Hard Candy

Madonna won't put out free downloads

Pop superstar Madonna is refusing to copy Radiohead by releasing her next album as a free download - even though she is one of the best-selling artists of all time.
The Material Girl star admires the British rockers and their brave move to release their latest album In Rainbows as a digital download - allowing fans to choose their own price for the record.
But the 49-year-old isn't ready to have the public judge how much they should pay for her music just yet.
She says, 'It is a cool idea but I am not sure if it works exactly. It is like a new world out there and people have to try a lot of things and make mistakes.'
'Some things will work and some things will not, but it is kind of revolutionary and we are in that strange moment - the darkness before the dawn before we really know what is next.'
'I don't know if I want to put my songs out there and ask other people what it is worth, but I am definitely ready to try new things.'
Hard Candy, the singer's 11th studio LP, is slated for worldwide release later this month.

From contactmusic.com

Madonna Live at New York's Roseland Ballroom

Here is the official press release announcing Madonna's Hard Candy showcase at New York City's Roseland Ballroom:

'In celebration of the release of Madonna's upcoming CD HARD CANDY, Control Room, MSN and Verizon Wireless will present the one and only Madonna live at New York's famed Roseland Ballroom on Wednesday evening, April 30th, it was confirmed today by Warner Bros. Records. The Control Room-produced show will be available live on MSN Music In Concert (www.music.msn.com) on April 30th in the US and on May 15th ex-US.
Verizon customers will be amongst the handful of lucky winners who will attend the show. Other lucky fans will need to line up outside of Roseland to receive tickets on a first come basis. This special event will be the first time Madonna will debut songs from her hotly anticipated new album HARD CANDY which is scheduled to arrive in stores on April 29th.
The first single from the album, '4 Minutes' has already jumped to the Number One spot in many countries. The song, which features Madonna, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake was produced by Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.'

Madonna knocks out in Chopard

Chopard strides boldly into the ring with The Undisputed Superstar of the Music World! The Swiss luxury jeweller and watchmaker proudly announces their latest collaboration with Madonna, creating the personalised diamond 'M-dolla' knuckle ring and Happy Diamonds cross for the cover of her much anticipated new album, Hard Candy, scheduled for release on April 28th 2008 on Warner Bros Records.

Hardy Candy, explains Madonna, is 'a juxtaposition of tough and sweetness' and in this same spirit Chopard Co-President Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele personally designed the 'M-dolla' knuckle ring seen on the album cover, joining forces with Madonna to envision a uniquely tough yet feminine piece. The resulting bespoke ring spells out Madonna's hip-hop pseudonym 'M-dolla' in 258 brilliant cut white diamonds with a Chopard signature mobile diamond in the flourish of the letter M. Teamed with a diamond encrusted gold cross from the Happy Diamonds collection the look is seductively bold.

This is not the first time that Chopard has created bespoke jewellery for Madonna, for her 2005 Confessions On A Dance Floor album Chopard also designed the iconic pave diamond 'Hung-Up' necklace famously worn by the Queen of Pop on stage.

From a Press Release - thanks to Maik at Chopard

UK Review: Hard Candy

London radio station Capital Radio also attended the UK album playback yesterday and wrote this great track-by-track review of the album:

This afternoon we went to a brilliantly decorated room in East London to hear the new Madonna album while sipping champagne & eating jelly beans. Sounds good huh? Well it was! Anyone fearing a full on urban attack - don't worry. 'Hard Candy' is full of long disco pop songs - it just has some heavy beats! Here's our track by track rundown:

