Today in Madonna History: January 20, 1988

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On January 20 1988, Madonna’s You Can Dance remix album was certified platinum in the USA for sales of 1,000,000 copies.

Patrick Leonard had this to say about working on the album:

“Remixing is a form of secondary creativity. Dance music elevates the DJ and the mixer to being almost on a level with the musician. In my opinion this is false. Manipulation of pre-recorded sound sources may be creative in a secondary sense, and may be valid in its own field, but it is pseudo musicianship. That’s why we tried to have a fresh approach to the songs for You Can Dance, as if we were developing and composing them for the first time.

Today in Madonna History: January 5, 1995

On January 5 1995, Madonna’s fabulous Bedtime Stories album was certified platinum (for shipment of 1 million units).

Barbara O’Dair reviewed the album for Rolling Stone magazine:

After the drubbing she has taken in the last few years, Madonna deserves to be mighty mad. And wounded anger is shot through her new album, Bedtime Stories, as she works out survival strategies. While always a feminist more by example than by word or deed, Madonna seems genuinely shocked at the hypocritical prudishness of her former fans, leading one to expect a set of biting screeds. But instead of reveling in raised consciousness, Bedtime Stories demonstrates a desire to get unconscious. Madonna still wants to go to bed, but this time it’s to pull the covers over her head.

Still, in so doing, Madonna has come up with some awfully compelling sounds. In her retreat from sex to romance, she has enlisted four top R&B producers: Atlanta whiz kid Dallas Austin, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Dave “Jam” Hall and Britisher Nellee Hooper (Soul II Soul), who add lush soul and creamy balladry. With this awesome collection of talent, the record verily shimmers. Bass-heavy grooves push it along when more conventional sentiments threaten to bog it down. Both aspects put it on chart-smart terrain.

A number of songs — “Survival,” “Secret,” “I’d Rather Be Your Lover” (to which Me’Shell NdegéOcello brings a bumping bass line and a jazzy rap) — are infectiously funky. And Madonna does a drive-by on her critics, complete with a keening synth line straight outta Dre, on “Human Nature”: “Did I say something wrong?/Oops, I didn’t know I couldn’t talk about sex (I musta been crazy).”

But you don’t need her to tell you that she’s “drawn to sadness” or that “loneliness has never been a stranger,” as she sings on the sorrowful “Love Tried to Welcome Me.” The downbeat restraint in her vocals says it, from the tremulously tender “Inside of Me” to the sob in “Happiness lies in your own hand/It took me much too long to understand” from “Secret.”

The record ultimately moves from grief to oblivion with the seductive techno pull of “Sanctuary.” The pulsating drone of the title track (co-written by Björk and Hooper), with its murmured refrain of “Let’s get unconscious, honey,” renounces language for numbness.

Twirled in a gauze of (unrequited) love songs, Bedtime Stories says, “Fuck off, I’m not done yet.” You have to listen hard to hear that, though. Madonna’s message is still “Express yourself, don’t repress yourself.” This time, however, it comes not with a bang but a whisper.

Today in Madonna History: September 20, 1993

On September 20 1993, Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection (her first collection of greatest hits) was certified 4x platinum for shipment of 4 million units in the USA.  

Today in Madonna History: July 31, 2015

On July 31 2015, Madonna’s Blond Ambition World Tour documentary, In Bed With Madonna (aka Truth Or Dare) was certified platinum by BPI (British Phonographic Industry) for sales of over 50,000 units on DVD/home video in the UK.

Today in Madonna History: February 22, 1991

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On February 22 1991, Madonna’s controversial Justify My Love music video single was certified 8x platinum for shipment of 400,000 units in the USA.

Despite MTV and other similar video channels around the world banning the Justify My Love music video, the financial advantages of the ban were not lost on Madonna:

“It may seem like it was a publicity stunt, and I was very lucky, I must say. But I did not plan on selling this video. The controversy just happened. It wasn’t planned. So lucky me.”

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Today in Madonna History: February 9, 1995

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On February 9 1995, Madonna’s Like A Virgin album was certified 9x platinum by the Record Industry Association of America in the USA for shipment of 9-million units.

Previous certifications for Like A Virgin included:

  • July 14, 1987 – 7x platinum
  • November 6, 1985 – 6x platinum
  • July 22, 1985 – 5x platinum
  • April 23, 1985 – 4x platinum
  • February 5, 1985 – 3x platinum
  • January 23, 1985 – 2x platinum
  • January 23, 1985 – platinum
  • January 23, 1985 – Gold

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Today in Madonna History: January 5, 1995

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On January 5 1995, the lead single from Madonna’s Bedtime Stories album, Secret, was certified gold in the USA for shipment of 500,000 units.

The images in this post are for the UK Secret cassette single.

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