Today in Madonna History: May 10, 1997

On May 10 1997, Gary Barlow’s Love Won’t Wait hit #1 on the UK Singles chart. The track was the lead single from the former Take That singer’s debut solo album, Open Road.

The song was written by Madonna & Shep Pettibone during an early 1994 writing session for what would evolve into Madonna’s Bedtime Stories album.

After recording a handful of demos with Pettibone, Madonna decided to shift musical directions. While some of Madonna’s lyrics from the Pettibone sessions would be reworked into songs that would appear on Bedtime Stories, the excellent Love Won’t Wait remained shelved until it was submitted to Gary Barlow’s manager for consideration.

Strangely, Barlow’s single release credited only Shep Pettibone as the song’s writer, with no mention of Madonna or her publishing company, Webo Girl, Inc. This was subsequently corrected in the liner notes for Barlow’s album, Open Road, with both Madonna & Pettibone receiving credit.

Madonna’s soulfully delivered original demo version of Love Won’t Wait leaked online a few years after Barlow’s version was released.

Today in Madonna History: February 1, 1997

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On February 1 1997, Evita – The Complete Motion Picture Soundtrack peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the U.S. Meanwhile across the pond, the soundtrack simultaneously shot to the #1 position on the UK album chart. It had initially peaked at #6 in the U.S. and at #7 in the U.K. upon release in November, 1996.

The surge in sales was largely attributed to the film’s wide release in January and the heavy promotional push that accompanied it, along with the interest generated by the soundtrack’s second single, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.

Today in Madonna History: September 20, 1997

On September 20 1997, the single-disc version of the Evita soundtrack, Music From The Motion Picture Evita, re-entered the Billboard 200 albums chart in the U.S., spending its final charting week at #190.

In the same issue of Billboard, the promo-only remixes of Buenos Aires earned “Hot Shot Debut” status on the Hot Dance/Club Play chart, entering at #35.

Today in Madonna History: May 15, 1997

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On May 15 1997, Madonna’s Like A Prayer is named one of  “200 Best Albums Ever Made” by Rolling Stone magazine.

Today in Madonna History: March 25, 1997

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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.”

Today in Madonna History: November 13, 1997

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.”

Today in Madonna History: November 1, 1997

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.

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