1. Candy Shop:
Here we go! Madonna wants to be our '1-stop candy shop - your lollipop'. Yum! This is produced by The Neptunes and is filled with bleeps and swirls. It ends with a 'sticky but sweet' rap by Pharrell.
2. Four Minutes To Save The World:
You all know this one!
3. Give It To me:
Not a Furtado/Timbo cover but a Pharrell track that's going to be the 2nd single. Let us tell you now - it's mindblowingly amazing. There's cowbells, twinkles and a funny vocoder you might have heard on 'Music'. Think old school pop Madonna but fired up at 300 mph. There's a funky break near the end where Madonna shouts 'don't stop!', the music stops and a male voice sings 'left to the right'
4. Heartbeat:
'Probably the 3rd single', Heartbeat has a synthy 80s sounding intro. Madge tells us that 'when I dance I feel free!'. There's something about the melody when she sings 'you know I feel it in my Heartbeat' that's really cute!.
5. Miles Away:
This starts deceptively with guitar that reminds us of 'Don't Tell Me'. Is it going to be a ballad? Course not silly! 5 seconds in and here comes a pounding bassline. 'I just woke up from a fuzzy dream, you won't believe the things I've seen.' This is the first song that doesn't hold our attention all the way but it's got a dreamy ending.
6. She's Not Me:
It starts with 4 claps and then all hell breaks loose. This is the tale of a jilted lover and has about 7 different elements. It sounds kind of like a sequel to 'Deeper and Deeper' with the passion, the fastness and the twirls. Totally hypnotic - it's a Timberlake/land production but it could come straight from the disco house of Nile Rodgers. Oh and it would mix into Anita Ward's 'Ring My Bell' perfectly. Also it's REALLY LONG.
7. Incredible:
The slowest track so far, but it's full of strange noises. It's kind of what 'Cherish' might sound like if it was looped and scratched up by a DJ. A sweet solo piano maintains the sweetness under the nasty dirty bass that's everywhere else, but that bass is totally needed to stop it being smaltzy. It ends with a drum breakdown, that we're sure wil be replaced with a beatboxer on tour, and lots of sexy 'OOH's.
8. Beat Goes On:
Featuring Mr Kanye West, this is a full on party disco song. 'On and on, the beat goes - you don't have the luxury of time - say what's on your mind'. It has a 'BEEP BEEP' bit that totally reminds us of Donna Summer 'Bad Girl' (youtube it - it's awesome!). Then there's some dreamy sounding chords and up pops Kanye for a rap with some 'Like A Prayer' HEY!s going on underneath him.
9. Dance 2night:
Not a Paul McCartney cover! This is a bit downbeat sounding, but it's still not a ballad. It's just a bit dark. Wise ol' Madonna tells us all that 'You don't have to be beautiful to be understood. You don't have to be rich & famous to be good'.
10. Spanish Lessons:
She's always loved throwing a bit of Spanish into her songs and now here's a full on Spanish assault! Think matador trumpets and bullfighting. Plus learn her language and you might get lucky - 'You're so loco & you drive me crazy. If you do your homework maybe I will give it up'
11. Devil Wouldn't Recognize You:
The 2nd best song on the album, this is 'Cry Me A River' 5 years later, and sung by Madonna. It's got a gorgeous sad, synth opener which is suddenly compounded by hynotizing bleeps. Queen Madge sings 'Over and over you're pushing me onto the floor and I keep coming back for more'. It's still not a ballad though. Hooray!
12. Voices:
And we're at the end. Boo hoo. It's a creepy sounding ending though and it's almost as if a song off 'Erotica' has been brought up to date with lyrics like 'Who is the master, who is the slave' and 'Are you walking the dog or is that dog walking you'.

So there we have it. Course when we listen to it all again we'll probably completely change our mind about our favourite tracks!
As massive Madonna fans we're very happy that she hasn't gone off the rails as feared. It's simply a Madonna pop album for 2008 which starts out having a full on party and ends in that dark corner Ms Ciccone knows so well.
Are you excited?

People.com previews Hard Candy

'Workin' up a sweat/ that's what music's for,' Madonna sings on 'Heartbeat,' the pumped-up fourth song on Hard Candy, her latest album, due April 29. Indeed, the pop diva makes good on her promise - singing her way through an hour of Euro-flavored dance tracks infused with retro, house beats. PEOPLE.com took an advanced listen - and can reveal five fast facts about Madonna's latest.

• On 'Spanish Lesson,' produced by the Neptunes, Madonna does, in fact, go bilingual, offering liberal translations of phrases like, 'Entiendo,' which she says means, 'I get it,' over a funked-up flemenco guitar riff. (Literal translation: 'I understand.')
• Kanye West offers a fast-paced rap on 'Beat Goes On,' the eighth track, breathlessly rapping, 'I think I'm going to try something new.'
• The singer indulges her choral side on the album-closer 'Voices,' which features production by Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and Nate 'Danjahandz' Hills. The song builds to a dark, cinematic crescendo, as the album closes with one lone tone.
• Madonna sings, 'You always have the biggest heart/ though we're 6,000 miles apart,' on 'Miles Away,' a direct allusion to living and working far away from hubby Guy Richie.
• Madonna really wants you to dance: Two songs - opening track 'Candy Store' and 'Beat Goes On' - feature overt calls to action. 'Gotta get up off your seat,' she sings on the latter, bolstered by the Neptunes's production and West's rapping.

From www.people.com - thanks to H

New Hard Candy website launching soon

A brand new official site aimed at promoting Hard Candy for the European and UK markets will be launched on Friday 04 April.

