On July 27 1983, Madonna’s eponymous debut album was released by Sire Records. The record was renamed Madonna: The First Album for the 1985 international re-release of the album.
The album was released with 8 tracks (produced by John “Jellybean” Benitez, Mark Kamins and Reggie Lucas):
- Lucky Star
- Burning Up
- I Know It
- Think of Me
- Physical Attraction
Five singles were released from The First Album:
- Everybody (October 6 1982)
- Burning Up (March 9 1983)
- Holiday (September 7 1983 – UK)
- Lucky Star (September 8 1983)
- Borderline (February 15 1984)
“Madonna was unhappy with the whole album, so I went in and sweetened up a lot of music for her, adding some guitars to ‘Lucky Star’, some voices, some magic… I just wanted to do the best job I could do for her. When we would playback ‘Holiday’ or ‘Lucky Star’, you could see that she was overwhelmed by how great it all sounded. You wanted to help her, you know? As much as she could be a bitch, when you were in a groove with her, it was very cool, very creative.”
— John “Jellybean” Benitez talking about Madonna and the album.
On July 26 1986, the second single from Madonna’s True Blue album, Papa Don’t Preach, climbed from #12 to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
On July 25 1990, Blond Ambition Japan Tour 90 was released on VHS and LaserDisc by Warner-Pioneer, exclusively to the Japanese market.
Recorded in Yokohama, Japan on April 26 1990, the show had originally aired as a live television special in Japan. Due to high winds impacting the outdoor stadium during the concert, no stage curtains were used in the performance, allowing viewers the ability to see some of the normally hidden set changes in the darkened background.
It was the only official VHS release of the tour worldwide due to a sponsorship contract which granted Pioneer rights to issue the tour exclusively on LaserDisc in other regions. For this reason, copies of the Japanese VHS were in high demand from fans in other countries that shared the Japanese NTSC video format, with imported copies selling for approximately $100 USD.
On July 24 1987, Madonna performed her Who’s That Girl World Tour at the Astrodome in Houston, in front of 40,000 fans.
The title Who’s That Girl Tour came to Madonna during rehearsals one-day when she looked at a gigantic image of herself projected on a screen on the stage. She commented,
“Oh god, what have I done? What have I created? Is that me, or is this me, this small person standing down here on the stage? That’s why I call the tour ‘Who’s That Girl?'; because I play a lot of characters, and every time I do a video or a song, people go, ‘Oh, that’s what she’s like.’ And I’m not like any of them. I’m all of them. I’m none of them. You know what I mean.?”
On July 23 2006, Madonna experienced – as she put it – “some technical difficulties in [her] brain” during a performance of Let It Will Be at the second of two Miami shows for The Confessions Tour.
After coming in too early on a vocal cue, she quickly poked fun at herself with some improvised lyrics, only to experience further issues towards the end of the song. She then humourously referenced the glitches – and nearly suffered a G.W. Bush-inspired orgasm – during her post-song banter.
The show marked the final date on the North American leg of The Confessions Tour.
(Thanks to YouTube user Ryan Keefe for the video, and to our friends at Madonnalicious and their readers for the wonderful tour pics from Miami!)
On July 22 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. Express Yourself was the first song that Madonna and producer Stephen Bray collaborated on for the Like a Prayer album.
“The message of the song is that people should always say what it is they want. The reason relationships don’t work is because they are afraid. That’s been my problem in all my relationships. I’m sure people see me as an outspoken person, and for the most part, if I want something I ask for it. But sometimes you feel that if you ask for too much or ask for the wrong thing from someone you care about that that person won’t like you. And so you censor yourself. I’ve been guilty of that in every meaningful relationship I’ve ever had. The time I learn how not to edit myself will be the time I consider myself a complete adult.”
—Madonna talking to Stephen Holden of The New York Times.