What songs did Madonna release after 2005?

Song dictionary

HUNG UP, the opening track of Madonna's tenth studio album Confessions on a dance floor (2005), is one of their most successful and at the same time one of the best-selling songs in pop music history.

I. History of origin

With the recording of her tenth studio album, Madonna took after the predecessor American Life, which was marked by serious tones and critical allusions to the political situation in the USA, proposed a radical change of direction and resumed its beginnings in the clubs. She began production with the electronica artist Mirwais Ahmadzaï (* 1960), former member of the French new wave band Taxi Girl, who had also produced the previous album. After two tracks, which also included HUNG UP, she decided to restart and work with the young house musician and producer Stuart Price (* 1977), known since the end of 1990 under the project name Les Rythmes Digitales . The existing material was discarded except for the sequencer programming by Ahmadzaï. The recording was mixed by Mark "Spike" Stent (* 1965), one of the most sought-after audio engineers in the world, at Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles. The recording was mastered, i.e. given the tonal finish for the various media formats, by Brian "Big Bass" Gardner (* 1955), a mastering engineer at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood who has received several Grammy Awards. Both have a decisive part in the success story of HUNG UP, because the title does not actually stand for a single song, but for twenty-three different instances of the song, which were mixed and mastered differently and both in terms of sound design and degree of compression how to differ from each other in length. It refers to

  • the version on the album Confessions on a dance floor (5:38);
  • four different radio versions (standard version, 3:23; version with a vocal ending, 3:26; version with an instrumental ending, 3:20; as a separately mixed promo version, 3:23);
  • two separately released album versions (regardless of the name, not identical to the version on the album, both 5:36, but one with a faded ending);
  • an extended vocal mix (7:57);
  • an Extended Dub Mix (7:56);
  • an extended dub club version (7:56);
  • a dance mix (8:59);
  • the digital download version (5:10);
  • the Shockwave Flash version (0:30);
  • the soundtrack version for a Motorola commercial (0:50);
  • a ringtone version (2:30);
  • the video version (5:27);
  • and the DVD version (5:25).

There are also two very different live versions:

  • The Confessions Tour (remixed, 9:50);
  • Sticky & Sweet Tour (played live - three guitars, keyboards, and drums -, 6:06);

four official remixes that were created for the 3-track and 6-track single release:

  • Tracy Young, Get Up And Dance Groove Edit (4:15),
  • Tracy Young, Get Up And Dance Groove Mix (9:03),
  • Bill Hamel, Hung Up Remix (6:58),
  • Chus & Ceballos, Hung Up Remix (10:21);

and the differently mastered versions for the different media formats (vinyl, CD, MP3) as well as the various technical radio standards (EU, US, JP etc.).

HUNG UP premiered not as a single, but in September 2005 as the soundtrack to a commercial for a Motorola cell phone on US television. The song itself was presented to the public on October 17, 2005 on the Los Angeles-based radio station KIIS-FM in the "On Air With Ryan Seacrest" show. The single was released on that day, followed by the multi-track single compilations of the various versions. The album was released less than a month after the single on November 15, 2005.

II. Context

Like many contemporary pop productions, HUNG UP is "branded", i.e. part of a branding concept that gives the album a seventies / eighties retro feeling in the high-tech sound of the 21st century Confessions on a dance floor is the basis and subjects every detail to a unifying brand design. Although the copyright of the song is registered with Madonna, there is no longer an author in the traditional sense of industrial products of this type. The sound material is machine-generated by means of software sequencers, the sound shape the result of the cooperation of a creative apparatus that includes a large number of people and has its starting point in a legal contract. HUNG UP was conceived as a bundle of rights, rights to participate in production and rights to participate in the generated money flows. The legal structure supporting the project goes back to Alan Grubman (* 1943) of the renowned music law firm Grubman Indursky, who is one of the most influential and successful architects of complex creative processes in the music business in recent decades. The brand concept was created by one of the leading brand designers in pop culture, Giovanni Bianco (* 1965), who and his 60-strong New York designer team Studio 65 was responsible for the visual appearance, from the artwork to the singer's outfit to the stage design of the live show. The visualized versions of the song were in the hands of the Swedish video directors Johan Renck (* 1966), who wrote the video for HUNG UP, and Jonas Åkerlund (* 1965), who produced the DVD version with his team.

