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Edward Rams
Edward Rams

Madonna Ray Of Light Album Zip

Ray of Light is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released in early 1998 by Maverick Records. A stylistic and aesthetical departure from her previous work, Ray of Light is an electronica and techno-pop record which incorporates multiple genres, including ambient, trip hop, psychedelic music and Middle Eastern music, while also seeing Madonna singing with greater breadth and a fuller tone. Mystical themes are also strongly present in both the music and lyrics, as a result of Madonna embracing Kabbalah, her study of Hinduism and Buddhism, and her daily practice of Ashtanga yoga.

madonna ray of light album zip


After giving birth to her first child, Madonna started working on the album with producers Babyface and Patrick Leonard. Following failed sessions with them, Madonna pursued a new musical direction with English producer William Orbit, which resulted in a much more experimental sound being produced for the album. The recording process was the longest of Madonna's career, and she experienced problems with Orbit's hardware arrangement which would break down and cause delays until it could be repaired.

Considered as her best body of work, the album received universal critical acclaim, with reviews praising the singer's new musical direction, Orbit's complex, innovative and experimental production, and Madonna's songwriting skills. Referred to as her "most adventurous" record, Ray of Light has been noted for its introspective, spiritual, and religious nature with Madonna's vocals also being lauded. Retrospectively, the album has continued receiving critical acclaim from contemporary critics and is often considered to be her magnum opus. On top of this, the album is frequently cited by critics as one of the greatest mainstream pop albums of all time.[1] Ray of Light won four Grammy Awards from a total of six nominations.

The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200, with the biggest first-week sales by a female artist at the time. It also peaked at number one in 17 countries,[2] including Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, and charted within the top-five in most musical markets. Worldwide, Ray of Light has sold over 16 million copies and is one of the best-selling albums by women. Five singles were released from the album, including the international top five hits "Frozen" and "Ray of Light". The album's promotion was later supported by the Drowned World Tour in 2001. Music critics have noted the album's influence on popular music, and how it introduced electronica into mainstream pop culture in America. They also noted Madonna's musical re-invention which helped the 39-year-old remain contemporary among the teen-marketed artists of the period.

Following the release of her compilation album Something to Remember (1995), Madonna started taking vocal lessons in preparation for her role in Evita (1996). She would also give birth to her daughter, Lourdes, later in 1996. These events inspired a period of introspection. "That was a big catalyst for me. It took me on a search for answers to questions I'd never asked myself before", she said to Q magazine, in 2002.[3] During the same period, she embraced Kabbalah and started studying Hinduism and yoga, all of which helped her "step outside [myself] and see the world from a different perspective".[3] Madonna felt that there was a "whole piece" of her voice left unused, which she decided to utilize for the album.[3] By May 1997, Madonna had started writing songs for the album. She began collaborating with Babyface, who had first worked with her on her previous album Bedtime Stories (1994). The two wrote a couple of songs together before Madonna decided the collaborations were not going in the musical direction she wanted for the album. According to Babyface, the songs "had a 'Take a Bow-ish' kind of vibe, and Madonna didn't want, or need, to repeat herself".[4]

After abandoning the songs she had written with Babyface, Madonna turned to musician Rick Nowels, who had previously co-written songs with Stevie Nicks and Celine Dion. The collaboration produced seven songs in nine days, but those songs also did not display the album's future electronic musical direction.[4] Three of the songs, "The Power of Good-Bye", "To Have and Not to Hold" and "Little Star", appear on the album.[4] Madonna then began writing songs with Leonard, who had produced many songs for Madonna in the late 1980s. Unlike her previous albums, Leonard's song writing collaborations were accompanied by very little studio input. Madonna believed that Leonard's production "would have lent the songs more of a Peter Gabriel vibe", a sound that she did not want for the album.[4] Guy Oseary, chairman of Maverick Records, then phoned British electronic musician William Orbit, and suggested that he send some songs to Madonna.[3] Orbit sent a 13-track digital audio tape to Madonna. "I was a huge fan of William's earlier records, Strange Cargo 1 and 2 and all that. I also loved all the remixes he did for me and I was interested in fusing a kind of futuristic sound but also using lots of Indian and Moroccan influences and things like that, and I wanted it to sound old and new at the same time", Madonna said.[3]

"It took a long time to do the album, months. And it wasn't like we were slacking. We actually did have to work fast, and there were many times when we had to move on. One of Madonna's favorite phrases was: 'Don't gild the lily.' In other words, keep it rough, and don't perfect it too much. It's a natural urge for computer buffs to perfect everything because they can, and we were very wary of that."

