Girl Gone Wild

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"Girl Gone Wild"
Single by Madonna
from the album MDNA
ReleasedMarch 2, 2012 (2012-03-02)
FormatDigital download, CD, maxi, 12"
Recorded2011; Sarm West Studios (London, England), MSR Studios (New York City)
GenreDance, electropop
  • Madonna
  • B. Benassi
  • A. Benassi
Madonna singles chronology
"Give Me All Your Luvin'"
"Girl Gone Wild"
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For other uses, see Girls Gone Wild.
"Girl Gone Wild"
Single by Madonna
from the album MDNA
ReleasedMarch 2, 2012 (2012-03-02)
FormatDigital download, CD, maxi, 12"
Recorded2011; Sarm West Studios (London, England), MSR Studios (New York City)
GenreDance, electropop
  • Madonna
  • B. Benassi
  • A. Benassi
Madonna singles chronology
"Give Me All Your Luvin'"
"Girl Gone Wild"

"Girl Gone Wild" is a song by American recording artist Madonna, released as the second single from her twelfth studio album, MDNA (2012). In July 2011, Madonna started to record material for the album. She then enlisted record producer Benny Benassi to work with her on the project. Benassi produced a few demos that were sent to songwriter Jenson Vaughan, who worked on the lyrics before sending them to Madonna. From these sessions, "Girl Gone Wild" was created and then included on MDNA. The song was released on March 2, 2012, by Interscope Records.

Musically, "Girl Gone Wild" is a mid-tempo dance party track that draws influence from four-on-the-floor. The song features electro and house elements, and is similar to Madonna's previous singles "Music", "Hung Up" and "Sorry". After the song was released, Joe Francis, the creator of a franchise of the same name, threatened to sue Madonna for copyright infringement if she sang the song during her performance at Super Bowl XLVI. The singer's team stated that Madonna wasn't aware of either Francis or the lawsuit, and that several songs with the same name had already been released by other artists.

The song received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its composition, but criticized its similarity to songs by Britney Spears and Usher. Following its release as a single, the song reached number 47 in the Canadian Hot 100 chart and number six on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles. It debuted at number 38 on US Pop Songs due to radio airplay, becoming her first album since Music to have two singles to chart there. It also peaked at the top of the Hot Dance Club Songs chart, becoming Madonna's 42nd chart topper, extending her record as the artist with the highest number of number one hits on that chart.

A black-and-white music video directed by Mert and Marcus, was released on March 20, 2012. It received critical acclaim for the editing, choreography, boldness and Madonna's look.[1][2] They noted that the video takes inspiration from several past videos released by Madonna, such as "Erotica", "Justify My Love", "Human Nature" and "Vogue". The song was performed as the opening number during The MDNA Tour.

Background and artwork[edit]

In December 2010, Madonna posted a message on her Facebook page exclaiming: "Its official! I need to move. I need to sweat. I need to make new music! Music I can dance to. I'm on the lookout for the maddest, sickest, most badass people to collaborate with. I'm just saying [...]."[3] On July 4, 2011, Madonna's manager Guy Oseary, announced that Madonna entered the studio to begin the recording sessions for her twelfth studio album.[4] Madonna then enlisted record producer Benny Benassi to work with her on the project.[5] Benassi was working on the release of his fourth studio album Electroman, when Patrick Moxey of the producer's label Ultra Records stated that Benassi would "work well with some of the major American superstar artists" so he requested additional tracks from Benny and his longtime production partner, Ale (Alejandro) Benassi, also his cousin.[5] A few demos produced by him were then sent to songwriter Jenson Vaughan, who said: "I was really attracted to his lyrics and I feel Benassi in my bones, because those bass-driven tracks are so inspiring. It's a bit like cooking, like, 'Ooh, what would this sound like together?'". Vaughan returned a demo after a week, which Moxey shared with Benassi's European co-manager Paul Sears, who in-turn shared the demos with Madonna's manager Guy Oseary.[5]

