Blackout is the fifth studio album by American recording artist Britney Spears, released on October 25, 2007 by Jive Records, four years after her previous studio album In the Zone. Spears started writing songs for the album in November 2003, and began experimenting with a more acoustic sound. Following her marriage with Kevin Federline in 2004 and the birth of her first son the subsequent year, she begun recording the album in 2006 with producers J. R. Rotem, Danja and Kara DioGuardi. She gave birth to her second son and filed for divorce in late 2006, after which she continued working with producers such as The Clutch and Bloodshy & Avant. In May 2007, she embarked on The M+M's Tour at House of Blues venues across the United States.
Recording sessions took place at various studios around the country, including at Spears' home in Los Angeles. Some of the producers claimed to be impressed with her work ethic and professionalism, despite all her problems in her personal life. Spears wanted to make a fun, danceable album with uptempo, high-energy music. Blackout is mainly an electropop and dance album, which incorporates elements of several musical genres such as funk, Euro disco and dubstep. The themes of the album range from fame, sex, love and dancing. The cover sleeve and images were shot by Ellen von Unwerth. The centerfold pictures, which feature Spears and a priest in suggestive poses in a confessional, were condemned by the Catholic League.
Blackout was to be released on November 13, 2007, but it was moved up to October 30 due to unauthorized leaks. Zomba Label Group sued Perez Hilton for posting at least ten leaks on his gossip blog; the parties reached a settlement in June 2009. Blackout received mostly positive reviews from music critics. Most called it her most progressive and consistent album yet, but others argued that its quality should have been attributed to the producers rather than Spears, and also criticized her vocals for being overly-processed. Blackout was set to debut at the top of the Billboard 200, but debuted at number two due to a last-minute rule change. The album topped the European Top 100 Albums and the Canadian and Irish charts, while peaking inside the top ten in another thirteen countries. By the end of 2008, Blackout had sold 3.1 million copies worldwide.
Three singles were released from the album. "Gimme More" reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a top-five hit in fourteen countries. "Piece of Me" reached the top-ten in twelve countries, including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Unlike her previous albums, Spears did not heavily promote Blackout. Her only performance to promote the album, "Gimme More" at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, was universally panned by critics. In subsequent years, reviewers have viewed the album in a more favorable light. Blackout has appeared on reader polls by Billboard and Rolling Stone, while The Times named it as the fifth best pop album of the decade. In 2010, Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone called Blackout "the most influential album of the past five years."
Track listing[edit | edit source]
|1.||"Gimme More"||Nate Hills, Keri Hilson, Marcella Araica, James Washington||Danja||4:11|
|2.||"Piece of Me"||Pontus Winnberg, Klas Åhlund, Christian Karlsson||Bloodshy & Avant||3:32|
|3.||"Radar"||Winnberg, Karlsson, Henrik Jonback, Ezekiel Lewis, Patrick Smith, Candice Nelson, Balewa Muhammad||Bloodshy & Avant, The Clutch (co.)||3:49|
|4.||"Break the Ice"||Hills, Hilson, Araica, Washington||Danja||3:16|
|5.||"Heaven on Earth"||Michael McGroarty, Nick Huntington, Nicole Morier||Freescha, Kara DioGuardi||4:53|
|6.||"Get Naked (I Got A Plan)"||Corte Ellis, Hills, Araica,||Danja||4:45|
|7.||"Freakshow"||Karlsson, Jonback, Winnberg, Lewis, Smith, Spears||Bloodshy & Avant, The Clutch (co.)||2:55|
