Today in Madonna History: May 28, 1994

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On May 28 1994, Madonna’s I’ll Remember (Theme From With Honors) hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA.

Matthew Rettenmund ranks the Guerrilla Beach Mix of I’ll Remember (by William Orbit) as the #9 of 25 Best Madonna Mixes. Here’s what Matthew says about the remix:

Madonna’s easy-listening staple I’ll Remember from the hard-to-watch With Honors got a deep remix by Orbit, which could be heard as spacey or as originating at the precipice of a vast ocean. (I’m thinking of Sinead O’Connor’s “Jackie” here.) I’m embarrassed I forgot this remix when I first created this list, but I’m not embarrassed to say I think it’s markedly superior to the lovely but unassuming original.

We love this remix and we love Matthew’s blog (Boy Culture)!

How does this remix rank among your top Madonna favourites?

Today in Madonna History: May 14, 1994

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On May 14 1994, Madonna: The Girlie Show – Live Down Under hit #3 on the US Top Music Videos Chart.  The live video recording was released on April 25 1994.

Dominic Griffin from Daily Variety had this to say about the release:

Madonna danced, sang, and more specifically entertained her way through this two-hour concert set. Madonna’s comments aside, this show was purely for the cameras and the viewing audience at home. Expertly shot with multi-cameras including a crane and an onstage SteadiCam, the show was shot in close quarters, with an occasional pan of the vast audience. After a slow start, the show, which included nine costume changes, never once let up. Madonna showed great energy and amazing stamina throughout.

Today in Madonna History: April 26, 1994

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On April 26 1994, The Girlie Show – Live Down Under was released by Warner-Reprise Video on VHS and laserdisc.

The concert – recorded on November 19, 1993 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia – was a re-edited version of the concert special that had aired live on HBO. It was directed by Mark “Aldo” Miceli, who directed the live screens on Madonna’s 1990 and 1993 tours, as well as the Blond Ambition Japan Tour 90 VHS/laserdisc release. The Girlie Show – Live Down Under was nominated for a Grammy in 1995 for Best Long Form Music Video and was also one of the first concerts to be commercially issued on DVD in 1998.

Today In Madonna History: March 31, 1994

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On March 31 1994, Madonna guested on CBS-TV’s Late Show With David Letterman: during the 20-minute interview, she said the word “fuck” 13 times, made obscene remarks and wisecracks, refused to leave the set and was rude to her host; her lewd and vulgar behavior caused a public and media controversy and Letterman also expressed his displeasure by her appearance on his show.

Watch the video!

Today in Madonna History: March 26, 1994

On March 26 1994, I’ll Remember, Madonna’s theme song from her friend and collaborator Alek Keshishian’s film With Honors, was reviewed by Larry Flick in Billboard magazine.

I’ll Remember would earn “Hot Shot Debut” status on the Hot 100 in Billboard’s April 2nd issue for being the week’s highest debut at #35.

Today in Madonna History: December 6, 1994

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On December 6 1994, Madonna’s Take a Bow was released (as a physical single).  Take A Bow was selected to be the second single from Madonna’s sixth studio album Bedtime Stories.

The ballad was written and produced by Madonna and Babyface.

Billboard Single Reviews gave the song a very positive review:

The follow-up to the top five smash Secret is a plush pop ballad that pairs La M with the red-hot Babyface, who has become best friend to many a diva in recent times. As close to perfect as top 40 fare gets, this single has a delightful, immediately memorable melody and chorus, engaging romance-novel lyrics, caressing live strings, and a lead vocal that is both sweet and quietly soulful. A lovely way for the singer to close ’95 — and one more good reason to investigate her essential Bedtime Stories collection.

Today in Madonna History: December 5, 1994

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On December 5 1994, Madonna began filming the music video for Bedtime Story at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, CA.

The video marked her second collaboration with director Mark Romanek and featured cinematography by Harris Savides. To assist in the process of developing her ideas for the video into something more tangible, Madonna again turned to storyboard artist Grant Shaffer, who had previously collaborated on her videos for Deeper And Deeper and Rain.

Madonna recalled the inspiration for the video in an interview with Aperture magazine:

“My Bedtime Story video was completely inspired by all the female surrealist painters like Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. There’s that one shot where my hands are up in the air and stars are spinning around me. And me flying through the hallway with my hair trailing behind me, the birds flying out of my open robe – all of those images were an homage to female surrealist painters; there’s a little bit of Frida Kahlo in there, too.”

The effects-laden video was shot over six days and has been noted by Madonna as being one of the more grueling video shoots of her career. Filming of a scene that featured Madonna bathing in blue-coloured water yielded unexpectedly colourful results; when Madonna emerged from the water, she later recounted, it quickly became apparent that her skin had been temporarily stained blue.

Fortunately any on-set difficulties were not evident in the final product. Following several months of post-production work, the video’s stunning surrealist imagery was enthusiastically received by viewers upon its release in March, 1995.

A very special thank you to artist Grant Shaffer for generously sharing a selection of his original storyboards used in the development of the Bedtime Story video! We’d like to invite readers to check out more of Grant’s art on his official website – including his sketches for Deeper And Deeper, Rain and Madonna’s Japanese Takara commercial.

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