Oseary commented that the singer "loved [the producer]. Benny is such a quality person; I think that made it all flow so much easier." She travelled to London to record several demos with the Benassi brothers. Two tracks from those sessions, "Girl Gone Wild" and "I'm Addicted" was included on MDNA's final track listing.[5] A day after Madonna's performance during the halftime show on the Super Bowl XLVI, the singer was interviewed by Ryan Seacrest and confirmed that "Girl Gone Wild" would be released as the second single from the album.[6] She also revealed during the interview that pop singer Britney Spears would not be featured on the album's version of the song,[6] after speculation of both working together surfaced online.[7] The cover art, which shows Madonna just in lingerie got a positive review from Entertainment Weekly, saying that she "still wears underwear in public better than most women half her age".[8] Daily Mail thought that "the barely-there outfit is to be expected of a woman who repeatedly sings about sex in songs like 'Like a Virgin', 'Justify My Love' and 'Erotica'."[9]


On February 4, 2012 controversy arose surrounding the song's title, which was initially entitled "Girls Gone Wild". Joe Francis, the creator of the franchise of the same name, threatened to sue Madonna if she sang the song during her performance at Super Bowl XLVI.[10] The claims between the song and the franchise was that she had apparently "violated Federal and State trademark laws by making unauthorized use of Mr. Francis' trademark Girls Gone Wild in not only the title, but subject line of her various advertisements in order to lure potential consumers to purchase her latest musical effort."[10] However, it was announced by the NFL that the song would not be performed at the Super Bowl.[11] Ultra Records executive Patrick Moxey commented that Francis only wanted attention from the press, saying, "When I looked at ASCAP, I noticed there were approximately 50 records called 'Girls Gone Wild'. This guy just thinks too much of himself."[5]

As a result, the song title was slightly modified to the singular "Girl Gone Wild." Francis commented: "Clearly her label was trying to avoid legal action surrounding the song ... But [the new title] is still infringement as far as the law is concerned, and we have been in touch with Madonna's people in an effort to resolve this issue."[12] He continues to state that he will pursue new legal action if more changes aren't made. Francis' lawyer insists that he, Francis, also has a federal trademark for the singular form of the title.[13] Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary, later denied that the song's title was changed because of Francis, saying that "they've been tweaking the album for weeks, and decided to make the word 'Girl' singular because that's the way Madonna sings it in the song."[14] Oseary also commented that there are several songs titled "Girls Gone Wild" on iTunes, and that Madonna was not aware of the lawsuit nor Francis' existence prior to said lawsuit.[15] Oseary further stated that the threat of legal action did not prevent Madonna from singing the song at the Super Bowl.[15]


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A 21 second sample of the song's chorus, which features Madonna repeating the title of the track over a dance background.

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"Girl Gone Wild" was produced by Madonna, Benny Benassi and Alle Benassi.[5] Described as a mid-tempo party track, it draws influence from four-on-the-floor and has a similar sound to tracks from the singer's tenth studio album, Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005).[5] Kerri Mason of Billboard said the song is "undeniably dance, but with stronger electro than house markings",[5] while Jason Lipshitz of Billboard described "Girl Gone Wild" as "no-nonsense electro-pop, with a driving beat and propulsive hook" that recalls Madonna's 2005 single "Hung Up".[16] NME contributor Ailbhe Malone noted that "Girl Gone Wild" featured elements from the singer's previous singles "Music" (2000) and "Sorry" (2006); however, Malone found no innovation in the track, writing, "combined with earlier single 'Give Me Your Luvin' it points to an uneasy mix for album 'MDNA'."[17] Lyrically, the song addresses to a "good girl gone wild" singing about her "burning hot desire" to have some fun.[18] "Girl Gone Wild" opens with a spoken word segment which recalls and references "Act of Contrition" from the album Like a Prayer (1989).[19] As the chorus follows, she sings "I’m like hey-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey / I’m like a girl gone wild / A good girl gone wild / Girls they just wanna have some fun / Get fired up like a smokin’ gun / On the floor till the daylight comes / Girls they just wanna have some fun", evoking elements from songs by pop singers Cyndi Lauper and Rihanna.[20] During the bridge, Madonna concludes that she's "a bad girl anyway."[21]

Critical reception[edit]

"Girl Gone Wild" was compared to songs by Britney Spears (left)[22] and evokes Cyndi Lauper's (right) "Girls Just Want to Have Fun".[20]

