Madonna › The Immaculate Collection

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The Immaculate Collection is the first greatest hits album by American singer-songwriter Madonna. It was released on November 9, 1990, by Sire Records and Warner Bros. Records. It contains new remixes of fifteen of her hit singles from 1983 to 1990, as well as two new tracks, "Justify My Love" and "Rescue Me". The title of the album is a loose pun of the Immaculate Conception, the conception of the Virgin Mary without any stain of the original sin. This name follows Madonna's religious-themed songs and videos, as well as the second section of her Blond Ambition World Tour, which also employed religious motifs. An extended play titled The Holiday Collection was issued in Europe to accompany the compilation and the re-release of the single "Holiday". It is the first album ever to use an audio technology called QSound.

The album was ranked at number one on the Blender magazine's list of "100 Greatest American Albums of All Time". In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named the album the 184th greatest album of all time. It became Madonna's second album to be certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipment of over 10 million copies across the United States. It spent the second highest number of consecutive weeks at number one for a female solo artist in the U.K., being at number one for a 9 week stint. The album has sold 30 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling compilation album by a solo artist and one of the best selling albums of all time. "Justify My Love", the album's first single, became Madonna's ninth number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and was one of her most controversial singles due to its sexually explicit music video. "Rescue Me" was released as the second single and became the highest-debuting single on Hot 100 by a female artist at that time, entering the chart at number fifteen and peaking at number nine. Due to space restrictions, the compilation excludes several of her top 10 hits of the 80's, such as "Angel", "Dress You Up", "True Blue", "Who's That Girl", "Causing a Commotion", "Keep It Together" and "Hanky Panky".

Originally titled Ultra Madonna, the name was changed as Warner Bros. felt that it was too similar to the name of dance artist Ultra Naté. Madonna dedicated the album to "The Pope, my divine inspiration". This led to many believing it was dedicated to Pope John Paul II, but it was actually dedicated to her brother, Christopher Ciccone, who had spent the year on tour with Madonna ("The Pope" is one of his nicknames). The production of this album is notable for its use of QSound; all songs were mixed in using it, except "Justify My Love" and "Rescue Me". A QSound mix of "Justify My Love" was later released on the US maxi-single to the song.

All of the songs on The Immaculate Collection (with the exception of the two new songs) were remixed by Shep Pettibone alongside either Goh Hotoda or Michael Hutchinson and some were also edited down from their original lengths in order to decrease the overall running time. While all the vocals remain the same as in the original recordings, "Like a Prayer" and "Express Yourself" feature different music backing Madonna's vocals than their original album release. It was decided that a mixture of ballads and pop-dance hits would be included, although there wasn't space for every single that Madonna had released. "Justify My Love" became the first single to promote the album, and created a furor over the sexual video and the controversy in regards to who wrote it; poet Ingrid Chavez claimed she wrote part of the lyrics alongside credited lyricist Lenny Kravitz. The single shot to number one in the U.S. and number two in the UK. A second release, "Rescue Me", was released in early 1991, which also went top ten.

Warner Bros. released an EP in the UK and Europe titled The Holiday Collection which had the same design as The Immaculate Collection. The full-length version of "Holiday" was included alongside "True Blue", "Who's That Girl", and the Silver Screen Single mix of "Causing a Commotion". The re-released "Holiday" eventually went to No. 5 in the UK charts, while a re-release of the ballad "Crazy for You" (using the new remixed version) peaked at No. 2. Blender magazine ranked the album at number one on their list of "100 Greatest American Albums of All Time". In 2003, the album was ranked number 278 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In November 2006, the album was confirmed by the British Phonographic Industry to be the biggest selling album by a solo female artist in British history, and the tenth biggest selling album of all time in the UK by any artist. On December 11, 1990, a box set entitled The Royal Box was released which included either a Cassette/VHS (US-only) or Satin CD Digipak/VHS (US, Germany/UK) with additional postcards and poster. The VHS version also included the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards performance of "Vogue".

The Immaculate Collection stayed atop the UK Albums chart for nine weeks, becoming the biggest selling UK album in 1990, also breaking the record for the longest consecutive weeks at #1 by a solo female artist, a record that would not be matched until 2011 by Adele's album 21. On March 12, 2006, the album re-entered the UK charts more than 15 years after its release at #38 (it reached #1 on its original release in 1990).Madonna's Confessions on a Dance Floor was also in the top 20 at #13. In 2006, the album returned to Ireland's Top 100 Albums chart, entering at #21, charting higher than Confessions on a Dance Floor, which was at #95. On the week of April 28, 2008, the album rose 50 places from #122 to #72 on the official UK Albums Chart, the same week that Madonna's eleventh studio album Hard Candy was released internationally.

In the United States, The Immaculate Collection was certified Diamond (10× Platinum) by RIAA, becoming one of the best-selling albums in the country. In the United Kingdom, The Immaculate Collection was certified 12× Platinum by BPI for shipment of 3.6 million copies. It remained the best-selling album by a female artist in the United Kingdom for eleven years, until the release of Adele's 21 (2011).

The Immaculate Collection was certified 12× Platinum by Australian Recording Industry Association, becoming one of the best-selling albums in Australia. In France, the album was certified Diamond for shipment of one million copies of the album. The Immaculate Collection has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, making it Madonna's best-seller and one of the world's best-selling albums of all time. It also remains the best-selling compilation album ever released by a solo artist. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.