On This Day In Billboard Dance History: Madonna Shined a ‘Ray of Light’ on Clubland

In July 1, 1998, Madonna's electronic-oriented single "Ray of Light" was having its four week run at No. 1 on Billboard's Dance Clug Songs chart.

On This Day In Billboard Dance History: Madonna Shined a ‘Ray of Light’ on Clubland

Incredibly, 50 Madonna songs have reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart, giving her the distinction of the artist with the most No. 1s on this chart. But only one of these tracks started in the folk world before entering the club scene.

No. 1 on the chart 22 years ago today (July 1), “Ray of Light” was an adaptation of the 1971 song “Sepheryn” by English folk duo Curtiss Maldoon. The song entered Madonna’s field of awareness more than two decades later, when English musician and producer William Orbit sent her a version of the song — renamed “Ray Of Light” and performed by the niece of one of the members of Curtiss Maldoon — to consider for inclusion on her upcoming album.

Madonna liked it, and together with Orbit, she revamped the lyrics, updated the instrumentation and sped the BPM way up. By the time the song was released as the title track from Madonna’s 1998 LP, the minor folk hit had been transformed into a synth-laden electronica anthem that would become both one of the biggest hits of Madonna’s career and reflect who the pop queen had become by the late 90s. The reworked lyrics of the second chorus explored themes related to motherhood and spirituality, as her daughter Lourdes had been born two years prior, and Madonna had begun her exploration of Eastern mysticism and Kabbalah during this same period.

“This album is reflective of where I am in my life right now–in terms of my musical interests and in terms of my personal beliefs,” Madonna in 1998. “I feel like I’ve been enlightened, and that it’s my personal responsibility to share what I’ve learned so far with the world.”

Effectively, she completed this sharing by making people dance. While her previous LP, 1994’s Bedtime Stories, had included slowed-down R&B tracks like “Take a Bow” and “Secret,” “Ray of Light” spread its message of love and positivity via its embrace and expansion of the late ’90s electronica genre, at that point being explored by scene stars like Moby, Björk, Underworld and more.

“I’ve been a fan of all kinds of electronic music for many years,” Madonna said in the same Billboard interview, “and I wanted to incorporate that sound into my music.”

Indeed, while many of Madonna’s biggest hits — “Vogue,” “Like a Prayer,” “Like a Virgin” — certainly worked in nightclubs, the song’s styles and structures firmly embedded them in the pop world. But with “Ray Of Light,” Madonna was not simply making pop music that would work in the clubland, but music aesthetically connected to the roots of the genre, taking particular influence from the acid house that was a staple of the ’90s underground rave scene.

Altogether, it got bodies moving around the globe. “Ray Of Light” spent four weeks at No.1 on Dance Club Songs chart, from the charts dated June 20, 1998 to July 11. This run makes the song one of her longest leaders – “Holiday/Lucky Star” spent five weeks at No. 1 in 1983, “Music” later spent five weeks in this position in 2000, “Like A Virgin” spent four weeks in 1984-’85 and “Hung Up” spent four weeks in the top spot in 2005.

“Ray of Light” was the second of three singles from the Ray Of Light album, after “Frozen” (2 weeks, April-May ’98) and before “Nothing Really Matters” (2 weeks, March ’99). It was her 20th No. 1 on the chart at the time. The song’s lauded  video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who had directed the infamous clip for The Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up.” Meanwhile, the song won the 1999 Grammy for best dance recording, while the album won that year’s best pop vocal album trophy. Those two awards, along with the other pair she won that evening, were the first audio Grammy awards of her career.

The 1999 Grammys ceremony was a long way from the underground club scene, and in fact even further away from the English folk world. Yet all of these musical stepping stones had helped Madonna create a song that remains one of the brightest lights of her enduring career.

Source : Billboard More   

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Luciano Pereyra: ‘Me Enamoré De Ti’ Collab With Lang Lang Is a ‘Dream Come True’

In a Q&A with Billboard, Argentine singer-songwriter talks collaboration with Lang Lang on new version of "Me Enamoré De Ti."

