On June 5 1993, Just A Dream, written and produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard and performed by Madonna’s long-time backing singer/dancer Donna De Lory, peaked at number-ten on Billboard’s Dance/Club chart. The song was released as the second single from De Lory’s self-titled 1992 album for MCA Records.
Just A Dream had originally been written and recorded during the Like A Prayer sessions. Although Madonna had clearly intended that the album move beyond the boundaries of pure dance/pop and crossover into other styles, she reportedly felt that including Just A Dream would have tipped the balance too far in the direction of rock. When De Lory approached Madonna a few years later about the possibility of providing a song for her first album, Madonna offered Just A Dream, sensing that the song’s rock-edge would be better suited to Donna’s vocal style than her own. Madonna did, however, allow the use of her own vocals on the track, which can be heard blending with Donna’s in the song’s chorus, bridge and, most prominently, during its fadeout.
While unconfirmed, it is assumed that no new production-work – aside from the addition of De Lory’s lead vocal – took place on the released album version of Just A Dream, with the the original Like A Prayer session tracks carried over to Donna’s version and Madonna’s original lead vocal being mixed down to background vocals. The original cut, featuring Madonna’s complete lead vocal track, has yet to surface.
Check out the video for Donna’s version of Just A Dream at the 13:00 minute mark in the following video interview compilation featuring Donna discussing our favorite topic – Madonna:
On April 3 1993, Fever entered the UK Singles Chart at its peak position of number-six. Without the support of a proper music video at the time of its release (Warner UK instead issued a rarely seen compilation video of previous clips), the single spent only six weeks on the UK charts, dropping to number-seven the following week.
Strangely, Madonna did eventually decide to film a video for the song in late April – nearly a month after its release in Europe. By the time the video premiered during the second week of May, Fever was spending its final week on the UK Singles Chart.
In North America the remixes for Fever had been issued commercially on Madonna’s previous international single, Bad Girl. Fever was also serviced to clubs as a promotional single in its own right, but it was not promoted to radio despite the video being added to into rotation on MTV and MuchMusic. While the release of the music video managed to coincide with Fever’s single week atop the Hot Dance/Club Play chart, its number-one status had already been confirmed several days prior to the clip’s debut, making the video’s intended purpose and the timing of its release all the more puzzling.
On March 27 1993, Madonna’s Bad Girl peaked at number 36 on the Hot 100 in the USA, becoming her first single to miss the top 20 and breaking her streak of 27 consecutive top 20 hits that had begun with Holiday, in 1983.
The single remained on the chart for 11 weeks. Bad Girl performed moderately well on the Hot 100 Singles Sales and Hot 100 Airplay charts, peaking at numbers 36 and 44 respectively. It reached the top spot on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, thanks to the remixes of Fever, which were included on the maxi single.
On February 17 1993, A League Of Their Own was released on home video.
Mae Mordabito: What if at a key moment in the game my, my uniform bursts open and, uh, oops, my bosoms come flying out? That, that might draw a crowd, right?
Doris Murphy: You think there are men in this country who ain’t seen your bosoms?
On January 16 1993, Madonna was musical guest on NBC-TV’s Saturday Night Live, performing Fever and Bad Girl. She also appeared in the show’s opening skit – a humorous homage to Marilyn Monroe – alongside the late comedians Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks.
Perhaps a little too into character or, more likely, a little too nervous – she managed to flub the show’s signature intro tag line during the live broadcast, with the mistake being subsequently edited out of all repeated airings of the episode.
Fortunately any nervous energy quickly dissipated once Madonna took to the musical stage, where she delivered a stunningly confident and nuanced vocal performance backed by an equally impressive new band (which included several members that would be recruited for her Girlie Show tour later in the year). It was Madonna’s only live performance of Bad Girl to date, and despite many appearances on SNL, her only inclusion as featured musical guest.
The episode was hosted by Harvey Keitel, who was only weeks away from working with Madonna again in the film Dangerous Game (then known as Snake Eyes) which began shooting in February.
Would you like to see Madonna return to SNL as musical guest?