The song has received mixed reviews from music critics. Keith Caulfied of Billboard deemed it as a "very dance-by-the-numbers with Madonna" song, and further assessed that the chorus made "Girl Gone Wild" a memorable song.[18] Robbie Daw from Idolator said that "Madge [is] doing what she does best: turning up the heat on the dance floor," but that "the song is packed with tried-but-true sexual pop cliches."[23] Pop Crush's Scott Shetler gave the song a more critical review, rating it two-stars out of five. He did enjoy the musical composition saying it was "a club-ready song from her upcoming ‘MDNA’ album that fits right in with the current crop of contemporary dance-pop music" however, he considered the lyrics as "reductive", and noted that they were was too similar to Usher's single "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love".[20] Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone said the song "smartly inverts the overpowering apocalypse pump of 'Till the World Ends' into Euro-spa electro burble that's buoyant and warm-rinse soothing. It's the sound of a woman who hits the dancefloor for restoration more than craziness,"[22] while a MSN Music writer considered it a "fun n' fluffy dance number" from the album.[24]

Slant Magazine's Eric Henderson wrote that "Girl Gone Wild" sounds like a "Tumblr-meme version" of "Get Together".[25] Robert Copsey of Digital Spy felt the single did not live up to expectations, but stated the production credits for MDNA had fueled "over-inflated expectations". Copsey found it wasn't as "forward-thinking" as her past records and exampled the lyrics "Girls they just wanna have some fun/ Get fired up like a smoking gun" as a factor of this, although he concluded his review writing "we defy anyone who isn't singing this back to themselves immediately after."[26] The New York Observer journalist Daniel D'Addario compared it to her 2000 single "Music", but added that "Madonna was twelve years younger at that time and thus perhaps a more convincing 'bad girl', so too was our culture [...] –maybe it’s time for her to try something totally different?"[27] Writing for The Observer, Gareth Grundy proclaimed "Girl Gone Wild" to be a "clumsy rave-pop",[28] while MTV journalist Bradley Stern felt that it emulated her single "Celebration" (2009).[29]

Chart performance[edit]

"Girl Gone Wild" debuted at number six on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles and at number 33 on the Pop Digital Songs charts on the chart issue of March 17, 2012, with 22,000 downloads sold respectively.[30] The song also debuted at number 33 on the Pop Digital Songs component chart, and 86 on the Canadian Hot 100.[30][31] It has since peaked at number 42 on the latter.[31] "Girl Gone Wild" also debuted at number 46 on Hot Dance Club Songs,[32] eventually ascending and peaking at the summit of the chart,[33] becoming Madonna's 57th top ten and her 42nd number-one on the component chart.[34] The song debuted at number 38 on the US Pop Songs due to radio airplay, becoming her first album since Music to have two singles chart on that chart. She is also the fifth artist to score a song on the list as far back as the '90s.[35] "Girl Gone Wild" also performed poorly in the United Kingdom, peaking at 73, worse than "Give Me All Your Luvin'", which debuted and peaked at 37.

Music video[edit]

Background and synopsis[edit]

Madonna shown with Kazaky during a dance sequence in the music video.

During her interview with Ryan Seacrest, Madonna confirmed that a music video for "Girl Gone Wild" would be filmed on the week of February 17, 2012.[6] Fashion photographers Mert and Marcus were confirmed as the directors of the video.[36] The photographers had previously worked with the singer on a photoshoot for both the American magazine Interview and MDNA artworks.[36] Ukrainian dance group Kazaky appears with her in the video, as well as fashion models Brad Alphonso, Jon Kortajarena, Rob Evans, Sean O'Pry and Simon Nessman.[37][38][39] A lyric video for the song premiered on Vevo on February 27, 2012 at 9am PST and Noon EST.[40] A 30 second teaser video was released on March 9, 2012.[41] Robbie Daw of Idolator compared the black-and-white preview to the singer's music video for "Erotica" (1992).[42] In the video, Madonna sported a brassiere designed by British lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur, which is also featured on the song's cover.[43] The singer's stilettos, which were custom-made by footwear designer Paola Bay, consisted of black silk embroidered with silver threading.[43] "She wanted them as high as possible and to be able to dance with them on," stated Bay. "We did three fittings to make sure they were like second skin."[43] The video was released via E! News on March 20, 2012 at 7 and 11:30 PM, and was made available on their website shortly after.[44] Jocelyn Vena of MTV described the plot in a review:

