Today in Madonna History: June 19, 2013

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On June 19 2013, Debi Mazar talked to The Cut about how she first met Madonna:

I was in Danceteria, working the elevator. She came into my elevator, and a great song was spinning and she goes, ‘Hey, you wanna dance? And I was like, ‘Yeah!’ And I parked the elevator, and we had a great dance together and then later on we danced some more. She wasn’t, like, a big star yet. She was just a girl from Detroit who had a real raw sexuality. From there on we became pals and started dancing and hanging out. I was doing makeup then, and so I did her makeup for years. She was like, ‘I’m gonna be a star one day,’ and I was like, ‘Great!’ We also did videos together. The first one was a song called ‘Everybody,’ and we filmed at the Paradise Garage, and Keith Haring was there. That was the beginning. I was always trying to pluck her eyebrows — they’re caterpillars. At this moment in time I probably wouldn’t pluck them, but it was the eighties, so, you know. Anyway, we remained girlfriends and we still are.

Today In Madonna History: April 30, 2006

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On April 30 2006, Madonna made her festival debut at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California.

Madonna performed six songs in front of one of the largest crowds ever to witness an artist at the event. The set featured her latest hit single Hung Up, Get Together, I Love New York, Ray of Light, Let It Will Be and the vintage Everybody. The show served as a warm-up for the May 21 kick-off of her Confessions Tour in Los Angeles.

Today in Madonna History: April 13, 2019

On April 13 2019, two of Madonna’s classic Japanese-exclusive vinyl EPs were re-released on coloured vinyl for Record Store Day 2019: True Blue (Super Club Mix) and La Isla Bonita (Super Mix).

True Blue (Super Club Mix) was pressed on blue vinyl (limited to 13,000 copies) and included the following tracks:

    • True Blue (The Color Mix)
    • Everybody (Dub Version)
    • Papa Don’t Preach (Extended Remix)
    • Everybody (Extended Version)
    • Live To Tell (Instrumental)

La Isla Bonita (Super Mix) was pressed on green vinyl (limited to 12,500 copies) and included the following tracks:

    • La Isla Bonita (Extended Remix)
    • Open Your Heart (Extended Version)
    • Gambler
    • Crazy For You
    • La Isla Bonita (Instrumental)

Jay’s Note: I was in line at 5:35am. Did you participate in Record Store Day? Were you successful in your search? 

Today in Madonna History: February 14, 2013

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On February 14 2013, Mark Kamins, Madonna’s ex-boyfriend, and pioneering DJ-producer who helped launch her career, died.

A fixture in the downtown New York City scene of the early 1980s, he held court at Danceteria and produced Madonna’s debut single, Everybody.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Madonna wrote:

“I’m very sorry to hear about Mark’s death. I haven’t seen him for years but if it weren’t for him, I might not have had a singing career. He was the first DJ to play my demos before I had a record deal. He believed in me before anyone else did. I owe him a lot. May he Rest in Peace.”

Today in Madonna History: December 25, 1982

On December 25 1982, Madonna’s Everybody debuted at #9 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart in the USA.

Madonna recalls the first time she heard Everybody on the radio:

“I was living on the Upper West Side, 99th and Riverside, and about 7:00 at night I had the radio on in my bedroom, on WKTU, and I heard ‘Everybody’. I said ‘Oh, my God, that’s me coming out of that box.’ It was an amazing feeling.”

Today in Madonna History: December 24, 1983

On December 24 1983, Madonna was named runner-up for Top Dance/Disco Artist Of The Year in Billboard magazine’s year-end issue, while Michael Jackson took top honors.

The double-sided club hit Holiday/Lucky Star peaked at #3 on the Top Dance/Disco Singles Of The Year tally, while Madonna’s second entry at #26 combined points from her first two single releases, Everybody and Burning Up/Physical Attraction.

Today in Madonna History: July 27, 1983

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On July 27 1983, Madonna’s eponymous debut album was released by Sire Records. The record was renamed Madonna: The First Album for the 1985 international re-release of the album.

The album was released with 8 tracks (produced by John “Jellybean” Benitez, Mark Kamins and Reggie Lucas):

  1. Lucky Star
  2. Borderline
  3. Burning Up
  4. I Know It
  5. Holiday
  6. Think of Me
  7. Physical Attraction
  8. Everybody

Five singles were released from The First Album:

  1. Everybody (October 6 1982)
  2. Burning Up (March 9 1983)
  3. Holiday (September 7 1983 – UK)
  4. Lucky Star (September 8 1983)
  5. Borderline (February 15 1984)

“Madonna was unhappy with the whole album, so I went in and sweetened up a lot of music for her, adding some guitars to ‘Lucky Star’, some voices, some magic… I just wanted to do the best job I could do for her. When we would playback ‘Holiday’ or ‘Lucky Star’, you could see that she was overwhelmed by how great it all sounded. You wanted to help her, you know? As much as she could be a bitch, when you were in a groove with her, it was very cool, very creative.”

— John “Jellybean” Benitez talking about Madonna and the album.

“I’ve refrained over the years in addressing aspects of Madonna’s career because I’m not a person who likes negative discussions. But what I will say is that in Madonna’s ascent to fame and fortune, there’s been a pretty vicious competition for credit in being involved. In other words, someone will say, ‘I launched Madonna.’ If I talk to a lot of people today, I will say I was Madonna’s first producer. I produced six of the eight tracks on her first record. I would say nine times out of 10, their response will be, ‘Oh yeah, I thought Jellybean did that.’ But Jellybean didn’t do that. Jellybean was a remixer, and we didn’t have time to remix records. It wasn’t something that I was interested in doing. Somewhere in this process of publicists and personal relationships, somehow he came out as the guy. Just for the record, one tires in a lifetime of hearing someone taking credit for something that you’ve done. Jellybean produced ‘Holiday’ and he remixed a couple of tracks, but remixing tracks for radio isn’t the same thing as producing one of the major breakout pop stars of the 1980s…it’s almost like I was fired or something. I wasn’t fired. I finished the record…and they put it out and sold a bunch of records. And everybody else ran around trying to take credit for it because it was so big that they couldn’t help themselves. … I must say, Madonna was great to work with in the studio. She really put in the work. She was a creative person.”

— Reggie Lucas, producer of Madonna’s first album.

Although its authenticity is unconfirmed, this is said to be an early track list of the album.

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