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Blackout is the fifth studio album by American recording artist Britney Spears, released on October 25, 2007, by Jive Records, four years following 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, though 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."
|1.||"Gimme More"||Marcella Araica • Nate Hills • Keri Hilson • James Washington||4:11|
|2.||"Piece of Me"||Christian Karlsson • Pontus Winnberg • Klas Åhlund||3:32|
|3.||"Radar"||Karlsson • Winnberg • Henrik Jonback • Ezekiel Lewis • Balewa Muhammad • Candice Nelson • J. Que||3:49|
|4.||"Break the Ice"||Araica • Hills • Hilson • Washington||3:16|
|5.||"Heaven on Earth"||Nick Huntington • Michael McGroarty • Nicole Morier||4:52|
|6.||"Get Naked (I Got A Plan)"||Araica • Hills • Washington • Corté Ellis • Nigel Talley||4:45|
|7.||"Freakshow"||Britney Spears • Jonback • Karlsson • Lewis • J. Que • Winnberg||2:55|
|8.||"Toy Soldier"||Karlsson • Winnberg • Sean "The Pen" Garrett • Magnus Wallbert||3:21|
|9.||"Hot as Ice"||Araica • Hills • Faheem Najm||3:16|
|10.||"Ooh Ooh Baby"||Spears • Eric Coomes • Kara DioGuardi • "Fredwreck" Farid Nasser||3:28|
|11.||"Perfect Lover"||Araica • Hills • Hilson • Washington||3:02|
|12.||"Why Should I Be Sad"||Pharrell Williams||3:10|
|13.||"Get Back"||Araica • Ellis • Hills||3:50|
|14.||"Gimme More (Junkie XL Dub)"||Araica • Hills • Hilson • Washington||4:58|
|15.||"Everybody"||Evan Kidd Bogart • Annie Lennox • Jonathan Rotem • Dave Stewart||3:17|
|13.||"Outta This World"||Araica • Hills • Hilson • Washington||3:45|
|Japanese Bonus Tracks|
|14.||"Everybody"||Bogart • Lennox • Rotem • Stewart||3:50|
|15.||"Get Back"||Araica • Ellis • Hills||4:58|
|16.||"Gimme More (Paul Oakenfold Remix)"||Araica • Hills • Hilson • Washington||3:17|
"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.
Unreleased & Unused songs
Underlined can be found on the internet.
- "911" - Known alternatively as "Nine One One". Written by Britney Spears, Kara DioGuardi and J.R Rotem.
- "Afterglow" Demo produced by Steve Anderson, leaked online.
- "All That She Wants" - Written by Britney Spears, Jonas Berggren & Ulf Ekberg. Leaked in 2008.
- "All The Way" - Written by Cathy Dennis, Jack Splash & Dr. Luke. The song is a “feel good, upbeat song”.
- "Baby Boy" - Known alternatively as "Untitled/Lullaby" and "Baby Boy".
- "Battle of the Sexxxes" Demo written by Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, produced by Timbaland.
- "Catch Me If U Can" - Written by Danja, James Washington, Keri Hilson and Marcella Araica. In 2007, Britney was photographed holding a demo CD with this song on it.
- "Cry" - Written by Britney Spears, Kara DioGuardi and J.R Rotem.
- "Cowboy"- Demo produced by Christopher "Notes" Olsen.
- "Crucify Me" - Demo by Elan Luz Rivera leaked in 2018.
- "Double Trouble" Demo by Eritza Laues has leaked online.
- "Downtown" - Written by Britney Spears, Kara DioGuardi and J.R Rotem. Published by Bug Music and Southside Independent Music Publishing LLC.
- "Dramatic" - In March 2008, an unofficial 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.
- "Fed-Ex"- Demo written by Shakun Green.
- "Flown Away" - Written by Britney Spears and Mark Bell. It is an electronic ballad that ends in up-tempo.
- "Good Girl Gone Bad" Demo produced by Stargate, later given to and released by Rihanna.
- "Grow" - Written by Britney Spears, Lisa Greene and Steve Anderson. Published by Universal Polygram International Publishing Inc.
- "Happily Never After" - Demo produced by Shea Taylor, later given to and released by The Pussycat Dolls.
- "Hide From The Sun" - Confirmed by J.R. Rotem in a radio interview in 2007.
- "Hit Me" - Demo produced by Christopher "Notes" Olsen.
- "Hips n Lips" - Demo produced by Christopher "Notes" Olsen, leaked in 2021.
- "Hooked On" - Known alternatively as "Sugarfall", was later published by EMI Blackwood Music Inc and Songs for Beans.
