Category Archives: Hard Candy

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Pet Shop Boys were to produce for Hard Candy

Yesterday Pet Shop Boys gave media the chance to pre-listen to “Yes”, their forthcoming new record, in London, for review purposes only and, after the album listening, Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys frontman) held a Q&A session with reporters.

One of the several questions they asked was about Pet Shop Boys latest (scrapped) collaborations and Neil shockingly stated that after remixing “Sorry” in 2006, they were contacted again by Warner, in 2007, and asked to write & produce some tracks for an album Madonna was planning at the time (which later became “Hard Candy”)

Sadly, the same week Warner’s changed mind and according to Neil own words “we got told to forget it as they decided to shove her down the r&b route” Neil stated Parlophone asked them to write for Kylie’s “X” as well, before deciding to send Minogue out to other producers instead (one of the tracks featured on “Yes” (titled “Pandemonium”) was actually written & demoed for her, along with other 5 cuts)

Source: PopJustice

Madonna In Billboard Mag Top 10 Albums Of The Year!, By Writer Keith!

Old school Madonna fans remember Mr. Keith Caulfield for always having something interesting to say about the Queen of Pop, long before he become a chart manager and analyst for Billboard as well as the editor of their Chart Alert. 
On and on, the beat goes, and this Friday Keith posted his last “Ask Billboard,” as next week, Billboard Chart Manager Gary Trust will be taking over the column. We already miss him – although we’ll still find him in the pages of Billboard – the magazine – in the “Over the Counter” column. 
Personally, it was always cool to read a true, die hard Madonna fan being able to post objective, unbiased critics as a music journalist should do, still remaining a fan, so thanks for that Keith! 

In his last ” Ask Billboard” two readers asked Keith about his favorites of the year – and here’s what he had to say: 

“Thanks for asking about how to find my year-end top 10 albums list. It is on’s Web site, but it’s a bit hard to find. All of the top 10 lists from Billboard’s staffers can be found here. 

That said, here are my top 10 albums of 2008: 

1. Girls Aloud, “Out of Control” (Fascination/Polydor/Universal).
2. Madonna, “Hard Candy” (Warner Bros.).
3. Kylie Minogue, “X” (Astralwerks/Capitol).
4. McFly, “Radio:ACTIVE” (Super).
5. Booty Luv, “Boogie 2Nite” (Hed Kandi America).
6. Sugababes, “Catfights and Spotlights” (Universal/Island).
7. Pink, “Funhouse” (LaFace/Zomba).
8. Does It Offend You, Yeah?, “You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into” (Almost Gold).
9. The Pussycat Dolls, “Doll Domination” (Interscope).
10. The Saturdays, “Chasing Lights” (Fascination/Polydor/Universal).

“A few notes about the above list. We had to submit it in mid-November, so I had not heard Britney Spears’ “Circus” album. Had I been able to, it would have likely ended up at No. 2 on this list. That said, I’ll have to save it for next year’s top 10!” 

Because their top 10 list was essentially limited to only albums, Keith also posted an alphabetical list of some of his favorite tracks and singles of 2008 – which includes “4 Minutes” by Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake.

Check out the entire article on

Candy Shop #93 Rolling Stone single of the year

93 | Madonna — “Candy Shop”

If 50 Cent and Lil Wayne can make sugar filthy, the Queen of Pop can, too. Pharrell brings a delicately thunky beat, Madonna brings the sticky sweet.

Um, odd.

Best of 2008 People magazine, Hardy number #3 out of 10

Top 10 Music: Viva Coldplay. T.I And a 50 year old named Madonna

Madonna Hard Candy number 3

In the year that she turned 50, Madge turned the clock to her early days as an urban club kid.
With the help from Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and Pharrell, she rocks the party like she hasn’t
sincer her 1983 debut.

NY Daily News: Farber’s top 10 albums for 2008, Hard Candy #3


Off the charts: Farber’s top 10 albums for 2008

Sunday, December 28th 2008, 4:00 AM

Who says no one’s batting out great new music these days? Anybody who thinks that’s the case has spent too much time suckered by what clogs the top of the charts. 

Were they to look maybe 50 or 100 positions below — or better, soar through the galaxy of the Internet — they’d find more to love than they’ve got time to listen to. I easily tallied over 75 albums I cherished from ’08. The teeth-gnashing part came in trying to hack that number down to a top 10. 

