Today in Madonna History: May 14, 1990

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On May 15 1990, Brenda Lee was quoted in the LA Times, talking about how Madonna got her involved in the Dick Tracy soundtrack:

“Madonna asked specifically that I sing the songs–which are brand-new numbers. I had no idea she was a fan of my singing, but I’m delighted she is.”

Brenda recorded two songs for Dick Tracy, but only one made the final cut: You’re in the Doghouse Now, written by Ned Clafin, Mike Kernan, Jeff Lass and Andy Paley.

Brenda is best known for Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (recorded when she was just 13).

Today in Madonna History: May 7, 1990

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On May 7 1990, Madonna graced the cover of People magazine.

The headline: Madonna’s new tour: her most outrageous act yet

A sample of the article by Montgomery Brower and Todd Gold:

After routinely violating almost every taboo about sex, sacrilege and the public display of underwear, what’s a girl to do for new material? Madonna revealed her answer in Japan, where she kicked off a four-month tour that will no doubt delight fans, fetishists, cross-dressers and topic-starved conservative columnists the world over. Mimed masturbation? Madonna’s got it, during “Like a Virgin.” Topless guys in foot-long pointy brassieres? They pop up a third of the way through the show. A hint of discipline? “You may not know the song, but you all know the pleasures of a good spanking,” Madonna cooed after “Hanky Panky,” an ode to the joy of the slap. Granted, there are quieter moments—Madonna as housewife in curlers, Madonna with fish-tailed mermen—but before you know it, there she goes again, confessing in song to a guy dressed as a priest. The 105-minute hullabaloo is amazing for its breadth of controversy. Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that, so far as can be determined, not one of the show’s seven dancers has been sidelined with a groin injury.

“She said, ‘Let’s break every rule we can,’ ” says choreographer Vince Paterson. “She wanted to make statements about sexuality, cross-sexuality, the church and the like. But the biggest thing we tried to do is change the shape of concerts. Instead of just presenting songs, we wanted to combine fashion, Broadway, rock and performance art.”

Today in Madonna History: April 6 1990

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On April 6 1990, Madonna’s Vogue maxi single was released.

Here is the allmusic.com review of the maxi single:

Vogue, the first single from Madonna’s Dick Tracy-inspired 1990 album I’m Breathless, was arguably one of her crowning artistic achievements (both song-wise and video-wise), one of the biggest all-time house music hits (spending three weeks atop the U.S. pop charts), and her second proper U.S. maxi-single release. The single includes four versions: the single version, the 12″ version, the Bette Davis Dub, and the Strike-A-Pose Dub. The song’s most definitive version, that being the album/video version, is not on the single. The single version, where she asks “what are you looking at,” begins with drumbeats and goes straight into the song, as opposed to the album version’s minute-long introduction. Besides the different intros, however, the rest is the same. The 12″ version is, naturally, quite longer, and just as good. The “Bette Davis Dub” begins with the extended album intro, but, save for the chorus and the “rap,” is virtually instrumental, as is the last mix, which cleverly uses samples from Like a Virgin. This disc’s main selling point is the fact that it’s a collection piece, and for collectors and diehards, it’s nice to have the single edit and 12″ mix. But if one is a casual fan, go with the album version.

Today in Madonna History: January 30, 1990

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On January 30 1990, Keep It Together was released in North America as the fifth and final single from Like A Prayer. It also received a commercial release in Japan, Australia, Ecuador and the Philippines, while some European markets opted to include it as the b-side to Madonna’s next single, Vogue.

As fate would ironically have it, Madonna’s soulful ode to remembering ones roots would turn out to be the last Madonna-performed single co-written and co-produced with longtime collaborator Stephen Bray, whom she had befriended (or by some accounts, dated) during her days as a student at the University of Michigan. A final collaboration written by the pair, Get Over – which is speculated to have been written as a potential new track for The Immaculate Collection but was instead given to fellow Warner recording artist Nick Scotti – was released as a single in 1993, after first appearing on the Nothing But Trouble soundtrack in 1991.

Although no music video was produced for Keep It Together, the maxi-single – jam-packed with memorable remixes by Shep Pettibone and DJ Mark “The 45 King” with Stephen Bray – made the single a must-have for fans around the world. And despite its exclusion from her greatest hits releases, Madonna’s show-closing (and show-stopping) performance of the song during her legendary Blond Ambition Tour – and its accompanying documentary Truth Or Dare – has also served to keep the song alive in the hearts and minds of fans.

Today in Madonna History: January 6, 1990

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On January 6 1990, Madonna’s Oh Father single peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and completed her run of 16 consecutive Top 5 singles in USA.

Two years after her mother’s death, her father married the family’s housekeeper, Joan Gustafson. At this point, Madonna began to express unresolved feelings of anger towards her father that lasted for decades, and developed a rebellious attitude. She explained in the May 1989 issue of Interview magazine:

That rebellious attitude really came, I think, when my father remarried. Because for the three years before he married, I clung to him. It was like, OK, now you’re mine, and you’re not going anywhere. Like all young girls, I was in love with my father and I didn’t want to lose him. I lost my mother, but then I was the mother, my father was mine. Then he got taken away from me when he married my stepmother. It was then that I said, OK I don’t need anybody. No one’s going to break my heart again. I’m not going to need anybody. I can stand on my own and be my own person and not belong to anyone.