Tag Archives: Madonna

Female superstars who started in 1980s-1990s and their underwhelming albums

There are overwhelming number of female stars in music industry. If you are going to compare the number of male and female singers, female outnumbered male singers. Clearly enough, competition of female singers are very tight.

Many female singers who had been huge about 2-3 decades ago tries hard to maintain their relevance. However, due to some factors, they end up struggling to still sell millions in some of their records. Even the best sellers sometimes fail. Evidence were those artists listed below with their last albums which sold underwhelmingly:

Mariah Carey
Mariah maintained her success during the entire 1990s. Underwhelming selling albuns is not new for her though when her 2001 album “Glitter” became her lowest peaking studio album and her 2002 album “Charmbracelet” bombed both in sales and critical responses. She got her redemption in 2005 through “Emancipation of Mimi” as it became her biggest album of 2000s. Her album “Memoirs of Imperfect Angel” only reached #3 and failed platinum status. Last year, her comeback album “Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse” may have peaked at high number 3 position but became her least successful album and considered a flop album by many.

Whitney Houston
She made it big with her first 2 albums in the ’80s and made it big with her soundtrack albums in the ’90s. Her first studio album after a string of 3 soundtrack albums, “My Love is Your Love” started slower but caught up after few months and became lustrous. Her last albums “Just Whitney” and “I Look to You” may have sold millions but not a testament of a huge comeback.

Celine Dion
Celine’s breakthrough came through “Color of My Love” and followed by more successful albums “Falling into You” and 1997’s “Let’s Talk About Love” which made her an A-list singer. Her success continued but never replicated with her last four albums. Her recent “Loved Me Back to Life” debuted at number 2 on Billboard 200 but with less sales compared to her previous.

Madonna
Madonna’s albums has always been huge. She may had lows but can make a huge comeback. In 1990s, her highly sexual LP “Erotica” was met with low sales compared to its predecessors and followed by underrated “Bedtime Stories”. She made huge comeback with “Ray of Light” and “Music”. Her “American Life” album was criticized and affected her sales despite a huge start. She came back with record setter “Confessions on a Dance Floor”. Her recent release “Rebel Heart” may have started at number 2 in US and number 1 in many countries but the reception in sales is not the usual she received.

Janet Jackson
After 5 chart-topping and multi-million selling album during 1980s until early 2000s, Janet released her album “Damita Jo” which was the start of her low sales and affected her 2 succeeding albums despite high position in ranks. That was due to wardrobe malfunction incident which entirely affected her career. Blacklisting from MTV is a huge part of her downfall. Recently, she released her independent record “Unbreakable” which surprisingly started at number 1. The sales was considerably huge since albums sales are declining.

Madonna and Janet Jackson Comparisons

This post isn’t intended to criticize one of the artists mentioned and praise the other one. I noticed the similarities of the two great artists despite their big differences. Both were music legends and two of the biggest female artists ever.
Both artists started during the first half of 1980s. Madonna’s first album may have sold millions but shone more with sophomore release “Like a Virgin”, while Janet Jackson had lukewarm success with her first two albums. Janet’s breakthrough in music came in 1986 through “Control” album. Madonna took the route of controversy with “Like a Virgin” and the considered blasphemous “Like a Prayer”. While Janet Jackson became a role model to young people.
As 1990s starts, Madonna went provocative as seen on her outrageous videos and concerts. Janet, though had her take to more sexual through her album “janet.”. When Madonna was overly criticized in early ’90s, Janet though was acclaimed with her style and songs about sexuality. Madonna received moderate response through “Erotica” while Janet earned her most successful album.
Things changed during the second half 1990s. Madonna went subtle and finer via her “Evita” and her huge comeback with “Ray of Light”. Janet also released her darkest themed but generally acclaimed “The Velvet Rope”.
2000s has been a hard era for the two artists. Madonna may have preceded with another huge LP “Music” but things fell off when she spoke her mind through “American Life”. Her video of the single with the same name was even banned in MTV which led to a substitute video made. It didn’t help the single and album and became her least successful album at that time. She’s been able to get her glory back via dance hit album “Confessions on a Dance Floor”.
Janet Jackson had huge start to scoring 2 number one singles between 2000 and 2001 and a highly successful album. But her downfall came months before the anticipated release of “Damita Jo”. It is when ‘nipplegate’ happened during Superbowl performance her nipples was exposed at the end of the performance. It led to blacklisting of her music and videos on MTV and other radio stations. It affected her career and her four albums during the decade flopped which was believed it happened due to the Superbowl incident. I think the blacklisting has been unfair for Janet after seeing worse things on MTV.
This year, the two artists released their new albums. Madonna with “Rebel Heart” and Janet Jackson for “Unbreakable”. Both experienced a not-so-successful performances in music charts. Despite the failures, it can’t erase the reality that the two women made a huge impact at the pop culture.