The depressing part came in discovering that no hip hop or R&B albums made the grade for the first time in 20 years — which certainly says something about the state of those genres, but it says even more about the stiffness of this year’s competition. Here’s a look at the works that thrilled and intrigued me most: 

1) Kings of Leon, “Only by the Night”
Lead singer Caleb Followill always had a yowl and mutter like no other. His mush-mouthed cries on the band’s first three albums, churning over the group’s neo-boogie riffs, helped reinvent Southern rock. But for their latest work, Followill cleaned up his act, singing with a diction that led him into far more feeling. Aided by the band’s catchiest music to date, Followill made a crucial leap — from being just a guy lucky enough to have a great voice to a guy who could use that gift to become a great singer. 

2) Joan as Policewoman, “To Survive” 
The woman born Joan Wasser stands at the vanguard of a new brand of art-song. A kindred spirit to artists like Jeff Buckley and Antony, J.A.P. creates romantic tone poems, enlivened by her supple flutter of a voice. Whether eerie or beautiful, ethereal or harsh, Joan’s music finds an eccentric way to cut to your soul. 

3) Madonna, “Hard Candy” 
Finally, the ex-Mrs. Ritchie stopped trying to educate the world with songs about starving children, world politics and spiritual growth and relented to make the disk fans wanted all along — one packed with pure, catchy dance-pop — the best of its kind since her debut, in fact. Facing 50, Madonna threw herself a kind of party record that doubled as the best present fans could hope for.

4) Portishead, “Third” 
The first album in 11 years from one of the pioneers of so-called trip-hop is a holy terror of a thing, a brave collection of lacerating sonic textures and harrowing vocal fissures that, in the end, carries its own shocking beauty. More, Portishead’s album provides one of the few examples of a revolutionary group making even more jarring music in middle age than they did in their furious youth.

5) Ray LaMontagne, “Gossip in the Grain” 
LaMontagne sings in a feathery hush of a voice over songs that mainly stay soft and slow. His third album takes a few breaks from the mold, hurrying the pace and intensifying the volume more than usual, but the disk’s power lies in its understatement and concentration. Along the way, LaMontagne also managed to reinvent soul, subverting its love of the shout with the power of the whisper. 

6) She and Him, “Vol. 1” 
Nothing strikes fear into listeners’ hearts like an actor who has decided to sing. So imagine our surprise when culty film star Zooey Deschanel came up with a CD that’s not just competent but a delight. True, she got crucial help from the “him” of the group (M. Ward). But it’s Deschanel’s girlish voice, and the sureness of her songs, that star. Her compositions have the polish and formality of classic pop songs from the ’60s and ’70s, with a special bent toward vintage country-rock. Think: Linda Ronstadt singing “Different Drum.” The best news? She and Ward already have planned “Vol. 2.” 

7) Gary Louris, “Vagabonds” 
The solo debut CD from Jayhawks mainstay Gary Louris brings his long-standing talent for country-rock melody-making to a new high. His latest songs could double as outtakes from The Dead’s two classics of the genre: “Workingman’s Dead” or “American Beauty.” Better, Louris sings them in a voice of sweet candor. 

8) Various Artists, “What’s Happening in Pernambuco” 
Brazil has given the world a greater variety of innovative genres than any country other than the U.S. Now you can add a new one — or a series of them, actually. They’re corralled in this compilation a survey of the “mengue” scene from the city of Recife in the northeastern state of Pernambuco. The range of artists here mingle hip hop, electronica and rock with various Brazilian styles to create a sound that’s at once folkloric and futuristic, ancient and cool. 

9) Supergrass, “Diamond Hoo Ha” 
The sixth album by this U.K. act has the energy and flash of a first. It distills the best instincts of the ’90s Brit-pop movement that birthed them. Call it English rock at its most classically brash. 

10) Joan Osborne, “Little Wild One” 
The first album to pair Osborne with the guys who produced her breakthrough hit, “One of Us,” 10 years ago does more than just return Osborne to her pop-rock peak. It offers a terse sonnet to New York, a Walt Whitmanesque mash note to the city’s noisy verve.

StubHub releases Annual report -Madonna #1 grossing tour

StubHub is pleased to release its third annual concert ticket report on sales activity for music events during the 2008 calendar year. The information in the report reveals trends and information from the year in concert ticket sales via the world’s largest concert ticket marketplace. Data includes the top grossing tours and those with the highest average ticket prices in 2008, as well as interesting year-over-year tour comparisons and other pricing trends. 

