Today in Madonna History: December 13, 1990

BAT Nice LD BAT Nice LD BackBAT Tourbook LD Ad

On December 13 1990, Blond Ambition World Tour Live was released exclusively on laserdisc by Pioneer Artists. It featured the final tour date, recorded on August 5th in Nice, France, which had been previously broadcast live on HBO.

The release was part of a special arrangement with Blond Ambition Tour sponsors Pioneer Artists as a means of promoting their struggling laserdisc format. The laserdisc went on to win a Grammy for Best Music Video – Long Form at the 34th Grammy Awards, which is notable for being Madonna’s first-ever Grammy win.

With the eventual demise of the laserdisc format, this landmark tour has never received a proper release on DVD or Blu-ray. Although widely bootlegged (in varying degrees of quality), it is currently unavailable to purchase in its entirety in any official form, much to the disappointment and frustration of fans. A 2012 Blu-ray release of the accompanying tour documentary Truth or Dare – which features a select number of performances from the tour filmed in stunning technicolour during her shows in Paris – failed to offer up any additional performances not already included within the documentary (a previous VHS release of Truth or Dare had included bonus performances of Hanky Panky and Like A Prayer).

Madonna’s current manager, Guy Oseary, and even Madonna herself, have acknowledged fans’ very vocal requests that the tour be properly released on an accessible format. Guy confirmed through his Twitter account in 2011 that a recent meeting with Warner had taken place concerning the reissuing of Madonna’s tours on DVD and that the talks were “a start”, but he also noted that the process would take time, as they did not know what footage remained available for a potential release, nor its condition. During a 2013 fan chat on Reddit when Madonna was asked about the possibility of a Blond Ambition Tour DVD release, she offered the terse response: “when I can find the tapes in the archives.”

Meanwhile, seemingly remastered audio/video footage of the Nice show mysteriously turned up on YouTube in 2013, along with the caption “Master submitted to Reliance Mediaworks in 2011. Full digital remaster, error correction, frame by frame color grading (RELM.NS) DTS-HD master audio from original stems (Nasdaq:DTSI).” The user uploading the footage appears to have created a YouTube account for the sole purpose of streaming the tour and does not reply to comments requesting further information on the source of the footage, making it difficult to ascertain its legitimacy. While there are noticeable signs of improvement in the audio mix, the video quality is inconsistent, with some shots showing improved colour grading and others appearing excessively dark and overly filtered. Whether the quality issues are the result of a highly compressed upload file or if they are evidence of its possible inauthenticity as an officially commissioned remaster are a matter of speculation.

Incidentally, Reliance MediaWorks’ parent company, Indian conglomorate Reliance ADA Group, is the major shareholder of IM Global, which provided financial backing and acquired international distribution rights for Madonna’s film W.E. in 2011.

The saga continues…

Today in Madonna History: May 5, 1990

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On May 5, 1990, Madonna’s “Vogue“/”Keep It Together” became the number-one single in Australia on the ARIA Singles Chart.

The double A-sided single remained number-one for 5-weeks (from May 5 to June 9, 1990).

Lyrics:

Strike a pose
Strike a pose
Vogue, vogue, vogue
Vogue, vogue, vogue

Look around, everywhere you turn is heartache
It’s everywhere that you go (look around)
You try everything you can to escape
The pain of life that you know (life that you know)

When all else fails and you long to be
Something better than you are today
I know a place where you can get away
It’s called a dance floor, and here’s what it’s for, so

Come on, vogue
Let your body move to the music (move to the music)
Hey, hey, hey
Come on, vogue
Let your body go with the flow (go with the flow)
You know you can do it

All you need is your own imagination
So use it, that’s what it’s for (that’s what it’s for)
Go inside, for your finest inspiration
Your dreams will open the door (open up the door)

It makes no difference if you’re black or white
If you’re a boy or a girl
If the music’s pumping it will give you new life
You’re a superstar, yes, that’s what you are, you know it

Come on, vogue
Let your body groove to the music (groove to the music)
Hey, hey, hey
Come on, vogue
Let your body go with the flow (go with the flow)
You know you can do it

Beauty’s where you find it
Not just where you bump and grind it
Soul is in the musical
That’s where I feel so beautiful
Magical, life’s a ball
So get up on the dance floor

Vogue (vogue)
Let your body move to the music (move to the music)
Hey, hey, hey
Come on, vogue (vogue)
Let your body go with the flow (go with the flow)
You know you can do it

Vogue (vogue)
Beauty’s where you find it (move to the music)
Vogue (vogue)
Beauty’s where you find it (go with the flow)

Greta Garbo, and Monroe
Dietrich and DiMaggio
Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
On the cover of a magazine

Grace Kelly, Harlow, Jean
Picture of a beauty queen
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
Ginger Rogers, dance on air

They had style, they had grace
Rita Hayworth gave good face
Lauren, Katharine, Lana too
Bette Davis, we love you

Ladies with an attitude
Fellows that were in the mood
Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it

Vogue, vogue, vogue
Vogue, vogue, vogue

Oooh, you’ve got to
Let your body move to the music
Oooh, you’ve got to just
Let your body go with the flow
Oooh, you’ve got to
Vogue, vogue, vogue

Today in Madonna History: April 11, 1990

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On April 11, 1990, the “Keep It Together” single was certified gold for sales of 500,000 units in the USA.

Written and produced by Madonna and Stephen Bray, the main inspiration behind “Keep It Together” was Madonna’s relationship with her family—whom she dearly missed after her divorce from actor Sean Penn. It became the final Madonna single release to feature a collaboration with Bray—a partnership that had begun romantically when Madonna & Stephen were college students at the University of Michigan, Madonna later persuaded Bray to join her in New York where he became the drummer for her band, Emmy. The two went on to write and produce some of Madonna’s most memorable 80’s hits. A final collaboration between the pair, “Get Over”, was reworked by Madonna and Shep Pettibone for possible inclusion as one of the new tracks on The Immaculate Collection, but was instead given to Warner Bros artist Nick Scotti to record in 1991.