Jump to content

Where does “4 Minutes” rank in terms of Madonna’s most successful singles—ever?


Etips
 Share

Recommended Posts

With two million copies sold, where does “4 Minutes” rank in terms of Madonna’s most successful singles of all time? I figure it is still eclipsed by “Vogue,” but would it be number two?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Higher than most would like or thought it would be :chuckle:

I guess it's how you determine what is most successful. In terms of sales like you are suggesting, to my knowledge, only Vogue and LAP have done 2,000,000. But it "only" peaked at number 3 so she's had 12 US number ones, plus something like 5 or 6 number 2's I think and a couple other number 3's. I do believe among the number 3's though this is the most successful in terms of sales (definitely) but also in terms of the amount of time it spent in the top 10. 4M spent 11 weeks in the top 10. Her other number 3's were True Blue, Secret and Erotica. I'm sure someone with a little more chart knowledge could give you a clearer answer. But bottom line as far as I can tell:

In terms of single sales it's among her Top 3 most definitely.

In terms of chart positions only and amount of weeks spent in the top 10, it would most likely be in the top 20.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's 2 million in the US only. Worldwide is over 3.1 million.

In terms of chart position and sales, it'd be in the Top 10 of Madonna singles, probably close to the Top 5. I have a list somewhere, let me see if I can fin it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Johnkm

As far as my calculations go, it should be 7th=, behind:

1)vogue- 6.3 million

2)hung up-5.1 million

3)like a prayer-4.6 million

4)like a virgin-4.1 million

5)music-3.4 million

6)frozen-3.2 million

7)4 minutes/justify my love/this used to be my playground-3.1 million

10)papa dont preach-3 million

there are many that have sold in and around the 2.5-3 million mark, most of the singles from true blue did so, as did express yourself, cherish, into the groove, material girl and who's that girl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1)vogue- 6.3 million 1990

2)hung up-5.1 million 2005

3)like a prayer-4.6 million 1989

4)like a virgin-4.1 million 1984

5)music-3.4 million 2000

6)frozen-3.2 million 1998

7)4 minutes2008/justify my love1990/this used to be my playground1992-3.1 million

10)papa dont preach-3 million 1986

And the naysayers claim her biggest hits were in the 80s :lmao:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Johnkm

1)vogue- 6.3 million (1990)

2)hung up-5.1 million (2005)

3)like a prayer-4.6 million (1989)

4)like a virgin-4.1 million (1984)

5)music-3.4 million (2000)

6)frozen-3.2 million (1998)

7=)4 minutes(2008)/justify my love(1990)/this used to be my playground(1992)-3.1 million

10)papa dont preach-3 million (1986)

11)la isla bonita-2.9 million (1987)

12=)american pie(2000)/sorry(2006)/die another day(2002)-2.6 million

15)into the groove-2.55 million (1985)

16)don't tell me-2.4 million (2000)

17)who's that girl-2.35 million (1987)

18=)express yourself(1989)/true blue(1986)/crazy for you(1985/1992)-2.3 million

21)cherish-2.25 million (1989)

22)ray of light-2.2 million(1998)

23)dont cry for me argentina-2.1 million (1996)

24)secret-2.0 million (1994)

25)i'll remember-1.95 million (1994)

26)take a bow-1.9 million (1995)

27=)material girl (1985)/live to tell(1986)-1.8 million

29=)power of goodbye (1998)/you'll see(1995)/open your heart(1986)-1.75 million

32=)holiday(1983)/angel(1985)/erotica(1992)/you must love me(1996)-1.5 million

36=)american life (2003)/hollywood(2003)-1.4 million

38)borderline-1.35 million (1983)

39)causing a commotion-1.3 million (1987)

40)hanky panky(1990)/rescue me(1991)/rain(1993)-1.2 million

43)oh father (1990)-1.1 million

44=)dress you up(1985)/keep it together(1990)deeper and deeper(1992)/bedtime story(1995)-1 million

