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”.
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.
On June 29 1993, ads ran in the Daily Variety & Hollywood Reporter announcing dancer auditions for an upcoming Madonna world tour:
Looking for 3 very special girls and a few good men.
Androgynous. Boyish girls between 5’4″-5’8″ with very short hair – that can dance well!
Men between 5’10”-6’2″ with versatility.
Classical training and street sensibility required!
Wednesday June 30th 12:30-5:30 pm, 3rd Street Dance Academy, 8115 3rd St, L.A., 90048
On June 21 1993, Madonna’s Rain video premiered on MTV. The video was directed by Mark Romanek, and filmed from May 16 – 19 at an airport hanger in Santa Monica, California. Romanek and Madonna set the video to look like Ryuichi Sakamoto was directing it, giving it a backstage feel. It was entirely shot in black and white and then hand-painted with blue tones.
I feel like I’ve known you before
I want to understand you
More and more
When I’m with you
I feel like a magical child
Everything is strange
Everything is wild
On June 5 1993, Just A Dream, written and produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard and performed by Madonna’s long-time backing singer/dancer Donna De Lory, peaked at number-ten on Billboard’s Dance/Club chart. The song was released as the second single from De Lory’s self-titled 1992 album for MCA Records.
Just A Dream had originally been written and recorded during the Like A Prayer sessions. Although Madonna had clearly intended that the album move beyond the boundaries of pure dance/pop and crossover into other styles, she reportedly felt that including Just A Dream would have tipped the balance too far in the direction of rock. When De Lory approached Madonna a few years later about the possibility of providing a song for her first album, Madonna offered Just A Dream, sensing that the song’s rock-edge would be better suited to Donna’s vocal style than her own. Madonna did, however, allow the use of her own vocals on the track, which can be heard blending with Donna’s in the song’s chorus, bridge and, most prominently, during its fadeout.
While unconfirmed, it is assumed that no new production-work – aside from the addition of De Lory’s lead vocal – took place on the released album version of Just A Dream, with the the original Like A Prayer session tracks carried over to Donna’s version and Madonna’s original lead vocal being mixed down to background vocals. The original cut, featuring Madonna’s complete lead vocal track, has yet to surface.
Check out the video for Donna’s version of Just A Dream at the 13:00 minute mark in the following video interview compilation featuring Donna discussing our favorite topic – Madonna: