Today in Madonna History: December 12, 1986

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On December 12 1986, Open Your Heart was released in North America as the fourth single from True Blue. The song was written by Madonna, Gardner Cole & Peter Rafelson and produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard.

The single’s worldwide b-side, White Heat, an album track from True Blue, developed a relatively high profile due to its inclusion as the flip-side to two of Madonna’s #1 hits–the aforementioned Open Your Heart and 1987’s Who’s That Girl, released only six months apart. Gaining further exposure as a set-list staple during the Who’s That Girl Tour, the live performance of White Heat foreshadowed some of the dramatic elements that Madonna would expand upon in future tours.

White Heat’s original submission for copyright was registered to Madonna & Leonard under the working title Get Up, Stand Tall with a 1985 date of creation. Notes from the registration on file also list the title Dangerous–but it is likely just another working title that was being considered rather than a separate recording.  White Heat is thought to have been among the earliest songwriting collaborations between Madonna & Leonard to be completed, coming shortly after their first composition, Love Makes The World Go Round, surfaced during Live Aid in the summer of 1985. The sequence of the registration numbers for the two songs suggests that they may they have been completed within a month or two of each other. Madonna’s version of Open Your Heart (which she revised from the Cole/Rafelson demo) is also thought to have been recorded with Leonard during the same time period.

The liner notes of True Blue dedicated White Heat to actor James Cagney, who in 1949 played ruthless, deranged gang leader Arthur “Cody” Jarrett in the Warner Brothers film, White Heat. Several clips of Cagney’s dialogue from the original motion picture were used in the song for dramatic effect.

Today in Madonna History: October 2, 1986

On October 2 1986, Madonna’s True Blue music video premiered on BBC1-TV’s Top Of The Pops. The video was directed by James Foley and shot in early September (1986) in New York.

Two of Madonna’s closest friends (at the time), Erika Belle and Debi Mazar, appeared in the video.

A second video for True Blue (which does not include Madonna) was shown on MTV in the USA. The second video was the winner of Madonna’s ‘Make My Video’ Contest. The winners (Angel Gracia and Cliff Guest) were flown to MTV’s New York studio where Madonna presented them a $25,000 check live on MTV.

 

Today in Madonna History: September 20, 1986

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On September 20 1986, Madonna attended the Second Annual Commitment to Life Gala to Benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

Today in Madonna History: September 12, 1986

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On September 12 1986, Madonna appeared on the cover of Movieline magazine: the complete guide to movies in Los Angeles.

Today in Madonna History: September 10, 1986

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On September 10 1986, True Blue was released as a single in Canada. Written & produced by Madonna & Stephen Bray, the title-track of her third album was a 1960’s Motown-inspired love letter to her husband, Sean Penn.

After including True Blue on 1987’s Who’s That Girl World Tour set list, the song appeared to have been written out of Madonna’s repertoire following her split from Sean. By 2015’s Rebel Heart Tour, Madonna had made amens with both Sean and True Blue, performing the track as a stripped-down, crowd-pleasing acoustic number.

Shep Pettibone’s remixes of the single marked his first of many collaborations with Madonna.

Today in Madonna History: August 29, 1986

On August 29 1986, Shanghai Surprise was released in the USA in 400 theatres. The film starred Madonna and Sean Penn and made $2.3 million against a budget of $17 million.

Today in Madonna History: August 23, 1986

On August 23 1986, Papa Don’t Preach spent the first of two weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Maxi-Singles Sales chart.

Despite being more of a pop/rock song than a club-oriented cut – both in its original form and in Stephen Bray’s extended remix version – Papa Don’t Preach nevertheless managed to reach #4 on Billboard’s August 30th Hot Dance/Club Play chart due to the massive buzz surrounding the song and its undeniable crossover appeal.

 

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