.

The videos for "Get Together" and "Jump" were some choices too.

Oh, and making The Next Best Thing instead of doing literally anything else at the time.

The record company wanted to release ‘Amazing’ as the fourth single off the album. Madonna didn’t agree as she voted for ‘Impressive Instant’. There is a rumor going she didn’t want to film a video for ‘Amazing’ so the record company opted to use live footage for the video from ‘Amazing’ as it was scheduled to be played. Madonna on her turn replaced Amazing for Beautiful Stranger in the setlist to prevent this from happening.

"Jump" was meant to be the third single but when "The Devil Wears Prada" came knocking, WB switched to "Get Together" (as "The Devil Wears Prada" was being released in the Summer) also she must've been busy with rehearsing for the tour and for the Jump video at least she managed to find time off her busy schedule  and decided to take her look to a whole new level and try using a platinum blonde bob wig for this video!

But to call both a possible worst career choices is a long stretch ... 

 

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I think leaving Warner Bros wasn't the best career decision. But let's not forget Warner Bros invited the Pet Shop Boys to collaborate on the Hard Candy album and then later withdrew that invitation. I have always wondered what a Madonna album produced by the Pet Shop Boys would sound like. Unfortunately we ended up with a hybrid of the Future Sex/Love Sounds and Loose albums by Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado, which wasn't bad, it just wasn't new or fresh. And we were so used to Madonna working with unknown producers who gave her albums a new sound like Orbit, Price and Mirwais. For the first time Madonna was following the trend instead of dictating it.

Then that Live Nation deal. It was just too much. But who would have said no to the money? I can't blame Madonna. The only thing missing was someone who would have dared say no to some decisions. It's not without reason MDNA and Rebel Heart are considered subpar Madonna albums. Better editing, better concepts and direction all would have made a difference and yes, maybe Guy Oseary had something to do with this (or perhaps the problem is that he didn't do nearly enough). The 2010s have been rather joyless, missing a steady direction.

And yes, @Brendanlovesu1, I agree with you. The mystique is gone. The discussion and focus seem to have shifted away from the music and artistry to image and looks.

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Her worst decision was joining Instagram. At least she got money out of the 360 deal. I wonder if she had signed that contract though if Guy Ritchie did not get that fortune out of their divorce ? Judging by the lyrics to I Don't Give A "You were so mad at me, who's got custody ? lawyers, suck it up, didn't have a pre-nup [...] gotta sign a contract, gotta get my money back". In that case not get getting a prenup was her bigest career mistake. 

But you must remember at the time the old music industry model was dying because of illegal downloading (it was even before streaming), record companies were closing down being absorbed by bigger entities like Universal, creatives agent were being fired etc....360 deal looked promising and safer. She ended up creating a creating a cheap perfum (not the juice maybe but the whole packaging and marketing as awful), opening silly gym studios etc...she became a brand more than an artist and we were not interested in that. As much as MDNA is a poorly produced album with little involvment from Madonna according to Orbit (and the credits),Rebel heart was a return to form but since the way people were recording records had completly changed she got lost and the production on the album suffered a lot because she had too much time to think and rethink. But it started with Hard Candy, look at the credits, she is credited as the creative director not the producer (on Timbaland tracks which are the weakest on the album imo) because she was interested in making movies. She was making "filth and whatever" and supervising the movie about Malawi at the same time. MDNA era sounds to me as also a way to make back the money she spent on W.E. (even before it flopped). After Confessions and maybe the whole David backlash she seemed more interested in movie making than music hence MDNA and she probably still is. 

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4 hours ago, Ryder said:

"Jump" was meant to be the third single but when "The Devil Wears Prada" came knocking, WB switched to "Get Together" (as "The Devil Wears Prada" was being released in the Summer)

 

WAIT WHY??? I always thought it odd they didn't capatilise on DWP by releasing Jump and tying it in. Makes absolutely no sense. Devil was a massive hit that summer

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14 minutes ago, me1981 said:

WAIT WHY??? I always thought it odd they didn't capatilise on DWP by releasing Jump and tying it in. Makes absolutely no sense. Devil was a massive hit that summer

Simply because GT was released 1 month before Devil OST [and doesn't even include Jump but Vogue coz of the movie theme] 

https://giphy.com/gifs/foxhomeent-meryl-streep-the-devil-wears-prada-3o7bu4T3Jcib9vlrvG

 

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One of the worst mistakes was Sire not releasing "Into The Groove" as a single in the US. It was totally dumb move that cost most likely a number 1 hit comparative to her earlier movie soundtrack song success with "Crazy For You." I don't know who there called the shots not to promote it considering "Desperately Seeking Susan" was a super popular box office movie. I like Angel but they really should have released Into The Groove at the same time as Angel.

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Sticking with Mirwais and Kevin Antunes to me are here worst mistakes from a music perspective. Ditching Orbit and Stuart Price was another one too - they are much better producers/song writers.

I dont know why people blame Live Nation for her "decline" - after all they generated millions for her from a touring perspective(And made her the most successful touring artist ever) so in that sense it was a very good deal for her - considering she was 50 when she signed that deal - how many artists today would get that kind of deal when at that age their music sales would have long dwindled by then.

i could care less about her personal life but i agree her social media prescence has not gained her any new fans -in fact its probably lost her a lot(Especially those most recent photos of the knife and her ass sticking out from under the bed :( )

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I just want to mention two (minor) mistakes that are particularly frustrating to me because they were totally preventable.

1. The Oscar that got away.

Yes, she has two Best Original Song winners in her catalog ("Sooner Or Later", "You Must Love Me") but I still can't fathom how she was denied a co-writing credit.

And when she finally had a surefire win in the bag ("Masterpiece") - in a year with virtually no competition - her team fucked it up again by making it ineligible (the song wasn't used either in the body of the film or as the “first music cue” in the closing credits). A missed opportunity.

2. The Top 10 hits that got away.

From a chart perspective, Warner missed out on at least 3 additional Top 10 hits in the United States ("Into The Groove", "Beautiful Stranger" and "American Pie").They should've been released commercially. 

The fact the "Angel" 12" vinyl and the "Austin Powers" soundtrack sold extremely well it's a clear indicator that people were eager to own those songs.

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Give Me All Your Luvin' being included in the Superbowl.  Next to the monster classics that she performed (Vogue, Music + Like a Prayer), it sounded even more weak.  It did not belong in a set with all those number one, classic, anthemic, worldwide smashes.  For that matter, it should have not been included on the MDNA album either and certainly not as a lead single.  There actually is a lot of great material on MDNA.  GAYL is definitely the weakest song, including Birthday Song and Superstar.   BS was a bonus, so okay and Superstar featured Lola so it was never an option for Madonna to cut but GAYL????  I still cannot figure out how GAYL fit in with Gang Bang, I'm Addicted, I'm a Sinner, Love Spent, Beautiful Killer, I Fucked Up and I'm Falling Free (note that I do not list any of the singles when referring to the great music on MDNA - Haha).  Maybe without the cheer leader theme, GAYL could get a "pass" but I am still thinking no.  I still L.U.V. Madonna and MDNA but GAYL was clearly a mistake across the board.  The video almost made up for the blunder (as it is effing amazing) but it was a very big blunder.

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