III. analysis

HUNG UP seems to consist of only a few basic elements of repetition and yet the song architecture is not without sophistication. The basic structure on which all instances of HUNG UP are based consists of an eight-bar chorus ("Ev’ry little thing that you say or do ..."), which frames two sixteen-bar stanzas, which in turn are composed of two eight-bar parts. The second of these two parts consists of four two-bar groups with repeated text (1st stanza "Time goes by so slowly ..."; 2nd stanza "I'm fed up, I'm tired of waiting on you") that appear within the stanzas act like a refrain. This two-bar phrase, repeated six times, also forms the sixteen-bar intro, which begins with a ticking of the clock. The chorus of the song, which is repeated five times, not only follows the stanzas, as in the standard stanza song form, but also precedes the two stanzas. This nested structure (BABBCBB) with the musically and lyrically belonging to the stanza, repeatedly repeated chorus-like two-measure phrases (stanza structure: abcccc ′) results in a redundancy that revolves around both the stanzas and the stanzas, the musical sequence with its one and two-measure layered one on top of the other Loops corresponds. Its basis is the rhythm layer consisting of the electronically generated sounds of the bass drum, hi-hat, cymbals and percussion, which is underlaid by a looped, moving bassline. Above this is a level with two-bar keyboard loops, above a level with alternating synthesizer sequences, one two-bar and flat, the other a dotted tone repetition in stacatto on the root note of the chord progression. The song essentially moves harmoniously between the three basic chords (I-IV-V) with repeatedly inserted major parallel to the piece in D minor. The melody also follows this minimalism and manages with two half-measure motifs, which are combined differently and only vary slightly through the necessary adaptation to the number of text syllables.

ABBA was the godfather of HUNG UP, as was the South Tyrolean producer Giorgio Moroder, who was very successful with disco productions in the 1970s and 1980s. The ABBA hit "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" (1979) provides the basis for HUNG UP with a 24-bar sample from the beginning of the title. The sample is underlaid with the looped Synthesitzer riffs and by fading in and out as well as filtering out and re-mixing the highs, the sound is sometimes mistakenly distant and then brought back to the fore again. The string-like synthesizer overlays are modeled on the disco sound of the early 1980s, with which Moroder made a name for himself at the time.

The sound design of the piece is built around the vocal part of Madonna. Her voice is underlaid with a strong echo in the inner strophic refrains, in the refrains itself her own electronic multiplication is mixed in, so that the voice appears in constantly changing colors. While the singing voice occupies the tonal center, the levels on which the loops run are apparently grouped around this tonal center by emphasizing the highs or lows, which increases the focus on the singing voice. The decisive factor for the song, however, is the tonal texture, which results from rhythmic tonal changes in the elements that appear to be repetitive in the loops through the addition of reverb, filtering, different degrees of compression and changing location in the stereo field. The result is a rousing flow, which is the real characteristic of this title.

The video for HUNG UP by the Swedish director Johan Renck (* 1966) picks up on this aspect and translates it into a brilliant parkour, a reminiscence of the sporty youth culture of this name that originated in France, whose followers are in rapid perpetual movement in urban space deliver a race to overcome structural obstacles. The choreographed stage version for the Confessions Tour is also committed to this motif.

IV. Reception

HUNG UP was received extremely positively by fans and critics alike after Madonna's star seemed to be sinking. In addition to the relevant trade press (Billboard, Rolling Stone), the publication was among other things. also worthy of recognition by the New York Times, Time Magazine and the British Guardian. Shortly after its release, the song topped both the American Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Digital Song Chart. With the top position in the charts in a total of 41 countries, it made it into the "Guinness Book of World Records" as a song with the top positions in the charts in most countries. HUNG UP is one of the most successful songs in the history of pop music and was one of the first to be certified platinum for more than a million downloads. The aggregate sales of the published individual versions exceeded the 10 million mark at the end of the decade, the album, which received a Grammy Award in the category "Best Dance / Electronic Album" in 2007, had sold 12 million units worldwide at that time.





Lead vocals, backing vocals, guitar: Madonna
Keyboards, synthesizers, vocoders, sequencing, sampling: Stuart Price
Programming: Mirwais Ahmadzaï
Producer: Stuart Price
Assistant engineers: Alex Dromgoole, David Emery, Antony Kilhoffer
Mixing: Mark "Spike" stent
Mastering: Brian "Big Bass" Gardner (Bernie Grundman Mastering)


Recordings (pdf)



  • Paoletta, Michael: Dancing Queen, in: Billboard 12 (2005), p. 46.



  • http://www.billboard.com/#/news/madonna-confesses-1001434975.story [12/19/2011].
  • Artist homepage: http://www.madonna.com [12/19/2011].
  • Database: http://www.discogs.com/artist/Madonna [12/19/2011].
  • Download: http://www.musicload.de/madonna/hung-up/musik/maxi/3275458_2 [December 19, 2011].
  • Music Video: http://www.myvideo.de/watch/5633060/Madonna_Hung_Up [12/19/2011].
  • Lyrics: http://www.magistrix.de/lyrics/Madonna/Hung-Up-56155.html [12/19/2011].


About the author

Prof. Dr. Peter Wicke teaches theory and history of popular music and is director of the Center for Popular Music Research at the Humboldt University Berlin.



Peter Wicke: "Hung Up (Madonna)". In: Song dictionary. Encyclopedia of Songs. Ed. by Michael Fischer, Fernand Hörner and Christofer Jost, http://www.songlexikon.de/songs/hungup, 12/2011 [revised 10/2013].


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