"The video opens with Madonna in full glamour mode (big hair and diva makeup) declaring how she wants to be good but just can't fight the bad. [...] Spastic shots of her doing yoga are intercut with ones of her dancing around and sexy male dancers posing with one another (and sharing an apple in a way we haven't seen before). The video also features an electrifying dance sequence, with men in tights and heels, really calling attention to Madonna's never-ending need to create memorable images. It's clear this girl wants to have fun and she wants to be licked, kissed and grinded on by hot dudes. [...] Eventually, Madge proves she's still got the moves when she joins the dancers for another choreographed sequence. As the video continues to show the singer and her dancers just being attractive with one another, the final shot is a close-up of Madonna, crying thick, black tears, proving that wild girls are saddest when the party is over."[45]


Vena thought that the video was "the perfect homage" to the singer's Sex book and her Erotica (1992) days, and continued to describe it as "crunchy, sexy and edgy."[45] X. Alexander also of Idolator compared the concept of the video, which features homoeroticism, to her 1990 music videos for "Vogue" and "Justify My Love".[21] The Huffington Post journalist Sara Dean noted that, Madonna evokes the personas of "Vogue", "Erotica" and "Human Nature" (1995), and questioned if this is the singer's "sexiest video yet".[46] Sophie A. Schillaci of The Hollywood Reporter also noted references to the music video for "Like a Prayer" (1989).[47] E! Online contributor Nathalie Finn commented thus: "Madonna doesn’t need a song to tell us she’s ready to dance all night — just one look at her and you figure she could outlast the average partyer under any circumstances"[2][48] She further stated, "if the half-naked young studs are any indication, it isn't just the girls 'who wanna have some fun'."[48] The New York Daily News said that "it’s a tossup over who looks better in tights and high-heels, the 53-year-old Material Girl or the bevy of shirtless male dancers who gyrate around her."[2]

Amy Sciarretto of Pop Crush noted that Madonna goes through several alter egos during the video, "such as the rock n’ roll Madonna and the platinum blonde classic Marilyn Monroe version of herself."[49] Sciarretto also praised the video and joked, "we’re betting Ma-donna doesn’t want her young children — Rocco, David and Mercy — to see this clip; daughter Lourdes is old enough where we actually think she could handle it."[49] Lanford Beard of Entertainment Weekly praised the video saying that it "shows Madonna looking the best she has since at least 2005′s video for 'Hung Up'. Of course there is the requisite writhing, hip grinding, a rousing dance sequence, and a smoldering mantourage. It is, in a word, awesome".[1][2] HitFix was impressed by the music video: "Beautifully shot by fashion photographers Mert and Marcus, the clip is a luscious collection of erotic images: two men biting an apple together, backlit men dancing in high heels, and Madge, looking as if she’s a dewy 25-year old. Man, I’ll take some of that lighting please."[2] The video was chosen by fans on a Billboard poll as her sixth best video of all time in honor of her 54th birthday.[50]

Shortly after the video's release on YouTube March 21, 2012, the video was flagged by many as inappropriate. This caused YouTube to set an age restriction, only allowing those 18 or older to view the video.[10] This caused the video to not be uploaded to VEVO. The video was labeled explicit by YouTube because of "raunchy" and "orgy" scenes. Madonna later commented, ""What's wrong with...what grinding? I'm supposed to be a Girl Gone Wild in the video—how can I go wild and not grind?"[10]

Live performance[edit]

Madonna and her dancers begin The MDNA Tour, with the performance of "Girl Gone Wild"

