On March 25 1997, Madonna performed You Must Love Me at the 68th Academy Awards. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Kathleen Guerdo from Billboard said that “Madonna delivers what is by far one of the strongest vocal performances of her career, comfortably scaling to the song’s demanding soprano heights while infusing it with delicate, heart-rending emotion.”
On November 13 1997, the Rolling Stone magazine Women of Rock issue, featuring Madonna, Tina Turner and Courtney Love was released.
The photoshoot took place on October 21, and according to Madonna, the ladies had fun figuring out what music to listen to during the shoot:
“There was a bit of a skirmish over who was going to play what. We finally agreed that every other CD was mine and every other CD was Courtney’s and we sort of went back and forth. But the ultimate song that we ended up dancing to all the time was the MC stereo remix of the Tricky song, which is a very good song to dance to.”
Tina had this to say about working with Madonna and Courtney:
“It was like working with kids. You know I’ve always had Ikettes for dancers, so they were pretending a few times that they were my dancers. They had all kinds of pretence going on, but it was always built around me being the mother of the two in some kind of way. In terms of ‘Tina is this and we are that,’ and I was laughing the whole time, honestly. If the photograph comes out with me really laughing seriously, it was because of their reaction to each other. It was wonderful.”
On November 1 1997, Buenos Aires peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart.
The promo-only set of remixes by Madonna, Pablo Flores & Javier Garza were serviced to clubs by Warner Bros. Records to promote the home video release of Evita. Produced in the summer of 1996 during the same sessions that yielded the hit remixes for Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, the percussion-heavy Buenos Aires club mixes again featured re-recorded vocals by Madonna and additional harmonies provided by Donna De Lory & Niki Haris.
On October 27 1996, Madonna’s You Must Love Me (the lead single from Evita) was released.
Kathleen Guerdo’s review for Billboard:
“Madonna delivers what is by far one of the strongest vocal performances of her career, comfortably scaling to the song’s demanding soprano heights while infusing it with delicate, heart-rending emotion. This bodes well for the creative potency of the rest of the soundtrack, which is due Nov. 14. Prepare for wall-to-wall airplay of this flawless ballad on pop and AC radio.”
On June 30 1997, Madonna began recording sessions for what would become her Ray Of Light album at Larrabee North Recording Studios, Universal City, Los Angeles.
Madonna had already spent several months writing songs and producing demos with Patrick Leonard, Rick Nowels and Babyface (although none of the Babyface material would make the final cut) by the time she entered the studio with co-producers William Orbit and Marius De Vries. Leonard would return to the project to assist with arrangements, earning him a co-producer’s credit on four of the album’s tracks. Madonna would add lyrics and melody to at least a half-dozen previously composed Orbit demos during these sessions as well, with six of their songs making the final track list.
On August 26 1997, Madonna: Truth Or Dare was released on DVD in North America by Artisan/LIVE Entertainment.
The documentary’s international rights holder at the time, MGM Home Entertainment, was unfortunately much less quick on the draw. DVD editions of In Bed With Madonna (the film’s foreign title) were gradually issued in most international markets between 2002 and 2006.