On March 3 2000, American Pie was released as a single in the UK. The cover of the Don McLean classic would hit number-one on the UK singles chart the following week.
A huge international hit, American Pie also topped the charts in Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria and Finland. In the U.S. the track was not released commercially in a strategic move designed to maximize sales of The Next Best Thing soundtrack, however it managed to reach number twenty-nine on the Hot 100 based on the strength of airplay alone.
On February 1 1985, Madonna’s music video for Material Girl premiered in the U.S. on MTV.
The Mary Lambert-directed clip was a tongue-in-cheek homage to Marilyn Monroe’s performance of Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend from the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
On November 30 2002, Die Another Day (Remixes) spent the first of two weeks at number-one on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in US. It was Madonna’s 28th single to top the dance charts.
On July 26 1986, “Papa Don’t Preach” spent its third and final week at number-one on the UK singles chart. It was certified Gold by BPI on August 1st, 1986 for shipment of over 500,000 copies, based on certification thresholds at that time. With a chart run extending for 15 weeks, the single ranked #8 overall in the UK’s year-end charts tally.
The song was a massive hit across Europe, topping the Eurochart for an incredible eleven week stretch from August 2nd through October 11th, 1986 when it was finally overtaken by none other than Madonna herself with the follow-up single, “True Blue.”
Although “Justify My Love” is often cited as being the first-ever video single, it is interesting to note that it was actually not the first Madonna music video to be marketed commercially as a single. Possibly an attempt to cash-in on the success and controversy surrounding “Papa Don’t Preach” or more likely as a means of testing out new marketing possibilities for a hybrid laserdisc/cd format, Warner issued limited quantities of “Papa Don’t Preach” as a CD Video in the US, UK and Japan containing three audio tracks along with the music video. Perhaps anticipating the limited appeal of the format, Warner did not bother modifying the track-listing to include the appropriate b-sides in either the UK (“Ain’t No Big Deal“) or Japan (“Think Of Me“), instead opting to issue the US b-side (“Pretender“) on all three pressings. Stranger still was the release date – 1988 – two years after the standard single hit stores. Needless to say, this early attempt to market a music video single did not stir public interest the way it would in 1990, and the concept went into hibernation mode until Madonna gave audiences a video single they were willing to pay for.
On July 14, 2003, “Hollywood” was released as the second single from the “American Life” album. The song was written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï.
On May 16, 1994, Madonna’s “I’ll Remember (Theme From With Honors)” became the number-one single in Canada. The song remained at the top of the Canadian singles chart for five weeks before finally being dislodged on June 20th by All-4-One’s hit, “I Swear”. Incidentally, it was the same song that blocked “I’ll Remember” from reaching the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., where it spent four weeks in its peak position of number-two.