Some facts from Wikipedia.

Reinvention & Transformation of Female Artists from 1980s and 1990s

Female artists do most of reinvention to themselves. Many of then succeeded, though some of them was received modestly. Involving in controversial changes may be a bad publicity but it is still a publicity that can contribute to record sales surge. It helped many artists propel their careers spanning decades. Take a look at these artists below:

Madonna- She is labeled as “Queen of Reinvention” after transforming a number of times, yet, she was still well-received in a span of more than 3 decades in the industry. Those who lived from the 1980s, they saw how her looks has evolved which may be more than 10 times based on her music videos. From a wholesome lady on her self-titled debut, she went more sexual and controversial with “Like a Virgin” and even shocked many with “Like a Prayer”. At the wake of 1990s, she went sassy and fashionista through “Vogue”. The most controversial era happened with her “Erotica” album with its sexual themes. However, many gave good reviews of it. We heard her evolve to dance music in this song. She toned down in her compilation release “Something to Remember” as a warm up for musical film and album “Evita”. Her big comeback came through the album which was generally well-received “Ray of Light” with its electronic sounds which continued through “Music”. At this time, she left her sexual image. She proved her reign as “Queen of the Dance Floor” through “Confessions on the Dance Floor”. We heard her in EDM recently with “Rebel Heart”.

Whitney Houston- She is one of the most successful divas because of her big voice. Whitney often has songs intended to motivate people and friendship songs. Most of her songs were ballad as heard in her first 3 albums. But she also had danceable hits with the likes of “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”. She turned into a relevant actress with the success of the blockbuster film and its soundtrack which is the biggest selling from a film ever, “The Bodyguard”. The film was followed by two more films and soundtracks. Her first studio album after 8 years of soundtrack came out with the album “My Love is Your Love”. In this album, her music sounds more soulful and R&B and lower vocal register until her last album “I Look to You”.

Janet Jackson- Her success finally came after 2 less successful albums via “Control”. She was one of the female best dancers and singer at the same time. Her music expands to different topics that made her a role model. However, with the release of “janet.”, she took a more sexual role. From a musculine choreography or “Rhythm Nation” to sexier moves on this album. During the second half of 1990s, her “Velvet Rope” album was on a darker mode. Her come back in 2000s just shown her as an icon. Unfortunately, a nip slip incide in 2004 was the start of her career to diminish. But she’s still one of the biggest female pop stars ever.

Mariah Carey- At the start of the 1990, saw the rise of one of the biggest stars ever. Mariah Carey scored her first number one among her numerous chart-toppers, was know to be balladeer with wholesome image. In 1997, the sexual Mariah Carey was seen with her music reinvented to more R&B. Her music declined not just with its sales but also quality through “Glitter” but through “Emancipation of Mimi”, she flourished due to its new sound which is different from her usual ballads. Since 2005, she maintained that sound.

Top Remix Albums

Changing some parts of song can be a good thing and eventually becomes a source of income for some artists. It is what we call remixes. Most remixes we hear were remade for club plays. People can dance with songs originally were ballads. With the help of technology as done by DJs, songs can sound faster. But that’s not always the case. Many songs will sound hipper through adding rap parts. It became popular in early 1990s which one of the most remarkable change happened through Mariah Carey’s hit “Fantasy” when she hired ODB to rap in the song. It helped the song and parent album’s success.