|8.||"Toy Soldier"||Karlsson, Winnberg, Magnus Wallbert, Sean Garrett||Bloodshy & Avant, Garrett (co.)||3:22|
|9.||"Hot as Ice"||Faheem Najm, Hills, Araica||Danja||3:17|
|10.||"Ooh Ooh Baby"||DioGuardi, Fredwreck Nasser, Eric Coomes, Spears||Fredwreck, DioGuardi||3:28|
|11.||"Perfect Lover"||Hills, Washington, Hilson, Araica||Danja||3:03|
|12.||"Why Should I Be Sad"||Pharrell Williams||The Neptunes||3:10|
Target Exclusive Reissue Bonus Track
|13.||"Outta This World"||Hills, Washington, Hilson, Araica||Danja, Beanz||3:45|
Japanese Bonus Tracks
|13.||"Outta This World"||Hills, Washington, Hilson, Araica||Danja, Beanz||3:45|
|14.||"Everybody"||Jonathan Rotem, Evan Kidd Bogart, Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart||J.R. Rotem||3:17|
|15.||"Get Back"||Ellis, Hills, Araica||Danja, Ellis||3:50|
|16.||"Gimme More" (Paul Oakenfold Remix)||Hills, Washington, Hilson, Araica||Danja, Beanz, Paul Oakenfold, Ian Green||6:06|
Digital Edition Bonus Tracks
|13.||"Get Back"||Ellis, Hills, Araica||Danja, Ellis||3:50|
|14.||"Gimme More" (Junkie XL Dub)||Hills, Washington, Hilson, Araica||Danja, Beanz, Junkie XL||4:58|
|15.||"Everybody"||Rotem, Bogart, Lennox, Stewart||J.R. Rotem||3:17|
|16.||"Gimme More" (music video)||Hills, Washington, Hilson, Araica||Danja, Beanz||4:02|
Singles[edit | edit source]
"Gimme More", the album's lead single, has charted at number three on the U.S. chart. It was written by Nate "Danja" Hills, James "Jim Beanz" Washington, Keri Hilson and Marcella Araica. The opening line "It's Britney, bitch", became very popular in public. The song was Spears's fifth top ten hit and also her second highest-peaking single at the time.
"Piece Of Me", the album's second single, has received general positive reviews, praising its production and defiant lyrics, while citing it as one of the highlights from Blackout. The song talks about Spears's troubles by being chased by the paparazzi and the scandals she has made in the past years.
"Break the Ice", the album's third and final single, had moderate success due to Spears wasn't able to promote it properly. The song opens with a choir and features synthesizers and Keri Hilson on background vocals, sounding almost like a duet.
"Radar", a song featured on the album, was originally supposed to be released as the album's third single, but "Break the Ice" was chosen instead. The song was then supposed to be released as the album's fourth single, but was scrapped after Spears announced work on Circus. The song was featured as a bonus track on the album and was released as its fourth and final single.
Unused songs[edit | edit source]
Underlined can be found on the internet.
"911" - Known alternatively as "Nine One One"
"Candy From Stranger" - Leaked in 2008.
"Catch Me If U Can" - Produced by Danja. In 2007, Britney was photographed holding a demo CD with this song on it.
"Crucify Me" - Producer demo leaked in 2018.
"Downtown" - Was later published by Bug Music and Southside Independent Music Publishing LLC.
"Dramatic" - In March 2008, a duet version with Heidi Montag was sent to Ryan Seacrest, who premiered it on his show On Air with Ryan Seacrest. Both Jive Records and Montag's representatives denied having knowledge of the recording.
"Grow" - Published by Universal Polygram International Publishing Inc.
"Hooked On" - Known alternatively as "Sugarfall", was later published by EMI Blackwood Music Inc and Songs for Beans.
"Just Let Me Go" - Known alternatively as "Love 2 Love U", samples Madonna's "La Isla Bonita", leaked on December 2, 2011.
"Kiss Me All Over" - Known alternatively as "Kiss You All Over".
"Pull Out" - Known alternatively as "When U Gon Pull It" and "Pull It", published by C Amore Music, Hitco Music, Lil Jizzel Music Publishing, Songs of Universal Inc and Team S Dot Publishing.