The site will give fans all the latest news on the UK and European releases from the album and an exclusive member only download!

UPDATE: It now comes to madonnalicious' attention that we have been scammed - and although we never published the URL of the website on madonnalicious some fans found the site - we wish to inform fans that this is not official and is not authorised by Warners.

Hard Candy Paris Showcase

Yahoo! France are reporting that Madonna's Paris Hard Candy concert showcase will take place on Tuesday 06 May at the L'Olympia Hall.

They are reporting that Madonna will perform five songs from the album and tickets will be distributed to friends and fellow artists - along with the possibility of fans winning tickets via competitions.

Showcases in London and New York City are also expected to be confirmed soon.

Thanks to Mehdi-Mathieu

Madonna's millions from Hard Candy ads

An article in todays edition of UK newspaper The Sunday Telegraph looks at Madonna's Hard Candy advertising deals:

She might be just months away from her 50th birthday, but Madonna is proving she's still the ultimate Material Girl when it comes to making money from her music.
The singer, who is the most successful female recording artist in history, has earned millions with her new album Hard Candy - even though it does not go on sale until next month.
She has signed lucrative contracts with major companies including Vodafone, Unilever and Fuji, which will use her music to sell products from hairspray to mobile ­phones.
The deals, which involve more than half the tracks on the album, have not only earned the London-based mother of three a not-so-small fortune, they will ensure her album receives free global publicity ahead of its release.

To continue reading this article visit www.telegraph.co.uk

4 Minutes and Hard Candy download news

Here are the chart positions of 4 Minutes and both the regular and deluxe versions of Hard Candy:

iTunes Australia:
4 Minutes was the number one downloaded single today.

iTunes Germany:
Hard Candy - Deluxe - #2
Hard Candy - Regular - #3

iTunes Spain:
Hard Candy - Deluxe - #1
Hard Candy - Regular - #2

iTunes USA:
Hard Candy - Deluxe - #2
Hard Candy - Regular - #8

Music Week report that 4 Minutes sold 21,106 downloads last week to reach #7 on the UK singles chart.

Thanks to Daniel, Debbie, Fernando, Mark and Nicola

Hard Candy available to pre-order on iTunes

Two versions of Madonna's Hard Candy are available to pre-order on most iTunes stores from today.

Version 01 - Hard Candy
- Bonus track: Ring My Bell (Exclusive pre-order)
- Digital booklet

Version 02 - Hard Candy - Deluxe Version
- includes 2 remixes of 4 Minutes
- Secret Bonus (Remix)
- Bonus Track: Ring My Bell (Exclusive pre-order)
- Digital booklet

Thanks to Kent

Vodafone customers get a taste of Hard Candy

Vodafone customers can get tracks from the forthcoming Madonna album Hard Candy on their mobiles a week before it is released.
Madonna's record label, Warner Music, has teamed up with Vodafone to offer a new track from the album every day from 21 April - one week before the album is officially launched.
Vodafone customers will be able to get the tracks on their mobiles via the Vodafone live service, which will also allow them access to a special mini website offering ringtones and other associated mobile content.
John Reid of Warner Music Europe said: 'We are delighted to be able to debut such a rich menu of content from Hard Candy through Vodafone live.'
From April 21, a total of seven tracks from 'Hard Candy', with songs by the multi-platinum, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and video visionary, will be released at a rate of one a day counting down the week before the album is available. Each track will remain live for 24 hours for download before being replaced by the next one, the companies noted.
In addition, Vodafone customers in selected markets including Spain, Portugal, Germany and Belgium will get exclusive mobile access to the newly released single '4 Minutes', effective immediately.
As part of this unique music experience, Vodafone customers in all participating territories will have access to Madonna’s mini site on Vodafone live! which will include one week of exclusive, associated mobile content, including ringtones, ringback tones and SMS tones.
'This is an innovative way to reach millions of Madonna fans around the world, building anticipation and excitement around this landmark release and helping to create a real event for Vodafone customers,' Reid continued.

Hard Candy Album Cover Revealed

Entertainment website People.com have just premiered the album cover of Hard Candy - it sure is sweet!

Madonna has already claimed her new album, Hard Candy, will 'kick your ass.' Turns out, she wasn't kiddin! Witness the cover of her upcoming album, due April 29, featuring the pop diva sporting, yep, a wrestling belt. Featuring production by Pharrell Williams, Timbaland and Nate 'Danja' Hills and an appearance by Justin Timberlake, Madonna's rep says the album's 'about the juxtaposition of tough and sweetness.'

