On May 16 1988, Madonna’s Spotlight reached a peak of #3 on the Oricon International Singles Chart in Japan. The single was released on 7″ vinyl and 3″ mini CD single by Sire and Warner-Pioneer Japan on April 25 1988.
Spotlight was originally planned to be included on the True Blue album, but was cut from the line-up and eventually appeared on Madonna’s You Can Dance remix album, released on November 17 1988.
The song was written by Madonna, Stephen Bray and Curtis Hudson. The song was remixed by Shep Pettibone, with additional mixing done by John “Jellybean” Benitez.
On March 8 1988, Papa Don’t Preach was released in the CD Video format in the U.S.
The CD Video format, introduced in Japan in 1987, combined the technologies of the standard audio compact disc with LaserDisc video on a 5″ gold-coloured disc.
The Papa Don’t Preach CD Video (which was also released in Japan and in the U.K.) included the song’s 1986 music video together with the 7″ Version, 12″ Version and the U.S. b-side Pretender on the audio portion of the disc. It was Madonna’s only commercial release in the short-lived format.
On April 10 1988, Madonna won a Razzie Award for Worst Actress in Who’s That Girl at the 8th annual Golden Raspberry Awards at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Blossom Ballroom in Los Angeles, California.
On January 12 1988, Possessive Love, a song written by Madonna, Patrick Leonard & Jai Winding and performed by Marilyn Martin was released as the lead single from Martin’s second album for Atlantic Records, This Is Serious. Martin is perhaps best known for her chart-topping duet with Phil Collins, Separate Lives. Though Possessive Love failed to make any chart impact, Madonna’s involvement in the song has kept it from being completely forgotten.
In an interview by Breathe Cast writer Timothy Yap, Martin was asked about the circumstances surrounding the song:
I met Pat Leonard when I began the search for a producer for my second album. He’s the one who approached Madonna with the idea of writing a song for me and she graciously agreed. Pat called me one day while he was working on her Like a Prayer album and asked if I would like to come and sing backgrounds [on Cherish]. Talk about an ‘Are you kidding?’ moment! That was the only time I met her. She was impressive to say the least. Very in charge. She absolutely knows her mind and insists on her music being true to her vision. She was very focused and a tad intimidating, but that’s not surprising given her amazing success over the years. I thought it was pretty cool that before agreeing to write Possessive Love for me to sing on my album she asked Pat Leonard if I was a nice person.”
Martin’s claim that the song was written specifically for her rather than being a leftover from one of Madonna’s album sessions is likely accurate, given the fact that Winding was never involved in songwriting sessions for any of Madonna’s albums. Winding’s involvement as a musician in the Who’s That Girl Tour suggests that the song may have been written at some point during the 1987 tour.
The sentiments expressed in Possessive Love appear to align with the issues Madonna was reportedly facing in her marriage to Sean Penn at the time, with reports of their initial separation dominating the tabloids in late 1987. Madonna would revisit and further elaborate on her marital woes on the Like A Prayer album track, Til Death Do Us Part, which was written later in 1988.
On January 9 1988, Spotlight peaked at #15 on Billboard’s Hot Crossover Singles chart in the U.S.
Despite not being released as a single commercially outside Japan and receiving no direct promotion in the U.S., Spotlight managed to garner enough airplay for an eight-week run on the Crossover chart. It also appeared on the Hot 100 Airplay chart for five weeks, peaking at #32 in February, 1988.
On September 26 1988, Madonna began recording the Like A Prayer album in Los Angeles, California with collaborators Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray.
Madonna had begun writing for the album during down time of her Broadway run in David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow, for which she gave her final performance in late August. With her marriage to Sean Penn on the rocks, Madonna found herself at a personal and creative crossroads–with plenty to express.