Today in Madonna History: April 25, 1988

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On April 25 1988, Spotlight was released as a single by Warner-Pioneer. Issued exclusively in Japan, it was the only commercial single release from the remix album You Can Dance. The song was written by Curtis Hudson, Madonna and Stephen Bray and was produced by Stephen Bray. Madonna wasn’t given a co-producer’s credit on the track – odd considering it was a leftover from the True Blue album sessions, for which she co-produced every song. The track was remixed by John “Jellybean” Benitez for its inclusion on You Can Dance.

In a 2012 interview with blogcritics.com writer Justin Kantor, Curtis Hudson recalled the circumstances surrounding the creation and release of Spotlight:

“During the time right after Holiday, when we’d go to her place and write, I presented Spotlight. I gave her a complete song, Spotlight. I had actually written it in case Warner Bros. asked her for another Holiday. She said she loved it and felt spiritual about it. But she didn’t use it or contact me again about it. It sort of popped up out of nowhere when she was getting ready to do You Can Dance. Her lawyer contacted our manager and said we needed to talk. We went over and met with him. She and Stephen Bray had already done the song; but I hadn’t even heard the version they had done.They took the demo I had given her and worked it into a different song. They gave me credit since I had the original song copyrighted. I would’ve collaborated and made changes. But I was told, ‘Well, she’s too busy. She’s overseas doing a movie.’ I was okay with it, though, because they gave me credit. But the original song had a certain magic, and the changes took that essence away. The original Spotlight was another Holiday—the rhythm, the basic groove. I think they were trying to get away from that sound. Sometimes artists don’t want their sound to be identified with specific writers.”

Today in Madonna History: February 15, 1984

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On February 15 1984, Madonna’s Borderline single was released. Borderline was the fifth single to be released from her self-titled debut album.  It was written and composed by producer Reggie Lucas, and remixed by Madonna’s then boyfriend John “Jellybean” Benitez.

In the United States, the song became Madonna’s first top ten hit when it reached position ten on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 16, 1984.

Today in Madonna History: October 3, 1985

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On October 3 1985, Madonna’s second single from the motion picture “Vision Quest“, “Gambler” was released by Geffen Records in select markets.

Gambler” was entirely self-written by Madonna and produced by John “Jellybean” Benitez.

Gambler” was never released in the United States, but it went to #4 in the UK.  The single also reached the top-ten in the charts of Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Ireland, Netherlands and Norway.

The music video for the song is an excerpt from the film.

Madonna has performed the song only once, on her “Virgin Tour” in 1985.

Alex Henderson from Allmusic called the song “an ultra-infectious gem that, unfortunately, isn’t on any of the Material Girl’s CDs” and felt that “Gambler” should have been a big hit.  

Would you like to see Madonna perform “Gambler” on a future concert tour?

Today in Madonna History: August 8, 1984

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On August 8 1984, Madonna’s “Lucky Star” was released.  “Lucky Star” became Madonna’s first U.S. top five hit (No. 4), and the first in a string of 17 consecutive U.S. top fives. The video, directed by Arthur Pierson, was a stark performance piece bringing together her brother Christopher Ciccone and Erica Bell as backup dancers. The clip was filled with black rubber jelly bracelets, lace and a certain gyrating belly button.

Lucky Star” was written by Madonna and produced by Reggie Lucas and Jellybean Benitez.

Today In Madonna History: March 2, 1985

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On March 2 1985, Madonna’s first single from the Vision Quest soundtrack, Crazy For You, was released.

Crazy For You later appeared on Madonna’s greatest hits collection, The Immaculate Collection. It was also included on her greatest ballads collection, Something To Remember and later on her career spanning hit collection, Celebration.

Lyrics: 

Swaying room as the music starts
Strangers making the most of the dark
Two by two their bodies become one

I see you through the smokey air
Can’t you feel the weight of my stare
You’re so close but still a world away
What I’m dying to say, is that

I’m crazy for you
Touch me once and you’ll know it’s true
I never wanted anyone like this
It’s all brand new, you’ll feel it in my kiss
I’m crazy for you, crazy for you

Trying hard to control my heart
I walk over to where you are
Eye to eye we need no words at all

Slowly now we begin to move
Every breath I’m deeper into you
Soon we two are standing still in time
If you read my mind, you’ll see

It’s all brand new, I’m crazy for you
And you know it’s true
I’m crazy, crazy for you