Today in Madonna History: June 12, 2015

On June 12 2015, Madonna’s Bitch I’m Madonna music video teaser premiered.

The video was shot in New York City at the Standard Hotel and was directed by long-time fan-favourite director, Jonas Åkerlund.

Jonas explained how the video evolved:

Madonna called me about Ghosttown. We hadn’t worked for a while because of different circumstances so when I heard all the songs from Rebel Heart, I was very excited about Ghosttown. I connected to it creatively. And, yeah, we enjoyed working together. I was supposed to start something else right after and that got pushed [back] and she asked me to do Bitch I’m Madonna. I saw it being so completely different from Ghosttown, something a little bit less serious, just fun and crazy.

Today in Madonna History: June 11, 1998

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On June 11 1998, Ray of Light became Madonna’s highest debuting single, peaking at number-five in its first week on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

The title-track from her seventh studio album was present for a total of twenty weeks on the Hot 100, and placed at number seventy-five on the year-end chart. Much of its chart success was due to strong sales, receiving a boost from the inclusion of non-album track, Has To Be, on the b-side of the two-track single, as well as the commercially-released VHS video-single. On the Airplay chart, however, the song fizzled out at number twenty-six due to radio’s tepid support of the single’s unconventional sound. Meanwhile, there was nothing tepid about the response from club DJ’s, with the remixes earning Madonna another number-one on the Hot Dance/Club Play chart where it spent four weeks at the top and seven weeks in the top-five.

Outside the U.S., the Ray of Light single reached number-three in Canada, number-two in the UK, Italy and Finland, and number-one in Spain.

Today in Madonna History: June 10, 1990

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On June 10 1990, Madonna and Warren Beatty attended the premiere of Dick Tracy in Washington, DC.

Madonna rocked a pair of John Fluevog Munster platforms at the premiere. The shoes were highlighted again in Madonna’s Truth or Dare documentary.

I’m a HUGE fan of Vogs. My favourite pairs (right now): My CBC’s, Garrics and James. The staff at the Distillery store in Toronto are TOP NOTCH — Big Vog Fan from Toronto — Jay

Today In Madonna History: June 9, 2016

On June 9 2016, Madonna appeared as musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, singing a soulfully spot-on take of her classic 1984 hit, Borderline.

With nothing in particular to promote, Madonna accepted the offer to perform as a means of meeting the featured guest, U.S. President Barrack Obama. An uncharacteristically starstruck Madonna posing for a picture with Obama backstage offered proof that Madonna’s wish was indeed granted.

Forgivably opportunistic photo-ops aside, there was a poetic twist behind the nostalgia of her rare throwback performance that went typically unnoticed: Madonna’s very first appearance on the The Tonight Show had occurred exactly twenty-nine years earlier to the day – on June 9, 1987 – with late-night legend of the era, Johnny Carson. In that flirtatious first appearance she effortlessly accomplished her modest goal of having a smitten Carson in the palm of her hand.

Twenty-nine years, three hosts and four Presidents later, Madonna returned to The Tonight Show to deliver the definitive performance of an under-performed classic, and capped it off with a spontaneous roll on the floor with Fallon and some snapshots with Obama. Cuz that’s just how she rolls.

Today in Madonna History: June 8, 1992

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On June 8 1992, Madonna began recording sessions for the Erotica album at Soundworks, in New York.

While the writing and recording of Madonna’s previous albums had typically unfolded rather quickly, Erotica marked a change of pace in the creation of a Madonna record. Songwriting sessions for the set had occurred sporadically throughout the previous year with Shep Pettibone, Tony Shimkin and Andre Betts, in between movie projects and photo shoots for her upcoming coffee table book, Sex.

In contrast to the slick production qualities of the albums that preceded it, Madonna wanted Erotica to feature a darker, more gritty and less polished sound. This led to the decision to carry over many of the original demo vocals recorded during the songwriting process at Shep’s home studio to the final versions, with mainly lyrical additions/changes, musical overdubs, background vocals and final mixing taking place during the sessions at Soundworks.

