Today in Madonna History: August 24, 1998

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On August 24 1998, Drowned World/Substitute For Love was released as the third single from Ray Of Light in most major markets outside North America. The song was written by Madonna, William Orbit and David Collins (Rod McKuen and Anita Kerr were also credited for sampled use of their composition “Why I Follow The Tigers” performed by The San Sebastian Strings) and was produced by Madonna and Orbit.

With the album’s title track being issued as the second single in North America a month after its release in other markets, it was decided to release Drowned World/Substitute For Love to fill the gap until her next international single release, The Power Of Good-bye. The single peaked at number-ten in the UK, at number-five in Italy and at number-one in Spain. Despite not being released in Canada, the song managed to reach number eighteen on the Canadian singles chart based solely on sales of the European import single, and without any promotion from radio or music video stations. Club play of the imported single, which featured remixes of both Drowned World/Substitute For Love and its b-side, Sky Fits Heaven, prompted a brief appearance by the latter on the U.S. Hot Dance/Club Play Chart, peaking at number forty-one.

The music video, filmed in London by director Walter Stern, caused a minor controversy due to scenes of Madonna’s car being chased by paparazzi on motorcycles, an image still fresh in the public’s mind at the time due the circumstances surrounding the death of Princess Diana. Liz Rosenberg denied that the scene had anything to do with the late Princess, adding that the video was about Madonna’s own experience and relationship with fame.

The song is often ranked as a fan favorite and seems to be highly-regarded by Madonna as well, considering her 2001 concert tour was named after the song and it was used as the show’s opening number. It was also performed during 2006’s Confessions Tour and appeared on her second greatest hits collection, GHV2. An early demo version of the song believed to be produced with Patrick Leonard titled No Substitute For Love leaked online in the early 2000’s. The demo contains similar lyrics but a completely different musical backing track and melody. The music that was used on the final version of the song was a previously composed instrumental track by William Orbit.

Famous faces, far off places
Trinkets I can buy
No handsome stranger, heady danger
Drug that I can try
No ferris wheel, no heart to steal
No laughter in the dark
No one-night stand, no far-off land
No fire that I can spark

Today In Madonna History: August 23, 2003

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On August 23 2003, the Hollywood remixes hit number-one on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the US. It was her 30th single to reach the top of the dance charts.

Today in Madonna History: August 22, 1987

On August 22 1987, Madonna’s Who’s That Girl single spent a second week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart in the USA.

Today in Madonna History: August 21, 2000

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 “Hey Mr. DJ, put a record on, I want to dance with my baby.”

On August 21 2000, Madonna’s Music single was released.  Music was the lead single from her eighth studio album of the same name.  It was written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï.

Music peaked number one in 22 other countries, including Australia, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom.  The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Music was the longest running number-one single on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart for the decade (five weeks).  The song was the second most successful dance single of the decade in the United States, behind Madonna’s own Hung Up (2005). Music was the last number one hit on the Canadian RPM singles chart.

Today in Madonna History: August 20, 2008

On August 20 2008, Live Nation released this press release for Madonna’s 2008 Sticky & Sweet World Tour:

Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour Kicks Off This Saturday In Cardiff

Madonna, currently putting the finishing touches to her fabulous new Sticky & Sweet show in Cardiff, is readying herself and the 250 travelling personnel for the opening night this Saturday at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. Hot on the diamante shaped heels of her phenomenally successful Hard Candy disc, Sticky & Sweet promises two pulsating hours of non-stop hits in a show that features 16 dancers, a 12 piece band, more than 8 costume changes for the lady herself and £l million of Swarovski crystals. The audience is taken on a rock driven dancetastic journey that’s broken into four sections:

Pimp – A mashed up homage to 1920’s deco and modern day gangsta pimp. Madonna makes a grand entrance dressed by Givenchy.

Old School – Madonna tips her hat to her early 80’s downtown New York City dance roots with flashes of Keith Haring and the dance culture vibe of the time including the birth of rap.

Gypsy – A VIP trip to La Isla Bonita infused by the spirit of Romanian folk music and dance. A tour de force.

Rave – Far eastern influences emerge all sparkly and sporty.

Sticky & Sweet kicks off this Saturday August 23rd at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. The tour hits London’s Wembley Stadium September 11th. The Sticky & Sweet Tour is produced by Live Nation Global Touring.

Today in Madonna History: August 19, 2009

On August 19 2009, Madonna’s Celebration was released as a digital EP on iTunes in North America. The EP featured remixes by Benny Benassi, Paul Oakenfold and Johnny Vicious.

Today in Madonna History: August 18, 1987

On August 18 1987, Madonna performed the first of three sold-out Who’s That Girl Tour concerts at Wembley Stadium in London.

In total, Madonna performed for 216,000 fans during the three nights at Wembley.

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