On June 9 2016, Madonna appeared as musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, singing a soulfully spot-on take of her classic 1984 hit, Borderline.
With nothing in particular to promote, Madonna accepted the offer to perform as a means of meeting the featured guest, U.S. President Barrack Obama. An uncharacteristically starstruck Madonna posing for a picture with Obama backstage offered proof that Madonna’s wish was indeed granted.
Forgivably opportunistic photo-ops aside, there was a poetic twist behind the nostalgia of her rare throwback performance that went typically unnoticed: Madonna’s very first appearance on the The Tonight Show had occurred exactly twenty-nine years earlier to the day – on June 9, 1987 – with late-night legend of the era, Johnny Carson. In that flirtatious first appearance she effortlessly accomplished her modest goal of having a smitten Carson in the palm of her hand.
Twenty-nine years, three hosts and four Presidents later, Madonna returned to The Tonight Show to deliver the definitive performance of an under-performed classic, and capped it off with a spontaneous roll on the floor with Fallon and some snapshots with Obama. Cuz that’s just how she rolls.
On March 27 1993, Bad Girl peaked at #20 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart (RPM).
Although the single fared better in Canada than it did south of the border (it peaked at #36 on the Hot 100), Bad Girl nevertheless earned the undesirable distinction of being Madonna’s lowest charting Canadian single since Borderline at the time, which had peaked at #25 in September, 1984.
The Bad Girl single was backed with the album version of Fever in North America (both songs were released separately in Europe), while the Bad Girl maxi-single focused primarily on remixes of Fever along with an extended version of Bad Girl. Strangely, a music video for Fever was produced only after the single had run its course on the European charts, set to a remix that was not issued was not included on the North American maxi-single of Bad Girl or the Fever 12-inch promo set that was serviced to DJ’s in the U.S.
Despite the unusual promotion, Fever managed to top the U.S. Club chart and the video was put into regular rotation on MTV and MuchMusic in Canada.
On March 10 2016, Madonna performed the first Tears Of A Clown show at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne, Australia. Since Madonna had not performed in Australia since 1993, she decided to put on a unique show for her Australian fans. The show included some of her lesser performed songs, covers, hits and some fan favourites that were not being performed during the Rebel Heart Tour (which was going on a the same time as the Tears Of A Clown show).
Madonna wanted the show to combine music, comedy and storytelling, with a circus or clown theme in mind.
Only members of Madonna’s official fan club, Icon, were able to acquire tickets. 1500 fans attended the show.
Madonna performed the following songs:
- Send In The Clowns
- Drowned World/Substitute For Love
- X-Static Process
- Between The Bars (Elliot Smith cover)
- Nobody’s Perfect
- Easy Ride
- I’m So Stupid
- Paradise (Not For Me)
- Joan Of Arc
- Don’t Tell Me
- Mer Girl
- Take A Bow
Cameron Adams (News.com.au) had this to say about the show:
“Madonna poured much of her sadness into her intimate two-hour Tears Of A Clown show, peppering emotional renditions of her hits with cheeky jokes and banter. It’s the sort of thing you never thought you’d see a superstar do. The show was fascinating — and difficult — to watch. We’re not used to Madonna on stage doing anything less than a fully rehearsed, slick stage show.”
On September 15 1984, Madonna’s Borderline peaked at #25 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart.
On May 26 1984, this classic Madonna photo by Helmut Werb was featured in No 1 UK magazine, along with the lyrics to Borderline.
Here are more amazing photos from that photo session:
On May 12 1984, Madonna’s Borderline peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart (then known as the Dance/Disco chart).
The hit song was written and produced by Reggie Lucas.