Luciano Pereyra: ‘Me Enamoré De Ti’ Collab With Lang Lang Is a ‘Dream Come True’

A re-imagined version of “Me Enamoré De Ti,” penned by Luciano Pereyra and recorded by David Bisbal in 2016, is the beacon of light that Pereyra hopes will illuminate even the darkest days in a “wold upside down,” he says.

Now with Pereyra on vocals and accompanied by classical pianist Lang Lang, “Me Enamoré De Ti,” released June 26, takes on its own life. “Everything is so weird during this quarantine,” the Argentine singer-songwriter tells Billboard. “But in the midst of this weirdness, I get to release this beautiful song alongside Lang Lang. It’s a dream come true.”

Their first-ever collaboration was recorded at a distance, with Lang Lang recording in Paris and Pereyra from his home studio in Argentina. The evocative ballad is accompanied by a luminous music video also shot last month a la quarantine, with the Chinese pianist recording from Shanghai and Pereyra from his hometown Luján, Argentina.

“Universal informed me that there was a possibility for me to record with Lang Lang and that I should start thinking which song,” adds Pereyra. “I thought, ‘This is the moment for me to record ‘Me Enamoré De Ti.'”

After receiving Lang Lang’s recording, “there were times where I couldn’t physically sing because I was listening to his piano and it made me so excited. This quarantine makes us more sensitive, and when I heard his part, I wanted to cry.”

Below, Pereyra talks about his collab with Lang Lang, upcoming projects and more.

David Bisbal recorded “Me Enamoré De Ti” back in 2016. When did you realize you wanted to release your own version of the track?

This idea has been in my heart for a long time. One always dreams of recording a song when they finish writing it. I wrote this song five years ago and actually wrote it for a telenovela. Then I was told that we were giving David Bisbal the song, and he recorded an amazing version of the track.

During all my concerts, I always dedicate some time to sing songs I’ve written for telenovelas and for other friends, and this one is always a favorite one.

When did Lang Lang become attached to the project? 

It was Universal who informed me that there was a possibility for me to record with Lang Lang and that I should start thinking which song. That’s when I thought, “This is the moment for me to record ‘Me Enamoré De Ti.'” Then we started emailing each other, and that was the only communication we had. We let music speak for the both of us. I never imagined that I would record with Lang Lang. He had just recorded with Lady Gaga, John Legend, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, and now it’s my turn to collaborate with the best pianist. It’s a blessing!

In a matter of days, the song reached one million views on YouTube. Why do you think your fans have reacted so well to this unusual collaboration?  

The reception it’s had makes me even more excited. In a time when the world is upside down, with so much noise, uncertainty, in lockdown and amid a pandemic, for me to put out this song was like a fresh breath of air. To know that others love it as much as I do, it’s fantastic. I’ve heard from couples who are not able to be with their partners at this time because of the pandemic, and are dedicating my song to their loved ones.

You recorded the song and video while each in different corner of the world. What was the process like? 

I sent Lang Lang a demo I had of “Me Enamoré De Ti” — and it was the same one I sent David Bisbal — so that he could hear the song. When he heard it, he sent back the demo with what he had recorded on the piano, and it was majestic. It was from another planet.

I always recommend that people listen to it with headphones on because you can actually hear when Lang Lang steps on the pedal. He recorded his part in Paris and me in a home studio here in Argentina.

As for the video, it was also very DIY and this time he was in Shanghai where his team recorded him and me in Luján, Argentina. I was able to record during a fabulous sunny, autumn day about a month ago when the trees were all yellow and butterflies were flying around us. It was like a movie within a movie. We were supposed to record the video in New York together after a concert I had schedule but then this happened.

Do you plan on releasing more music soon? 

I started working on a new album last year and had been working with producers in Miami, Los Angeles and Colombia. We had many shows planned for this year, but the last one we did was in Viña Del Mar earlier this year where I won two gaviotas. But I plan on releasing more songs soon, and by the end of the year, hopefully release the new album. We’re busy and continue to work from home thanks to technology.

Source : Billboard More   

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