Saturday, 31 March 2012

Madonna - Girl Gone Wild : Chart Performance Week 4 Single Review

Girl Gone Wild became MDNA's carrier single after Give Me All Your Luvin' got relegated to buzz single status.

Whether it was due to GMAYL's dismal performance or it's inappropriateness to represent the album, the move nevertheless steered towards better positioning.
The single actually opens the album with a solemnly rehashed Act Of Contrition intro then breaks into a floor-thumper of a pop-dance track. The refrain and chorus parts are particularly noticeable and make for good retention despite "girls they just wanna have some fun.." being a dead-ringer for that 80's track done by an erstwhile contemporary. MADONNA sings about her good-girl-self getting seduced in a club and eventually letting loose (with the help of Tanqueray) to misbehave being "a bad girl anyway..." Critics lambasted the lyrics as lame but what can you really do in a club except dance and go wild? Madonna simply wants to impart the message of fun in the song. It's pretty clear she wasn't in one of those deep and political modes to say the least especially when she tells everyone to enjoy. The vocals are well done with that sultry disco touch. 
Madonna sought Benny & Alle Benassi for the upbeat production and the result was remindful of her past single Celebration of which Benny Benassi had remixed in 2009. The tempo is club-perfect with an addictive hook that grows with every listen. The week after it's US release, Official Remixes done by Dave Aude, Justin Cognito, Offer Nissim,  Jordan Atkins-Loria (Lucky Date) and Kim Fai went straight to the clubs. These mixes gathered enough attention to enable GGW to debut at # 46 in the US Dance Club Play chart.
The VIDEO suited the song in all respects. It sees Madonna doing yoga-inspired dance moves in a cube with gravity-defying optical ilusion. She is then seen dancing to a distinct choreography and in chains as well apart from constantly gyrating with hunky men in an orgy-like fashion. Kazaky also appear as her backing dancers wearing nothing save for mantyhose and heels. From the Black & White setting, homo-eroticism and the return of dance routines to the light referencing of  her past videos, Madonna delighted fans with it but gathered some criticism for the theme just the same. It clearly divided fans seeing the video too racy and gay thus alienating her straight patronizers. (An "18+ only" age restriction has since been attributed to it.) But the most irking of all was to judge her referencing to past videos as reductive. Although Madonna herself admitted in an interview that the "creative well has dried up", i still believe that this technique to constantly reference herself is much better than her copying from other artists as this serves as a subtle reminder for other copycats that she did them first by showing them younger generations how she did it then... Controversy is not really new to Madonna and if at all helped the video go up to No.1 in US iTunes on the week of it's availablity.
A loophole to this supposedly enduring single was it's marketing. If not for that Superbowl Deal, GMAYL wouldn't have been customized to theme the event. Then GGW would have positioned itself as a strong lead single released timely with a video and remixes in a maxi-single. However, everything was hastened after that Superbowl performance in order to meet the looming World Tour dates. Blunders then occured. The release was depressingly ill-timed: GGW went on sale without the Official Video and/or Official Mixes in a maxi-single to boost it's potential. Nothing but a Lyric Video accompanied it? The Official Video only saw the light of day more than a fortnight after the single went out; too late the hero. What's more, it wasn't even issued to radio stations beforehand for airplay gain! ...and so it expectedly limped to debut outside of the US Hot 100 at #106 . 

Chart Performance for Madonna - Girl Gone Wild Week 4

US iTunes as of  30 March, 2012 8:35 PM
# 101 Girl Gone Wild - Madonna 

US Dance Club Play
# 7

Canada Hot 100                          Canada Digital
# 77                                               (out)

Australia         # 93
Ireland            # 93
Chile               # 83
Brazil              # 72 
Netherlands    # 66
France             # 33
Switzerland    # 29
Belgium (W.)  # 28
Finland           # 13
Italy                # 11
Greece            # 10
Spain               # 7
Russia             # 5 


Slovak Rep.     # 93
Czech Rep.      # 88
Germany         # 61
Canada            # 60 
Croatia            # 40
Sweden            # 25
Tokyo 100       # 24
Macedonia      # 18
Finland           # 17
Poland            # 16
Israel                # 8 
Hong Kong      # 1

[see 3rd week's tally : Chart Performance for Madonna - Girl Gone Wild Week 3]
[see 2nd week's tally : Chart Performance for Madonna - Girl Gone Wild Week 2]
[see 1st week's tally : Chart Performance for Madonna - Girl Gone Wild Week 1

Little or lack of promotion hurt GGW even more. The blunders' negative impact could have been minimized had promotion been extensive and heavy. To the dismay of all fans, no actual promotion happened. Madonna's management has since expressed that she won't be doing the traditional course of promotion (for the album and any single/s). One obvious reason that consumes most of her time is the tour rehearsals. Photos of her practicing on set surfaced significantly to support the no-time-for-promo arguement. While the excuses are reasonable, the priorities become clear. Singles no longer matter. She is with LiveNation now and that the money-maker is the World Tour. Everything that's being done is geared towards it alone. The singles (and even the album) are demoted to mere buzzers to promote the concert spectacle.

The verdict: Good Song (A-) + Defining Video (A) - release blunders - lack of promotion = Squandered Opportunity   (5/10).
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