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 February 10 2008, Madonna won her 7th Grammy Award. The Confessions Tour film, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, took home the award for Best Long Form Music Video.
It marked Madonna’s fourth Grammy nomination for Best Long Form Music Video, and her second win in the category:
- Blond Ambition World Tour Live – Won (1992)
- The Girlie Show: Live Down Under – Nominated (1995)
- I’m Going To Tell You A Secret – Nominated (2007)
- The Confessions Tour – Won (2008)
On November 7 1998, Sky Fits Heaven peaked at #41 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart in the US.
Although the song was not released commercially or promotionally in North America, remixes by Sasha and Victor Calderone released abroad on the Drowned World/Substitute For Love single managed to garner enough club play in the U.S. to merit a six-week run on the chart (plus one week on the Hot Dance Music Breakouts chart).
A remix video of Sky Fits Heaven (Sasha Remix) featuring outtakes from the Ray Of Light music video was serviced to select clubs, and this non-traditional form of promotion may have contributed to its chart placement.
On July 25 1998, the music video for Drowned World/Substitute For Love premiered in Europe. The video was directed by Walter Stern and was filmed on June 26 & 27 1998 at London’s famous Claridge’s Hotel and Piccadilly Circus.
The video caused some controversy when the British press reported that it would feature scenes of Madonna’s car being chased by paparazzi on mopeds, concluding that it was a reference to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the previous year. Liz Rosenberg responded by denying that the scenes were intended to draw comparison to Diana’s death and insisting that the video was about Madonna’s own relationship with fame.
Sadly the video was not serviced to video channels in North America, and with online steaming and downloadable videos not yet prevalent at the time, most fans outside of Europe were only able to enjoy the video for the first time when it appeared on the 93:99 video collection over a year later.
On November 2 1999, the Madonna: The Video Collection 1993-99 was released on home video and DVD.
Madonna: The Video Collection 1993-99 was released as a collection of Madonna’s favourite videos from 1993-1999. The collection contains 14 videos: Bad Girl, Fever, Rain, Secret, Take A Bow, Bedtime Story, Human Nature, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore, Frozen, Ray Of Light, Drowned World, The Power of Goodbye, Nothing Really Matters, and Beautiful Stranger.
On September 22 1998, The Power of Good-Bye was released as the third North American single from the Ray Of Light album. It was the fourth single in international markets that opted to release Drowned World/Substitute For Love as the album’s third single.
In the UK, the release was promoted as a double A-side single with Little Star.
The Power Of Good-Bye was written by Madonna & Rick Nowels and was produced by Madonna, William Orbit & Patrick Leonard. An earlier demo version of the track, believed to have been produced by Madonna & Leonard prior to Orbit’s involvement in the project, leaked in 2002.
On November 27 1999, Madonna: The Video Collection 1993-99 hit #3 on the Billboard Top Music Videos chart.
Heather Phares from Allmusic gave the release five out of five stars and said:
“Madonna’s Video Collection: 1993-1999 adds to her status as one of the best represented artists on DVD. Though it doesn’t offer much in the way of DVD-specific features, the artistry of directors like Mark Romanek, Stephane Sedaoui, David Fincher, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, as well as Madonna herself, is on full display with videos like ‘Take a Bow’, ‘Bedtime Story’, ‘Human Nature’, ‘Frozen’, and ‘Ray of Light’. All in all, it’s a worthwhile collection of memorable videos from one of pop’s trendsetters.”