On July 23 1985, Into The Groove was released as a single in the UK.
Not wanting to draw more attention away from the Like A Virgin album following the release of the soundtrack hit Crazy For You, Sire/Warner notoriously relegated Into The Groove to the b-side of the Angel 12″ single in North America & Australia, although they eventually ceded to issuing it as an A-side in most other international territories.
Into The Groove was written & produced by Madonna & Stephen Bray and was their first released co-production to not be reworked by an outside producer (the pair had already been producing their own demos for years). The original demo version was used over the closing credits of Desperately Seeking Susan (seemingly dubbed from an actual cassette copy of the demo–granted, DAT’s were still a few years away), and although the commercially released mix featured a slightly beefed-up and more polished-sounding musical backing track, it kept Madonna’s original demo vocals intact.
In the UK, and throughout most of Europe, the single was backed by the Madonna-penned ballad Shoo-Bee-Doo, while the original album version of Everybody (another song credited to her alone) rounded out the 12″ single…it would be fair to assume that Madonna likely earned some of the biggest single-generated songwriting royalty cheques of her career thus far with this release. It’s interesting to note that despite being one of Madonna’s most enduring dance floor classics, no remixes were produced for Into The Groove at the time of its release. It wasn’t until 1987’s You Can Dance remix compilation that the song finally received an official extended remix treatment.
On June 15 1985, Madonna’s Angel peaked at #5 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart (RPM).
When Billboard reviewed the Like A Virgin album at 30, here’s what they had to say about Angel:
Madonna never made an Angel video, so there are no candy-colored MTV memories to taint this underrated single, which she co-wrote with ex-boyfriend Steve Bray. It plays like a straightforward dance-pop love song, but when this lapsed Catholic starts singing about angels, you know there’s some religious subtext. The laughter up front and midway through is a reminder that Madonna is no wretch incapable of saving herself. When heaven sends her an angel, it’s game respecting game.
On August 13 1985, Madonna’s Angel/Into the Groove single spent a 6th week at #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi Single Sales chart in the USA.
Check out the rare Into the Groove/Angel releases from the Philippines we’ve included above!
On July 6 1985, Angel/Into The Groove reached number-one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in the U.S., where it spent a single week. It was Madonna’s fourth release to top the Dance chart.
Due to the fact that both sides of the commercial single received a substantial amount of club play, the release charted as Angel/Into The Groove on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. This is despite the fact that Sire/Warner had actually promoted the single to clubs without Into The Groove, as the official U.S. promotional 12-inch single contained Angel on both sides.
In spite of the label’s apparent attempts to downplay Into The Groove, in the end its inclusion on the commercial single unquestionably helped to propel the release to the top of the Dance chart.
On March 16 1995, Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection was certified 6x platinum (6 million units) in the USA.
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com):
On the surface, the single-disc hits compilation The Immaculate Collection appears to be a definitive retrospective of Madonna’s heyday in the ’80s. After all, it features 17 of Madonna’s greatest hits, from Holiday and Like a Virgin to Like a Prayer and Vogue. However, looks can be deceiving. It’s true that The Immaculate Collection contains the bulk of Madonna’s hits, but there are several big hits that aren’t present, including Angel, Dress You Up, True Blue, Who’s That Girl and Causing a Commotion. The songs that are included are frequently altered. Everything on the collection is remastered in Q-sound, which gives an exaggerated sense of stereo separation that often distorts the original intent of the recordings. Furthermore, several songs are faster than their original versions and some are faded out earlier than either their single or album versions, while others are segued together. In other words, while all the hits are present, they’re simply not in their correct versions. Nevertheless, The Immaculate Collection remains a necessary purchase, because it captures everything Madonna is about and it proves that she was one of the finest singles artists of the ’80s. Until the original single versions are compiled on another album, The Immaculate Collection is the closest thing to a definitive retrospective.
On July 30 1985, Madonna’s Angel/Into The Groove 12-inch single was certified gold (for shipment of 1,000,000 units) in the USA.
On June 29 1985, Madonna’s Angel/Into the Groove single hit #5 in the USA.