Today in Madonna History: September 2, 1985

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On September 2 1985, Madonna and Sean Penn are featured on the cover of People Magazine with the headline: Madonna Weds Sean.

Here’s a snippet of the article inside People:

The World Watches (From Afar) as the Pop Princess Takes Reclusive Film Star Sean Penn on a Walk to the Altar. From above the bluffs of Point Dume, Malibu, a half-dozen choppers filled with photographers sent down a windy backwash and a constant din. Below, at the huge wooden gates fronting real-estate developer Dan Unger’s $6.5 million home, blue-blazered guards oversaw an I.D. check of all who entered, while inside others prepared for the evening ahead by arming themselves with infrared binoculars to scan the perimeter for intruders. One interloper—an Italian photographer in camouflage gear and blackened face who had been hiding in the shrubbery since 1:30 in the morning—was ejected and his pictures of the blessed event were destroyed.

Today in Madonna History: September 29, 2009

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On September 29 2009, Madonna and Warner Bros. released Celebration: The Video Collection.  The greatest videos DVD collection accompanied the Celebration greatest hits collection.

Celebration: The Video Collection continued on from Madonna’s other video compilations The Immaculate Collection and The Video Collection 93:99.

Celebration: The Video Collection debuted at the top of the Billboard Top Music Videos chart.  It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of 100,000 copies across United States.

The cover for Celebration: The Video Collection was created by street pop artist Mr. Brainwash who is best known for “throwing modern cultural icons into a blender and turning it up to eleven”.

The DVD collection was released in two different versions, both are double disc releases:

  • Keep case — DVD size packaging
  • DVD Digipak — CD size packaging

This video collection received mixed reviews from critics and fans when it was released.  Did you like this release or would you have made some changes to it?

Today in Madonna History: September 28, 1998

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On September 28 1998, Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” was released as a book with audio CD by the Starbright Foundation, to benefit seriously ill children.

Each snippet of the story is performed on an audio CD by one of 23 celebrities, including: Jay Leno, Liam Neeson, Angela Lansbury, Madonna, Carrie Fisher, Jeff Goldblum, Dan Ackroyd, Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, Steven Spielberg, General Norman Schwarzkopf, John Lithgow, and others. Contributing illustrators include Maurice Sendak, Mark Teague, Chris Van Allsburg, Berkeley Breathed, Steven Kellogg, Tomie de Paola, Graeme Base and others.

On the CD Madonna tells the story from the perspective of the Emperor’s Wife (illustrated as Marie Antoinette by Daniel Adel).

Today in Madonna History: September 27, 1994

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On September 27 1994, “Secret” was released as the lead single from Bedtime Stories. Initially credited to Madonna & Dallas Austin upon its release, Shep Pettibone was later given a co-writing credit due to his involvement in the creation of an early demo version of the track entitled “Something Coming Over Me.” The demo – which has been described by the few who have heard it as having a club anthem vibe without the R&B overtones of the Austin version – was submitted by Pettibone to the Library Of Congress for copyright registration but has yet to leak. The released version was produced by Madonna & Dallas Austin, and is the only song on the album to feature Austin’s untouched production work. Austin’s other contributions to the album were either reworked with new production ( “Survival” ) or remixed ( “Sanctuary” ) by Nellee Hooper or Daniel Abraham ( “Don’t Stop” )‏.

To promote the release of “Secret,” Madonna made her virgin attempt at reaching out to fans and potential listeners via the burgeoning world wide web with a playful audio teaser:

“Hello all you cyberheads! Welcome to the 90’s version of intimacy…you can hear me, you can even see me, but you can’t touch me! Do you recognize my voice? It’s Madonna. Often imitated but never duplicated. Or should I say – often irritated? If you feel like it, you can download the sound file of my new single “Secret” from my new album Bedtime Stories which comes out next month. I just shot the video in New York and will be premiering an exclusive sample of it online, so check back soon. In the meantime, why don’t you post me a message and let me know what you think of my new song. And by the way, don’t believe any of those online imposters pretending to be me…ain’t nothing like the real thing! Peace out.”

While the North American single used only the instrumental version of “Secret” on its flip-side, many other markets, including European territories, were treated to an unreleased outtake from the Bedtime Stories sessions. Perhaps fearing that the distinctly American R&B influence of “Secret” may have had limited appeal in Europe, Warner made the strategic decision to include an added incentive for European fans to pick up the single – undoubtedly spurring an increase in the number of copies exported to North America in the process. Although non-album b-sides are a relatively rare occurrence in Madonna’s catalogue given the large number of singles she has released through the years, “Let Down Your Guard” (written and produced by Madonna & Dallas Austin) is particularly peculiar due to its labeling as a “Rough Mix Edit.” This disclaimer-like appendage seemingly suggests that either Madonna or her record label deemed it necessary to explicitly caution listeners that the song was not indicative of the more polished production work that would be featured on the Bedtime Stories album proper. Indeed, the idiosyncratic nuances of Austin’s production (with its tip-of-the-hat to early Prince material) is largely what makes “Let Down Your Guard” such an unguarded and enjoyable obscurity – rendering its disclaimer redundant.

Today in Madonna History: September 26, 2009

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On September 26 2009, “Celebration” became Madonna’s 40th number-one song on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart in the US.

The remixes by Benny Benassi in particular were so well received that Madonna chose to use his version for the song’s music video instead of the Oakenfold produced album version. During her 2012 MDNA Tour, Benassi’s remix of “Celebration” was featured again when it was used for the show’s closing number.

Following in the tradition of Shep Pettibone and William Orbit, Benassi was promoted from remixer to co-songwriter/producer status when Madonna agreed to collaborate with him on several tracks for her MDNA album, including the set’s second single “Girl Gone Wild.”