Today in Madonna History: December 12, 1986

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On December 12 1986, Open Your Heart was released in North America as the fourth single from True Blue. The song was written by Madonna, Gardner Cole & Peter Rafelson and produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard.

The single’s worldwide b-side, White Heat, an album track from True Blue, developed a relatively high profile due to its inclusion as the flip-side to two of Madonna’s #1 hits–the aforementioned Open Your Heart and 1987’s Who’s That Girl, released only six months apart. Gaining further exposure as a set-list staple during the Who’s That Girl Tour, the live performance of White Heat foreshadowed some of the dramatic elements that Madonna would expand upon in future tours.

White Heat’s original submission for copyright was registered to Madonna & Leonard under the working title Get Up, Stand Tall with a 1985 date of creation. Notes from the registration on file also list the title Dangerous–but it is likely just another working title that was being considered rather than a separate recording.  White Heat is thought to have been among the earliest songwriting collaborations between Madonna & Leonard to be completed, coming shortly after their first composition, Love Makes The World Go Round, surfaced during Live Aid in the summer of 1985. The sequence of the registration numbers for the two songs suggests that they may they have been completed within a month or two of each other. Madonna’s version of Open Your Heart (which she revised from the Cole/Rafelson demo) is also thought to have been recorded with Leonard during the same time period.

The liner notes of True Blue dedicated White Heat to actor James Cagney, who in 1949 played ruthless, deranged gang leader Arthur “Cody” Jarrett in the Warner Brothers film, White Heat. Several clips of Cagney’s dialogue from the original motion picture were used in the song for dramatic effect.

Today in Madonna History: September 8, 1986

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On September 8 1986, Madonna’s third album, True Blue, was certified double platinum (for shipment of 2 million units) in the USA.

Here’s a snippet of Davitt Sigerson’s review of True Blue from Rolling Stone (July 17, 1986):

Madonna’s sturdy, dependable, lovable new album remains faithful to her past while shamelessly rising above it. True Blue may generate fewer sales and less attention than Like a Virgin, but it sets her up as an artist for the long run. And like every other brainy move from this best of all possible pop madonnas, it sounds as if it comes from the heart.

Today in Madonna History: August 28, 1986

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On August 28 1986, Madonna and Sean opened in David Rabe’s Goose & Tomtom at Lincoln Centre’s Mitzi Newhouse Theatre, in New York.

Here’s a snippet of an article that Dena Kleiman published about the play:

A Revival that may not revive (New York Times August 19, 1986):

Madonna and Sean Penn are quietly dashing in and out of Lincoln Center these days in connection with closely guarded rehearsals of David Rabe’s Goose and Tomtom that may never be opened to the public.

But maybe, said Mr. Rabe, who is also directing the play, he will invite a special audience to come next week to a free performance – or even two. And after that? ”I’ve reserved the right not to show it,” Mr. Rabe said.

The rehearsals, in which Harvey Keitel, Barry Miller and Lorraine Bracco are also taking part, have been described by Mr. Rabe as a ”work in progress” for a play that was previously – but in his view unsuccessfully – produced. He said he believes he has a better handle on the play now, but is still not absolutely sure.

In the play, Goose (Barry Miller) and Tomtom (Sean Penn) are a pair of jewel thieves, who, in collaboration with a sexy woman named Lorraine (Madonna), amass a collection of gems only to have them stolen by a rival gang.

”I’m in the process of trying to understand it,” said Mr. Rabe, who is currently working with the actors on the stage of the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. ”I wrote it without understanding it, and it has taken a long time to grasp.”

Today in Madonna History: July 12, 1986

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On July 12 1986, Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach reached #1 in the UK and stayed there for 3 weeks.

Madonna’s first-ever CD single was for Papa Don’t Preach. The single was produced in the UK for distribution in the USA. The rare gold disc CD single featured 3 audio tracks as well as the official video for Papa Don’t Preach in NTSC format.

The single included:

  • Papa Don’t Preach (7″ Version) (4:27)
  • Papa Don’t Preach (12″ Version) (5:43)
  • Pretender (LP Version) (4:28)
  • Papa Don’t Preach (Video) (5:05)