Madonna sings about marriage woes

Madonna has shed light on the difficulties of having a long-distance marriage on a new album track.
The pop icon has spent most of the last six months separated from husband Guy Ritchie and sings about the problems on her new album Hard Candy.
On the track 'Miles Away', Madonna sings: 'You love me more miles apart....I love you, but we are at our best miles away....When you are gone you realise I'm the best thing that happened to you.'

From Digital Spy

Hard Candy: Q Magazine Preview

Q was treated yesterday to an exclusive preview of Madonna’s upcoming album, Hard Candy. On the basis of the five tracks we heard, it sounds exactly like you’d expect a collaboration between Madonna and such super-producers as Timbaland and The Neptunes to sound: a slick, ultra-modern urban dance concoction. As has become customary for a Madonna album, it will be launched with a terrific lead-off single in the shape of 4 Minutes.
Produced by Timbaland and co-written with Madonna by Justin Timberlake, who also pops up on guest vocals, 4 Minutes rides the same sort of spare, sinuous groove as Timberlake’s SexyBack single. Here, rather than proclaiming to return sexy to the global arena, Timberlake intones "Madonna, Madonna" over a pumping opening beat, before the pair join forces to suggest they have but "Four minutes to save the world". Naturally, the track clocks in at precisely four minutes.
Elsewhere, Give It To Me, which features Pharrell Williams, is a typical slice of Madonna dancefloor pop, its sashaying groove given a smart upgrade by The Neptunes production team. Two other Pharrell contributions, opening track Candy Shop – with Madonna rather unsettlingly suggesting to listeners that she has 'all sorts of Candy' on offer – and Incredible ("Sex with you is incredible," heaves our Madge) see similar makeover jobs being done on Madonna staples, the latter more strikingly so on initial listens.
Patently, no 'Madonna goes urban' project would be complete without the presence of Kanye West, and the shy, retiring one pops up to deliver a self-aggrandising rap (no, really) on Beat Goes On, a maddeningly insistent track likely to follow 4 Minutes onto future Madonna hits compilations.
Hard Candy will be released on 28 April. Q understands that Madonna is likely to undertake a world tour later in the year.

From Q Magazine

Warner Music, YouTube Scramble To Pull Track

Madonna’s latest single, '4 Minutes (To Save the World)', a duet with Justin Timberlake, was leaked onto the Internet by a French DJ yesterday and has left Warner Music scrambling to arrest the leak in order to prevent millions of fans from hearing the track before it is officially released.
Over 26 versions of the leaked track made it onto YouTube. A whole lot more were uploaded to Daily Motion. File sharing sites also saw a host of uploads and downloads of the track. Most Madonna fans listed on Last.fm showed numerous instances of having listened to the track on their PCs.
Warner Music instantly issued a copyright claim getting the video removed from YouTube and DailyMotion almost as soon as users put it up. They were still not quick in enough for thousands of motivated fans of the Material Girl, who managed to download the video or song from one of the many online file sharing sites currently available.
As of the time of publishing this article, only one video of the track could still be found on DailyMotion. The track included the voice-over of the French DJ announcing the new single at the start.
Incidents such as this will undoubtedly provide the music industry ammunition in their upcoming fight against piracy - they are lobbying the UK government to pass laws that will make ISPs responsible for monitoring Internet access and banning users who repeatedly download files illegally.
Record labels, however, can’t deny the free publicity and excitement generated by such leaks, which might at times make it worthwhile to let the fans get early access to singles from their favourite artists, in the hope that the euphoria will also propel them to rush to the record stores when the CD is officially released.

From AccuraCast.com

Hard Candy: Official Press Release

Madonna's 11th studio album for Warner Bros. Records 'HARD CANDY' is scheduled to have a global release on April 28th and a US release on April 29th, it was confirmed by her label.
'HARD CANDY' (the follow up to Madonna's 'CONFESSIONS ON A DANCE FLOOR' which debuted at No. 1 in 30 countries and sold over 8 million copies), has been described as a brilliant up-tempo collection of 12 songs in which Madonna remains ensconced in club mode but this time adds an urban hip hop beat in collaboration with musical partners Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes and Nate 'Danja' Hills. The debut single, the pulsating '4 Minutes' will be released at the end of March.
'The title is a juxtaposition of tough and sweetness - kind of like I'm gonna kick your ass but it's going to make you feel good. And of course, I love candy' laughed the material girl.
Madonna, a multi-Grammy-award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, cultural icon, world renowned stage performer, video visionary, children's book author, director and documentary film maker has sold 200 million albums in the course of her unprecedented two decade plus career and is slated to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10th.

From madonna.com