On May 30th 1987, Breakfast Club scored their biggest hit as Right On Track peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Madonna became a member of Breakfast Club in late 1979, first as a drummer before branching out to keyboards and guitar, all the while sharing vocal duties (and living quarters) with her boyfriend, Dan Gilroy, and his brother Ed.
Bassist Gary Burke left Breakfast Club with Madonna and Mike Monahan to form Emmy with Stephen Bray in early 1981.
As Madonna was achieving success as a solo artist, Burke and Bray rejoined the Gilroy brothers for Breakfast Club’s 1984 single, Rico Mambo, on ZE Records, followed by a self-titled LP for MCA Records in 1987.
In yet another Madonna connection, Re-Invention Tour back-up singer/dancer Siedah Garrett makes an appearance in the video for Right On Track and also provided backing vocals for the song.
If only I could hear Madonna’s early recordings…
James, you can hear clips of her earliest recordings with the The Breakfast Club in the new documentary film Madonna And The Breakfast Club. Most of the clips included in the film have never surfaced publicly prior to the film’s release and are quite interesting to hear! While some of the songs are elaborated in rerecorded form featuring other singers (perhaps due to the low quality or degradation of some of the original recordings), there are still enough bits and pieces of original recordings to give viewers a broad sense of the music she and the band were making. I would definitely recommend this documentary to any Madonna fans who haven’t seen it. Unlike the higher profile feature about Madonna’s early years that is supposedly in the works which Madonna herself has publicly denounced, the Breakfast Club documentary relies on first hand accounts from her former band mates rather than mining misinformation from unauthorized biographies. The Gilroy brothers in particular share a refreshingly honest, practical yet candid perspective, never resorting to the typical jealous-and-bitter narrative that tends to consume former acquaintances of highly successful and ambitious women.
i never understood the chicken back up singers. LOL
lol…one of those chickens is actually Siedah Garrett, believe it or not, who had worked with Bray previously on the True Blue album! The chicken costumes must be an inside joke, as they also turn up on another video from the album, Kiss And Tell, which is possibly their best song (although the original 1984 version of Rico Mambo is pretty great too!). I’ll be sharing the Kiss And Tell video in a future post, and it’s also on YouTube.
I never hear the Breakfast Club’s later music, but I enjoyed that mid-80s sound in “Right On Track.” The video is hilariously kooky, especially the chicken singers!
They only released the one album and a couple of singles. They recorded a second album in the early 90’s but it was shelved and they broke up. They only just recently released the songs from the second album independently as an EP, although I haven’t heard it. Their 80’s music is indeed a fun slice of the times!