A song can likely be changed completely and the title can be retained and claim it’s a remix version. An example was Jennifer Lopez’s  “I”m Real”. The fast pop original version turned into a mid-tempo hip-hop version.

Remix albums also came to existence, many became hits, while others performed moderately. Some of these artists were below.

Madonna- You Can Dance

This is one of the best selling remix albums. Past songs of Madonna became more suitable for club plays.

Michael Jackson- Blood on the Dance Floor (History in the Mix)

Considered the most successful remix album when it sold over 6 million worldwide. The songs were mostly remixed version of songs from his album “History”.

Jennifer Lopez-J to tha L.O.- The Remixes

The album featured the totally revamped “I’m Real” and the new version of chart-topper “Ain’t it Funny”. It eventually became the first number one remix album ever.

Linkin Park- Reanimation

Released during remix albums is a trend, Linkin Park remixed their “Hybrid Theory” songs which ended as the fastest selling remix album based on first week sales.

P. Diddy- We Invented the Remix

This became second to Jennifer Lopez to top Billboard 200. It just propelled 2 Billboard top 10 hits, an evidence of the album’s success.

Justin Bieber- Never Say Never- The Remixes

Justin Bieber’s “My World” had an EP, 2.0, acoustic and of course, a remix version. It was one of those most successful remix albums when it topped Billboard 200 and was released during the height of his album’s success.

 

Some facts from Wikipedia.

My Choice 10 Musical Films

I have seen tons of musical films, either it was theatrical or comedic. It’s just fun to watch them. But there were some musical that are more serious especially those seen on Broadway and adopted into film.

10. High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Teen musicals can be fan too. We heard lots of pop tunes in this third installment of Disney’s High School musical trilogy. Among all the 3 films, for me it is the least likable but it doesn’t mean I don’t like it.

9. Hairspray

The film’s setting was in 1960s and featured A-list artists which includes John Travolta. It also marks Zac Efron as first musical big screen film after successful High School Musical TV films. It was good to see John in musical films again.

8. Evita

A film about Argentina’s first lady Evita Peron and was based from a musical. It became Madonna’s most successful film and gained her awards.

7. Dreamgirls

This is a story about a girl group patterned after The Supremes. Jennifer Hudson did so well and it became a major highlight of her career despite not one of the top 5 of American Idol before this film. She even flourished in this film after winning Best Supporting Actress in Oscar than its lead Beyonce.

6. Mamma Mia

Adapted into film from a musical, it was turned into film and became huge in box-office and based on the hit song of Swedish pop group ABBA. It regained sales for ABBA too, as well as success for the soundtrack album. Amanda and Merryl did the film well.

5. High School Musical

The first film of the series. Storywise, it’s better than the first one but it’s my second choice from the 3 films. It was only made for TV and was seen by hundreds of millions worldwide.

4. High School Musical 2

The reason why this is my first pic among all HSM movies is because of the music. The first has better story but the songs in the sequel was better.

3. Pitch Perfect 2

I am a Pitch Perfect movies fan. This is very hilarious but quite started at a low pace to get its story and the humor. After 15 minutes, it was all fun and you can connect its story to yeh first part.

2. Les Miserables 2012

I love how this was done in a film recently and Anne Hathaway who had a short performance in the film is the most memorable when she sang “I Dreamed a Dream”. You can feel the pain in her when she sang it.

1. Pitch Perfect

This is my favorite musical films ever because of its story and humor. Rebel Wilson was hilarious. I even remember this film every time I hear Ace of Base’s “The Sign”. Anna Kendrick’s “Cups” is a good song too. I watched the film several times and I will still watch it when I got the chance.

Why do artists have to mention their names in their songs?

I just crossed to a song on a FM radio station which they played the latest song from Madonna (with profanity in it) and her name was mentioned several times in that song, no doubt it’s the title of the song. It’s like she is introducing herself knowing she has been the greatest female artist in the history when in terms of sales, longevity, contribution to the pop culture and a lot more.