- "Impossible" - Demo produced by Shea Taylor, later given to and released by Tiffany Evans.
- "I've Been Loving You Too Long" - Cover song produced by Christopher "Notes" Olsen, leaked in 2019.
- "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".
- "Love (In The Bahamas)" - Written by Britney Spears and The Neptunes.
- "Mad Love" Believed to be in Britney, but in 2022, was confirmed that was written for Blackout.
- "Mother Love" - Written and produced by Britney Spears, Keri Hilson & Danja. Confirmed on Keri Hilton's website in 2007.
- "One Of A Kind" - Written by Britney Spears, T-Pain, Keri Hilson, Marcella Araica & Danja.
- "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.
- "Paparazzi" - Written by Chasity Nwagbara. Producer demo has leaked online.
- "Rebellion" - Written and produced by Britney Spears, Scott Storch, Christopher Notes & Jeff Dandurand, full version is confirmed to exist, but is yet to be released/leaked.
- "Red Carpet" - Produced by Sean Garrett. Published by Bug Music and Southside Independent Music Publishing LLC.
- "Red Hot Lipstick" - Leaked in 2018.
- "See My Side" - Demo produced by Bloodshy & Avant, later given to and released by Jordin Sparks.
- "State of Grace" - Recorded as "Entre Nous Et Le Sol" by Christophe Willem for his second album, Caféine (2009).
- "Someone" - In October 2007, Britney herself revealed it was going to be a single but didn't make the cut.
- "So Good" - Written by Nicole Morier and Freecha.
- "Sexify" - Demo by Lisa Greene leaked in 2011.
- "To Love Let Go" - Known alternatively as "Let Go".
- "The Face" - Written and produced by Britney Spears, Kara DioGuardi & J.R. Rotem. Britney was photographed holding a demo CD with this song on it.
- "Umbrella" - Written by Christopher Stewart, Jay-Z, Kuk Harell and The-Dream, later released by Rihanna.
- "Yes I Will" - Written by Sean Garret, Henrik Jonback, Bloodshy & Avant. Demo by Sean Garrett leaked in 2021.
- "Warning" - Produced by Danja. A demo by Sean Garrett leaked in 2010.
- 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" originally was a spontaneous line on "Gimme More". The iconic phrase began as a joke that producer Danja told Spears to say while recording the track, Danja later decided to use it.
- 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.
- Britney was going to perform "Cry (aka Tear)" at the VMA's in 2007 along with lead single "Gimme More" but the idea was scrapped last minute.
- "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 suggested for Blackout, possibly due to "Mona Lisa" being played on radio without label consent.
- There was an early version of Blackout that included the songs, "The Face", "Rebellion", "911", "To love, Let Go", "Kiss You All Over" and "State of Grace" that didn't make the cut but some are now fan favorites.
- There was a rumor that Britney wanted “Ooh Ooh Baby” as a single , but JIVE didn’t think it would do so well.
- Britney wasn’t allowed to write about her ex Marriage with Kevin Federline , but she went against this and wrote “Why Should I Be Sad” (but was left uncredited) and “Dramatic”
- Britney wrote a handfull of songs for the album , but only 3 would appear with her credited on the album ( “Freakshow” , “Ooh Ooh Baby” , “Why Should I Be Sad” and the rap on “Evreybody”)
- Britney liked the song ”Dramatic” but she Replaced it with “Why Should I Be Sad” due to it being to “Angry” and she didn’t want to create more drama with the song .
- Britney loved “State Of Grace” and was willing to include it, but it is speculated it wasn’t released due to it being to vibrant , Fans like calling the track “Heaven On Earth”’s older sister.
- In 2007 Britney was asked “CAN YOU TELL US A SONG YOU ARE WORKING ON” by a paparazzi, the audio is inaudible after the question, but some leakers stated she said “H.O.E” (being a shortcut for “Heaven On Earth”) but the leakers have been accused of lying as documents of Britney’s new album , instead of Heaven On Earth the track was called “Your…..”.
- ”State Of Grace” , “Crucify Me” , “911” and “Sugarfall” are the only outtakes confirmed to have been originally a part of the tracklist .
- “To Love (Let Go)” was to emotional for Britney , it is speculated this was the reason why the song was cut.
- "See My Side" was too emotional for Britney to record in the studio and decided not to finish it, the song was later given to Jordin Sparks.
- It was planned to be released in the first week of November, but due to illegal leaks, it was brought forward to October of the same year.
- Due to Britney's conflicts, it was believed that Blackout would be her last studio album in her musical career.