Today in Madonna History: July 25, 1990

On July 25 1990, Warner-Pioneer released Madonna: Blond Ambition Japan Tour 90 on VHS and laserdisc, exclusively to the Japanese market.

The release captured one of Madonna’s performances in Yokohama, Japan in April, 1990 and had previously been broadcast live on Japanese television. Due to heavy winds, no curtains were lowered to hide set changes during this particular open-air concert.

Today in Madonna History: July 20, 1990

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On July 20 1990, Madonna performed the first of three Blond Ambition Tour concerts at Wembley Stadium in London. She also performed on July 21 and 22.

BBC Radio 1 broadcast the full July 21 show, live from Wembley Stadium with no time delay, which led to controversy over the amount of swear words Madonna uttered live on air and the BBC had to issue an apology. Madonna said the F-word 24 times.

Highlights of the show were later aired after the 1992 interview with Madonna and Simon Bates.

Today in Madonna History: May 17, 1991

On May 17 1991, Madonna: Truth Or Dare was released in 538 U.S. movie theatres.

Madonna: Truth or Dare chronicled the life of Madonna during her 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour.  The film was well received by critics and was successful at the box office, at that point becoming the highest-grossing documentary of all time with a worldwide gross of $29,012,935.

Outside of North America, where the game that inspired the documentary’s title was not well known at the time, the film was marketed under the title In Bed with Madonna – despite protests from Madonna herself who found the alternate title unoriginal.

A Blu-Ray edition of the documentary was recently announced for the UK market and interestingly it uses the film’s original, Madonna-approved title, Madonna: Truth or DareIf the release pans out as announced, it will be the first domestic UK release of the film to use this title.

Today in Madonna History: April 4, 1989

On April 4 1989, Pepsi-Cola announced it had banned all future broadcasts of the Madonna/Pepsi-Cola commercial, cancelled her 1-year contract and the sponsorship of what would have been the Like A Prayer World Tour, due to the boycott threats from religious groups against her own Like A Prayer music video.

Here’s a snippet of an article from the New York Times (printed April 5, 1989):

”When you’ve got an ad that confuses people or concerns people, it just makes sense that that ad goes away,” said Tod MacKenzie, a spokesman for Pepsico Inc. He would not say whether Pepsico had canceled its sponsorship of Madonna’s tour.

Pepsico paid Madonna more than $5 million to appear in a two-minute commercial that first appeared on March 2. In it, Madonna traveled back to her 8th birthday.

Jay’s Thought: Had the Like A Prayer World Tour gone forward as planned, Madonna might not have participated in Dick Tracy or released I’m Breathless or Vogue for that matter. How different would the Like A Prayer World Tour set-list have been from Blond Ambition?

Today in Madonna History: January 25, 1989

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On January 25, 1989, following eight months of negotiations, Pepsi announced that they had signed Madonna to a year-long endorsement contract, for which they would pay her $5 million. In return, Madonna would appear in a series of television commercials and Pepsi would sponsor the Like A Prayer World Tour, tentatively slated for later that year.

Pepsi was undaunted by Madonna’s image in the tabloids. “Her appeal is in her music and her acting. That’s where people’s interests are,” announced Pepsi spokesman Tod MacKenzie.

If the Like A Prayer World Tour had gone ahead as planned, do you think it would have been drastically different from Blond Ambition? What would have changed? Vogue and all the songs from Dick Tracy (or I’m Breathless) would have been omitted. What else? 

Today in Madonna History: September 30, 1999

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On September 30 1999, Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour was named The Greatest Concert Of The 1990s by Rolling Stone magazine.

Today in Madonna History: September 1, 1990

On September 1 1990, Madonna’s Vogue spent its final week on Billboard’s Hot Singles Sales chart at #40. The massive hit was present on the U.S. sales chart for a total of twenty weeks, including two weeks at #1 in May of 1990.

Vogue has been certified double-platinum by the RIAA for physical sales of over two million units. In terms of physical sales alone, it remains Madonna’s best-selling single in the U.S.

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