Going back to the songs with the artists’names often mentioned, it reminded me of my related who once expressed his disgust to Jason Derulo, who almost mention his name in his songs at the beginning. I could not blame my cousin, almost all of the songs that I heard from Jason Derulo, he mentioned his name, lol! Pitbull also came to my mind, well, they have nice names and they were proud of him, PERHAPS, lol!

Anyway, not only the two artists mentioned did that. They were actually a lot. Never mind the rappers, because they often do that. Lady Gaga mentioned “Gaga” on her song “Bad Romance”. It may not be her entire name (Lady Gaga) but it is pertaining to her. In the song “We Can’t Stop”, Miley mentioned “dancing with Miley”. Britney Spears also mentioned her name in a number of her songs.

It’s not new that we hear the names of artists in their songs as it existed before. During 1990s, either Mariah Carey’s name or initials were mentioned in her songs, even Janet did in 1980s (remember “Nasty”?). Even pop groups did. Backstreet Boys introduced themselves in their debut single “We’ve Got it Goin’ On” and did it again with the famous “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”. Spice Girls also emphasized their success through “Spice Up Your Life” and mentioned their individual names in “Wannabe” and non-released tracks. Well, it’s part of music industry!

Well, I made this list why names were mentioned in many songs: (Disclaimer: this is no serious)

1. Lots of people are forgetful, the artists were just reminding everyone.

2. To prove that’s their song. It is a protection that their song won’t be stolen.

3. If you heard their song and you don’t know who it is, you just heard them.

4. When Jason Derulo says “Jason Derulo”, well it does mean it’s not “Chris Brown”.

Sounds didn’t make sense? Well, sorry but I got nothing more to say. 🙂

Artists’ Names in Song Titles

It seems dropping names of artists in song titles is the trend recently. Those songs may not be direct tributes to those artists, rather simile which compares an action to an artists. Not all though as we heard from current hits. Check those recent songs below:

Note: Some songs may be from recent years and mostly mainstream.

 

Madonna- B, I’m Madonna

Well, it was apparently sung by Madonna herself and it was telling the whole world that she’s Madonna. She’s a legend, an idea brought up by its producer, American DJ, Diplo. It was like to show Madonna started it all for other female pop stars around. Never mind the word “B”, it’s not intended or mean something vulgar.

 

Charlie Puth ft. Meghan Trainor- Marvin Gaye

Charlie admitted he’s a big fan of Motown music particularly, of Marvin Gaye. So this song may be a little tribute with his name as the title and some lyrics of Marvin Gaye’s song on it. However, it was like a euphemism since the song is somewhat salacious if you’re listen and understand its lyrics. Marvin Gaye became a verb in this song!

 

The Wanted-Walks like Rihanna

It seems Rihanna is a dream girl for the lads of The Wanted. However, it doesn’t matter to them if a girl cannot sing or dance, as long as she can walk like Rihanna. Now you know girls, if you like the guys of The Wanted, then check how Rihanna walks.

 

Maroon 5- Moves Like Jagger

Maroon 5 admitted that this song is a tribute to The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. Nevertheless, if you listen to its lyrics it has other meaning of it. Imagine Mick Jagger’s eccentric moves, it’s not just about the moves. I am telling you, lol!

 

Cher Lloyd- Swagger Jagger

Shortly after “Moves like Jagger”, this song was released from UK X -Factor alumna Cher Lloyd. It seems Mick Jagger has huge influence to many artists right?

 

Drake- Girls love Beyonce

This is a real tribute from Drake and pertaining that  a lot of girls loves and love to be like Beyonce. In the song also interpolates “Say My Name”, a song popularized by Bey’s former group Destiny’s Child.

 

Taylor Swift- Tim McGraw

This song was part of Taylor Swift’s humble beginnings as it became her first single. She’s still a country singer that time and she really loves Tim McGraw. Despite the Tim McGraw reference, it is a love song and failed relationship that perhaps connected with country music, particularly with Tim McGraw’s music.