“This year’s report surfaced some interesting trends with respect to secondary concert ticket purchasing habits,” said Chuck La Vallee, Head of Music Business Development for StubHub. “Despite the economic woes of the last few months and a lukewarm concert schedule for the year, ticket selling prices actually increased a bit from 2007. It speaks to the overall demand for live touring acts and despite challenging economic times, StubHub buyers are willing to invest in the experience they get for the price of admission.” 

In addition to ticket sales, 2008 was a significant year for StubHub in the music industry. Prominent new partnerships included a landmark relationship with Madonna, as the legendary artist selected StubHub to be the Official Fan to Fan Ticket Marketplace for her “Sticky & Sweet” tour — the first deal of its kind between a secondary ticketing company and artist. StubHub also had a very visible presence at the Bonnaroo and Virgin Music Festivals, which further extended the brand awareness of StubHub across the music landscape. 

StubHub continued its “Spotlight Artist” program in 2008, a valuable marketing tool for artists to engage the millions of music fans who shop for tickets daily on the site. Some of today’s hottest music artists have utilized this program including Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, Kellie Pickler and Buckcherry, among others. 

StubHub Key Concert Ticket Stats for 2008 (as of 12/5/2008): 

— Gross dollar sales of concert tickets on StubHub increased by 40% from
— Overall, fans bought and sold tickets for 11,220 concert events on
— The average price of concert tickets sold through StubHub was $159.
That price increased slightly ($3 per ticket) when compared to average
prices in 2007 ($156).
— Madonna’s “Sticky & Sweet” tour was the highest grossing tour of the
year based on dollar volume. It was the third best selling tour in the
history of StubHub, second only to Hannah Montana and the Police in 2007-
2008. The tour also topped the average ticket price category at $306 per

— The Jonas Brothers tour sold the most actual tickets for a concert
series in 2008.
— For the third consecutive year, six of StubHub’s Top 10 Selling Tours
of 2008 also toured 20 years ago or more (Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Bon
Jovi, AC/DC, Jimmy Buffett, Billy Joel)

Link to 2007 Report:…article_id=7096 

Top 10 Grossing Tours of 2008 (Based on total dollar volume of tickets
1. Madonna
2. Jonas Brothers
3. Bruce Springsteen
4. Bon Jovi
5. Coldplay
6. Kenny Chesney
7. AC/DC
8. Hannah Montana
9. Jimmy Buffett
10. Billy Joel
Highest Average Tour Ticket Prices (For tours that sold over 10,000 total
1. Madonna- $306
2. Eagles – $234
3. Billy Joel – $224
4. Bon Jovi – $217
5. AC/DC – $210
6. Hannah Montana – $209
7. Celine Dion – $198
8. Neil Diamond – $193
9. Bruce Springsteen – $191
10. Michael Buble – $189

StubHub’s Two Million Dollar Tours of 2008 

The tours listed below were the highest grossing overall on StubHub in 2008. In 2008, 21 tours surpassed the $2,000,000 mark in total ticket sales on StubHub: (ranked in order of highest gross). In all, 40 tours cleared the $1,000,000 mark in 2008 as compared to 25 tours in 2007 and 17 tours in 2006. 

Avg. Selling North Amer.
Tour Ticket Price Dates
1. Madonna $306 28
2. Jonas Brothers $153 91
3. Bruce Springsteen $191 39
4. Bon Jovi $217 45
5. Coldplay $179 37
6. Kenny Chesney $162 41
7. AC/DC $210 28
8. Hannah Montana $209 21
9. Jimmy Buffett $121 25
10. Billy Joel $224 22
11. Dave Matthews Band $140 50
12. Eagles $234 47
13. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers $169 38
14. Neil Diamond $193 20
15. Radiohead $142 60
16. Kanye West $152 48
17. Michael Buble $189 75
18. Rascal Flatts $143 66
19. Celine Dion $198 44
20. Tina Turner $232 38
21. The Police with Elvis Costello $188 37

$100 Average Ticket Price Benchmarks Established Success 

In the eight years of monitoring average ticket prices on its marketplace, StubHub has recognized a consistent trend with respect to the resale value of tickets for acts in the secondary market. Typically, the $100 average price point (or greater) applies to acts with a substantially large national following. The $100 mark serves as a true differentiator between the established superstar acts and the rest of the industry. Artists commanding over $150 per ticket on average are typically the veteran legacy acts who have built up multiple generations of fans and generally do not come from the contemporary music landscape. However, like last year, Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) continued to be a notable exception with the second half of her “Best of Both Worlds” tour that extended into 2008. 

