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iTunedIN | MADONNA’S BROKEN The Unreleased Single

A Pop Music Feature

Among the tracks that wove their way through the selection process to join the “Ultimate Hits” on The Queen of Pop’s CELEBRATION greatest hits package is this club-thumper that has become a fan favorite still today!

Cover Art

When it came time to reflect on the setlist that would be a part of her “Ultimate Hits” catalog collected for the impressively packaged Celebration greatest hits release, Madonna wasted no time. Exerting her formidable presence on the road, and instituting an unprecedented second leg of “The Sticky & Sweet” Tour, the Queen of Pop was also determined to deliver some additional original new music to include along with the 34 songs from her extensive catalog.

It’s a maneuver that had previously proved highly successful for Madonna. The Immaculate Collection (1990) is the first and best-selling greatest-hits package covering the first decade of her career, and released featuring the controversial chart-topper “Justify My Love” and the dancefloor-friendly “Rescue Me”. The ballad-heavy Something to Remember (1995) spotlighted the hit track “You’ll See” (co-written by the legendary David Foster), which many consider Madonna’s unofficial audition to star in the musical Evita, it also included the remake of “I Want You” produced by Massive Attack.

With Celebration to be heralded as the “ultimate” greatest hits collection, Madonna undoubtedly worked to add fresh new music to the catalog to prove her momentum in pop music was still very much relevant. Madonna worked on three (really four) new tracks that she would see determined to sit alongside 34 songs that changed music forever. Collaborating with dance remix producer Paul Oakenfold, she was set on a track that would resonate with the core of her audience as well as prove she still had her ear to the dance floor.

The result was the ultimate hits package title track “Celebration”. The other original single that would emerge on the setlist was the beat-heavy R&B/Hip-Hop fusion “Revolver” collaboration with rapper Lil Wayne. Oakenfold would contribute to the production of two additional tracks, one of which would sneak itself into the digital album offering. “It’s So Cool” has all the earmarks of a Madonna song of the era with its no-nonsense lyrical layering and moody modulation. The song is co-written with longtime collaborators Mirwais and Monte Pittman. Oakenfold provided the additional strikes and dance floor elevation.

And finally, Madonna and Oakenfold had produced one more song that didn’t make the final cut — it was never released as an “official” track but would resurface as a “bonus” offering on Madonna’s website.

Cover Art
The Cover Art for the Vinyl release.

Sorry, Not-Sorry

It may have felt a little too much on the nose, with its lyrics taking a clear swipe at a deposed lover, or perhaps it was too close to a retread of a richer release from the Confessions era, but “Broken (I’m Sorry)” made an impression with Madonna-fans. Released exclusively to her most diehard followers as a limited edition 7” vinyl pressing (when vinyl nostalgia was only still in a trivial renaissance) in 2012 via the site, the track affectionately earned its legitimacy with her audience, while versions were leaked to the internet. Written collaboratively between Oakenfold including Ian Green and Ciaran Gribbin.

The track leaps out of the speakers! Many have commented that it might have made better sense to have included it on Celebration rather than offer up the less popular “Revolver” which Madonna herself was not all that happy with, preferring the remix version to the one that appeared on the package. “Broken” had its mystique release, appropriately signaling the conclusion of one era for Madonna with Hard Candy and “Sticky & Sweet” Tour (marked by her divorce from film director Guy Ritchie) both critical and lucrative successes, though many viewed her as distraught over the issues of her personal life.

Madonna, never one to shy away from her feelings, put plenty of her resolve into her artistic expression. Hard Candy may infamously be coined as the “divorce album”, but it is notable that “Broken (I’m Sorry)” bucks that trend, appropriately putting the final nail in that coffin, proclaiming in its lyrics  “Don’t you feel sorry for me / cause I’m right where the universe wants me to be.” and exerting “That doesn’t mean it doesn’t burn.” Her lesson learned, Madonna moved on. The result was an entirely new reinvention in her heart, she would direct the film W.E., perform at the Super Bowl Half-Time Show, and release her twelfth studio album MDNA.

Here is your #FanzEyeView courtesy of SoundClouc of Madonna’s “Broken (I’m Sorry)” the Extended Mix here:

BROKEN (I’M SORRY) | by Madonna and Paul Oakenfold, with Ian Green, Ciaran Gribbin | was released as a 7” limited edition vinyl in 2012, and was intended as part of the original music to be featured on the Ultimate Hit package Celebration.

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