EW critic David Browne named Madonna’s hot club song ”Music” the No. 2 single of the year. Before that, we talked to Madonna’s hot new collaborators and told you how they’re recrafting the ”Music” follow up. Here’s our November article in its entirety…
Now that Madonna’s former No. 1 tune ”Music” is sliding down the charts (it’s currently No. 8), the pop maven has released a second single, the acoustic guitar driven ballad ”Don’t Tell Me,” to pop radio. But to ensure that this slow tune gets the widest possible audience, the singer has commissioned top dance music talents to produce up tempo remixes of the song. The goal: moving the ballad into dance clubs and dance leaning Top 40 radio stations.
Getting the most buzz among Madonna’s ”Don’t Tell Me” remixers is Timo Maas, a German house music producer known for crafting funky, bass heavy, electro grooves. Some industry observers think Maas, who deejays at the taste making New York City club Twilo, may be Madonna’s next big production discovery à la Mirwais, the largely unknown Frenchman who produced ”Music.” ”It makes complete sense that she would work with Maas,” says Larry Flick, talent editor at Billboard magazine. ”She likes the idea of finding someone who’s getting hot or will become hot because of her.” Maas tells EW.com that while he rejects 98 percent of the songs that he’s asked to tweak, there was no way he could turn down Madonna. ”She’s the biggest star in the pop business,” says Maas, who just released a two disc compilation of his work called ”Music For The Masses: Volume One.” ”For her to ask me for a mix shows that I’m on the right path with the s— I’m doing.”
Madonna also got a remix from Miami’s DJ ”it” girl Tracy Young, who rules the trendy South Beach clubs with her melodic, retro disco sound. One recent gig for Young: Vice President Al Gore’s final campaign stop in Florida. ”Where do you go after working with Madonna? You deejay for — hopefully — the next president,” Young tells EW.com.
But Madonna isn’t betting the farm (or her various mansions) on these edgy and fresh remix upstarts. To grab more Top 40 airplay, she commissioned a mix from the DJ duo Thunderpuss (Chris Cox and Barry Harris), who’ve worked with Britney Spears (”Sometimes”), Christina Aguilera (”What A Girl Wants”), and Whitney Houston (”It’s Not Right But It’s O.K.”). ”Madonna’s conscious of not being too avant garde, because she’s a smart businesswoman,” says Flick. ”She knows that a Thunderpuss remix is going to be very mainstream.” Cox and Harris tell EW.com that they tried to stay true to the feel of the song even as they significantly kicked up the tempo. ”We respect the artist’s performance,” says Harris. Adds Cox: ”We pride ourselves on being able to keep the song intact AND reshape it for the dance floor.” Expect to hear these mixes at a club or on the radio any day now. But Warner Bros., Madonna’s label, says that fans may have to wait until early next year to purchase the mixes. Let the Napster -ing begin!