Today in Madonna History: October 14, 1993

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On October 14 1993, Rolling Stone magazine featured Madonna (several times) in an article featuring The 100 Top Music Videos.

Rolling Stone included the following Madonna music videos: Express Yourself at #10, Like A Prayer at #20, Borderline at #24, Vogue at #28, Justify My Love at #43 and Oh Father at #66 – Madonna had more videos on the list than any other artist or group.

Today in Madonna History: October 11, 1993

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On October 11 1993, Madonna opened the North American leg of The Girlie Show at the SkyDome in Toronto, Canada.

The original Toronto date was October 12 (Thanksgiving Day in Canada), but due to overwhelming demand, a second show was added on October 11.

Madonna performed for 50,880 fans during the two Toronto shows.

The above two ads are the original Toronto Star ads from my (Jay’s) personal collection. Because the newsprint is so old I had to pump up the contrast on my scans to make them more visible. 

Here is the full itinerary for The Girlie Show:

September 25 – Wembley Stadium, London England
September 26 – Wembley Stadium, London England
September 28 – Bercy, Paris France
September 29 – Bercy, Paris France

October 01 – Bercy, Paris France
October 02 – Festhalle, Frankfurt Germany (cancelled)
October 05 – Park, Tel Aviv Israel
October 07 – Inonu Stadium, Istanbul Turkey
October 11 – Toronto Skydome, Toronto Canada
October 12 – Toronto Skydome, Toronto Canada
October 14 – Madison Square Garden, New York United States
October 15 – Madison Square Garden, New York United States
October 17 – Madison Square Garden, New York United States
October 19 – The Spectrum, Philadelphia United States
October 21 – The Palace, Michigan United States
October 23 – Olympic Stadium, Montreal Canada
October 26 – Juan Ramon Stadium, Bayamon Puerto Rico
October 30 – River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires Argentina
October 31 – River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires Argentina

November 03 – Estadio Do Morumbi, Sao Paulo Brazil
November 06 – Estadio Do Maracana, Rio De Janeiro Brazil
November 10 – Foro Sol (Sun Forum), Mexico City Mexico
November 12 – Foro Sol (Sun Forum), Mexico City Mexico
November 13 – Foro Sol (Sun Forum), Mexico City Mexico
November 19 – Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia
November 24 – Anz Stadium, Brisbane Australia
November 26 – Cricket Ground, Melbourne Australia
November 27 – Cricket Ground, Melbourne Australia
November 29 – Cricket Ground, Melbourne Australia

December 01 – Oval, Adelaide Australia
December 03 – Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia
December 04 – Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia
December 07 – Fukuoka Dome, Fukuoka Japan
December 08 – Fukuoka Dome, Fukuoka Japan
December 09 – Fukuoka Dome, Fukuoka Japan
December 13 – Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan
December 14 – Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan
December 16 – Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan
December 17 – Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan
December 19 – Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan

Today in Madonna History: October 4, 1993

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On October 4 1993, Madonna performed The Girlie Show in Israel, despite protests by Jewish groups to cancel her show.  The sold-out concert was performed at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, in front of 80,000 adoring fans.

Today in Madonna History: September 4, 1993

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On September 4 1993, Madonna’s fifth single taken from her Erotica album, Rain, moved to #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA (after 7 weeks on the chart).

Rain is a gorgeous romantic moment from Madonna’s sorely under-appreciated Erotica opus. A slow and seductive rhyme base surrounded by cascading, sparkling, synths inspires a sweet and charming vocal…A wonderfully constructed, memorable tune that deserves as much attention (and airplay) as it can garner.”

– Billboard Magazine

Today in Madonna History: September 2, 1993

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On September 2 1993, Madonna opened the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards performing Bye Bye Baby.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked the performance as #8 of the 20 Best MTV VMAs Opening Performances:

Before there was Jo Calderone, there was Madonna’s gender-bending performance of Bye Bye Baby, the singer donning a tailcoat and top hat in a burlesque/bordello setting that previewed Madonna’s 1993 Girlie Show World Tour, which would kick off in a few weeks. In retrospect, the song selection is strange — “Bye Bye Baby” wasn’t even released as a single in the States. But Madonna’s VMAs portfolio is stacked with captivating presentations, and the risqué Bye Bye Baby performance (full of stroked inner-thighs, spanks, frottage, etc.) was another visual stunner.

