Today in Madonna History: September 15, 1984

borderline

On September 15 1984, Madonna’s Borderline peaked at #25 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart.

Today in Madonna History: August 24, 1998

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On August 24 1998, Drowned World/Substitute For Love was released as the third single from Ray Of Light in most major markets outside North America. The song was written by Madonna, William Orbit and David Collins (Rod McKuen and Anita Kerr were also credited for sampled use of their composition “Why I Follow The Tigers” performed by The San Sebastian Strings) and was produced by Madonna and Orbit.

With the album’s title track being issued as the second single in North America a month after its release in other markets, it was decided to release Drowned World/Substitute For Love to fill the gap until her next international single release, The Power Of Good-bye. The single peaked at number-ten in the UK, at number-five in Italy and at number-one in Spain. Despite not being released in Canada, the song managed to reach number eighteen on the Canadian singles chart based solely on sales of the European import single, and without any promotion from radio or music video stations. Club play of the imported single, which featured remixes of both Drowned World/Substitute For Love and its b-side, Sky Fits Heaven, prompted a brief appearance by the latter on the U.S. Hot Dance/Club Play Chart, peaking at number forty-one.

The music video, filmed in London by director Walter Stern, caused a minor controversy due to scenes of Madonna’s car being chased by paparazzi on motorcycles, an image still fresh in the public’s mind at the time due the circumstances surrounding the death of Princess Diana. Liz Rosenberg denied that the scene had anything to do with the late Princess, adding that the video was about Madonna’s own experience and relationship with fame.

The song is often ranked as a fan favorite and seems to be highly-regarded by Madonna as well, considering her 2001 concert tour was named after the song and it was used as the show’s opening number. It was also performed during 2006’s Confessions Tour and appeared on her second greatest hits collection, GHV2. An early demo version of the song believed to be produced with Patrick Leonard titled No Substitute For Love leaked online in the early 2000’s. The demo contains similar lyrics but a completely different musical backing track and melody. The music that was used on the final version of the song was a previously composed instrumental track by William Orbit.

Famous faces, far off places
Trinkets I can buy
No handsome stranger, heady danger
Drug that I can try
No ferris wheel, no heart to steal
No laughter in the dark
No one-night stand, no far-off land
No fire that I can spark

Today in Madonna History: July 26, 1999

On July 26 1999, Beautiful Stranger hit #1 for the first of two weeks on the Top 100 Canadian Singles chart published by RPM.

In the U.S. a commercial single had been withheld for Beautiful Stranger to drive sales of Maverick Records’ Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack album, limiting the song’s chart potential on the Hot 100 despite favorable support from radio. In a rare move, Warner Music Canada opted against following the lead of its U.S. counterpart and instead released the song as a CD maxi-single on July 20th, 1999.

During the week of its release, Beautiful Stranger was spending a second week at #4 on the Canadian singles chart based on the strength of its airplay alone, however the loss of its bullet indicated that it had likely peaked at radio. Fortunately, the added boost from sales of the domestic maxi-single was enough to earn Madonna her 17th #1 single in Canada – her first since 1995’s Take A Bow, despite having achieved three Canadian top-5 hits in the interim between 1996 and 1998.

Today in Madonna History: July 24, 1989

On July 24 1989, Express Yourself spent the first of two weeks at #1 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart published by RPM.

Today in Madonna History: July 20, 2006


On July 20 2006, Madonna’s Get Together single peaked at #4 on the SoundScan Canadian Singles chart.

Today in Madonna History: June 24, 1996

Canadian Top Singles June 24 1996 RPM

On June 24 1996, Madonna’s cover of Rose Royce’s Love Don’t Live Here Anymore peaked at #24 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart, which was then tabulated by RPM – Canada’s long-running music industry publication that folded in the year 2000.

Love Don’t Live Here Anymore was Madonna’s only fully promoted North American single to not be issued commercially in any physical format in Canada until the release of 4 Minutes in 2008, by which point Warner Music Canada had ceased domestic production of physical singles and maxi-singles altogether (2006’s Jump CD maxi-single was the last). Considering this distinction, the song managed to perform respectably well on the Canadian Singles chart based on airplay alone. In the U.S., where it was available commercially on CD-single, cassette-single and 7″ single, it only manged to climb to #78 on Billboard’s Hot 100, becoming her lowest charting single to date at the time (excluding her first two singles, neither of which charted on the Hot 100).

Today in Madonna History: June 16, 2007

On June 16 2007, Hey You peaked at #57 on Billboard’s Canadian Hot 100 Singles chart.

The charity single, recorded for the Live Earth benefit, was not promoted to radio and appeared on the chart for a single week only. It marked Madonna’s first appearance on the newly created Canadian Hot 100 Singles chart, which replaced the Nielsen Soundscan chart as Canada’s official singles monitor earlier that year.

Hey You was produced by Madonna & Pharrell Williams during the sessions for the Hard Candy album and is credited to Madonna alone.

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