Today in Madonna History: March 26, 1983

On March 26 1983, the music video for Madonna’s Everybody was briefly mentioned in Billboard magazine along side the music video for Konk’s Konk Party, noting that both videos were directed by Ed Steinberg of Soft Focus Productions. What is not mentioned and likely not known to the columnist (considering they think Madonna is the name of a group!) is that Madonna appears as an extra in Konk Party along with her pals Erika Belle and Martin Burgoyne. Original Sonic Youth drummer and member of Konk, Richard Edson, is also featured in the video. Edson would later appear in the film Desperately Seeking Susan, holding open a newspaper box for Madonna, and is pictured prominently next to Madonna in the film’s cast photo – which is unusual considering the brevity of his time on-screen. He worked with Madonna again in 1988, playing the character of Johnny Crackow in the film, Bloodhounds Of Broadway.

Sonic Youth would explore their own fascination with Madonna with their side project, Ciccone Youth. In liner notes for Sonic Youth’s reissue of their landmark album, Daydream Nation (1988), the band revealed that they had given an advance copy of Ciccone Youth’s The Whitey Album (1988) to Madonna’s sister, who was working in Warner’s art department at the time, seeking Madonna’s approval for the use of her image on the album cover (her songs Into The Groove & Burning Up were also covered & sampled). Word came back that Madonna had no issues with it, adding that she remembered the band from their early days in New York.

Sonic Youth made humourous references to Madonna’s place in popular culture in their promotional artwork throughout the 80’s – typically designed by bassist/vocalist/guitarist and visual artist, Kim Gordon. They were even known to use Madonna’s music as interludes during guitar changes at their shows in the 80’s, bewildering audience members who were not privy to their shared origins as part of the early 80’s underground music scene in NYC.

In another connection, Sonic Youth’s 2004 album, Sonic Nurse, featured artwork from Richard Prince’s acclaimed Nurse Paintings series. In 2015, Madonna used a rotating selection of paintings from her own art collection as backdrops for a series of press junket interviews to promote her Rebel Heart album. One of the paintings displayed was Prince’s Heartbreak Nurse from his Nurse Paintings series.

Today in Madonna History: August 10, 1985

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On August 10 1985, Into The Groove spent the first of four weeks in the #1 position on the UK Singles Chart. It was Madonna’s first chart-topping single in the UK, where she has collected a total of thirteen #1 hits to date.

As an added validation, Into the Groove was Madonna’s first self-produced release (co-produced with Stephen Bray). While artists co-producing their own work is common today, it was relatively unusual at the time, particularly for female artists. The immense success of the single undoubtedly helped convince the powers at Sire/Warner to grant Madonna the artistic freedom to co-produce her next album, True Blue, together with her collaborators Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard.

Today in Madonna History: August 3, 1985

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On August 3 1985, Madonna’s Into The Groove hit #1 in the UK and Holiday hit #2 in the UK – Madonna is the only female artist ever to occupy the top 2 positions simultaneously on the UK charts.

Today in Madonna History: March 29, 1985

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On March 29 1985, Desperately Seeking Susan was released. The American comedy-drama was directed by Susan Seidelman and starred Rosanna Arquette and Madonna.

The New York Times film critic Vincent Canby named the film as one of the 10 best films of 1985.

Interesting facts: The filmmakers had initially wanted Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn to play the roles of Roberta and Susan, but the director decided to cast newcomers Rosanna Arquette and Madonna instead and the studio wanted the film to have younger actors in order to appeal to younger filmgoers. Bruce Willis was up for the role of “Dez” and Melanie Griffith was up for the part of “Susan”. Madonna barely beat out Ellen Barkin and Jennifer Jason Leigh for the part of Susan. Suzanne Vega also auditioned for the role of Susan, but was passed over.

Today in Madonna History: August 13, 1985

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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!

Today in Madonna History: July 30, 1985

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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.

Today in Madonna History: July 27, 1985

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On July 27 1985, Madonna’s Into the Groove debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number four.  It reached the top of the chart and stayed there for four weeks, and was present for a total of 14 weeks on the chart.  The song was Madonna’s first number-one single in United Kingdom.  During its stay at number-one, Madonna’s first UK hit Holiday was at number-two position. It made her the first female artist in UK chart history to hold the top-two positions of the chart simultaneously.

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