On October 12 1985, Madonna’s Gambler debuted at #20 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was included on the Vision Quest soundtrack (along with Crazy For You) and released by Geffen Records. Madonna’s record company, Sire Records, prevented Gambler from being released as a single in the USA.
After two weeks on the chart, Gambler peaked at #4.
With Gambler‘s success, Madonna became the first female artist to rack up 8 UK top-ten singles in one calendar year.
Jay’s Note: I’d love to see Gambler appear on a future greatest hits collection. Madonna could totally rock this song out on guitar on a future tour. Fingers crossed!
On July 13 1985, Bette Midler introduced Madonna at Live Aid’s charity concert in Philadelphia:
“I want you to know I have no idea why I was asked to introduce this next act — because you all know, I am the soul of good taste and decorum. However we are thrilled to be able to introduce to you today a woman whose name has been on everyone’s lips for the last six months. A woman who pulled herself up by her bra straps and has been known to let them down occasionally.”
Madonna was happy to tell the global audience of 1.9 billion viewers: “I ain’t taking off shit today.”
On July 9 1985, Madonna appeared on the cover of the New York Post with one of her most famous quotes, “I’M NOT ASHAMED!”
The quote was in response to the controversy swirling around the Playboy and Penthouse releases of nude photos that were taken of Madonna when she was a struggling model in her early days in New York.
Do you think Madonna should have been embarrassed of her early nude modelling work?
On June 22 1985, Angel/Into The Groove spent its second week at #1 on the Hot Maxi-Single Sales chart (then titled 12 inch Single Sales). It also inched its way closer to the top of the Hot Dance/Club Play chart (then titled simply Club Play), moving from #3 to #2.
Mainly driven by the popularity of Into The Groove (which was available exclusively on the Angel maxi-single in North America) with its heavy rotation on MTV, in clubs and its prominent appearance in the hit film Desperately Seeking Susan, the release would spend a total of twelve weeks in the top-5 of the Hot Maxi-Single Sales chart, including seven non-consecutive weeks at #1. Being a niche format that rarely generated enough mainstream interest to earn certification-level sales, Angel/Into The Groove has the distinction of being only the fourth maxi-single in history be certified Gold in the U.S.
In Canada, interest in Into The Groove prompted Warner Music Canada to issue Madonna’s first North American cassette maxi-single in addition to the standard 12 inch vinyl. The experiment clearly proved successful, as Warner Music Canada would continue to offer her subsequent releases in both formats several years before the U.S. followed suit.
On June 1 1985, Warner Bros. and Sire Records took out a centerfold ad in Billboard magazine to celebrate the resounding success of Madonna’s first concert trek, The Virgin Tour.
Featuring the cover image from her current hit single Angel as its backdrop, the spread cheekily alluded to Madonna’s “virgin” moniker with its caption:
“You were wonderful! We’re proud of you. Congratulations on your first tour.
– Warner Bros. and Sire Records.”