"Rebellion" - Full version is confirmed to exist, but is yet to be released/leaked.
"Red Carpet" - Published by Bug Music and Southside Independent Music Publishing LLC.
"Red Hot Lipstick" - Leaked in 2018.
"State of Grace" - Recorded as "Entre Nous Et Le Sol" by Christophe Willem for his second album, Caféine (2009)
"Sexify" - Demo by Lisa Green leaked in 2011.
"To Love Let Go" - Known alternatively as "Let Go".
"The Face" - Produced by J.R. Rotem. Britney was photographed holding a demo CD with this song on it.
"Untitled Lullaby" - Known alternatively as "Untitled/Lullaby" and "Baby Boy"
"Warning" - Produced by Danja. A rough demo by Sean Garrett leaked in 2010.
Fun facts[edit | edit source]
- In June 2007, Spears posted a message on her official website asking for assistance with a title for the album. Among the options were OMG Is Like Lindsay Lohan Like Okay Like, What If the Joke Is on You, Down Boy, Integrity and Dignity. The album was eventually titled Blackout.
- A tour was planned, but was cancelled for unknown reasons. It's also Spears's first album not to be promoted by a tour.
- The choices for the album's lead single, were, in fact, "Toy Soldier", "Get Back", and "Hot as Ice". However, none of these songs were even released as singles, and "Gimme More" became the album's lead single.
- The Japanese version of Blackout is provided with a booklet for the lyrics which, strangely, altered the lyrics to "Piece Of Me". In the booklet, at the end of the song, the text concludes by saying: "And when the pieces fit together, it will finally become complete. The real me." It's unknown why was this lyric cut on the standard edition, however, it was probably the demo lyrics.
- Blackout is the first (and so far, only) album to have Spears herself as executive producer!
- "Rebellion" and "Baby Boy" where the first tracks that leaked from the Blackout project. Neither of these songs made the final cut.
- "Break The Ice" was not released in several countries, including Japan.
- "It's Britney, bitch" was an unplanned lyric intro on "Gimme More". The iconic phrase began as a joke that producer Danja told Spears to say while recording the track -- but later they wanted to keep it in.
- The album's title (Blackout) is understood as sending away the negativity (negativity (black) + away (out) = blackout).
- "Hot As Ice" was originally titled "Cold As Fire," but after an early leak, the title was swapped.
- The instrumental demo to the song "Freakshow" appeared on production duo Bloodshy and Avant's website a year before Blackout's release.
- The first song recorded for the album was "Everybody", and the last one was "Piece Of Me".
- Unlike her previous (and later) albums, the album doesn't contain a thank you list in the booklet (see gallery below).
- In a brief interview on American Idol host Ryan Seacrest's radio show on October 31, 2007, Spears said her favorite song from the album is "Heaven on Earth". She stated: "It's a cool track. It's like, I love the producers who did that and it's kind of different from all the other songs."
- "Freakshow"'s instrumental demo appeared on production duo Bloodshy and Avant's website and MySpace page in 2006, a whole year before Blackout's release.
- There was also no indication that the song would be on the album at the time.
- "Outta This World" was originally supposed to be on the standard tracklisting, but due to Spears deciding that too late, the song became a Target exclusive.
- "Piece Of Me" was almost rejected by Spears' management due to personal songs weren't allowed during recording sessions, but Spears loved it and included it on the album.
- The original intro to "Break the Ice" had extended lyrics - during a leaked demo recording session, Spears can be heard saying "can you take this?". The verse in the songs' bridge, "feels kinda good" was originally "feels kinda nice".
- The music video for "Break the Ice" was originally going to feature Spears doing a chair dancing sequence (similar to her music video for "Stronger") and the remix version of the song featuring Fabolous. However, because Spears' personal life was controversial, an animated video was released instead.
- None of the songs from the unreleased album Original Doll were intended for Blackout, possibly due to the "Mona Lisa" release incident.