Today in Madonna History: February 18, 2006

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On February 18 2006, Shaun Woodford spoke to the BBC about how he was challenged to transform the back of an everyday van into a ’70s nightclub on wheels for Madonna’s Sorry music video.

Shaun said that when his customized car firm in Wales first received the request to pimp out the van with pink neon lights, lilac shag carpet and mirror disco balls, he thought it was a joke.

“We weren’t sure what to think at first! And it was only when we got the go ahead, that we knew it was for Madonna’s video.”

Shaun’s team at AB Styling Ltd were given one week to complete the job.

“Everything we needed had to be ordered in and there was a couple of moments where I thought it was going to be touch and go, but we did manage it.”

Shaun delivered the van on time and spent the week on set.

“It was a brilliant experience and by far the biggest job we’ve ever done – you can’t get bigger than Madonna.”

MTV documented and aired the makeover of the van in an episode of Pimp My Ride.

Today in Madonna History: February 17, 1993

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On February 17 1993, A League Of Their Own was released on home video.

Mae Mordabito: What if at a key moment in the game my, my uniform bursts open and, uh, oops, my bosoms come flying out? That, that might draw a crowd, right?

Doris Murphy: You think there are men in this country who ain’t seen your bosoms?

Today in Madonna History: February 16, 1998

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On February 16 1998, Madonna’s Frozen music video premiered on MTV.

The video was delivered to select music video outlets (such as MTV and MuchMusic) in a block of dry ice.  Leading up to the video premiere, the VJs had to melt or chip away at the block to get to the video inside.

Select radio stations also received a promotional ice chest, which included a 3-track CD and a flyer promoting the lead single from Ray Of Light. The CD included the following tracks:

  1. Frozen – Radio Edit
  2. Frozen – Album Version
  3. Frozen – Hook For Call Out Research

 

Today in Madonna History: February 15, 1984

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On February 15 1984, Madonna’s Borderline single was released in North America. Borderline was the fourth North American single to be released from her self-titled debut album, while in most other markets Lucky Star was released ahead of Borderline. It was written and composed by producer Reggie Lucas, and remixed by Madonna’s then-boyfriend John “Jellybean” Benitez.

In an interview recalling the launch of Madonna’s recording career, Sire Records head Seymour Stein stated, “I dared to believe this was going to be huge beyond belief, the biggest thing I’d ever had, after I heard Borderline. The passion that she put into that song, I thought, there’s no stopping this girl.”

In the United States, Borderline became Madonna’s first top-ten hit when it reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 16, 1984. In Canada, it peaked at #25 on September 15, 1984.

Today in Madonna History: February 14, 1998

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On February 14 1998, performed a three-song mini-set to promote the release of her upcoming album Ray Of Light at The Roxy nightclub in New York City. The exclusive event marked Madonna’s first club show in fourteen years and featured performances of Sky Fits Heaven, Shanti/Ashtangi and a ten-minute version of Ray Of Light.

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Today in Madonna History: February 13, 1995

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On February 13 1995, Bedtime Story was released in Europe by Maverick Records as the third single from the album Bedtime Stories. In North America, the single was delayed until April due to the sleeper success of Take A Bow, which continued its slow-but-steady climb to the top of the Hot 100.

Bedtime Story was written by Björk, Marius De Vries & Nellee Hooper and was produced by Hooper & Madonna. Björk’s original demo, titled Let’s Get Unconscious, was reworked by Hooper & DeVries and renamed Bedtime Story for its submission to Madonna. Björk later revisited elements of the song’s lyrics in Sweet Intuition–a b-side from her 1995 single, Army Of Me.

In a 2001 interview for NYLON magazine, writer James Servin asked Björk whether it was true that she had written the lyrics to Bedtime Story for Madonna because she liked the idea of her expressing a viewpoint that was paradoxical to her controlled public image:

“I think at the time, yes. But that’s like six years ago, when everything about [Madonna] seemed very controlled. I think she’s a very intuitive person, and definitely her survival instincts are incredible. They’re like, outrageous. At the time, the words I thought she should say were, ‘I’m not using words anymore, let’s get unconscious honey. Fuck logic. Just be intuitive. Be more free. Go with the flow.’ Right now, she seems pretty much to be going with the flow.”

This prompts me to ask Björk if she thinks she might have put those mellowing-out thoughts into Madonna’s head. “Well, I wouldn’t credit myself for that,” she says. “Not at all. That’s a question for you to ask her.”

I sent a fax to Madonna via her publicist Liz Rosenberg, with the question: “Did singing the lyrics Björk wrote for Bedtime Story lead you in the direction of going more with the flow?” A day or two later, I receive this e-mail from Liz Rosenberg: “I wish I could get an answer from Madonna for you. She’s deep into rehearsals for her tour, and I can’t get any info from her for a while. I can tell you that Madonna certainly thinks Björk is inspiring and a brilliant artist. Madonna is a huge fan of her music. I’ve never thought Madonna was a ‘go with the flow’ person before or after recording Bedtime Story. She goes with a flow – but it’s a flow of her own creation, if you know what I mean.”

Today in Madonna History: February 12, 2000

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On February 12 2000, Madonna’s American Pie video first aired on MTV. The video was directed by Philipp Stölzl, with Madonna’s parts being filmed in London.

What did Don McLean think about Madonna’s cover of his hit song?

“It is a gift for her to have recorded American Pie. I think it is sensual and mystical. I also feel that she’s chosen autobiographical verses that reflect her career and personal history. I have received many gifts from God but this is the first time I have ever received a gift from a goddess.”

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