Home Celebrity Madonna’s “Rebel Heart” Break: Six New Songs Fizzle As Sales Collapse Within...

Call it Rebel Heart-break. Last week Madonna released six tracks to iTunes, hoping to circumvent a spate of demos that were illegally posted on the web. At first, all six songs lodged right into the iTunes top 10 and it looked like Madonna had a success. The plan was to release the balance of the album, called “Rebel Heart,” in March.

But now, just a few days late, five of the six songs are gone from iTunes. Only one, “Bitch I’m Madonna,” featuring Nicki Minaj, remains at a lowly number 188. The album “Rebel Heart,” which lists seven songs (for some reason “Joan of Arc” is there but you can’t hear it) is at number 38 for pre-orders.

On amazon.com things are much much worse.. “Living for Love,” which was supposed to be the lead single, is at number 529 among digital singles. Five hundred twenty nine. And the “Rebel Heart” album is at 167. Ouch!

Madonna, like other legacy artists, has not been able to sell albums in the last decade. “MDNA,” “Hard Candy,” and “American Life” were all sales disasters. New fans are not forthcoming for a 56 year old artist. Old fans only to want to hear the hits. It’s a hard fact of life for everyone, not just Madonna.

This situation with “Rebel Heart” has been a real calamity. The leaked tracks, if Madonna’s peeps didn’t leak them, should have been ignored. Most of her fans wouldn’t have known how to find them anyway. Rushing them out as official releases, nearly a third of the new album, seems to have backfired. Radio didn’t pick anything up, and core fans mostly snubbed the tracks after Madonna admonished them in an Instagram video. Maybe just releasing one track officially would have worked. But a half dozen? With no promotion? No good.

Anyway, I like Madonna’s new songs. I think they’re her best work in years. Hopefully all of “Rebel Heart” will launch properly in March and this episode will have been just a distant nightmare.

18 replies to this post
  1. Alisya Ivanova – That’s ridiculous. They may have not been expected to chart because they were released without any promotion but to say that “they aren’t supposed to chart” is silly. That’s like saying she released the music with the hopes of it not charting because that was her purpose. Give me a break. No artist does that. Especially not a publicity house like Madonna that’s in DIRE need of a hit or two. But I can guarantee you that even after she releases (or re-releases as it were) her album in March none of those songs are going to miraculously spring up to the top 10. They were already in the top 10 for about 2 seconds on iTunes so plenty of people have already heard them – and they didn’t care about them. That’s why they’re now buried.

  2. exactly, Madonna who? she is so out of touch and she has this odd image of herself. I used to be such a big fan but when I heard her on Nightline talking smack about Lady Gaga and nonsense about some 3 chord change I realized what some people had been telling me for years, Madonna is lame and over rated. This “queen” doesn’t even have one song in the itunes top 200 right now.

  3. To anyone whose main (tired) criticism about Madonna is that the woman is trying to sound current: Well, of course she is, you idiot! What, like Taylor Swift isn’t? Thats the entire business of being a pop star!

    Yes, shes older now, and thats certainly not going to change. But she’s also not done dancing, partying and celebrating, and **** whoever thinks she should be: Madonna is challenging the way a 50+ year old female pop star is perceived in pop culture and how a woman her age should act, whether you like it or not. Sorry, shes not slipping on a gown, belting out orchestral renditions of her greatest hits and quietly fading into obscurity.

    That being said, beyond the bragging and bitchiness of Rebel Heart, the album also promises to be something more introspective. Songs like Ghosttown and Devil Pray even Living For Love come from a place of someone who has truly lived (and loved) life to the fullest. Really, what more can we ask of Madonna in 2015?

    Rebel Heart feels fresh and forward-thinking, and more faithful to Madonnas #unapologeticartistry. With production from acts like Diplo and Kanye, both of whom are far from one-trick production ponies, Madonnas not going to be susceptible to serving up reductive shit.

    In fact, for the first time in over a decade, Madonnas sounds like shes blazing trails again, just as an icon should. Here’s to Madonna’s reign in 2015.

  4. I submitted a relevant comment days ago but it didn’t make it to the board. My point was Madonna is not Sinatra or The Stones. Her ‘art’ is pop art and her day has passed. Nothing she will ever do again will be considered timeless.

  5. Again with Friedman, writing an article which makes people think he doesn’t know crap
    The reason ( and that is my opinion as a long standing fan and I bet that many people and experts would agree ) is not because new listeners are not interested in a fifty something artist nor because old fans only want the old hits
    It’s because Madonna ( and she has been this way since she appeared on the scene ) is producing music with whatever is trending now without being or having some new sound or at least music that relates to her age or at least the age of her old fans
    This is why her old fans won’t be interested in a song or video about butts and/or teenage related content as her old fans will uncontrollably feel out of their age and outright silly and she as well will look and appear and sound ridiculous and childish

    Where as artists like pink Floyd, George michael, simple minds ( who r very successful in Europe cause they r heavily promoted there and the music scene is also more open than the controlled us factory made music industry ), and even michael Jackson ( who is dead now ) are having success in a different and hard musical era and one of the reasons of that is simply because their music is mature and also can please both sexes and almost all ages plus their music is art and not just silly candy a++ bullcrap that is only targeted to be trendy and make simple cash

    Sadly, Madonna is being cheap

  6. American life sold 5 million worldwide, Hard Candy 4, MDNA 2 (and its a two year old album) and you conveniently omit Confessions on a dancefloor, which sold 12 million copies worldwide!
    All in an age where songs are instantly available for download and people paying for songs is moreof a showing of support to the artist, than something that HAS to happen in order to hear the songs.
    She has the number one grossing worldwide tour ever (with Hard Candy). And all of her tours sold out.
    After 1998 (napster/mp3) music media sales are in decline. There has been a temporary spike since digital downloads and payment have been made easy to make and process, but the whole music distribution paradigm is in the middle of a deep change. Services like Spotify and Pandora are even redefining radio and succeeding where digital satellite radio failed.
    Madonna clearly is not the hottest artist anymore…. No artist with a 32 y.o. career can be, by definition, but she still is on top form, even after a wacky album like MDNA, where she took her lazyness to writing new lyrics to the extreme. People got fed up and she got the memo, never one to shy away from a challenge.
    Sorry for the rambling, but my whole point is, saying she has not been able to sell albums in this century is not only not true but, in a site called SHOWBIZ411, a rather simplistic view of what the music business is going through nowadays. You can have a huge hit, bigger than anything in the history of mankind, with one billion views on youtube…. but people are still figuring out how to monetize it….
    sincerely yours,
    P (an obvious Madonna fanboy!!! LOL)

  7. you do know that the songs aren’t supposed to chart? the fact that they did was a miracle. the songs will only chart when promotion begins next year around Feb/March when the album is due out. Nice try at ageism though.

  8. her record company should have spinned the released of her hacked tracks as a Christmas present to her fans… sending out negative vibes and frequencies admonishing fans and torrenters has only backfired…and will send her career into a tailspin dive of flames…. dont blame Madonna for the blunders of her record company executives…. they may pay with their jobs for being so greedy…. greed is the name of the game in the music world…. if you spin your blunders with so much negativity… that is only what the public will remember…. they all need to go to NLP school…. as where most of them learn subliminal advertising….

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