Monthly Archives: December 2014
Today in Madonna History: December 30, 1989
On December 30 1989, Dear Jessie peaked at number-five on the UK singles chart. The track was released as the fourth single from Like A Prayer in Europe (with the exception of France which instead opted to service the North American/Japanese fourth single, Oh Father) and as the fifth single in Australia.
Dear Jessie was written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard and was inspired by Leonard’s young daughter, Jessie, with whom Madonna had developed a special connection.
The psychedelia-infused reflection on childhood fantasy and innocence was particularly poignant within the context of the Like A Prayer album’s sequencing, with its segue into Oh Father offering a stark musical and emotional contrast that is perhaps one of the most effective in Madonna’s body of work.
Today in Madonna History: December 29, 2000
Today in Madonna History: December 28, 1992
On December 28 1992, Madonna was named one of the 25 Most Intriguing People In The World For 1992 by People magazine.
Here’s what People had to say about Madonna in 1992:
The Movies! The Album! The Naughty Pictures! Once Again Madonna Was Everywhere, Shouting, “Look at Me—Every Inch of Me!”
Intriguing: suggests an air of mystery. Madonna: does everything in public but floss her teeth.
Intriguing: wrapped in enigma. Madonna: not wrapped in anything.
Intriguing: means doesn’t appear on-camera in romantic encounters with Evian water bottles. Madonna: does.
OK—so what’s so intriguing about somebody who lets you know that her lovers require a five-cent deposit?
For one thing, she made ya look. Consider Sex, the photo book in which she had her picture taken doing everything but blushing. Besides proving that a naked Madonna could arch backward over a pinball machine without mussing her hair, it also pushed the envelope out to the size of a circus tent. And when the crowds came pouring in, there she was at center ring, cracking her whip.
It only served her purposes that Sex earned sniffy reviews like “The Empress Has No Clothes” and that it was banned in places such as Japan and Ireland. Coming on the heels of her summer film hit, A League of Their Own, the fuss over her book helped to launch her new album, Erotica, and primed the movie audience for her next assault on their sensibilities, Body of Evidence. Her success at getting the world to subsidize her sexual preoccupations—to say nothing of her mammoth self-absorption—is what makes her worth the $60 million deal she cut this year with Time Warner (the parent company of PEOPLE). Madonna is not the first star to find the bucks in buck nakedness. But no one before her has capitalized so well on human willingness to have our fears and desires repackaged and sold back to us.
Yet this most public of women still strains to be a mystery. This year she went through more faces than Lon Chaney—one minute in Baby Jane pigtails, a cupcake from hell; the next in sour milkmaid gear, Heidi with a mean streak. Her changing gallery of faces is one reason that she’s a sex symbol who inspires a lot of heavy breathing from intellectuals. One landmark of the 1992 publishing list—The Madonna Connection: Representational Politics, Sub-cultural Identities and Cultural Theory. You didn’t get this sort of thing for Petula Clark.
But does she really throw such a mysterious light on our culture? More likely it’s just the glinting gears of a giant publicity machine. Yet the sheer magnitude of her achievement in that regard is, well, intriguing. And the grinding of those gears is surely too loud to be ignored. “I’m a revolutionary,” she once sighed. “And yes. it’s a burden.”
Sometimes it’s a burden for her, we sigh in return, and sometimes for us.
Madonna was a busy woman in 1992! What did you enjoy most? A League Of Their Own? This Used To Be My Playground? Erotica? Sex? Body Of Evidence?
Today in Madonna History: December 27, 2003
On December 27 2003, Madonna’s Nothing Fails/Nobody Knows Me single hit #1 and her collaboration with Britney Spears, Me Against The Music hit #2 on Hot Dance Singles Sales chart in US: it was the first time an artist had occupied the top 2 positions on the Singles Sales chart since Puff Daddy in 1997.
Today in Madonna History: December 26, 1987
Today in Madonna History: December 25, 1996
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.”