I hope you have enjoyed this week’s music of Madonna.
Madonna’s seventh studio album, Ray of Light, (1998) reflected this change in her perception and image. She collaborated with then relatively unknown electronica producer William Orbit and wanted to create a sound that could blend dance music with pop and British rock. American music critic Ann Powers explained that what Madonna searched for with Orbit “was a kind of a lushness that she wanted for this record. Techno and rave was happening in the 90’s and had a lot of different forms. There was very experimental, more hard stuff like Aphex Twin. There was party stuff like Fatboy Slim. That’s not what Madonna wanted for this. She wanted something more like a singer-songwriter, really. And William Orbit provided her with that.” The album garnered critical acclaim and Slant Magazine declared it as “one of the great pop masterpieces of the ’90s”. Ray of Light was honored with four Grammy Awards, and Rolling Stone listed it among “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. Commercially, the album peaked at number one in numerous countries and sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. The album’s first single, “Frozen”, became Madonna’s first single to debut at number one in the UK, while in the U.S. it became her sixth number-two single and set another record for Madonna as the artist with the most number two hits. The second single, “Ray of Light”, debuted at number five on the Billboard Hot 100.
The 1998 edition of Guinness Book of World Records stated: “No female artist has sold more records than Madonna around the world”. In 1999, Madonna signed to play a violin teacher in the film Music of the Heart but left the project, citing “creative differences” with director Wes Craven. She recorded the single “Beautiful Stranger” for the 1999 film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. It reached number 19 on the Hot 100 solely on radio airplay and earned Madonna a Grammy Award for “Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media”.