48)jump (2006)-0.9 million

49=)lucky star(1983)/human nature(1995)/nothing really matters(1999)/get together(2006)-0.8 million

53=)bad girl(1993)/drowned world(1998)-0.7 million

55=)gambler(1985)/nothing fails(2004)-0.6 million

57=)the look of love(1987)/fever(1993)/another suitcase in another hall(1997)/love profusion(2004)-0.5 million

60=)everybody(1982)/spotlight(1988)/dear jessie(1989)/love dont live here anymore (remix)(1996)-0.4 million

64=)burning up(1983)/love dont live here anymore(1985)one more chance(1996)-0.3 million

67=)holiday(1985 re-release)/borderline(1985 re-release)/the holiday collection(1990)/oh father(1995 re-release)-0.1 million

I havent included Give It 2 Me as it hasnt finished its chart run.

Total Sales per decade:

1980's-45.4 million

1990's-47.225 million (this would be down to this being a full 10 year period as opposed to the 8 years she was actove during the 80's, one of which, 1998, she released only one single, spotlight, and then only in japan)

2000's-approx 30 million as of week 28/2008

total-122.625 million

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The figures for Vogue and HU look a tad high (and maybe some others, as well).

LAP wasn't double platinum in the USA- it remains certified for 1 million+.

Because digital sales are so high right now (much higher than even when physical sales were at their peak), it's trough to compare 4M to other singles in a sense.

Madonna's worldwide singles sales are NOT as high as 122m. The singles count is in the neighborhood of 80m-85m by now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Johnkm

i just added up the figures i found on the net, i thought some were a little high myself, but anything after 1999 is a little ambiguous as all the information is for UWC points as opposed to to physical sales. If you have any morew accurate figures feel free to correct me :angel::thumbsup:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Johnkm

a lot of it comes down to the fact that these days she releases in lots more countries than she used to, therefore, even if she only gets small sales from them, they can still add up to a rather large total.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest superbu
wow, it´s true, her biggest hits aren´t from the eighties...but she has more hits during the 80´s, and she sold more albums

Yes, but taking sales into acccount from that period is a little misleading, since singles sales in general were abysmal from 1984-1989, arguably her biggest period. They were so low that in 1989 the RIAA lowered the standard for a gold single to only 500,000. It had been 1,000,000 for over 30 years.

Plus, I don't know if comparing a download to a something you have to go out to the store and buy is a fair comparison. I think it's difficult to determine what her most successful single is. How does one define "successful"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Johnkm

I think the points system is much more fair than simply basing success upon sales, as it takes into account airplay, which biased as it may be, still makes the comparsion more fair.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Bad Robot

I think it's pretty tough to make these kinds of lists, there are so many different types of criteria you can use, and even if you find something consistent (like sales), you have to take into consideration how that market has fluctuated wildly, and also that some of her hits weren't released as proper singles in major territories like the US (i.e., Into the Groove, American Pie, Beautiful Stranger).

I bet when all is said and done, a fairly objective look at things would probably put 4 Minutes in her top 20, maybe somewhere in the 15-20 range.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest nothingfails0603

considering the "peak years" predated Soundscan, people will never know what certain songs sold in the states. For example, Like A Virgin was #1 during Christmas 1984 and stayed there for six weeks, who knows how much it actually sold

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Ruanrushedin

However you would define success, I feel that those six singles recorded as her 6 highest selling

could be referred to as her most successful all over. If you look at it in other ways, Like A Virgin

was the breakthrough, the trend setter. Like A Prayer was a crossover in controversy. Vogue

was just incredibly massive, people (besides Madonna fans) know it to this day! Frozen was spiritual

and gorgeous and we witness a rebirth of the artist. Music was Madonna in the new century, the 2000's,

as much a new beginning as Ray Of Light was that abandonment of old.

and Hung Up was that immense return to 'form'... the ultimate Madonna. Thats how I see it anyway :p

Those were her singles with MASS APPEAL.

feel free to disagree.

