On October 27 1996, Madonna’s You Must Love Me (the lead single from Evita) was released.
Kathleen Guerdo’s review for Billboard:
“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. This bodes well for the creative potency of the rest of the soundtrack, which is due Nov. 14. Prepare for wall-to-wall airplay of this flawless ballad on pop and AC radio.”
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 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.”
On March 7 1996, Madonna’s One More Chance single was released as the second single in Australia and Japan, and the third single in several European countries, from her ballads collection, Something to Remember.
One More Chance was written and produced by Madonna and David Foster. Foster initially did not expect Madonna would collaborate with him, as he believed that his music was not “really hip enough for her.” Madonna and Foster worked on the song during the writing and recording session for Something to Remember, in the third weekend of September 1995.
The song received positive response from music critics, who praised its musical simplicity and Madonna’s vocal delivery. Since Madonna was busy filming the Evita, the song received little promotion and no accompanying music video.
The Spanish version of You’ll See, titled Verás, appeared as the B-side of the single release.
On March 4 1996, Madonna’s Love Don’t Live Here Anymore music video was shot at the Confitería El Molino in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during her day off from filming Evita.
The music video was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, who worked with Madonna on her videos for Open Your Heart, Justify My Love and Human Nature.
Love Don’t Live Here Anymore was released as the fourth single from the Something to Remember ballads collection.
In her Evita diaries, published by Vanity Fair magazine in 1996, Madonna made reference to the video shoot:
“There are no words to describe the weariness I feel today. I have not slept well in days, and when I do, there is no comfort. My dreams are violent and full of betrayal. Like my life, there’s no escape. I feel the responsibility of this film. I cannot talk about Evita and her life without defending myself … Dear God, what have I gotten myself into? What is happening to me? Today we went to shoot a music video for my next song. But I kept forgetting the lyrics, and felt like crying each and every time I did it. It was so frustrating. It’s my own song!”
On December 25 1996, EVITA was given a limited released in New York and Los Angeles.
Wide release for the film followed on January 10, 1997.
Critic Zach Conner commented:
“It’s a relief to say that EVITA is pretty damn fine, well-cast, and handsomely visualized. Madonna once again confounds our expectations. She plays Evita with a poignant weariness and has more than just a bit of star quality. Love or hate Madonna-Eva, she is a magnet for all eyes.”
Newsweek ’s David Ansen wrote:
“It’s gorgeous. It’s epic. It’s spectacular. But two hours later, it also proves to be emotionally impenetrable.”