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Madonna Speaks About Album Producer Orbit

February 21, 1998 12:00 AM ET

Fifteen years after her debut, is Madonna still relevant?

The numerous radio and Internet leaks of "Frozen," the lead single from her forthcoming Maverick/Warner Bros. album, Ray Of Light, implies audiences think so.

The set, slated for worldwide release March 3, shows the pop chameleon sewing intense words into edgy electronic backdrops and jagged guitar grooves. More than half of the disc's songs were written with William Orbit, a pioneering techno producer. "I've always found something melancholy about his music," Madonna says of Orbit. "Since I'm attracted to that sound, and since I tend to write a lot ofsad songs, we seemed like a good match."

Orbit is equally pleased with the set's results, primarily because Madonna "insisted upon the purity of [his] arrangements, which worked astonishingly well with her pop songs."

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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