Edited by Ruanrushedin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Bad Robot

Off the top of my head, I'd say her biggest hits -- not her biggest CHART hits necessarily but the biggest songs of her career in terms of memorability and popularity and impact -- go something like this:

1. Like A Virgin

2. Like A Prayer

3. Vogue

4. Holiday

5. Material Girl

6. Ray of Light

7. Into the Groove

8. Crazy For You

9. Papa Don't Preach

10. Hung Up

With the following nipping on their heels (in no particular order):

Lucky Star

Borderline

Justify My Love

Frozen

Express Yourself

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In terms of popularity , I'd say:

1.)Like A Virgin

2.)Vogue

3.)Like A Prayer

4.)Music

5.)Hung Up

6.)Holiday

7.)Material Girl

8.)Papa Don't Preach

9.)Take A Bow

10.)Frozen

11.) 4 Minutes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest dicktracy

In my opinion these are her biggest songs (cultural impact, charts, sales, longevity, etc...)

1. Vogue (her biggest when she was the biggest)

2. Like a Virgin (the song that will never go away, iconic, created the Madonna the superstar)

3. Like a Prayer (proved that Madonna was more than just a pop tart, still her best single by most critics, controversial)

4. Music (the Holiday for the new millennium, huge airplay, Madonna rules the single charts again)

5. Into the Groove (this song IS the 80's, Desperately Seeking Susan, wannabees, and you can dance... for inspiration)

6. Crazy for You (her first ballad, staple at any Adult Contemporary station, managed to top USA for Africa's from number 1)

7. Hung Up (ABBA sample, pink leotard anyone?)

8. La Isla Bonita (still sold quite a bit even though it was the fifth single from True Blue, it has universal appeal, so popular that Madonna recorded it again and called it Who's That Girl)

9. Holiday (sold quite a bit on re-issues, did not chart as well as others because it was the official kick start to her careeer, she played this on every tour up to Confessions Tour for a reason...)

10. 4 Minutes (37 milion YouTube viewers, over 2m in sales in the U.S. alone, history will tell if it will have legs or not.

Worthy mentions: Material Girl (iconic but has not aged well); Papa Don't Preach (I had a hard time picking between this and La Isla Bonita); Express Yourself (Madonna's anthem); Ray of Light (lacked in sales and airplay to be in the Top 10 but it is perhaps the 90's song with the most longevity after Vogue); Sorry (it was huge but it did extremely poor in the US and that's the world's biggest market... so... it is a worthy mention); and Take a Bow (biggest chart hit in the US but did not fare as well in the rest of the world... so... it is also just a worthy mention).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion these are her biggest songs (cultural impact, charts, sales, longevity, etc...)

1. Vogue (her biggest when she was the biggest)

2. Like a Virgin (the song that will never go away, iconic, created the Madonna the superstar)

3. Like a Prayer (proved that Madonna was more than just a pop tart, still her best single by most critics, controversial)

4. Music (the Holiday for the new millennium, huge airplay, Madonna rules the single charts again)

5. Into the Groove (this song IS the 80's, Desperately Seeking Susan, wannabees, and you can dance... for inspiration)

6. Crazy for You (her first ballad, staple at any Adult Contemporary station, managed to top USA for Africa's from number 1)

7. Hung Up (ABBA sample, pink leotard anyone?)

8. La Isla Bonita (still sold quite a bit even though it was the fifth single from True Blue, it has universal appeal, so popular that Madonna recorded it again and called it Who's That Girl)

9. Holiday (sold quite a bit on re-issues, did not chart as well as others because it was the official kick start to her careeer, she played this on every tour up to Confessions Tour for a reason...)

10. 4 Minutes (37 milion YouTube viewers, over 2m in sales in the U.S. alone, history will tell if it will have legs or not.

