Madonna has done something very rare in today’s music world. Usually, when a major artist releases a flop single (“Living for Love”) off a new album (Rebel Heart), they and the album are finished for the time being. However, Madonna, once again, appears to bucking another trend as “Ghosttown” is on track to become her biggest hit in years.
Madonna’s “Ghosttown” is already her biggest Adult Contemporary single since “The Power of Goodbye” in 1998, and it is starting to take off at Top 40 radio, a format which usually shuns any star who is over 40. According to The Pulse music boards, “Ghosttown” is receiving regular airplay for Madonna at New York’s Z100 and Miami’s Y100, two of the biggest Top 40 radio stations in the country. “Ghosttown” is also starting to make inroads at Top 40 radio stations in Boston, North Carolina, and Dallas.
The resurrection of Madonna’s latest era with “Ghosttown” is very similar to how Christina Aguilera’s Stripped album and era were resurrected with the song “Beautiful” in late 2002. Her first single from that album, “Dirty,” was an absolute flop, but the negativity was forgotten when “Beautiful” became a generational anthem. Madonna will continue her promotion of “Ghosttown” this week when the video for the song premieres on Jay-Z’s controversial new Tidal streaming service. YouTube has a preview of the dark “Ghosttown” video.
According to SF Gate, Madonna has defended the Tidal streaming service.
“Tidal is not about consumption and greed! Its [sic] about protecting an art form that is beloved to all of us music! #rebelhearts stand together for what they believe in…Everything will be explained and revealed in time! Have faith! And remember nothing is for free! This is a universal law. Somewhere-Somehow-Someone has to pay. There is always an exchange.”
Madonna has had a lot of problems with the release of Rebel Heart, which is rapidly falling down Billboard‘s album chart (“Ghosttown” could change that). Her critics are trying to call the album a flop and say it’s proof that Madonna is “over with.” However, well-respected pop music journalist Robbie Daw from Idolator explains the major reason for the drop in sales.
“But the not-so-fit-for-a-Queen sales of the record have less to do with the Material Girl’s popularity (remember, this is the top grossing solo tour act and best-selling female artist of all time we’re talking about, whose 13 studio albums have all landed in the Top 10) and probably much to do with a disastrous string of leaks that plagued the album months before it was officially released.”
Rebel Heart, which has earned Madonna her most critically acclaimed album since Confessions on a Dance Floor, was available for free months before it actually went on sale, thanks to a hacker from Israel. Let’s hope that if Madonna makes another album, she is able to keep it locked up so she can release it properly.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]