Album: Rebel Heart (2014)
  • Madonna wrote this power ballad with Sean Douglas and Jason Evigan, who worked together on Demi Lovato's "Heart Attack" and Jason DeRulo's "Talk Dirty." The other co-writer was Evan Bogart, whose credits include Beyonce's "Halo" and Rihanna's "S.O.S. (Rescue Me)."
  • Madonna told Billboard magazine the story of the song. "We all get into a room together. They start playing their chords and then we just start thinking about… When I write with people, we always try to come up with a theme. What do we want to write about? So this one is about the city after Armageddon. The burnt out city, the crumbling buildings, the smoke that's still lingering after the fire. You know what I mean? There's only a few people left. How do we pick up the pieces and go on from here? Kind of dramatic. (Laughs.) But not entirely impossible at this stage of the game."
  • The song is about seeing hope amidst the destruction: "At the end of the day, if we run out of oil and we don't have electricity and we don't have all the modern conveniences, and we have no phones and computers, all we're going to have is each other, is humans," Madonna explained to Rolling Stone. "And that song's about recognizing that."
  • The track was written in three days after Madonna personally requested some studio time with the three songwriters. "She liked 'Talk Dirty,' actually, and so they put me and Jason Evigan and Evan Bogart in with her and we had this great session," Sean Douglas told Billboard magazine. "I was incredibly nervous for obvious reasons, but she showed up, was super personable and was ready to work. I basically checked it off my life bucket list."
  • The apocalyptic music video starts off with Madonna holed up in a bunker amid nuclear destruction. After she leaves her compound to explore the bombed-out world, she runs into Empire actor Terrance Howard. Ironically, when Madonna's Rebel Heart was released in March 2015, it was blocked from #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart by the soundtrack to the first season of Empire.

    Jonas Åkerlund directed the clip. He's worked with Madonna on the videos for several of her previous singles including the ones for like "Ray Of Light" "American Life" and "Music."
  • This was Madonna's 45th #1 on the Dance Club Songs chart. The song's ascent to the peak position meant that the Queen of Pop overtook George Strait's 44 chart-toppers on Country Songs to tally the most #1s of any artist on a single Billboard chart.


Be the first to comment...

Edwin McCainSongwriter Interviews

"I'll Be" was what Edwin called his "Hail Mary" song. He says it proves "intention of the songwriter is 180 degrees from potential interpretation by an audience."

WeezerFact or Fiction

Did Rivers Cuomo grow up on a commune? Why did they name their albums after colors? See how well you know your Weezer in this Fact or Fiction.

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo LyricMusic Quiz

In this quiz, spot the artist who put Romeo into a song lyric.

Gene Simmons of KissSongwriter Interviews

The Kiss rocker covers a lot of ground in this interview, including why there are no Kiss collaborations, and why the Rock Hall has "become a sham."

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

David Bowie Leads the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired MenSong Writing

Bowie's "activist" days of 1964 led to Ziggy Stardust.