On February 1 1997, Evita – The Complete Motion Picture Soundtrack peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the U.S. Meanwhile across the pond, the soundtrack simultaneously shot to the #1 position on the UK album chart. It had initially peaked at #6 in the U.S. and at #7 in the U.K. upon release in November, 1996.
The surge in sales was largely attributed to the film’s wide release in January and the heavy promotional push that accompanied it, along with the interest generated by the soundtrack’s second single, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.
On January 25 1997, Madonna’s You Must Love Me peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 Single Sales chart.
On January 19 1997, Madonna attended the Golden Globes ceremony and won the Best Actress award for her role in Evita.
Evita also won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.
You Must Love Me won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song – Motion Picture.
Alan Parker was nominated for Best Director – Motion Picture.
Antonio Banderas was nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.
On August 23 1997, Evita: Music from the Motion Picture (the highlights disc) debuted at #168 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart in the USA.
The highlights disc included 19 tracks from the film, and was released on July 29 1997 in North America to help promote the home video release. The single disc was released in select markets around the world in 1996 at the same time as the double disc complete soundtrack, but not in North America.
Evita: The Motion Picture Music Soundtrack featured all 34 tracks from the film, and was released on November 12 1996.
The highlights disc didn’t perform very well in the late summer of 1997 because it was released a full 8 months after the original release. No single was released to radio to promote it, and most die-hard fans had already secured an imported version of the single disc soundtrack the previous year. Why it was released at all in July 1997 remains a mystery. Why the single-disc set wasn’t released in North America in November 1996 is a better question. Why not release the double-disc set (expensive) and the single disc set (average price of a CD at the time) and appeal to the largest possible group of consumers? That was the approach around the world, but not in North America, we can’t help but wonder why? – Jay
On May 26 1997, Madonna appeared on the cover of People magazine as part of the “New Sexy Moms” feature.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Even Madonna, who moved a month before Lourdes’s birth from her Hollywood Hills mansion to a more baby-friendly one-story spread in a quieter neighborhood, is becoming downright strait-laced. “TV is poison,” saying that she would forbid Lourdes to watch it. “To be plopped in front of a television instead of being read to or talked to or encouraged to interact with other human beings is a huge mistake.”
On March 25 1997, Madonna performed You Must Love Me at the 68th Academy Awards. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Kathleen Guerdo from Billboard said that “Madonna delivers what is by far one of the strongest vocal performances of her career, comfortably scaling to the song’s demanding soprano heights while infusing it with delicate, heart-rending emotion.”