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> Frozen ● 20 Years
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liamk97
post Mar 1 2018, 08:38 AM
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It's been 20 years since Madonna made one of her biggest and most celebrated reinventions with the release of 'Frozen', the mystical, melancholy lead single to Ray of Light. With her new-found vocal skills following preparation for Evita and mind-opening experiences such as the birth of her daughter, Lourdes, and her interest in Kabbalah, Madonna had plenty of scope to create something really special. Teaming up with English producer William Orbit, together they merge classic, sophisticated balladry with cutting-edge electronic wizardry.

Madonna's vocal is delicately high and controlled as she addresses a cold, unemotional man, pleading for him to be open and be free. It's a love song, but there's a deep sorrow in its lyrics, as if Madonna is deeply hurting that this person is wasting their life and not reaching their full potential. The music mirrors this mood, with haunting strings sweeping such sadness across the track and Orbit's carefully allocated electronic bleeps supplying sudden chills up your spine. It's a song that both fascinates and unnerves; you can't decide whether it's beautiful or eerie, or even both. Undoubtedly, it's an immensely atmospheric, cinematic piece of music and demonstrates perfectly Madonna's ear for innovation; she can recognise potentials in certain genres and reveal them in fresh and exciting ways, creating something both artistic and accessible.

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liamk97
post Mar 1 2018, 08:41 AM
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QUOTE
Official Charts Flashback 1998: Madonna - Frozen
01 March 2018 | By Rob Copsey

With many of us experiencing a cold snap this week, it's seems fitting that this week's Flashback looks back at Madonna's Frozen, which was Number 1 on the Official UK Singles Chart 20 years ago this week.

The pop comeback that all other pop comebacks are measured against, Frozen was the beginning of a bold new direction for Madonna. She'd previously dabbled in maturer-sounding pop on albums Bedtime Stories and Erotica, but together with producer William Orbit and songwriter Patrick Leonard, Frozen and its parent album Ray Of Light saw her take things a step further, delving into dance music of the deeply spiritual kind.

Orbit's signature ambient electronica sound proved the perfect match for Madge, who in the years previous had given birth to her daughter Lourdes, gained an interest in Kabbalah and Eastern mysticism and had taken on the title role on the film adaptation of the musical Evita. The resulting Frozen was a grand yet uncomplicated statement about her new perspective on life.

The song's icy, gothic music video was shot by British artist Chris Cunningham and sees Madonna shape shifting into a flock of crows and a black dog in the middle of the desert. The symbolism of it all! Praise from the critics was unanimous and the visual was even awarded an MTV Music Video Award in 1998.

Frozen was Madonna's first single to debut at Number 1 in the UK, shifting 196,604 copies in its opening week. It's total combined sales to date stand at 582,353, split between 560,000 physical sales/downloads and 2.2 million streams. It's her ninth bestseller in the UK - check out the full Top 40 here.

Read back our interview with William Orbit about working on Madonna's Ray Of Light and Frozen from 2015 here.

Elsewhere in the Official Singles Chart Top 40 this week in 1998, Madonna had knocked Cornershop's Brimful Of Asha down to 3 after one week at the top, and British band Space scored their biggest chart hit with The Ballad Of Tom Jones ft. Cerys Matthews (of Cataonia fame) at Number 4.

The Top 10 also featured two songs that would go on to be huge hits; Leanne Rimes' How Do I Live at 7 and Robyn's Show Me Love at 8.

(Source: OCC)
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vibe
post Mar 1 2018, 01:47 PM
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Nice to here an updated sales tally.

What amazing first week sales. The video to frozen is one of my favourites.

Non madge fans always seem to dig this song.
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MoanÔngMˇrtle
post Mar 1 2018, 06:51 PM
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Easily my fave Madonna song and the one that got me started on looking into her.
Also pretty appropriate for the weather this week!
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dandemonic*
post Mar 1 2018, 06:58 PM
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I loved this at the time, partly because of the daring nature of it and partly because of the video. Whilst I do still like it and think it's a real moment for her, I don't enjoy it quite as much as I used to when it was released.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Mar 1 2018, 07:34 PM
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There are no words for how undeniably amazing it is.

20 years though. ohmy.gif
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liamk97
post Mar 2 2018, 01:45 PM
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7th January 1998 - Filming of the 'Frozen' music video

On 7th January 1998, Madonna travelled to the Mojave Desert, California, to begin filming the 'Frozen' music video. British video artist Chris Cunningham was enlisted as the video's director, previously best known for his directing of the disturbing Aphex Twin video 'Come to Daddy'. Madonna's black gown was designed by Olivier Theyskens and provided by Arianne Phillips.

The original plan was to film in Iceland, but Madonna decided against the idea:

"You know what, Iím going to be freezing. Iím going to be miserable, Iíll be complaining all day, Iíll be sorry that I ever chose a cold place. So I said, ĎLetís do it in the desert, itíll be warm,í and it would be sort of the opposite, because even though you think of deserts as being hot, theyíre still sort of frozen in terms of thereís no vegetation and theyíre very desolate. I thought that that would still work as a visual, but then we got there and it was like 20 degrees below zero, it was bitterly cold, and I was barefoot. I was barefoot for the entire video, and then it started pouring rain and everyone got really sick, and it just actually turned out to be a really miserable experience."

In his book, Directors Label, Chris Cunningham extended on the initial concepts for the video:

"The original treatment was, like, massive piles of bodies in the desert. All these figurative sculptures made up of bodies that were all multiple Madonnas. They were all going to split and break up and change into ravens and then change into dogs. Just a performance video, but a really elaborate one using her, her clothes, and any shapes that would come out of her clothes."

Check out the behind the scenes video for 'Frozen', from Ultra Sound: Inside Madonna:



24th January 1998 - First performance of 'Frozen'

On January 24 1998, Madonna performed Frozen for the very first time at the Sanremo Music Festival in Sanremo, Italy. It followed just a day after a low quality clip of 'Frozen' was leaked after a Singapore radio station played the song. The Recording Industry Association of America's Anti-Piracy Unit had been enlisted by Warner Bros. Records to delete downloads of the song that appeared on the internet. Seems like leaking isn't just a recent problem for Madonna!

Click below to watch the performance:

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HausofTove
post Mar 4 2018, 08:49 PM
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I can't express enough how much I love this song. I remember seeing the video on TV at the time (it's one of my earliest music memories) and I was totally captivated by her. A truly remarkable song. wub.gif
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liamk97
post Mar 10 2018, 02:29 PM
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16th February 1998 - MTV premiere of 'Frozen' music video

On 16th February 1998, the music video for 'Frozen' premiered on MTV. In keeping with the theme, the video was delivered to select music video channels in a block of dry ice, which the VJs had to chip away at in order to get to the video inside. A promotional ice chest, holding a CD and a promotional flyer, was also delivered - the CD included the radio edit, album version and remix for 'Frozen'.



21st February 1998 - First UK performance of 'Frozen'

On 21st February 1998, Madonna performed 'Frozen' for the first time in England. It was performed on BBC 1's National Lottery Show and, although mimed, Madonna put on a mystical performance, getting involved in the lyrics and the mood of the song.

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liamk97
post Mar 11 2018, 11:55 AM
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This song is such a masterpiece! wub.gif Those delicate vocals and sweeping strings really pierce through the heart whilst Orbit's magical production adds another layer, something more eerie and perhaps sinister. It's strange how those different elements come together so well but it's what makes the song all the more special.

I recall not liking this song when I first delved into Madonna's back catalogue, but I'll put that down to my age as recent years have seen this song grow into one of my absolute favourites.
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