In early June before starting recording, Orbit met Madonna at her house in New York, and she played him the music she had worked on with other producers up to May 1997, which he felt sounded "slick".[3][4] They visited the Hit Factory later that week, where Madonna invited the producer to work on Ray of Light.[5] Orbit then sent her a tape of musical snippets he was working on, which were usually eight or sixteen-bar phrases and stripped-down versions of tracks that would later be heard on the album.[4] Madonna listened to the samples, over and over again, until she was inspired to write lyrics. Once she had an idea about the lyrical direction of the song, she would take her ideas back to Orbit, and they would expand on the original music ideas.[4] As most of the instrumental demos pre-existed, Madonna worked on the lyrics and melodies while at home or while travelling.[3]

The album was recorded over four and a half months at Larrabee North Studio in North Hollywood, California, beginning in mid-June 1997, the longest Madonna had ever worked on an album. For most of the recording process, only three other people were in the studio with Madonna: William Orbit, an engineer named Pat McCarthy, and his assistant engineer, Matt Silva.[4] They started recording in Los Angeles, but the recording process was initially plagued with machinery problems, as Orbit preferred to work with samples and synth sounds, and not with live musicians. The computers would break down, and recording would have to be delayed until they could be repaired.[4][5] Orbit recorded the bulk of the album's instrumentation over a four-month period. Orbit recalls playing the guitar and having his fingers bleed during the long hours he spent in the studio.[4]

After some errors in her pronunciation of Sanskrit shloka "Yoga Taravali" during the song "Shanti/Ashtangi", the BBC arranged for Madonna to take telephonic lessons to learn the basic correct pronunciation of Sanskrit words from eminent scholar Vagish Shastri. She then made the necessary pronunciation corrections on the album.[6][7] In an interview with MTV, Madonna recalled the recording of the album, saying her business partner Guy Oseary was a helpful friend, and that after she and Orbit played him the tracks, he, to their dismay, said nothing and left the studio. "He really hates those icy strings. Right when I think the track's done, he sort of pushes us another step further. 'Maybe we should try this', or 'I really don't want to hear that'. And then of course, later on, it creeps in my brain, and I'm like, 'maybe I should have done a background vocal on that'. And then she comes in and happily does it, right?" Madonna said.[8] Orbit also recalled during an interview with Q magazine that Madonna recorded "Swim" the day her friend and fashion designer Gianni Versace was killed in Miami, Florida. He also commented that this is probably why the track has an emotional impact.[3]

According to spokesperson Liz Rosenberg, Madonna considered titling the album Mantra, which she thought was a "really cool title", and she also considered calling it Veronica Electronica;[9] however, she discarded both of those ideas and called it Ray of Light, as her albums were always titled after one of the songs from each album's tracklist.[10] The artwork was taken from a November 28, 1997 photoshoot with Peruvian photographer Mario Testino at the Paris Theater in Miami Beach. In terms of styling, Madonna and stylist Lori Goldstein opted for textures evocative of the elements water and air, which are recurrent themes on the album. For the album cover, Madonna wears a turquoise Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 1998 vinyl raincoat. Other pictures from the same shoot serve as the artworks for the "Ray of Light" and "Frozen" singles, where Madonna models items from Prada's Spring/Summer 1998 collection.[11] Madonna and Testino had previously collaborated for a Versace brand collection 2 years earlier. Madonna was impressed with the natural look Testino had captured, so she booked him again for the album's photoshoot. He recalled, "At 2pm she said, 'OK, I'm tired. We're done'. And I said, 'But I don't have the pictures yet'. She said, 'You're working for me and I say we're done'. I said, 'No, we carry on'. The picture she used on the cover came after that".[12]


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