Today in Madonna History: April 7, 1990

On April 7 1990, Madonna’s Vogue single was briefly reviewed in Billboard magazine.

Vogue’s early release to radio and the addition of its music video to MTV’s playlist were also noted in the same issue.

Today in Madonna History: April 6 1990

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On April 6 1990, Madonna’s Vogue maxi single was released.

Here is the allmusic.com review of the maxi single:

Vogue, the first single from Madonna’s Dick Tracy-inspired 1990 album I’m Breathless, was arguably one of her crowning artistic achievements (both song-wise and video-wise), one of the biggest all-time house music hits (spending three weeks atop the U.S. pop charts), and her second proper U.S. maxi-single release. The single includes four versions: the single version, the 12″ version, the Bette Davis Dub, and the Strike-A-Pose Dub. The song’s most definitive version, that being the album/video version, is not on the single. The single version, where she asks “what are you looking at,” begins with drumbeats and goes straight into the song, as opposed to the album version’s minute-long introduction. Besides the different intros, however, the rest is the same. The 12″ version is, naturally, quite longer, and just as good. The “Bette Davis Dub” begins with the extended album intro, but, save for the chorus and the “rap,” is virtually instrumental, as is the last mix, which cleverly uses samples from Like a Virgin. This disc’s main selling point is the fact that it’s a collection piece, and for collectors and diehards, it’s nice to have the single edit and 12″ mix. But if one is a casual fan, go with the album version.

Today in Madonna History: February 14, 1990

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On February 14 1990, Bloodhounds of Broadway was released on home video.

The Howard Brookner film generated $44,000 at the box office.

Today in Madonna History: January 30, 1990

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On January 30 1990, Keep It Together was released in North America as the fifth and final single from Like A Prayer. It also received a commercial release in Japan, Australia, Ecuador and the Philippines, while some European markets opted to include it as the b-side to Madonna’s next single, Vogue.

As fate would ironically have it, Madonna’s soulful ode to remembering ones roots would turn out to be the last Madonna-performed single co-written and co-produced with longtime collaborator Stephen Bray, whom she had befriended (or by some accounts, dated) during her days as a student at the University of Michigan. A final collaboration written by the pair, Get Over – which is speculated to have been written as a potential new track for The Immaculate Collection but was instead given to fellow Warner recording artist Nick Scotti – was released as a single in 1993, after first appearing on the Nothing But Trouble soundtrack in 1991.

Although no music video was produced for Keep It Together, the maxi-single – jam-packed with memorable remixes by Shep Pettibone and DJ Mark “The 45 King” with Stephen Bray – made the single a must-have for fans around the world. And despite its exclusion from her greatest hits releases, Madonna’s show-closing (and show-stopping) performance of the song during her legendary Blond Ambition Tour – and its accompanying documentary Truth Or Dare – has also served to keep the song alive in the hearts and minds of fans.

Today in Madonna History: January 23, 1990

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On January 23 1990, Madonna’s Like A Prayer album was certified triple platinum for sales of 3 million units in the USA.

Producer Patrick Leonard talked to Billboard magazine about working with Madonna on Like A Prayer:

“She’d start writing lyrics and oftentimes there was an implied melody. She would start with that and deviate from it. Or if there was nothing but a chord change, she’d make up a melody. But, a lot of the time in my writing there’s a melody implied or I even have something in mind. But she certainly doesn’t need that.  She would write the lyrics in an hour, the same amount of time it took me to write the music, and then she’d sing it. We’d do some harmonies, she’d sing some harmony parts, and usually by three or four in the afternoon, she was gone.”

Today in Madonna History: December 19, 1990

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On December 19 1990, the film Dick Tracy was released on home video.

Here’s a video I put together for one of our favorite songs from the film, Stephen Sondheim’s More.

Today in Madonna History: December 15, 1990

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On December 15 1990, the LA Times printed a feature article by Robert Hilburn, about Madonna’s forth-coming laser-disc release of the Blond Ambition tour.

Can Madonna sell laser-disc players as well as she sells herself? Pioneer Artists, the nation’s leading distributor of music-related laser discs, hopes so. In a move virtually unprecedented in the video industry, Pioneer has just released Madonna’s Blond Ambition World Tour Live exclusively on laser disc. Normally, video packages of this nature are released on videocassette two to six weeks before they are released on laser-disc. In this case, however, Blond Ambition won’t be released on videocassette for at least a year.  Steven Galloway, president of Pioneer Artists, said he hopes the fact that an artist of Madonna’s stature would release a video only on laser disc will send a signal to millions of potential laser customers that the new format has finally come of age.

Galloway said that the laser exclusive with Madonna grew out of an agreement last spring for Pioneer, the electronics hardware and software giant, to sponsor her tour.

“I contacted her manager, Freddy DeMann, long before the tour started in hopes of getting the laser-disc rights to any video that was going to be shot in association with the tour,” Galloway said. DeMann was meeting with potential corporate sponsors at the time, Galloway said, and he asked if Pioneer would be interested in sponsoring the tour. The company apparently jumped at the opportunity.

“Madonna is the ideal artist to reach the new demographics that we are hoping to attract with the new, low-priced combination CD and laser players . . . the young, hip 18-35 audience,” Galloway said.

“Until these low-priced players arrived, laser discs were considered something just for the high-end market . . . a rich man’s toy. But that has changed and Madonna seemed the ideal artist to drive that point home.”

And what about the Blond Ambition package itself?

The video is based on the same concert in Nice that HBO broadcast live last summer, but the new, edited laser version offers much more of the vitality and charm of the show itself than the HBO special.

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