Worthy mentions: Material Girl (iconic but has not aged well); Papa Don't Preach (I had a hard time picking between this and La Isla Bonita); Express Yourself (Madonna's anthem); Ray of Light (lacked in sales and airplay to be in the Top 10 but it is perhaps the 90's song with the most longevity after Vogue); Sorry (it was huge but it did extremely poor in the US and that's the world's biggest market... so... it is a worthy mention); and Take a Bow (biggest chart hit in the US but did not fare as well in the rest of the world... so... it is also just a worthy mention).

"Live to Tell" is THE Madonna ballad. Not CFY.

HU and La Isla should be higher. "La Isla" was her biggest hit of the 80's in many coutries.

Frozen should be there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest dicktracy
"Live to Tell" is THE Madonna ballad. Not CFY.

HU and La Isla should be higher. "La Isla" was her biggest hit of the 80's in many coutries.

Frozen should be there.

While I agree that LTT is Madonna's greatest ballad, in popularity (not just fans) CFY is bigger. It sold over a million copies more. It was re-released in the UK and it hit #2 again and if you check recurrent airplay it is usually much higher than LTT. But the most popular is not always the best.

Frozen was her second biggest single in the 90's. Yeah, I should have mentioned it. It is a great track but it has hardly any recurrent airplay due to its length and compared to the other songs in my list, it would not have fared higher.

Now, I will concede that HU and LIB probably should be higher than CFY. Anyway, it is just an opinion but thanks for the suggestions. :thumbsup:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frozen was Madonna's come back. frozen was the song that saved M's career. Frozen was the song that saved madonna from being a write off - it changed the way the world thought of Madonna. Frozen was the start of a new and more adult madonna.

How can frozen not be in any top 10?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regardless of how big 4 Mins is commercially it owes half of its success to JT and is not a new fresh sound which the others were.

4 Mins may have sold so many and been watched by so many but it owes half of its success to another artist - without JT the song would nt even have surpassed HU's airplay and I dare say its sales, youtube count would have been lower. 4 Mins did nothing for the album. HC would have sold that much without even a lead single.

How anyone can rank 4 Mins higher than Frozen is beyond me.

10. 4 Minutes (37 milion YouTube viewers, over 2m in sales in the U.S. alone, history will tell if it will have legs or not.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regardless of how big 4 Mins is commercially it owes half of its success to JT and is not a new fresh sound which the others were.

4 Mins may have sold so many and been watched by so many but it owes half of its success to another artist - without JT the song would nt even have surpassed HU's airplay and I dare say its sales, youtube count would have been lower. 4 Mins did nothing for the album. HC would have sold that much without even a lead single.

How anyone can rank 4 Mins higher than Frozen is beyond me.

You say those things with such conviction. You don't KNOW that it wouldn't have done well without him or not. Even with HU being a "Euro sounding dance" song, at a time when digital sales were not what they are now it STILL managed to go to number 7 and sell nearly 1,000,000 and that was just HER name alone.

All we can look at is the bottom line, not "what if". And the bottom line is....Madonna is 50% of the song, it's the lead single from her album, it sold 2,000,000 copies in the US....waaaay more than Frozen. 4M is the ONLY thing that has helped HC sell what is has sold in the US at this point. It is the only thing that has kept it from dropping like a stone the way AL did when it had NO hit single to push it. The HC percentage drops have been smaller. The difference between Frozen and 4M is that her fans WORSHIP Frozen and see it as the ushering in of the "new Madonna" whereas 4M the hardcore fans don't like but the casual fans ate it up. The reality of the situation is though, most casual fans 10 years after Frozen probably can't even hum it to you. It gets little to no recurrent airplay in the US and sold a quarter of what 4M did. So looking at the "bottom line" it's VERY easy to rank 4M above Frozen. Just because it doesn't have a new or fresh sound doesn't mean what it achieved is any less. Just because JT is on it doesn't mean it's any less of a hit either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Radio wont have been so keen to touch 4 Mins if it had not been for JT. Digital sales would have been good but without JT even they would have been less - the chart ranking and longevity of the track would have been lower. i think if Madonna did nt release a single from an album there may still a strong chance of the album going to no1 and selling 500,000 at least.

