Today in Madonna History: November 20, 1993

On November 20 1993, Madonna – Live Down Under: The Girlie Show (taped November 19th at Sydney Cricket Ground) was broadcast on HBO-TV. In Australia, Madonna postponed a scheduled concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground due to severe rain.

Recording of the November 19th show had been intended to serve as both a practice run for the following night, and as a safety recording in the event of technical difficulties or cancellation of the November 20th concert. With Madonna apparently satisfied with the safety footage captured on the 19th, neither the December 3rd show at the Cricket Ground nor the rescheduled date (December 4th) served to provide supplemental footage for the eventual VHS/laserdisc release. The only notable differences between the HBO broadcast and the released version were some alternate camera angles and additional audio mixing.

Today in Madonna History: November 19, 1993

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On November 19 1993, the movie Dangerous Game premiered in New York City. Madonna shared top-billing with co-stars Harvey Keitel & James Russo in director Abel Ferrara’s gritty and experimental film about film-making. It was one of the first productions by Maverick Pictures, the film arm of Madonna’s multimedia company that was born in partnership with Warner Bros. the previous year. In some countries, the film was released under its original title, Snake Eyes, which could not be used in the U.S. due to a previous trademark on the name.

Given Maverick’s production involvement, it is perhaps unsurprising that the film’s credits include some names that should be familiar to many Madonna fans:

  • Madonna’s longtime manager and founding partner in Maverick, Freddy DeMann, as executive producer
  • Madonna’s assistant at the time, Missy Coggiola
  • her frequent costume designer, Marlene Stewart
  • her stylist, Hiram Ortiz–who not only styled her for the film but also appears as her stylist onscreen
  • Madonna’s then-future manager, now the late Caresse Henry–at the time an assistant to DeMann
  • songs by Maverick-signed music groups Proper Grounds & UNV
  • Madonna’s eldest brother, Anthony Ciccone, as locations production assistant

Unhappy with Ferrara’s final cut of the film–which was reported to have been drastically altered from the movie that had been pitched to the actors–Madonna did not attend the premiere and, in Ferrara’s view, killed the movie’s shot at achieving wider distribution after badmouthing it in the press. Ironically, Ferrara noted, the reviews of Madonna’s strong performance in the film (which was certainly more natural, raw & vulnerable than any of her previous big-screen appearances) are among the best she had received as an actress at the time.

Dangerous Game was re-released on Blu-ray in North America on November 17, 2015 by Olive Films. It includes both the theatrical and the “unrated” versions of the movie.

(Note: the clips used in the short preview above are from a low-resolution, compressed rip from DVD and do not represent the superior quality of the new high definition Blu-ray edition of the film.)

Today in Madonna History: November 15, 1993

On November 15 1993, Madonna’s Bye Bye Baby was released as the sixth and final single from the Erotica album. The single was released to coincide with the start of the Australian leg of The Girlie Show World Tour. In addition to Australia, Bye Bye Baby was also given a limited release in Germany and Japan.

Bye Bye Baby was written by Madonna, Shep Pettibone and Anthony Shimkin and was produced by Madonna and Shep.

Official remixes for Bye Bye Baby include:

  • N.Y. Hip Hop Mix – 3:51
  • California Hip Hop Jazzy – 3:43
  • Madonna’s Night On the Club – 5:16
  • Rick Does Madonna’s Dub – 6:20
  • House Mix – 3:50
  • Madonna Gets Hardcore – 4:24
  • Tallahassee Pop – 3:48

Today in Madonna History: October 21, 1993

On October 21 1993, Madonna performed The Girlie Show for a sold-out crowd of 15,000 fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Today in Madonna History: October 1, 1993

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On October 1 1993, Madonna appeared on the cover of Vogue Paris photographed by Ellen von Unwerth. An exclusive interview conducted by Martine Trittoléno was also featured.

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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.  She cavorted on stage with three scantily clad women in a brothel-style setting, dressed in tuxedos and top hats, in a choreographed, highly sexual routine.  According to choreographer Alex Magno, he wanted to do Justify My Love or The Beast Within on MTV, but Madonna decided that they might be too controversial for live television and abandoned the idea. Nevertheless, Bye Bye Baby was chosen and performed with the choreography they had been practicing for The Girlie Show World Tour, since it represented the whole idea behind the tour.  Louis Virtel from The Backlot ranked the performance at number eight on a list for Madonna’s 11 Greatest VMA Moments. He praised Madonna’s rendition of the song at the Video Music Awards, calling it “a hell of a VMA performance” and a “killer cinematic throwback”.

Today in Madonna History: August 21, 1993

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On August 21 1993, Rain made its debut on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Single Sales chart, bowing in at #32.

While the inclusion of non-album track Up Down Suite (essentially a dub remix of Erotica outtake Goodbye To Innocence, retitled) and a remix of Waiting provided enough incentive for most fans to pick up the Rain maxi-single, interest apparently did not extend very much further. The maxi-single peaked at #13 the following week and would drop off the Maxi-Single Sales chart altogether after an unusually brief (by Madonna’s standards) six-week run.

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