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.

Today in Madonna History: December 4, 1996

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On December 4 1996, Madonna was honoured with the Artist Achievement Award at the 7th annual Billboard Music Awards at the Aladdin Hotel Theatre For The Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This was Madonna’s first public appearance since the birth of her daughter Lourdes.

Today in Madonna History: December 3, 2014

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On December 3 2014, two photos for Donatella Versace’s 2015 spring/summer collection were revealed.  The photos were taken by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

Donatella said of Madonna:

“Madonna says it best herself: She is unapologetic.  She is her own woman, a role model who shows other women how we can do what we want, and get what we want, and do so for all of our lives, with no compromise.”

Today in Madonna History: December 2, 2007

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On December 2 2007, Madonna and Guy Ritchie attended the Cinema Society screening of Guy’s film Revolver in New York City.

Madonna was dressed in Dolce and Gabbana.

Today in Madonna History: December 1, 2018

On December 1 2018, Madonna shared this photo and message through her social media channels:

With My Good Friend Keith Haring. He was a big AIDS activist when everyone was calling it GAY cancer. I was with him the day he died of AIDS. He said what hurt him the most was how people did not want to touch door knobs after he touched them. The discrimination then was next level. #worldaidsday.

Today in Madonna History: November 30, 1980

On November 30 1980, Madonna’s band, Emmy, recorded a four-song studio demo which was later distributed on TDK cassettes around New York City.

Band member and songwriting partner, Stephen Bray, was asked to describe what he remembered from these songs in a 1998 interview with Bruce Baron for Goldmine magazine, and he commented on each this way:

  • (I Like) Love For Tender – “Sort of our Byrds thing. Nice song, arrangement was too long though.”
  • No Time – “This was a giddy, up-tempo romp with drums and rhythm section stuff inspired by the fast playing Police and XTC attitude, but with a pop top.”
  • Bells Ringing – “Our most psychedelic number I recall, too long again. It had a definite Stones-ish attitude.”
  • Drowning – “The best tune of the moment, I always thought.”
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