Today in Madonna History: June 5, 1993

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On June 5 1993, Just A Dream, written and produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard and performed by Madonna’s long-time backing singer/dancer Donna De Lory, peaked at number-ten on Billboard’s Dance/Club chart. The song was released as the second single from De Lory’s self-titled 1992 album for MCA Records.

Just A Dream had originally been written and recorded during the Like A Prayer sessions. Although Madonna had clearly intended that the album move beyond the boundaries of pure dance/pop and crossover into other styles, she reportedly felt that including Just A Dream would have tipped the balance too far in the direction of rock. When De Lory approached Madonna a few years later about the possibility of providing a song for her first album, Madonna offered Just A Dream, sensing that the song’s rock-edge would be better suited to Donna’s vocal style than her own. Madonna did, however, allow the use of her own vocals on the track, which can be heard blending with Donna’s in the song’s chorus, bridge and, most prominently, during its fadeout.

While unconfirmed, it is assumed that no new production-work – aside from the addition of De Lory’s lead vocal – took place on the released album version of Just A Dream, with the the original Like A Prayer session tracks carried over to Donna’s version and Madonna’s original lead vocal being mixed down to background vocals. The original cut, featuring Madonna’s complete lead vocal track, has yet to surface.

Check out the video for Donna’s version of Just A Dream at the 13:00 minute mark in the following video interview compilation featuring Donna discussing our favorite topic – Madonna:

Today in Madonna History: June 4, 2015

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On June 4 2015, the first batch of remixes for the single Bitch I’m Madonna were released:

  • Bitch I’m Madonna (Oscar G 305 Dub) 8:45
  • Bitch I’m Madonna (Oscar G Bitch Beats) 8:45
  • Bitch I’m Madonna (Rosabel’s Bitch Move Dub) 7:36
  • Bitch I’m Madonna (Sander Kleinenberg Club Mix) 5:00
  • Bitch I’m Madonna (Rosabel’s Bitch Move Mix) 7:06

Oscar G previously remixed Madonna’s cover of Fever back in 1993. Sander Kleinenberg was commissioned to produce remixes of Hollywood in 2003, although his mixes remained shelved until they surfaced on the internet in 2010. Clearly Madonna was more fond of Kleinenberg’s treatment of Bitch I’m Madonna, as it was featured in her first official remix video since leaving Warner Bros. Records.

Today in Madonna History: June 3, 2012

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On June 3 2012, Marine Le Pen threatened to sue Madonna if she included her image with a swastika during her shows in France.

Here’s a snippet of an article that appeared in the Telegraph:

The fleeting image was shown at a concert the US-born singer gave in Tel Aviv last Thursday as part of her MDNA World Tour.

Projected during the song Nobody Knows Me, the film morphed Madonna’s face with a number of famous figures, including Chinese leader Hu Jinatao, US Republican former presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Pope Benedict XVI.

Miss Le Pen’s eyes and forehead then appear for a second before a swastika and the eyes of Adolf Hitler are superimposed onto the FN leader.

Furious, Miss Le Pen threatened to sue the singer if she kept the video unchanged when she performs in Paris on the July 14 national holiday and in Nice in August. “If she does that in France, we’ll be waiting for her,” she told Le Parisien.

Hitting back at Madonna, she was quoted by the newspaper as asking: “By the way, has Madonna given back the children she stole from Africa? Or did she end up buying them?”

Today in Madonna History: June 2, 2005

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On June 2 2005, Madonna.com confirmed Madonna’s participation of Live 8:

“Sir Bob Geldof confirmed in a press conference yesterday the details and confirmed the artists featuring in Live 8 – a series of five live shows in London, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome and Berlin on Saturday July 2nd. The concerts have been organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure as part of a campaign to force the world’s richest nations to relieve poverty in the third world. The concerts – which will be free – are aimed at raising awareness of poverty just before leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations meet in Scotland…”

Madonna went on to perform a three-song set from London’s Hyde Park consisting of Like A Prayer, Ray Of Light & Music.

Today in Madonna History: June 1, 1995

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On June 1 1995, Madonna attended the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation salute to Muhammad Ali at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, in New York.

Today in Madonna History: May 31, 1986

On May 31 1986, Madonna’s Live To Tell hit #1 for 3 weeks on US Hot Adult Contemporary singles chart.

The haunting and dramatic ballad, written and produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard, was the first commercially released collaboration between the pair – a songwriting partnership that is viewed by many fans as one of her most creatively successful.

Leonard had previously been involved with Madonna’s Virgin Tour as musical director, and when Madonna agreed to participate in Live Aid in the Summer of 1985, she asked him to collaborate on a new song for the performance, which evolved into Love Makes The World Go Round.

Although both songs would find their way on to Madonna’s next studio album, True Blue, at the time of Live To Tell’s release the album’s title had not yet been decided. Instead, the song was used to promote Sean Penn’s film At Close Range, in which it was featured alongside an original score composed by Leonard.

He had initially composed the music that evolved into Live To Tell for another film he had been invited to score for Paramount, titled Fire With Fire. The producers of the film passed on the theme. Leonard recalled the subsequent series of events that led to the song’s completion in The Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Random House:

“Madonna said ‘This song would be great for Sean’s new movie.’ She wrote the lyrics–she just wrote them on the spot, which is what we always do. I don’t think we’ve ever taken more than three hours to complete a song from start to finish. She sang it on the demo only once and left with the cassette. That day I went to work with Michael Jackson on some transcriptions for material he was writing for the Bad album. The phone rang at Michael’s and it was Sean. He said ‘I’m over at the director’s house and Madonna just brought the song over. We love it and we’d like to talk to you about it.’ … We recut the song, but we used the same vocal. She only sang it once for the demo and that was the vocal we used because it was so innocent and so shy. She had a legal pad in her hand and you can hear the paper. It’s as raw as raw can be and that’s part of what gave it all its charm.”

When the demo recording of Live To Tell eventually surfaced, it became evident that Madonna had in fact re-recorded the first verse, but all remaining vocals do indeed appear to have been carried over from the demo to the final mix (along with a generously added dose of reverb to smooth over the rough edges of the demo take).

Given the song’s dark undercurrents and unresolved narrative, it was a bold choice for a single release. It marked a dramatic shift from the yearning love song, Crazy For You – her only other ballad to have been issued as a single at the time. But any radio programmers who were hesitant to consider Madonna as a serious artist simply couldn’t deny the artistry of the song and nor could record buyers, with the combined support sending Live To Tell straight to the top of the pop charts.

Live To Tell was Madonna’s third #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, and her #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, where it would reign for three weeks.

Today in Madonna History: May 30, 2003

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On May 30 2003, Callaway Editions announced that Madonna would make publishing history as her children’s book, The English Roses, would be released simultaneously worldwide in 30 languages in 100 countries.

The English Roses is a children’s picture book written by Madonna and illustrated by Jeffrey Fulvimari, which later became a series of children’s books by both artists. The books are about the life of five schoolgirls in London and their problems growing up.
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