The Jonas Brothers, whose tour was the second highest grossing tour in 2008, also proved an exception just clearing the Super Star cut with an average selling ticket price of $153. Like Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers established a vast fan base through their hit TV series and other interactive media channels. Most new artists who are still growing their fan bases will see average ticket prices trade for under $100 in the open market. Below is a list of StubHub’s top 10 grossing concert acts for 2008 in three pricing levels (Rising Stars) under $100, (Shining Stars) between $100 and $150, and (Super Stars) over $150: 

Avg. Selling
Tour Ticket Price
Madonna $306
Eagles $234
Billy Joel $224
Bon Jovi $217
AC DC $210
Hannah Montana $209
Bruce Springsteen $191
Coldplay $179
Kenny Chesney $162
Jonas Brothers $153
Avg. Selling
Tour Ticket Price
John Mayer $147
James Taylor $145
Rascal Flatts $143
Radiohead $142
Journey $142
Dave Matthews Band $140
New Kids on the Block $138
Jimmy Buffett $121
Kid Rock $120
Foo Fighters $102
Avg. Selling
Tour Ticket Price
Avril Lavigne $ 99
Black Crowes * $ 99
3 Doors Down * $ 97
Snoop Dogg * $ 84
Death Cab for Cutie $ 80
The Raconteurs $ 80
My Chemical Romance $ 79
Weezer * $ 77
Cheetah Girls $ 73
Panic at the Disco $ 66

*Some exceptions do exist within the “Rising Stars” section. These acts have some well established fan bases and history though their average ticket selling prices did not reflect a typical pricing trend in 2008. 

Twice is Nice for Top Acts 

The table below tracks top touring acts that were on the road in both 2008 and 2007 and compares actual tickets sold, total gross dollar sales as well as the average price paid by StubHub buyers. In most every instance, tours more than doubled their actual tickets sold and total gross dollars proving the constant fan demand for these acts and adoption of StubHub as a destination of choice for ticket buyers. 

# Actual
Tickets Avg.
Sold Total Selling
Increase/ Gross Ticket # Tour
Genre Decrease Sales Price Stops
Kenny Chesney ’08 +47% +48% $162 41
Kenny Chesney ’07 $161 56
Dave Matthews Band ’08 +36% +39% $140 50
Dave Matthews Band ’07 $137 38
Jimmy Buffett ’08 +45% +30% $121 25
Jimmy Buffett ’07 $136 25
Bruce Springsteen ’08 +26% +6% $191 39
Bruce Springsteen ’07 $226 24

Beat Goes On – Sticky and Sweet, Backdrop Video.

“Heartbeat” from Hard Candy :: Platinum single in Brazil, Smash!

Associacao Brasileira Dos Produtores De Discos
has updated certifications for Madonna

Heartbeat – Platinum [100.000] shock.gif 
Candy Shop – Platinum [100.000] dramatic.gif 
Beat Goes On – Platinum [100.000]
Give It To Me – Platinum [ 100.000] 
4 Minutes – Platinum [100.000]

Express Yourself – Gold [50.000]
Music – Gold [50.000] 
Vogue – Gold [50.000]

over 1 million downloads this year for Madonna in Brazil
Hard Candy: 64.000 have been shipped before December 2008
COADF: 103.000 have been shipped before December 2008

Billboard Readers’ Poll: Top Albums of 2008, Vote for HC!!!

The Year In Music 2008

Mariah Carey earned her 18th No. 1 song, Guns N’ Roses’ “Chinese Democracy” finally saw the light of day and our Hot 100 singles chart celebrated its 50th anniversary. It’s been quite a year in music. Where did your favorite artists, songs and albums land on Billboard’s definitive year-end charts? What albums did Billboard’s critics pick as 2008’s best? Find out all of that and more as Billboard tallies 2008 in charts, tours, news, and great music both here and in the special Year In Music and Touring issue of Billboard Magazine. Vote in our readers’ poll now and come back next week as we roll out of the full Year In Music section.

Readers’ Poll: Top Albums of 2008
Here is your chance to tell the world what you think was the best album released in 2008. The albums with the most votes will become the Readers’ Top Ten list, which we will reveal on December 10.

Just fill in the form below. Entries must be submitted by December 8, 2008.