Frozen was released in a totally different sales climate - you cant compare the sales. Frozen appealled to so many different groups of people outside of Madonna fans - it made the whole era/album project look good. 4 Mins if anything appealled to non-Madonna fans but its done nothing for the album. Its just a short-term success. reagrdless of recurrent airplay Frozen did its job successfully ie selling off the new madonna whilst 4 mins if anything is doing nothing long-term and its going to be from an album which is lucky to sell a 1/3 of its predecessor COADF.

Most critics wou;ld rate Frozen way above 4 mins

You say those things with such conviction. You don't KNOW that it wouldn't have done well without him or not. Even with HU being a "Euro sounding dance" song, at a time when digital sales were not what they are now it STILL managed to go to number 7 and sell nearly 1,000,000 and that was just HER name alone.

All we can look at is the bottom line, not "what if". And the bottom line is....Madonna is 50% of the song, it's the lead single from her album, it sold 2,000,000 copies in the US....waaaay more than Frozen. 4M is the ONLY thing that has helped HC sell what is has sold in the US at this point. It is the only thing that has kept it from dropping like a stone the way AL did when it had NO hit single to push it. The HC percentage drops have been smaller. The difference between Frozen and 4M is that her fans WORSHIP Frozen and see it as the ushering in of the "new Madonna" whereas 4M the hardcore fans don't like but the casual fans ate it up. The reality of the situation is though, most casual fans 10 years after Frozen probably can't even hum it to you. It gets little to no recurrent airplay in the US and sold a quarter of what 4M did. So looking at the "bottom line" it's VERY easy to rank 4M above Frozen. Just because it doesn't have a new or fresh sound doesn't mean what it achieved is any less. Just because JT is on it doesn't mean it's any less of a hit either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Danny86
Radio wont have been so keen to touch 4 Mins if it had not been for JT. Digital sales would have been good but without JT even they would have been less - the chart ranking and longevity of the track would have been lower. i think if Madonna did nt release a single from an album there may still a strong chance of the album going to no1 and selling 500,000 at least.

Frozen was released in a totally different sales climate - you cant compare the sales. Frozen appealled to so many different groups of people outside of Madonna fans - it made the whole era/album project look good. 4 Mins if anything appealled to non-Madonna fans but its done nothing for the album. Its just a short-term success. reagrdless of recurrent airplay Frozen did its job successfully ie selling off the new madonna whilst 4 mins if anything is doing nothing long-term and its going to be from an album which is lucky to sell a 1/3 of its predecessor COADF.

Most critics wou;ld rate Frozen way above 4 mins

You're comparing the industry in two different times that are 10 years from each other. Yes, "Frozen" got a good reception and it made ROL sell, but you forgot to take it into account that the title track is the actual critics' favourite and "Frozen" was quite a safe choice because Madonna was doing mostly ballads in the previous 5 years and a lead off single from the first Madonna album in 3 years was expected to be huge. Plus there was the whole motherhood and spirituality thing going on, that also helped the ROL project, not just "Frozen". The first single sold the album, but according to your logic, it should have started to drop like a rock after it, just like Hard Candy? That makes no sense.

I think Kurt explained very well what "4 Minutes" did for the album. It's naive to expect any Madonna album to sell as well as ROL at this point, so no need to put "4 Minutes" down. And it actually matters more if a single appeals to the non-Madonna fans instead of the fans, if you're talking about "most successful singles".

As for "short term" success, I think fans tend to exaggerate the "this song is still remembered" thing. Madonna has several enduring songs from the 80s, but she had many runaway big hits. I know everyone here things "Hung Up" will be remembered in 100 years still, but I don't think it will stand the test of time like several other Madonna songs, regardless if it's one of her biggest sellers and it's on the level with "4 Minutes", if you really have to call that one as "short term success".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...