On August 15 1992, This Used To Be My Playground spent the first of three weeks at #1 on the RPM Canadian Top 100 Singles chart. In RPM’s year-end tally of the biggest hits of 1992 in Canada, the hit placed at #8.
This Used To Be My Playground was written by Madonna, Shep Pettibone & Tony Shimkin (although he was not originally credited) and produced by Madonna & Pettibone.
In an interview with the fan site MadonnaTribe, Shimkin recalled a last-minute dash to complete the recording of the song’s orchestral parts:
“When we recorded it with Al Schmidt at Ocean Way studio in L.A., we had a 30-piece orchestra and Jeremy Lubbock did the string arrangements, (but) we never included the demo that had the solo string part in it when we had him chart everything out for the orchestra,” revealed Shimkin. “On the day we were recording, we thought we were done and realized we forgot the solo. I quickly sang the part to the copyist, who then charted it out for the violin players, and they got it recorded with one minute to spare on the clock. When you have a thirty piece orchestra, it can be super expensive to roll into a second hour of their time!”
Playground-a beautiful ballad about a Michigan-an America that Madonna is unable to recognize because of her mother’s death-a Detroit where Mustangs once roamed free and Corvettes were king!
She looks so beautiful in the TUTBMP video. Great video, great song, and great film!
I read somewhere that Madonna had to fight Warner to keep this song off of Erotica because they wanted to include it since it wasn’t on the soundtrack. It is one of her best ballads, but didn’t fit the Erotica theme. Luckily the album ended with Secret Garden.
There are several versions to Playground. The single version edit, the regular two verse song, the long version which had three verses, the film version which contained four verses and the instrumental. I wish the film version of the song was on the maxi single. Every time i hear this song it takes me back to 1992. Next year will be its big 30.