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Madonna's secret to making 'Music'

graphic
"Music," Madonna's latest release, has hit No. 1 in more than 20 countries  

In this story:

Flipping out Madonna

On tour: Starting small

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



(CNN) -- Stepping into the studio to record her newest album, "Music," Madonna said she had one thought running through her mind: "God, I hope I can keep coming up with the goods."

Commercially, she has succeeded admirably. "Music" sold 4 million copies in the first 10 days.

How does she do it?

  QUIZ
 
  ALSO
  • Madonna: Changing times, changing style'
  • The creative forces behind "Music"
  • Madonna shakes, shines in latest album
  •  
     INTERVIEW
    Madonna explains the song 'Don't Tell Me'

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    (QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

    Madonna talks about herself as a songwriter

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    Madonna explains her choice of producers

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    (QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
     
     MUSIC VIDEO
    Watch the 'Music' video

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      AUDIO
    TEST

    "Runaway Lover"

    336K WAV sound

    "I Deserve It"

    512K WAV sound

    "Gone"

    336K WAV sound
     

    "I have to be inspired," she said in an exclusive interview. "I have to work with people that I, that I find exciting.

    "As a songwriter, I'm really conservative ... so I think I like to find somebody who's a little bit more avant garde in the production department."

    Flipping out Madonna

    For "Music," she chose to work with producers William Orbit and the French artist Mirwais Ahmadzai. Madonna had worked with Orbit on "Ray of Light" (1998). That album, which boasts the track "Beautiful Strangers," won four Grammys.

    She had never worked with Mirwais, whose "Disco Science" became a hit on the French club circuit. Once Madonna heard a demo, she decided to take a chance.

    "Guy Oseary, my partner at Maverick (Records), was given a demo by a French artist called Mirwais," she said. "(He) slipped it to me and said, 'What do you think (of him) as an artist to sign at Maverick?'"

    She thought very much of it indeed.

    "I just said 'Omigod, this is what I want,'" she recalled. "I just flipped over it and said, 'Please find out if he wants to work with me.'"

    With the help of Mirwais and Orbit, she took "Music" in a different direction than "Ray of Light."

    "'Ray of Light' is more trippy, more ambient, more dense," she said. "I think that 'Music' is much more pared down, much more minimalist and in a way, more funky.

    "I was really proud of it," she said. "It's exactly what I wanted."

    On tour: Starting small

    Madonna has a few club dates planned to promote the album. She held a rare performance at the Roseland Ballroom in New York earlier this month. And she has another show scheduled at London's Brixton Academy on November 28.

    It will be her first live performance in Britain in seven years as well as her first online concert. Only 3,500 people will be admitted to the London event, but fans all over the world can watch the show at www.msn.co.uk/madonna.

    Madonna's last major tour was in 1993. The 42-year-old mother of two said she's ready to hit the road again.

    "I'm gonna get my feet wet," she said. "I've already got ideas ... of stuff I'd like to do for a big tour. I feel like it's time. I need to take a trip around the world and sing a few songs."

    Warner Bros. Records, Madonna's label, is owned by Time Warner, which is the parent company of CNN.

    RELATED STORIES:
    Madonna: Changing times, changing style'
    November 10, 2000
    Madonna could break Internet record
    November 10, 2000
    Madonna partners with French artist to get 'funky flavor'
    November 7, 2000
    Madonna gives rare live performance
    November 6, 2000
    Madonna wins cybersquatter suit
    October 16, 2000
    Madonna shakes, shines in latest album
    September 27, 2000
    Review: Madonna plays Madonna in 'Next Best Thing'
    March 3, 2000
    Justify my tribute: Madonna honored with 'Virgin Voices'
    April 7, 1999
    Interview: Madonna reviews life on Larry King Live
    January 19, 1999
    Madonna sings of life as 'Evita'
    December 17, 1996

    RELATED SITES:
    Madonna
    Official Madonna Fan Club

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