Today in Madonna History: March 28, 2004

2004 - Steven Klein - Re-Invention Tour 550

On March 28 2004, Madonna.com confirmed that the following dates for the Re-Invention Tour had sold out:

LONDON – Earls Court – 2 shows SOLD OUT (90 minutes per show)
TORONTO – Air Canada Centre – 3 shows SOLD OUT (1 hour 20 minutes)
CHICAGO – United Center – 3 shows SOLD OUT (2 hours)
FT. LAUDERDALE – Office Depot Center – 1 show SOLD OUT
MIAMI – American Airlines Arena – 1 show SOLD OUT
LAS VEGAS – 1 show SOLD OUT

 

Today in Madonna History: March 26, 1986

Live To Tell - Video Set - Herb Ritts Live To Tell - Canadian Cassette Maxi-Single Cover Live To Tell - Canadian CMS - Inner Sleeve Live To Tell - Canadian CMS - Back Sleeve Live To Tell - Canadian CMS - CassetteOn March 26 1986, Live To Tell was released as a single in North America by Sire Records. The haunting and dramatic ballad, written and produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard, was the first commercially released collaboration between the pair – a songwriting partnership that is viewed by many fans as one of her most creatively successful.

Leonard had previously been involved with Madonna’s Virgin Tour as musical director, and when Madonna agreed to participate in Live Aid in the Summer of 1985, she asked him to collaborate on a new song for the performance, which evolved into Love Makes The World Go Round.

Although both songs would find their way on to Madonna’s next studio album, True Blue, at the time of Live To Tell’s release the album’s title had not yet been decided. Instead, the song was used to promote Sean Penn’s film At Close Range, in which it was featured alongside an original score composed by Leonard.

He had initially composed the music that evolved into Live To Tell for another film he had been invited to score for Paramount, titled Fire With Fire. The producers of the film passed on the theme. Leonard recalled the subsequent series of events that led to the song’s completion in The Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Random House:

“Madonna said ‘This song would be great for Sean’s new movie.’ She wrote the lyrics–she just wrote them on the spot, which is what we always do. I don’t think we’ve ever taken more than three hours to complete a song from start to finish. She sang it on the demo only once and left with the cassette. That day I went to work with Michael Jackson on some transcriptions for material he was writing for the Bad album. The phone rang at Michael’s and it was Sean. He said ‘I’m over at the director’s house and Madonna just brought the song over. We love it and we’d like to talk to you about it.’ … We recut the song, but we used the same vocal. She only sang it once for the demo and that was the vocal we used because it was so innocent and so shy. She had a legal pad in her hand and you can hear the paper. It’s as raw as raw can be and that’s part of what gave it all its charm.”

When the demo recording of Live To Tell eventually surfaced, it became evident that Madonna had in fact re-recorded the first verse, but all remaining vocals do indeed appear to have been carried over from the demo to the final mix (along with a generously added dose of reverb to smooth over the rough edges of the demo take).

Given the song’s dark undercurrents and unresolved narrative, it was a bold choice for a single release. It marked a dramatic shift from the yearning love song, Crazy For You – her only other ballad to have been issued as a single at the time. But any radio programmers who were hesitant to consider Madonna as a serious artist simply couldn’t deny the artistry of the song and nor could record buyers, with the combined support sending Live To Tell straight to the top of the pop charts. It was also a significant Adult Contemporary crossover success, becoming her first single to reach number-one on Billboard’s Hot AC chart where it reigned for three weeks.

Today in Madonna History: March 17, 1994

i'll remember usa sheet music

On March 17 1994, the music video for I’ll Remember (Theme From With Honors) premiered on BBC1-TV’s Top Of The Pops in the UK.

I’ll Remember began as a collaboration between Richard Page (of 80’s band Mister Mister) and Patrick Leonard. Leonard had been asked by Madonna to score Alek Keshishian’s film With Honors, and had also been collaborating with Page on an upcoming Toy Matinee album. When Leonard played an early demo of I’ll Remember for Madonna, she loved it and decided to record it with new lyrics she had written. The song was produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard, with Page providing additional backing vocals.

Madonna had previously crossed paths with Richard Page when he presented her with a trophy at the 1987 American Music Awards.

ama 1987 richard page

Today in Madonna History: March 9, 1983

burning up 7'' france 550 burning up original photos 5 550 burning up original photos 550 burning up original photos 4 550 burning up burgoyne 2 550 burning up burgoyne 3 550 burning up burgoyne 4 550burning up burgoyne 5 550 burning up burgoyne 1 550

On March 9 1983, Sire/Warner released Madonna’s second single, Burning Up/Physical Attraction, in North America.

Unlike her first single, Burning Up/Physical Attraction was available only as a 12-inch single domestically, while many international markets later released it on 7-inch as well. A promotional 7-inch was issued to promote the release to radio in the U.S., however it oddly featured the b-side, Physical Attraction, on both sides.

The artwork for the single was created by Madonna’s close friend and roommate at the time, the late Martin Burgoyne.

Burning Up was written by Madonna and produced by Reggie Lucas. The song had previously appeared on the four-track demo tape that landed Madonna her recording contract with Sire Records.

Today in Madonna History: March 6, 1998

madonna toronto march 1998

On March 6 1998, Madonna spent the day in Toronto, Canada conducting a press conference and various print interviews to promote her new album, Ray Of Light, released earlier that week. She ended the day with a live, hour-long interview on Much Music hosted by VJ’s Master T (personally selected by Madonna herself after viewing reels of the station’s on-air personalities) and Geneviève Borne (a self-proclaimed Madonna fan and VJ from Much Music’s French-language sister station, Musique Plus).

The much-hyped event, which marked Madonna’s first and only visit to the Much Music studios, was prefaced by the Canadian music video channel’s second Madonnathon – a day of all-Madonna programming. The first, which featured her 1992 interview with Jonathan Ross and a then-recent press junket interview with The New Music’s Jana Lynne White (and all of her music videos), aired in January of 1993 at the height of the Sex/Erotica/Body Of Evidence backlash.

After the appearance was announced, fans seeking a limited hot spot inside the studio for the interview were asked to call in and were queried a series of Madonna-related trivia questions to prove their worthiness, while others who didn’t make it inside lined the streets of the Queen St W studios on the day of the event to welcome the Queen of Pop to Toronto.

Today in Madonna History: March 3, 2000

American Pie Canadian CDMS Cover American Pie Canadian CDMS Inside Cover

On March 3 2000, American Pie was released as a single in the UK. The cover of the Don McLean classic would hit number-one on the UK singles chart the following week.

A huge international hit, American Pie also topped the charts in Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria and Finland. In the U.S. the track was not released commercially in a strategic move designed to maximize sales of The Next Best Thing soundtrack, however it managed to reach number twenty-nine on the Hot 100 based on the strength of airplay alone.