Today in Madonna History: November 22, 1995

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On November 22 1995, Madonna was featured on VH1’s television series VH1 To One in a previously recorded interview with Jane Pratt. The appearance was part of Madonna’s promotional activities for the ballads compilation, Something To Remember.

The interview was conducted in London, where Madonna had recently begun recording the soundtrack to Evita.

Today in Madonna History: November 21, 2000

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On November 21 2000, the second single from Madonna’s Music album, Don’t Tell Me, was released by Maverick Records. The b-side for Don’t Tell Me was Cyber-Raga.

During an interview for Interview Magazine, in March 2001, Madonna discussed the lyrics for Don’t Tell Me:

“To me it is a romantic song. Just, you know, rip my skin off, do not tell me who I should love, or how I should love. Don’t tell me to give up. To me, in a way it’s like that Frank Sinatra song, ‘If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere’.”

The North American CD maxi-single included the following versions of Don’t Tell Me:

Don’t Tell Me – (Timo Maas Mix) – 6:55
Don’t Tell Me – (Tracy Young Club Mix) – 11:01
Don’t Tell Me – (Vission Remix) – 7:52
Don’t Tell Me – (Thunderpuss’ 2001 Hands in the Air Anthem) – 10:20
Don’t Tell Me – (Victor Calderone Sensory Mix) – 6:48
Don’t Tell Me – (Vission Radio Mix) – 3:38
Don’t Tell Me – (Thunderpuss’ 2001 Hands in the Air Radio) – 4:26
Don’t Tell Me – (Music Video)

Today in Madonna History: November 20, 1993

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On November 20 1993, Madonna – Live Down Under: The Girlie Show was broadcast on HBO. Live Down Under was the channel’s most watched original program of the year.

The November 20 show was to be filmed at the Sydney Cricket Ground and aired on HBO, however, severe weather conditions forced the cancellation of the show, so the November 19 show (which had been taped at the same venue the night before as a “safety show”) was aired instead.

The broadcast included the following songs:

The Girlie Show Theme
Rain / Just My Imagination / Singing in the Rain
Express Yourself
Deeper and Deeper
Why’s It So Hard
The Beast Within
Like A Virgin
Bye Bye Baby
I’m Going Bananas
La Isla Bonita
Justify My Love
Everybody is a Star / Everybody

Today in Madonna History: November 19, 1993

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On November 19 1993, the movie Dangerous Game premiered in New York City. Madonna shared top-billing with co-stars Harvey Keitel & James Russo in director Abel Ferrara’s gritty and experimental film about film-making. It was one of the first productions by Maverick Pictures, the film arm of Madonna’s multimedia company that was born in partnership with Warner Bros. the previous year. In some countries, the film was released under its original title, Snake Eyes, which could not be used in the U.S. due to a previous trademark on the name.

Given Maverick’s production involvement, it is perhaps unsurprising that the film’s credits include some names that should be familiar to many Madonna fans:

  • Madonna’s longtime manager and founding partner in Maverick, Freddy DeMann, as executive producer
  • Madonna’s assistant at the time, Missy Coggiola
  • her frequent costume designer, Marlene Stewart
  • her stylist, Hiram Ortiz–who not only styled her for the film but also appears as her stylist onscreen
  • Madonna’s then-future manager, now the late Caresse Henry–at the time an assistant to DeMann
  • songs by Maverick-signed music groups Proper Grounds & UNV
  • Madonna’s eldest brother, Anthony Ciccone, as locations production assistant

Unhappy with Ferrara’s final cut of the film–which was reported to have been drastically altered from the movie that had been pitched to the actors–Madonna did not attend the premiere and, in Ferrara’s view, killed the movie’s shot at achieving wider distribution after badmouthing it in the press. Ironically, Ferrara noted, the reviews of Madonna’s strong performance in the film (which was certainly more natural, raw & vulnerable than any of her previous big-screen appearances) are among the best she had received as an actress at the time.

Dangerous Game was re-released on Blu-ray in North America on November 17, 2015 by Olive Films. It includes both the theatrical and the “unrated” versions of the movie.

(Note: the clips used in the short preview above are from a low-resolution, compressed rip from DVD and do not represent the superior quality of the new high definition Blu-ray edition of the film.)