One notable change that did occur in these final recording sessions was Madonna’s decision to swap her original lyrics for the song Goodbye To Innocence (which had gone through various incarnations in an attempt to keep the track off the cutting room floor) with the lyrics of the torch classic, Fever.  An earlier arrangement of Goodbye To Innocence with lyrics intact was later featured on the pro-choice compilation album, Just Say Roe, while a dub version of the same arrangement was retitled Up Down Suite when it appeared as a b-side on the Rain maxi-single. Another rough demo of the same track (streaming above), which is referred to as the “Straight Pass” mix on its original submission for copyright registration (which indicates that mixing of the track had not been finalized and that it is not mastered), leaked to file sharing services in February, 2008.

The “Straight Pass” mix bears some similarity to another unreleased track that was discarded early in the recording sessions, You Are The One. Aside from the lyrical paradox (with “You are the one” flipped to “I am the one”), both feature samples from Arabic singer Fairuz that would be reworked into the released version of the Erotica album’s title track and lead single.

Today in Madonna History: June 7, 1986

On June 7 1986, Madonna’s Live To Tell hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA, giving Madonna her third #1 single.

Written by Madonna and Patrick Leonard, Live To Tell was Madonna’s fourth soundtrack song in two years (Crazy For You, Into The Groove, Gambler & Live To Tell), and it was also the lead single from Madonna’s True Blue album.

What is your favourite Madonna soundtrack song?

Today in Madonna History: June 6, 2013

On June 6 2013, a press release by Universal Music announced the release date of the MDNA World Tour concert film and live album:

Madonna’s groundbreaking, critically acclaimed, controversial and visually stunning MDNA concert will be available in the US on August 27th (August 26th globally), it was announced today by Universal Music. The two hour MDNA extravaganza was the most successful tour of 2012. Presented by Live Nation Global Touring, the tour included 88 sold out shows in 29 countries. Madonna and her ten member band lead by musical director Kevin Antunes and troupe of 25 dancers performed a wild two hour spectacle that fascinated, enthralled and entertained 2.2 million fans.

“Madonna spent six months personally editing the video footage from 30 cameras and many different shows to put together the MDNA DVD. Her attention to every frame, every detail and nuance and total commitment to show her creative vision has been done to perfection. Each song is like a short movie. One minute you are in an action movie and the next you’re at a golden era musical before shooting across to India and back for a house party to finish. It’s better than any 3-D Imax movie out there and at a break neck pace that would make any Olympian struggle for breath,” commented the show’s co- director and supervising editor, Danny B. Tull.

Songs included “Girl Gone Wild” and “Gang Bang” from Madonna’s MDNA CD which debuted at No. 1 in 35 countries as well as fan favorite classic Madonna songs such as “Hung Up”, “Express Yourself,” “Vogue,” “Open Your Heart,” “Like A Prayer” and “Celebration”.

“My show is a journey.. the journey of a soul from darkness to light. It is part cinematic musical theatre, part spectacle and sometimes intimate performance art. I know people can relate to it. It’s very important to me as an artist that my show not be taken out of context. It must be watched with an open heart from beginning to end.. I am sure if it is viewed this way, the viewer will walk away feeling inspired, invigorated and will want to make the world a better place.. And this of course is my intention,” remarked Madonna in her manifesto about the show.

Amongst the glowing reviews, the Daily Mail raved, “The queen of pop’s latest album MDNA provided the bedrock for a two hour show that sent out a powerful message to any young pretenders eyeing up her crown.. She remains one of the greats.”

“Madonna’s sold-out concert was a jaw-dropping sequence of stunningly designed set pieces; including an aerial drum crops, a battalion of dazzling dancers, an explosively bloody gangster fantasy and a surreal spiritual voyage,” remarked The Miami Herald.

“The Material Girl proceeds to take us through a song cycle that examined sex, liberation, sin , empowerment, love, addiction, rebellion and finally redemption.. She did it all in classic Madonna style – controversial and eye-popping,” commented The Dallas Morning News.

The MDNA DVD was directed by Danny B. Tull and Stephane Sennour and was produced by Madonna. Executive producers: Arthur Fogel, Guy Oseary and Sara Zambreno. Tour wardrobe was created by Arianne Phillips. Supervising Editor Danny B. Tull. Director of Photography Mark Ritchie.

 

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