209 SCORE: 5.67 2015 PLACEMENT: 164 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) of 210 (6.089) HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 3 (@relby @BreatheBox @fancygreen) LOWEST SCORE: 1 x 3 (@OSHi @godspeed @Babylon) MY SCORE: 7.5/10 So what the literal shitting Christing fuck happened here girls? A drop of over forty places and a loss of half a point? Make it make sense, because this is genuinely pretty great. If the likes of "Cry Baby" and "I'm Going Bananas" are the absolute nadir of what Madonna was going for with this entire album, then "Back In Business" is the absolute peak of what it could be. Those slinky, sexy verses, the strings, the woozy, boozy brass flourishes throughout before it bows out with a bang at the end. Madonna's vocals revelling in playing the bad guy (The way her voice just licks around "I just wanted to thank you... for all that you lack." is sensual.) and the lyrics themselves being genuinely great; leaping from scathing to amusing to flirtatious all in a single verse. It's genuinely just an incredibly well-constructed throwback moment and a rock-solid pop song to boot. It's also the main reason Stephen Sondheim was recruited to the project, because like all of y'all, Warren Beatty has no taste and with every detail I learn about him, seems more and more like a seven foot tall stuck-up pile of boring. I can only assume that Madonna was with him because her bottom hurt just thinking about him, because between this and his miserable cameos during Truth Or Dare, I'm not all that fond. Ahem. It took me a while to parse the details of this story because I couldn't hunt a proper explanation down, but basically: Sondheim was approached by Beatty after the latter was so offended by "Back In Business" (despite it being perfectly fit for purpose) that he reached out to the former to come along and take the reigns of the music. I kept finding reports of Sondheim re-writing "Back In Business" but he's nowhere to be found on the album credits. I finally figured out that he actually penned an entirely different song of the same name that plays in the film but was never officially released anywhere. Miss Beatty sure was particular and snobby about what was a essentially a comic book movie. Below is a link to the scene where Sondheim's "Back In Business" plays, just so you can see what was apparently more acceptable for everyone involved. Spoiler: it's more obnoxiously on-the-nose, era-appropriate pastiche. I mean I'm just guessing Madonna's version was originally meant to play over this scene, but don't think it's too big a leap of logic to make. There's also a full version of this on YouTube that appears to have only resurfaced in the last few years, but I think two minutes of this inane garbage is enough punishment for y'all... at least for now.