Madonna included "Girl Gone Wild" on The MDNA Tour where it was performed as the concert's opening number. The show began with a gothic cathedral setting, where several dancers wearing buddhist and Christian monks' robes swung a giant thurible back and forth, as it burned incense and cleansed the venue. The Kalakan Trio then appeared dressed in religious robes with huge head dresses, chanting excerpts from “Lekhah Dodi”, as the backdrop screens showed a huge cross with the letters M D N and a triange symbol for A.[51][52][53] The religious chants eventually morph into chants of Madonna's name, as the two main backdrop screens split open to reveal a giant confessional, with Madonna kneeling down inside praying, being lowered to the stage as the song's opening monologue plays in the background.[51]

Wearing a gold crown with a black veil, a tight black shirt with a leopard-printed bra peeking out from the top, leather arm bands and black skinny jeans and black high-heel boots, Madonna pretended to smash and break through the glass window of the confessional with a large rifle and proceeded to energetically perform the song accompanied by a troupe of shirtless dancers wearing high heels, doing a choreography similar to the song's music video.[54][55] The song was arranged to include musical elements of "Material Girl" (1985) and "Give It 2 Me" (2008).[56] Also present during the performance, were moving blocks and contortionist dancers dressed up as evil-looking gargoyles.[51] The performance ended with Madonna grabbing another rifle and pretending to shoot at the crowd, giving way to the second performance of the show, "Revolver". The performance of "Girl Gone Wild" received generally positive feedback from critics, Shawn Kellner from the Chicago Music Magazine praised the costumes and the dancing while Jodi Duckett from The Morning Call felt that the "characters that looked like Tibetan monks [...], the gonging of bells and Madonna arriving in a gilded cage" made the performance seem "very 'Da Vinci Code' like".[51][53]

Track listing and formats[edit]

  1. "Girl Gone Wild" (Album Version) – 3:43
  2. "Girl Gone Wild" (Justin Cognito Extended Remix) – 4:48
  1. "Girl Gone Wild" (Madonna vs Avicii – Avicii's UMF Mix) – 5:16
  2. "Girl Gone Wild" (Dave Audé Remix) – 8:05
  3. "Girl Gone Wild" (Justin Cognito Remix) – 4:48
  4. "Girl Gone Wild" (Kim Fai Remix) – 6:33
  5. "Girl Gone Wild" (Lucky Date Remix) – 5:06
  6. "Girl Gone Wild" (Offer Nissim Remix) – 6:49
  7. "Girl Gone Wild" (Dada Life Remix) – 5:15
  8. "Girl Gone Wild" (Rebirth Remix) – 6:49

Credits and personnel[edit]


Credits and personnel adapted from MDNA album liner notes.[59]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Canada[94]March 2, 2012Digital download
United States[96]
Australia[97]March 19, 2012
Europe [98][99][100]
New Zealand[102]
South America[103][104][105]
United States[106][107]March 27, 2012Contemporary hit and rhythmic contemporary radio
PolandApril 17, 2012CD single[108]
April 24, 2012Vinyl[109]
France[110]April 23, 2012CD single
Germany[57]May 4, 2012
United Kingdom[111]May 14, 2012

See also[edit]


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  9. ^ Schreffler, Laura (2012-02-28). "Madonna, 53, is an (old) Girl Gone Wild as she strips to her bra on cover of new single". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
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  11. ^ TMZ Staff (2012-02-03). "'GIRLS GONE WILD' CREATOR Madonna ... You Sing that Song And I'll Sue!!!". Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
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  25. ^ Henderson, Eric (2012-02-28). "Single Review: Madonna, Girl Gone Wild". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
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  28. ^ Grundy, Gareth (March 24, 2012). "Madonna: MDNA – review". The Observer (Guardian News and Media Limited). The New Review section, p. 38. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  29. ^ Stern, Bradley (March 26, 2012). "'MDNA' Track-By-Track Review: A Cheat Sheet To Madonna's New Album". MTV (Viacom). Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
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  34. ^ "Chart Highlights: Blake Shelton Raises 'Drink' to No. 1 on Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2012-04-16. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  35. ^ Ask Billboard: Material (Girl) Issues, Continued
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  38. ^ "The Music Men"
  39. ^ Vogue Italia: "daily leaks"
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  56. ^ Hilton, Perez (2012-05-31). "Madonna Kicks Off MDNA Tour! Perez Reviews!". Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
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External links[edit]