Today in Madonna History: July 31, 1993

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On July 31 1993, the fifth single from Madonna’s Erotica album, Rain, debuted at #7 on the UK Singles Chart.

In Japan, a ten track Rain mini album or EP was later released to celebrate the single and the upcoming Girlie Show concerts.  As usual, Australia copied the release, but eliminated the obi-strip from their pressing.

The EP included the following tracks:

Rain (Radio Remix)
Waiting (Remix)
Up Down Suite
Rain (Album Version)
Bad Girl (Extended Mix)
Fever (Extended 12″)
Fever (Shep’s Remedy Dub)
Fever (Murk Boys Miami Dub)
Fever (Oscar G’s Dope Mix)
Rain (Video Edit)

Today in Madonna History: July 17, 1993

On July 17 1993, Rain was released as a single in North America. It was the fourth and final North American single from the Erotica album.

Following a cold reception to Madonna’s previous North American single – the bleak-but-beautiful Bad Girl Rain was given a glossy makeover by French record producer Daniel Abraham (who had recently completed a similar assignment with the video remix of Fever) to help ensure that it would receive a warmer welcome from radio programmers. The U.S. promotional CD that was serviced to radio by Maverick/Warner offered the choice between the sweetened “Radio Remix” (in full-length and edited form) or an edited album version, the latter of which was fittingly used in the song’s gorgeous music video.

As her label had correctly predicted, radio indeed favored the smoother sound of the “Radio Remix” over the darker, more dynamic (and in our opinion, more interesting) production-work of the album mix.

While not an all-out smash hit, Rain was the first single from the Erotica album to impact Billboard’s Hot AC chart, where it reached the Top 10, and it is generally viewed as an initial recovery step following the backlash Madonna had faced in the wake of the Sex book.

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Written and produced by Madonna & Shep Pettibone (unlike the majority of the tracks from Erotica, Tony Shimkin has not been added as co-writer, according to the Warner-Chappel publishing database), Rain was one of the earliest songs conceived during the Erotica album sessions. It appears as the first track on a two-cassette collection of demos from the album sessions submitted to the U.S. Library Of Congress for copyright registration.

The infamously sought-after set is often referred to by fans as The Rain Tapes because of the song’s prominent placement in its sequencing and also due to the likely unintentional visual prominence of the song’s title in the handwritten sleeve notes that accompanied the tapes.

Shep Pettibone created the song’s interesting use of panning percussion by digitally cutting and splicing samples of percussion breaks from an extended version of Scritti Politti’s 1985 hit, Perfect Way (and no, he was not involved with creating the remix). Although no sample credit was given on the album, considering the royalties the band would have earned for their inclusion on Madonna’s Who’s That Girl soundtrack, perhaps she figured that they owed her one.

Rain US Cassette Maxi Single Inner Sleeve

The Rain maxi-single was perhaps most notable for its inclusion of a non-album track, Up Down Suite, which was for all intents and purposes a dub remix of album outtake, Goodbye To Innocence (which remained unreleased at the time, aside from some vocal samples used in a promo-only remix of Fever). A new remix (featuring Everlast) of the Erotica album track, Waiting, was also included on the North American maxi-single, while its album version served as the single’s North American b-side.

With its poetically poignant and emotionally charged lyrics, percussive urgency and one of Madonna’s most ambitious uses of layered self-harmonization (not to mention it being accompanied by one of the most beautiful music videos ever created), it isn’t difficult to understand why Rain remains an enduring fan favorite.

“It’s strange
I feel like I’ve known you before
And I want to understand you
More and more and more
When I’m with you
I feel like a magical child
Everything strange
Everything wild

Waiting is the hardest thing
I tell myself that if I believe in you
In the dream of you
With all my heart and all my soul
That by sheer force of will
I will raise you from the ground
And without a sound you’ll appear
And surrender to me, to love”

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